For an endless choice of runs, in one of the biggest ski areas in the French Alps, you can’t beat a trip to Alpe d’Huez with easyJet holidays. Famous for its sunny south-facing slopes and the world’s longest black run, this modern French resort is the ideal place for experienced skiers and snowboarders who love some serious variety.
The resort itself is more modern sprawl than quaint Alpine village but the breath-taking mountain views, and extensive amenities, mean that’s soon forgiven. And while not the prettiest resort, Alpe d’Huez is certainly one of the largest and liveliest. Think adventure activities, live music bars and table-top dancing!
On the accommodation front, choices range from basic, affordable apartments to more luxurious hotels and chalets. Many hotels feature swimming pools and leisure facilities. Early birds who want to be first up the mountain can choose accommodation conveniently located close to the main ski lifts.
As the central resort in the huge Grandes Rousses Massif ski area, Alpe d’Huez boasts a heavenly 389km of linked pistes with runs to suit all abilities. With over 304 pistes and 150 ski lifts, you’d be hard-pressed to ski it all in one week!
If you’d rather keep costs down and just buy the Alpe d’Huez ski area lift pass instead, you’ll still have almost 250km to explore with:
42 green runs
37 blue runs
39 red runs
17 black runs
31 button lifts
14 cable lifts, reaching a dizzying top altitude of 3,330m.
Not to mention two snow parks for freestyle skiing and snowboarding featuring everything from beginner kickers and rails, to the ‘Big Air’ section complete with bouncy castle landing area. There are also automatic filming systems to capture all your best jumps and flips. Less experienced free-riders should head to the large Alpe d’Huez snow park, as the smaller Montfrais park is the more challenging of the two.
Snow cannons cover 88km of piste, giving you plenty of options if the snow gods aren’t smiling. The Alpe d’Huez season tends to run from early December to late April.
As you’d expect for a resort of this size, Alpe d’Huez has a number of ski schools to choose from, offering everything from expert one-on-one masterclasses, to ski school groups for kids as young as two and a half years old.
Activities off the slope
If you can tear yourself away from the slopes, Alpe d’Huez has no end of alternative things to do. If your group is made up of skiers and non-skiers, this is a brilliant destination for keeping everyone happy.
Relax and ease those hard-working muscles in one of the resort’s spas. Pure Altitude Spa at the Royal Ours Blanc hotel has a beautiful, tranquil pool, as well as sauna, hammam and extensive treatment menu. Nuxe Spa in the Chamois d’Or hotel has a luxurious atmosphere with Jacuzzi, pool, steam rooms and massages. Or for a fun family swim, head to the enormous Palais des Sports leisure centre, which also boasts several tennis and squash courts, a fully kitted-out gym, an indoor climbing wall and even a cinema. Outside on Avenue des Jeux, you’ll find a large ice-rink where kids as young as three can have fun sliding around on some skates.
For something more action-packed, why not try one of the adventure activities on offer in Alpe d’Huez? Speed through the snow on dog-pulled sleds or get a birds-eye view of the valley with some paragliding or a helicopter ride. Snowmobiling is also a popular activity, and there’s a dedicated circuit at Espace Motoneige. And for the ultimate thrill, try speed riding – a daredevil cross between paragliding and skiing. Or if you prefer a more sedate pace, don some snow shoes and explore the stunning mountain scenery on foot.
Alpe d’Huez also has plenty of summertime activities to try when the weather is warmer. Highlights include canyoning, mountain biking, rafting, kayaking, hiking and wild water swimming,
Alpe d'Huez has no shortage of places to go for some well-earned après-ski. Whether you like a quiet pint and a meal, some live music or clubbing till dawn, the resort caters to all tastes.
It’s a well-known fact that days spent in the mountain air work up an appetite like no other! Satisfy your stomach with some traditional French Alpine cuisine, such as cheesy fondue or melted raclette with piping hot baked potatoes. You’ll also find all the European favourites here from pizza to Irish steak and Guinness pie. Fancy some fine dining? Head to Au Chamois d’Or for classic French dishes like soufflé or truffles.
Le Taburie Bar is a favourite spot for that straight-off-the-slopes drink, with its huge sun deck perfectly placed for watching the sun go down behind the snowy peaks. Le Tremlin is another buzzing sun deck, with plenty of deckchairs and huge glasses of beer. Or for amazing views, stay up the mountain and have your first drinks in La Folie Douce bar at the top of the Marmottes lift. The views over the valley are unbeatable and the parties legendary!
For chilled out drinks over a game of pool, Tiger Bar is a great choice while O’Bar has a lovely cosy feel with its open log firs and alpine décor. And when the night really hots up, head to the main street to dance the night away in Alpe d’Huez’s lively late-night establishments. The FreeRide Bar, Old School and Sphere are among the best. Or head to the old town and the iconic Smithy’s Tavern, before hitting the nearby clubs – the Caves and Igloo will keep you dancing until 5am.