Another resort app from the popular and dependable Lumiplan stable, available in English and with many interactive features. In the latest version you can keep up with the ski station events on Facebook and find where your Facebook friends are on the piste map. Using GPS you can pinpoint where you are and find all the services and piste information you might require. In practice we found the app was difficult to use without enabling GPS but is fun to use for a while.
Arrive in style on the ski train...
Enjoy extra days on the slopes and no surcharge for skis or boards with Eurostar Direct Ski Trains.
Self-drive ski holidays in France
Travel to France by ferry and some of the best self drive skiing in the world. Enjoy the freedom of taking unlimited baggage and up to 9 people per car via .
Book your journey with P&O Ferries
Find a hotel
Booking a hotel has never been easier with accorhotels.com, Europe's largest hotel group.
Why pay for your skis?
Book tickets to Grenoble and take Monarch Flights to this undiscovered destination from Leeds Bradford, Manchester, Birmingham and London Gatwick. There are plenty of cheap flights available to help you get the most out of any holiday to Grenoble, whatever season you travel in.
Experience complete comfort on SWISS flights to Geneva and enjoy the added bonus of taking your skis at no extra cost.
Pick up and ski this winter
Forget about queuing for a bus at the airport, low cost car hire - with a ski rack if necessary, will get you to where you want to go with a minimum of fuss. Click below to take advantage of special offers.
Endless Skiing, from a village with Soul...
Tucked away in a secluded valley off the Grenoble-Briançon road close to le Bourg d'Oisans, Vaujany is easily accessible via flights into Grenoble, Lyon and Chambéry or a short onward drive from Grenoble. Either way it adds up to a manageable journey for anyone travelling from the UK. Vaujany is also linked to its neighbours Villard Reculas, Oz-en-Oisans, Auris-en-Oisans and Alpe d'Huez.
There's a huge amount of skiing on offer here, divided between Vaujany's own Montfrais area, accessed by gondola lift, and that of Alpe d'Huez and the world-famous Grandes Rousses. Locals will tell you that the local 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 and in beautiful surroundings. After which you'll join the others to ski your legs off on some serious mileage, coupled with awe-inspiring vertical-drops – not to mention the legendary Sarenne, the world's longest piste.
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 Alpe d'Huez put it on the 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 a weather-protected escalator ride or two, and soon it will have an Olympic-sized ice rink (with ground-breaking eco-credentials). It also enjoys a sunny location, so is a very agreable (but not exactly riotous) place to hang out for a spot of après. Getting to the ski terrain involves a gondola or cable-car ride – and competent (Black-run) skiers can also ski back again.
Skiers or snowboarders looking for a more relaxed base from which to explore the high-mileage groomed terrain above 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).
The final approach to Vanjany takes us on a route we've driven before – although now, in mid-January, winter snowfalls have 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. It's a sunny Sunday morning but 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 high-speed gondola lift. Are we the only ones who seem to have seriously underestimated Vaujany?
Sunny Sunday skiing
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 hypnotic, as is watching the smooth progress of the cable-car hauling skiers up to the departure point of l'Apette (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 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, climbing 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 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 plus a selection of mainly Blue-graded pistes, one of which (Les Etaux) takes us on a memorably scenic cruise which connects 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.
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 converge 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. Or 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, but one of them – le Belvèdère – feeds straight into 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, 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 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 (but it's planned) to the village, but this is a very nice way to end a superb afternoon's skiing.
Tomorrow we'll head rather further, onto the terrain of both Oz-en-Oisans and Alpe d'Huez. But for now we can tell you that Vaujany is not only a very agreeable 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 currently under way reach completion you're finally going to be hearing a lot more about Vaujany.
© Roger Moss