In a Nutshell
Alpe d’Huez, right in the heart of the Oisans valley, you combine a ski area of over 250km with a collection of amazing quirky bars and you’re guaranteed a very fun holiday. This resort is home to the longest black run in Europe, La Sarenne, so it’s definitely one for the bucket list tickers. There’s steep terrain to challenge the bravest but beginners will also find themselves right at home, there are plenty of greens close to the resort to practice and as confidence grows you can work your way up to the blues and reds overlooking the resort. For most weeks of the season the lift pass includes a day over in the neighbouring resort Les Deux Alpes, so you get two resorts for the price of one! Back in the town you can find bars that offer hundreds of flavours of rum, fluctuating stock-market style prices and even slides, so there’s plenty to keep you entertained until it’s time to get back out on the piste!
L'Isle du Soleil
Allegedly boasting 300 days of sunshine a year the nickname “The Island in the Sun” is not plucked out of thin air.
With most of the slopes facing south you’ll be guaranteed a goggle tan.
Though Alpe d’Huez may not be your first choice for a late spring holiday you’ll still find plenty of snow. The Sarenne Glacier can guarantee you some turns at height and the network of snow machines has the beginner areas covered.
The 250km of pistes offer a huge variety of terrain. You can scope out some tree-lined runs down towards Oz en Oisans or stick to the wide interlinking pistes around the resort.
Places to Stay
You’ve a lot to choose from in Alpe d’Huez. The Bergers sector offers plenty of slope-side accommodation, over here you can find basic and budget residences or you can find yourself a building with a pool! It’s the easiest area to access the lifts from and Les Bergers commercial centre will provide all the necessities for the week however the majority of the bars are a little walk away. If you’d prefer to be right in the thick of it then there are plenty of levels of accommodation in the centre of town. Seconds from shops and restaurants you can stumble from the bars to your door and there’s a shuttle bus to take you to the lifts in the morning.
Best Bits of Alpe d'Huez
Tick off La Sarenne
Dubbed “the champagne run” by the locals because it’s what you’ll deserve when you’ve finished it. You’d be mad to visit Alpe d’Huez and not tick off the longest black run in Europe! Starting at the top of the glacier it will challenge you at first before levelling out as you get lower turning into a beautiful scenic run down into the valley below. This may be the trophy run but don’t be in too much of a rush to start it. From at the Pic Blanc you’ll find a collection of blues, reds and blacks that it’s certainly worth spending a morning on.
Play in Marcel’s Farm
We don’t mean to sound condescending when we say that this little area is some of the funnest skiing in the resort. It may be designed for kids but adults can certainly have just as much fun. A playful area that’s focused on fun a series of beginner obstacles, tunnels, bumps and slides are sure to provide laughs for all abilities and you’ll definitely be keen for another run once you get down!
Ski into the night
There are never enough hours in the day, so one night a week the resort staff hit the switch on the floodlights and keep the Signal lift running so that the fun doesn’t have to stop. You can keep making turns far later than the lifts would usually allow and reward yourself with a hot chocolate at Taburle.
Push yourself on The Tunnel
Not for the fainthearted! Renowned as one of the most challenging runs in Europe this un-pisted black is sure to make even the most confident thrill seekers shake in their boots. Starting from the very top of Pic Blanc at 3330m this run will lead you down a tunnel carved through the mountain before dropping away in front of you on the other side. Once you’ve completed this you’ll be bragging about it for years.
An après bar in one of the most stunning locations in the Alps. One of the newest additions to La Folie Douce’s arsenal, the views over the valley as the sun sets are like something out of a dream!