Beautiful, busy, and modern, there are endless reasons to visit Alpe d’Huez, but we’ve managed to whittle it down to 10. Here are our top 10 reasons to visit this gorgeous Alpine resort.
- The slopes
The slopes in Alpe d’Huez are undeniably great. The domain offers 249km of pistes to explore, plus infinite off-piste adventures. So here, if nowhere else, can claim it has something for everyone. Gentle slopes on the outskirts are ideal for teaching newbies on, while the infamous Tunnel run and other black pistes are for ultimate thrill-seekers, skiers and snowboarders alike.
- The La Sarenne piste
Following along that theme, Alpe d’Heuz boasts the longest piste in Europe. The Sarrenne piste runs for 16km, and joins the Pic Blanc and Sarenne Gorge together. Such an enormous piste is only to be tackled by experienced skiers, and it’s also a starting point for lots of off-piste routes. Plus, the resort organises a monthly moonlight excursion down La Sarrenne!
- Our Christina Hotel
Okay, okay, we’re biased. But we think our Christina Hotel is lovely. A week’s stay starts at £239 per person, and this hotel is situated right on the pistes. Enjoy ski-in, ski-out access, moments from the ski lifts and a short stumble to the shops and restaurants of Alpe d’Huez.
- The great snowfall
The resort of Alpe d’Huez sits 1869 metres above sea level – one of the higher resorts in the Alps. This means the resort generally receives really high snowfall, giving excellent skiing opportunities. The highest peak of Alpe d’Huez sits at 3300m, at the tip of the Pic Blanc glacier. The glacier is accessible in both winter and summer, and during the ski season, provides excellent off-piste opportunities. The skiing season generally lasts from early December to April, giving plenty of ski time!
- It’s beautiful
There’s no denying it, Alpe d’Huez is beautiful. It’s got pristine slopes, pine forests, traditional alpine village buildings and sleek modern bars. Whether you visit in winter or summer, the sun will likely be shining, and the views will be phenomenal.
- The weather
Alpe d’Huez receives genuinely beautiful weather too! As well as fantastic snowfall, the sun shines for much of the year here. The resort is situated in a sheltered bowl that’s open to the sunshine. It’s even acquired the nickname ‘L’Isle du Soleil,’ the isle of sunshine. There really is nothing better than a hot chocolate in the sunshine after a good morning’s skiing, with the whole afternoon stretching before you. Bliss.
- It’s summer season
If winter sports aren’t your thing, visit Alpe d’Huez in the summer season! It’s a haven for hikers and cyclist alike, and is particularly key for mountain biking. The 21 hairpin bends from Bourg ‘Oisans to Alpe d’Huez is probably the most famous climb in the cycling world. The run is 14km long, scaling a huge 3670 feet. If you’re after something less intense, the resort has 140 miles of marked cycling routes, and endless trails and paths to walk.
- The non-skiing activities
Aside from skiing, Alpe d’Huez has plenty to offer off the hill. Head along to Ice Laser Quest – in a maze made of ice, no less – or the Ice Caves for gorgeous sculptures. Indoor sports include archery, badminton, basketball, a gym and pool. Get in touch with nature with a husky sled ride, or play a game of ice hockey. There’s even a heated outdoor swimming pool – the ultimate luxury. The list of activities in Alpe d’Huez is genuinely endless!
- There’s plenty to see
The resort of Alpe d’Huez is split into roughly three sections: Quartier des Vieil Alpe, Quartier des Bergers and Quartier des Jeux. Vieil Alpe is the oldest part of the resort, and retains its traditional vibe. It’s peaceful and picturesque, with family-run restaurants. Bergers is the most modern, with slick bars and self-catered accommodation. Jeux is the most lively, it’s the centre of the resort, and has the lion’s share of bars, shops and restaurants.
- The food
Where would we be without Alpine food? Local cheeses feature heavily on the Alpe d’Huez menus. Look out in particular for Abondance and Beafort. Beef and lamb will be from local cattle and sheep, grazed on the Alps, and you’ll also find Féra, a lake fish caught in nearby Lake Geneva, as well as trout, char and perch.
We’re in love with Alpe d’Huez. So when will you be visiting?