Alpe d’Huez is one of France’s largest and most popular resorts. Located at 1869m above sea level, high in centre of the Oisans Alps, it is the central resort in the area of Les Grandes Rousses Massif and serves as a superb base for exploring this extensive skiing area. The resort itself boasts plenty of sunshine, excellent skiing, great family facilities and lively entertainment.
This area is not only a ski resort, it is also a bustling town, home to 1700 permanent residents. The different parts of the town, or ‘quartiers’, are areas that are home to different facilities. Quartier des Vieil Alpe is the oldest and most attractive part of the town and is a quiet residential area.
The old buildings give it a traditional charm and it has many family-run restaurants offering some delightful traditional cuisine. Quartier des Jeux is the central part of the town and this is the main area for shops, bars and restaurants. Quartier des Bergers is the most modern part featuring lively opportunities for dining, drinking and shopping.
The ski resort at Alpe D’Huez is one of the largest and best known. The area of Les Grandes Rousses Massif has 249km of linked piste and 84 lifts with one of the longest cable cars in the world. Overall the domain covers an area of 10,000 hectares and spans an altitude range of 2,230m.
The Sarenne run, the world’s longest at 16km, joins the highest point of the ski area, Pic Blanc (3,330m) to Sarenne Gorge. From Pic Blanc you can take in some stunning views of the surrounding area, including Mont Blanc, Mont Cervin and the Meije. Alpe d’Huez averages 300 days of sunshine a year and many of its slopes are south facing, making it a beautiful year-round destination.
Due to its extensive range, the ski resort around Alpe d’Huez has something suitable for everyone. For beginners there are gentle slopes on the outskirts of the resort, perfect for gaining confidence.
There are many blue and red runs for intermediate skiers to be sufficiently entertained on and for experts there is the Sarenne run and the Tunnel run. Snowboarders can make use of two snowparks and the more experienced appreciate the vast amount of off-piste – the area spans a great distance, so there are plenty of these opportunities. Alpe d’Huez is also one of the few resorts that give you the chance to take part in night skiing, this adds a bit of variety to the usual skiing activities on offer.
For those who head to Alpe d’Huez for non skiing activities, there is also plenty to do. The beautiful mountain scenery has some spectacular opportunities for ramblers. There are over 35km of marked and maintained walking trails and there are benches, picnic stops and mountain restaurants from which to enjoy the surroundings.
Many other enjoyable activities are available in winter as well, such as taking a ride on a horse drawn sleigh or driving your own husky sled. For those who enjoy speed, you can try quad biking or driving a snow mobile. Paragliding is one of the most effortlessly enjoyable experiences to be had in either summer or winter. Gliding above the mountains with nothing but a parachute is something you will never forget. The resort benefits from a heated outdoor swimming pool, an outdoor ice rink, plenty of shops and a cinema.
Alpe d’Huez has a huge variety of dining opportunities and nightlife. With over 40 restaurants, you can choose from a wide range of international cuisine as well as traditional alpine food such as fondue. ‘Les Epiciers’ has a superb ï¿½ la carte menu and ‘La Passe Montagne’ offers great value for money. ‘Le Fromagerie’ has some wonderful seafood, ‘L’Authentic’ specializes in excellent hearty Italian dishes and last but not least, ‘Smithy’s Tavern’ has a delicious Tex-Mex menu.
As for nightlife, Alpe d’Huez has a thriving scene where you can catch some live music, enjoy a quiet drink or party until the small hours. The ‘Sports Bar’, ‘O’Sharkey’s’ and ‘Smithy’s Tavern’ are good venues for pub sorts, whilst the ‘Underground’ is a themed bar underneath Hotel Le Chamois.
The clubs are conveniently situated in the centre of the town. ‘Igloo’ is a top dance club, the ‘Yeti Bar’ has live music, DJs and a fun atmosphere; Tropicana tends to be popular with younger visitors.
resorts for a skiing holiday as it is ideally located in the centre of such a large ski area which offers something for everyone. Because of the resort’s size and popularity, there are a wide range of other activities and entertainment options.
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