Alpe d’Huez is a truly great resort with stunning vistas, epic skiing for all and a notoriously vibrant après ski scene more often found in the Austrian resorts like St Anton than in the French Alps. Part of the Alpe d’Huez Grand Domaine, it is the 5th biggest ski area in France and also the sunniest (with 300 days of sunshine a year) so there are few drawbacks when it comes to this resort. The town itself is separated into quarters, and each area is lively with an array of venues to suit your mood & budget.
Thanks to its height and size, Alpe d’Huez has a great snow record and a fantastic variety of terrain for all. If piste bashing is your thing, there are 4 routes from the top of the Pic Blanc cable car (3300m) each with a vertical drop of around 2000m – the Sarenne (aka the longest black piste in the Alps) being one of them. If you manage to cover all of them, you will have skied a total length of 65km and you even get a certificate at the end to prove it. There are plenty of blue runs dotted around for beginners to progress to, and intermediates will have a great time cruising around the plentiful reds and building up the courage to move onto the blacks – of which there are many. Experts are well taken care of with plenty of challenging pistes and off-piste options, though hiring a guide really enables you to make the most of what Alpe d’Huez has to offer.
Bikers and hikers will find themselves overwhelmed with options in Alpe d’Huez. Home to Le Tour de France every second year, the road biking routes are some of the best in the country and the wintery pistes turn into a maze of cross-country and downhilling routes. With the Ecrins National Park right next-door, Mountaineering is easy to access and there is plenty of sport climbing and via ferrata’s too. Like all ski resorts in the summer there are hundreds of kilometres of hiking trails to explore as well as horse-riding, canoeing and canyoning.
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