Wide view of mountains with cable car above Vaujany

Vaujany

Vallée de la Maurienne, Savoie, French Alps

Lift-linked to Auris-en-Oisans, Oz-en-Oisans, Villard Reculas & l’Alpe d’Huez.

In a secluded valley off the Grenoble-Briançon route, close to le Bourg d’Oisans,

A short drive from Grenoble, and easy flight transfers from Chambéry Savoie Mont Blanc, Grenoble & Lyon.

Wide view of lone skier on piste with valley views

The Ski Area

There’s a huge amount of skiing on offer here, divided between Vaujany’s own Montfrais area, accessed by gondola lift, and that of l’Alpe d’Huez and the world-famous Massif des Grandes Rousses.

Locals will tell you that the home terrain is for novices and early intermediates, while the rest of us take the cable-car to strike off further afield.

In fact, Montfrais offers enough perfectly good skiing to keep intermediates happy for awhile in beautiful surroundings.

After that you’ll join the others skiing their legs off on some serious mileage coupled with awe-inspiring vertical-drops – not to mention the legendary Sarenne, claimed to be the world’s longest piste.

New for the 2017/18 winter season is a new Enversin gondola replacing the former grouped cabins. It will be faster and higher capacity.

Resort Information

Altitude : 1135m - 2800m
Vaujany
Pistes Total:
70 km
7 Green
11 Blue
9 Red
3 Black
Ski Resort Lifts : 25
1 Magic Carpets
12 Draglifts
3 Chairlifts
1 Cabriolet
6 Gondolas
2 Cable Cars
Alpe d'Huez Grand Domaine
Pistes Total:
250 km
42 Green
37 Blue
39 Red
17 Black
Ski Domain Lifts: 84
41 Draglifts
24 Chairlifts
3 Cabriolet
10 Gondolas
6 Cable Cars

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View through trees to village chalets and apartments

The Ski Village

Not so many years ago this was a small mountain village much like any other, until a cable-car link to the ski terrain above l’Alpe d’Huez put it on skiers’ radar. Since then development has been sensitive and to a high standard, making this one for those looking for authenticity with creature comforts.

Getting between levels involves nothing more arduous than weather-protected escalator rides, and it has an Olympic-sized ice rink (with ground-breaking eco-credentials). It also enjoys a sunny location, so is a very agreeable (but not exactly riotous) place to hang out for a spot of après. Access to the ski terrain involves a gondola or cable-car ride – and competent (black-run) skiers can also ski back again.

Staying There

Value for Money Accommodation Dining Out Nightlife Village Charm

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Group of young skiers with ESF ski instructor

Best For

Skiers or snowboarders looking for a more relaxed base from which to explore the high-mileage groomed terrain above l’Alpe d’Huez. Vaujany also has a strong appeal to anyone who prefers a clean, compact and unpressured village setting. It has a premium feel, too, offering everyone free underground car-parking (with more on the way).

If it were ski-in/ski-out it would be pretty well perfect, but for non-party-animals it’s close enough (and the antidote to high-rise purpose-built concrete resorts).

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Skiing There

Beginners / Families Intermediates Advanced / Expert Mountain Scenery

Snowboarding

Beginners area in Montfrais sector.
1 Snowparks


Cross-Country Skiing

Access by cable car to two circuits.
30km Cross-Country and Nordic Ski Trails

icon-smileyYes please...

  • Big-mountain skiing for all levels.
  • Access to 250kms of skiing.
  • Authentic mountain village.
  • Preferential tarifs for families.
  • Free covered parking.
  • Free entry leisure centre with ski pass.
  • Free weekend buses from Grenoble.
  • Friendly atmosphere.

icon-frowneyYes but...

  • The big party’s elsewhere.
  • Skiing back to the village is currently via a Black-graded piste (but due to change, to allow intermediates to enjoy it too).

icon-winkingOur Tips

  • Don’t be put off by the red grading of the link runs to Alpe d’Huez - they’re really not tough.
  • Download the free iPhone app (compatible with the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad). Requires iOS 4.0 or later.
Jump to Insight

Jump to Insight

Practical Information

Getting there

By car
From Grenoble, take Exit 8 off the ring-road to the N51 signed for the ski stations of the Oisans, direction Briançon. At the Rochetaillée crossroads turn left onto the D526 for the Eau d’Olle valley, and follow the signs for Vaujany.

For Dover-Calais ferry travel, other cross-channel routes, offers and bookings visit P&O Ferries

By air
The nearest airport is Grenoble.

Book your cheap ski flights to Grenoble with Monarch Flights.

You can get connections into Grenoble bus station or to Rochetaillée, where you can pick up a local service up to Vaujany. Useful websites include Grenoble Altitude, bensbus.co.uk or transisere.fr
From Lyon-St Exupéry there are connections via altibus.com to Bourg d’Oisans. From Chambery, use transisere.fr to get to ’ then change.

Visit for the best range of ski transfer destinations from airports and main train stations.

By train
TGV Paris (Gare de Lyon) to Grenoble (3 hours) with a regular Saturday and Sunday bus connections. For bus details and bookings see transaltitude.fr

Book your TGV high-speed train from Paris or Eurostar’s direct ski train to the French Alps with Voyages SNCF UK.


Things to do

Leisure Centre


Piscine Espace Loisirs
38114 Vaujany
Tel: +33 (0)4 76 79 83 83


Opening times winter: Every day 10am–7.30pm,
Wednesday 10am–8.30pm
Admission: Rink - 5€ adult, 3€ child (-15 years), skate rental 2€


With an indoor ice rink (58 x 28 m), four bowling lanes, toboggan run, Multisport, gym, sauna, Jacuzzi,
25 m swimming pool, a paddling pool and slide,
space-fun spa, cardio-training and
weights, a brewery, a crèche and a
dining area, the new sports and leisure centre
should satisfy the whole family.


In addition, an inclined escalator makes the centre easily accessible from the village.


The day-care centre (situated next to the Leisure Centre) takes children from 6 months.
Information: Tourist Office of Vaujany
Tel. +33 (0)4 76 80 72 37 - Visit website



Where to stay

Tried and testedLe Grenier

Vaujany

Chalet accommodation in Le Grenier, Vaujany

 A beautifully-restored chalet with mountain and valley views in the heart of the village, Le Grenier contains four large, luxury apartments, comfortably sleeping between 4 and 10 people. We stayed in the apartment Fare which had two double bedrooms and a further bedroom with bunk beds. The lounge had dual aspect French doors and a wrap around balcony to make the most of the views. There’s a superbly-equipped and spacious kitchen, a heated ski and boot cupboard, a large shower room with two handbasins and WC, plus another separate WC. There’s also free WiFi access (remember to get your access code).

Typical interior of the chalet accommodation, Le Grenier, Vaujany.

We also viewed the largest apartment Cimes, (sleeping up to 10 people) which is very cosy with mezzanine sleeping and panoramic views. This would suit a large group of good friends or an extended family.
Our only small criticism of the apartments was the lack of a bath, though the large showers were super.
In all, luxuriously appointed apartments just a couple of minutes’ walk from the escalator down to the ski lifts. It’s about 50 metres from the free covered parking and access to a small shopping centre, where there’s a small supermarket, a boulangerie and a couple of restaurants.

For further information and bookings contact:
Peak Retreats
0844 576 0170 (UK) or +44 23 9283 9310
reservations@peakretreats.co.uk


Le Fedora

Vaujany

Five spacious apartments are contained within this old village house which is superbly located for skiers just 50 metres from the escalator down to the ski lifts. We viewed a two-bedroom apartment on the ground floor and were impressed by the amount of space available and an open log fire for the evenings. The apartments have fantastic mountain views from south-facing balconies, and although furnished in a basic fashion, they contain everything you need for a comfortable self-catering holiday. There are a few parking spaces directly in front of the building, but free covered parking is just a few steps away.


Where to Eat

Tried and testedLa Table de la Fare

Place Centre Village
Vaujany
Tel: +33 (0)4 76 11 02 49

Just a few steps above the gondola station, this bar restaurant has a large sunny terrace, perfect for an après ski drink (beers from 3 €). We also enjoyed a midday meal in the restaurant where tables at the window enjoy a view over the valley. The menu includes good range of salads and pasta including some vegetarian choices. A plat du jour such as chicken, chips & salad cost 8.50€.


Arsen’s Café

Place Centre Village
Vaujany
Tel: +33 (0)6 75 02 70 10

Cosy bar situated between the gondola station and the escalator. A good place to have a beer and check your e-mails with free WiFi on offer.


La Remise

Galerie Marchande
Vaujany
Tel: +33 (0)4 76 80 77 11

Find a mountain chalet ambiance at this restaurant located in the upper part of the village. The menu has something for everyone with pizzas cooked in a wood oven, crêpes, traditional Alpine dishes and à la carte. Sadly we didn't get a chance to dine there this time, but it comes highly recommended.


Insight: Vaujany

Skiers' view of ski piste sign at Vaujany

Insight: Vaujany

The final approach to Vaujany takes us on a route we’ve driven before, in mid-January winter snowfalls have long-since closed the sensational cut-through to the Maurienne via the high passes of the Col du Glandon (1924m) and the Col du Croix du Fer (2067m).
But we have no problems at all heading up past Villard Reculas, Oz-en-Oisans, the huge dammed Lac du Verney and finally up the valley to Vaujany. When we get there it’s immediately clear that if all we’ve been expecting was a modest base for skiers on a tight budget to gain access to the same terrain as those over in big, blousy Alpe d’Huez, we’ve missed an important point. On a sunny Sunday morning things are far from sleepy, and there’s a distinctly prosperous air of well-being. Then something else catches our eye: right beside the expected cable-car we spot a gondola lift. Are we the only ones who seem to have seriously underestimated Vaujany?

“At the top is a popular meeting-point whose onward possibilities include a red-graded run over to the Poutran gondola for a haul up to 2100m, to access an array of easy runs into Alpe d’Huez and beyond.”

A first glimpse of the Vaujany's own terrain, from the Montfrais 4-seater chairlift.
Vaujany piste

Sunny Sunday skiing, Vaujany style..

After locating our accommodation, we spend a few minutes surveying our surroundings while awaiting the keyholder. The views across the snow-covered rooftops and down the Eau d’Olle valley far below are almost as hypnotic as watching the movements of the cable-car hauling skiers up to the departure point of l’Alpette (2050m). After installing ourselves in our unexpectedly huge apartment we take a quick glance at the skiers working their way down a lone piste across the valley and decide it’s time to get out there and ski.

Getting down to the ski lifts proves much quicker than we’d anticipated, thanks to a series of weatherproofed escalators which carry skiers between village levels. We emerge opposite the Vaujany-Alpette cable-car and our choice for today, the Vaujany-Villette gondola lift. After floating near-horizontally towards a mid-station near the hamlet of La Villette the lift gets much more serious and climbs steeply to Montfrais (1650m).

At the top there’s a blue-graded return run plus a choice of two chairlifts. We take Vallonnet 4-seater and a couple of minutes later find ourselves on Edelweiss, a relaxing blue cruise through a wild, protected landscape back down to the gondola arrival point. Along the way we pass the turn-off onto Roche Melon, an alternative route (classified as ‘un parcours de neige’, rather than a true piste) opened only in times of exceptional snow-depth. Next time, maybe.

For now, though, we take the Montfrais 4-seater chairlift, which serves one red piste plus a selection of mainly blue-graded descents, one of which (Les Etaux) takes us on a memorably scenic cruise to connect with another 4-seat chairlift, Clos Giraud. For now this kind of leisurely progress is fine by us, as there are few skiers over here and we’re still getting our bearings and seeing how it all fits together.

Montfrais chairlift, Vaujany
Alpettes-Rousses cable car providing second stage of lift to Alpe d'Huez

One final haul – for now…

Clos Giraud is a key lift, and takes us up to l’Alpette (2050m) while the cable-car from Vaujany and the gondola from Oz-en-Oisans home in on the same spot. At the top is a popular meeting-point whose onward possibilities include a red-graded run over to the Poutran gondola for a haul up to 2100m, to access an array of easy runs into Alpe d’Huez and beyond.

On the other hand, if the weather’s fine you can stroll across to the Alpette cable-car for the haul up to le Belvedère (2800m). From here it’s red runs only, one of which – le Belvèdère – heads straight to the Pic Blanc cable-car, for a sensational haul up to the Pic Blanc (3330m). We’ll soon be doing just that, not merely for the panoramic views (they say that on a clear day you can see one-fifth of France) but to ski the legendary black-graded Sarenne, allegedly the world’s longest piste.

For now, however, we decide to work our way back to our starting point. A quick swoop on Chalets, followed by a lazy cruise on Les Travers and Etournaux blue pistes bring us back to Montfrais 1650, but we’re not taking the gondola back down; well, at least not all of it. For now we ski past the top station onto Vaujaniate, which takes us on a gentle traverse before turning left for a magical cruise through forests along the valley floor. All too soon we reach the gondola mid-station and climb aboard. There might not currently be a easy return run (it’s planned) to the village, but this is a agreeable way to round off a superb afternoon’s skiing.

Tomorrow we’ll head rather further, onto the terrain of both Oz-en-Oisans and Alpe d’Huez. But we can tell you that Vaujany is not only a perfectly viable base from which to access one of Europe’s major ski areas, but also a well-conceived (and conspicuously well-managed) ski resort in its own right. And when the major development and landscaping projects reach completion you’re finally going to be hearing a lot more about Vaujany. MountainPassions heart icon