Wide view of skier on piste with mountains and Alpe d'Huez ski village in background.

Alpe d’Huez

Massif des Grandes-Rousses, French Alps

South-east of Grenoble and accessible via flights into Lyon, Grenoble, Marseille and Nice (plus Cuneo & Turin in Italy).

Alpe d’Huez lies just across the valley from Les 2 Alpes, and is lift-linked with Auris-en-Oisans, Oz-en-Oisans, Vaujany and Villard Reculas.

Overview of skier on La Sarenne black piste with big mountain views

The Ski Area

  • Huge vertical drop.
  • World beating Sarenne ski-run.
  • Plenty of terrain for all levels.
  • Particularly good beginner slopes.

The pistes of Alpe d’Huez Grand Domaine boast the world’s highest vertical-drop figures - around 2200m, in fact. Impressive though this is, for the most part it’s less demanding than you might imagine. The ski area is easy to understand as the pistes become steeper the higher you go. Ideal for beginners, all the easy slopes are close to the village and there are special tarifs and free lifts to allow beginners to find their ski-legs with confidence.

Another attraction is the now-legendary Sarenne, the world’s longest pisted ski-run: 16km, with a 2000m vertical drop. Its Black grading is, however, more a reflection of the distance involved than of any particularly technical demands, unless snow conditions are particularly hostile.

Resort Information

Altitude : 1100m - 3330m
Alpe d'Huez
Pistes Total:
250 km
Alpe d'Huez pistes
29 Green
25 Blue
24 Red
15 Black
Ski Resort Lifts : 66
22 Draglifts
19 Chairlifts
3 Cabriolet
8 Gondolas
6 Cable Cars
Grand Domaine
Pistes Total:
250 km
Ski Domain Lifts: 66

Green Credentials...

  • As part of the Oisans target to move towards sustainable tourism and cleaner mountains, 5 new “zero emission” snow groomers and 3 buses will be tested for the first time this winter 2023/24 in real conditions, on snowy slopes and at negative temperatures. They offer the same ascent and acceleration capabilities as those of thermal vehicles and an autonomy of 8 hours.


Family beside snow-covered hotels in ski village

The Ski Village

  • Wide range of accommodation choices.
  • Great family destination.

The village comprises two main centres, sited at Huez 1500 and the much larger Alpe d'Huez 1860.

Established in 1936, the ski village has since developed into a major tourism destination (and a classic stage-closer in the Tour de France), with a wealth of accommodation now on offer for most budgets. The emphasis, though, is on family skiers, and Alpe d'Huez is becoming an ever-more desirable ski destination.

Alpe d’Huez has a dynamic, environmentally-aware vision for its future development. Not surprisingly, there’s a good range of boutiques and services, with year-round activities for non-skiers, including snow-shoeing, ice-skating, mountain-biking, etc.

Staying There

Value for Money Accommodation Dining Out Nightlife Village Charm


Large group of skiers leaving gondola lift top station with mountains in background

Why go skiing in Alpe d'Huez ?

Intermediate skiers or snowboarders looking for some high-altitude cruising, with a few challenges along the way for those with a taste for adventure. At peak times, around the principal departure-points it's not exactly unpressured, but once you head up the mountain (or across the valley to Auris-en-Oisans) you can find your own space.

There's a new Free Urban Transport initiative which will make getting around the resort easier from winter 2022. The Alpe d’Huez Express, the Télé-center and the Huez Express are free. Great news for those in outlying areas of the resort.

Beginners have easily-accessible areas, and their progression can be gentle, if necessary. Snowboarders won’t be overjoyed at the number of drag-lifts, but the main hauls employ gondolas or cable-cars, which is good news if visibility should clamp down. Being this far south, though, it tends not to, apart from times of heavy snowfalls.


Save precious skiing time when you book your ski equipment online with ALPINRESORTS.com After a quick and easy reservation everything will be waiting for you when you get to the resort. You get to choose the shop and there’s a BEST-PRICE GUARANTEE.

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Alpinresorts.com Ski rental

Skiing There

Beginners / Families Intermediates Advanced / Expert Mountain Scenery


Beginners well-catered for, vast area to enjoy.
2 Snowparks
1 Snowboarder Cross

Cross-Country Skiing

Varied circuits with liaisons back to Alpe d'Huez.
50km Cross-Country and Nordic Ski Trails


  • Easy access to ski lifts, Sport and Convention Centre, swimming pool, shopping centre, etc.
  • Specialist instructors and adapted equipment (Uniski, Dualski, GMS) - www.esf-alpedhuez.com
  • Adapted self-catering and hotel accommodation. Contact booking center at Tourist Office Tel: +33 (0)4 76 11 59 90
  • Reduction in ski pass prices (proof required and conditions apply)
  • All lifts accessible except Poutran (no elevator),  Alpette Vaujany II and Pic Blanc.

icon-smileyYes please...

  • Big-mountain skiing for all levels.
  • The longest black run in the world - Sarenne - a sensational piste to tick off your bucket list.
  • Dedicated learner areas, free lifts and beginner tarif.
  • The off-piste opportunities are among the most extensive and varied in the Alps.
  • Access to Galaxie resorts with 6-day skipass: Les 2 Alpes (2 jours), Serre Chevalier (1 jour), Puy St Vincent (1 jour), Italian Milky Way (1 jour) Montgenèvre (1 jour)
  • Some sensational vertical-drop on offer here and for those who love long downhill runs, there are 5 routes you just have to try.
  • Alpe d'Huez is a Famille Plus resort.

icon-frowneyYes but...

  • Sprawling village layout
  • Confident intermediates and above get the best ski terrain.

icon-winkingOur Tips

  • Alpe d'Huez offers reductions if you buy your skipass online.
  • Get fit before skiing the 16km Sarenne piste.
  • Alpe d'Huez is connected to five village resorts: Auris-en-Oisans, Huez-en-Oisans, Oz-en-Oisans, Vaujany and Villard Reculas which are worth checking out for cheaper accommodation options and easier road access. See our reviews for Vaujany and Oz-en-Oisans


Practical Information

Seen, tried and tested.Le Cristal de l'Alpe

Avenue de l'Etendard
Quartier Les Jeux
38750 Alpe d'Huez

Exterior view of Le Cristal de l'Alpe apartments

This 4* chalet-style development by Savoyard developer MGM Constructeur offers 70 self-catering apartments. Managed by MGM's subsidiary CGH, the interior style is calm and contemporary, with home comforts and high levels of equipment.
There's also a stylish heated indoor swimming pool, Jacuzzis, saunas, hammams, fitness-suite, etc. In addition, the on-site Ô des Cimes Spas d'Altitude Centre offers a range of beauty and relaxation treatments including massage. Guests also benefit from a secure underground parking space plus free WiFi internet access in the apartment.

For further information and bookings contact:
Ski Collection
023 9289 0960

****Hotel Grandes Rousses

425 route du Signal
38750 Alpe d’Huez

ideally located in the heart of the resort and at the foot of the ski slopes, the Hotel Grandes Rousses opens its doors in winter 2019/20. From the XXL duplex suite to the panoramic room, guests have a wide choice. The “Hameau de Clotaire” is a residence with 57 private apartments to complete the accommodation offer, not to mention
the 4 VIP chalets of 250 m², 2 of which are operated by the hotel with butler and private chef. There are choices of restaurant and the luxury Spa des Alpes to enjoy.

Overnight stays cost from 149€. For further information and bookings tel:+33 4 76 80 33 11

Club Med Alpe d’Huez

The all inclusive 4-Trident Club Med ski resort in Alpe d’Huez enjoys a ski-in ski-out, south facing location with breathtaking views of the surrounding peaks.

The spaces and activities have been designed for everyone so that you can meet, reconnect and share unique holiday experiences in the mountains.

The resort has 442 rooms including Deluxe rooms and Suites and will offer childcare from 4 months to 17 years. At dinner, guests can choose between the main restaurant and the Gourmet Lounge, which offers local specialities as well as fine food served at the table in a cosy, warm atmosphere.

All inclusive ski holidays

Experience the true meaning of a luxury all-inclusive ski holiday with .
Stay in the Club Med at Alpe d'Huez and you'll get a package that incudes skiing and snowboarding lessons, a lift pass, plus a wide range of food served throughout the day, as well as Kid’s Clubs, evening activities and more.

Ski Galaxie

With a 6 day ski pass (or more) you are entitled to ski 2 days in Les Deux Alpes, plus a free day skiing in any of the following areas: Puy Saint Vincent, Serre Chevalier, The Milky Way (Italy) and Montgenèvre. You also get 25% discount on the Day Pass at La Grave (pass and purchase receipt required and it's subject to weather conditions).
There's ashuttle bus service once a week between Alpe d'Huez and Les Deux Alpes (15€ return fare, book in advance at Agence VFD, Palais des Sports et des Congrès).

Seen, tried and tested.La Grotte de Glace

Grotte de Glace, Alpe d'Huez

Carved out of the snow, the Ice Grotto is situated at 2700m next to the arrival of the Second Tronçon (DMC) gondola lift. The grotto is packed with amazing sculptures in snow created with great skill and artistry. There's a different theme every year.
Entry charge 5.50€ adult or 23.50€ including lift if you don't have a skipass.


Walking Itineraries

On foot or using snow-shoes, there’s a number of signed and groomed walking routes giving you the chance to enjoy highlights such as the Pic Blanc, gorges de sarenne, lac Besson, Oz-en-Oisans and Vaujany. A pedestrian pass costs 30€ per day or 72€ per week (with Ski Plus – access to other activties included). Get a detailed plan of all the routes and ski lifts from Alpe d’Huez Tourism.

Guided snowshoe hikes are available including moonlight excursions and weekends with a night in a mountain shelter.
Useful contacts:
France Raquettes
Tel: +33 (0)6 89 03 70 15
Visit website

Tel: +33 (0)4 76 80 42 55
Visit website

Alpe Sports Loisirs
Tel: +33 (0)6 09 85 95 38
Email: alpe.sportsloisirs@yahoo.fr

Seen, tried and tested.Panorama from le Pic Blanc

The vast panorama from Pic Blanc, Alpe d'Huez

Choose a clear day to make the ascent to le Pic Blanc at 3330m to see the exceptional panorama. It’s said that you can see one fifth of France from here – a useful viewing platform helps you pinpoint some well-known landmarks. Confident skiers can descend from here on the longest piste in the world – the 16km La Sarenne.

Ski La Sarenne at Sunset

Ten outings are scheduled over the season starting with an ascent in the last lift at 4.30 pm. At the top, the views at sunset offer an unforgettable spectacle over 1/5th of France. Start with an aperitif at the GUC refuge perched at 3,000 meters before setting off. The descents are supervised by ESF (French Ski School) instructors
and first-aid patrollers, illuminated by the moon and head torches. Arrival at the bottom of the piste is scheduled for around 8pm in the village of Huez. A bus then transports skiers back to the resort. Contact Alpe d’Huez Domaine Skiable for details on +33 (0)4 76 80 30 30

Seen, tried and tested.Le Sporting

Avenue des Jeux
Quartier les Jeux
38750 Alpe d'Huez
Tel: +33 (0)4 76 80 33 45

Le Sporting restaurant interior, Alpe d'Huez

Popular bar and restaurant with an interior decor of clubby glitz with a dash of Alpine chalet. There's a nice terrace for sunny days. The menu consists of regional and traditional dishes to pizzas with a plat du jour costing around 10€. Meals are served until 23h00 when the atmosphere steps up a gear with a disco which is open until 05h00.

Seen, tried and tested.l’Authentique

Avenue des Jeux
Quartier les Jeux
38750 Alpe d’Huez
Tel: +33 (0)4 76 80 43 31

Unique to Alpe d’Huez, this small restaurant serves fondues and raclettes made with award winning cheese from Master Cheesemaker and world champion B. Mure Ravaud. Warm atmosphere created by the restaurant’s authentic chalet interior and the generous amounts of food which emerge from the busy kitchen. A speciality is Reblochon Lasagne, though ensure that you have a large appetite… Fixed menus cost between 23€ and 31€, a la carte available.

La Grange

Tel: +33 (0)4 76 11 03 66

Located on-mountain near the Alpette-Rousses cable car La Grange serves pizzas au feu du bois (wood fired oven) and has a great reputation. Sadly we didn’t get to eat there on our visit but the restaurant comes highly recommended.

Advanced Booking Savings

Alpinresorts.com Ski rental

Save precious skiing time when you book your ski equipment online with Alpinresorts.com

After a quick and easy reservation everything will be waiting for you when you get to your destination.

You get to choose the shop and there’s a BEST-PRICE GUARANTEE.

Make BIG savings by booking online today!

Getting there

From Grenoble, take the A480 towards Sisteron/Gap. Exit no.8 Vizille/Stations de l'Oisans off the ring-road to the N51, direction Briançon. Follow signs to Alpe d'Huez and ascend on the celebrated high-mountain stage of the Tour de France.

By air
The nearest airport is Grenoble Alpes Isère airport.

You can transfer direct to Alpe d'Huez by bensbus.co.uk or by the bus service Transaltitude from Grenoble train station.
From Lyon-St Exupéry there's connections via transisere.fr to Grenoble bus station where you will have to change. From Chambery, use altibus.com to get to Grenoble then change.

Visit Ski-Lifts for the best range of ski transfer destinations from airports and main rail stations.

By train
TGV Paris (Gare de Lyon) - Grenoble (3 hours) with daily bus connections by Autocars VFD to Alpe d'Huez (approx. 1hr30mins) for a return fare of 26€ (reductions if booked online). For bus details and bookings see transaltitude.fr

Book your TGV fast train from Paris or Eurostar’s ski train direct to the French Alps with OUI.sncf

Visit Ski-Lifts for the best range of ski transfer destinations from airports and main rail stations.

Cheap flights to the Alps

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Find cheap flights to France in just a few clicks.


Airport Transfers

Ski-Lifts offer the widest range of airport transfers to ski resorts in France, from economy shared transfers for budget-conscious travellers, right through to luxury limousines. They also offer coach transfers for larger groups.

Insight: Alpe d'Huez

Skiers and snowbaorders climbing steps to gondola ski lift at Alpe d'Huez

Insight: Alpe d'Huez

Seeing it from the inside, of course, turns out to be a much more hands-on experience. When we finally arrive by car Alpe d’Huez actually feels a lot bigger on the ground than it had looked when we skied down into it from the mountain, a result of the purpose-built village – ‘town’ now feels a lot more appropriate – having gradually evolved and expanded over a period of more than seventy years.
Architecturally things have changed a lot, particularly around the Jeux area, where the latest developments (and redevelopments) have responded to what today’s increasingly-discerning visitors are looking for.

When TV coverage of the Tour de France included the gruelling climb to Alpe d’Huez, it wasn’t only the epic battle to win the stage which fired our imagination.
Wide view of skier on piste with mountains and Alped'Huez ski village in background.

Installed, up and away

After making ourselves at home in our apartment in the Résidence le Cristal de l’Alpe, we resist the temptation to relax and instead make our way over to join the nearby Télécentre cabriolet-style lift. This endearingly-quirky device from the early-’80s offers step-on/step-off convenience and transports skiers to and from the ski-school meeting points. It’s not the speediest of lifts, but at least allows skiers plenty of time to enjoy bird’s-eye views of the eastern side of the village, plus events on assorted pistes and drag-lifts.When we step off we transfer to the DMC (Double Mono-Cable) gondola lift and join the other skiers and snowboarders heading smoothly up to 2100m. From this point it’s possible to ski over into Oz-en-Oisans without taking another lift, but we transfer instead to the gondola’s second stage (or ‘tronçon’), this time up to around 2700m.

At the top, in addition to longer descents into Oz, you can continue all the way over to the Vaujany -Villette gondola – in fact, competent Black-run skiers can even descend to below the village itself without taking a single lift. As we’ve discovered, the lift system has been very well-planned.
Our target today is the 3330m Pic Blanc, which is accessible from the village either via the three-stage Marmottes gondola/funitel lifts, or by our route today, the final stage of which uses the Pic Blanc cable-car.

As expected, the ride is sensational, as the scenery slowly falls away all around us. At the top we surge out wobbly-legged to find the purpose-built orientation platform, from which it is said that in clear conditions around one-fifth of France is visible. Either way, there’s no doubting that it’s one of the classic panoramas of the French Alps.

Pic Blanc cable car Alpe d'Huez

Sensational views from the Pic Blanc cable car.

The vast panorama from Pic Blanc, Alpe d'Huez

The captivating panorama seen from the top of the Pic Blanc cable car.

Alpe d’Huez Sarenne: the Big One

But it’s not merely the views, however arresting, which have brought us here. Right now both visibility and snow conditions are excellent, but not destined to remain that way for long, since an approaching depression looks set to bring ‘substantial and potentially prolonged’ snowfalls. Since our time in Alpe d’Huez is limited to just a couple of days, if we’re finally going to ski the legendary Sarenne (at 16km, the world’s longest pisted run), it’s clearly a case of now or who-knows-when.

Sarenne is classified Black, mainly on account of the distance involved, but apart from two or three steep sections, it’s not overly demanding technically. Once a steep and quite narrow launch-point is out of the way, the piste turns and then widens at the head of a steep but not-too-deep section, after which things ease to something more akin to a Blue cruise. Somewhere deep beneath the snow is the Glacier de Sarenne.

On our right we soon pass the turn-off which feeds onto the famous Tunnel piste, said to be the toughest on the mountain. A few minutes later we’ve passed the base of the Cristallière chairlift, and all is peaceful, apart from the occasional passage of a skier or snowboarder.
From now on the mood is one of away-from-it-all ski-touring, our progress being marked by a succession of steep walls followed by long, relatively gentle cruises. We can imagine that it must all feel very different in less perfect visibility, particularly after fresh powder lies deep, but even on a fine day like today it’s a great place to be.

The Sarenne piste, Alpe d'Huez

Part of the Sarenne piste, the world's longest groomed black run.

Picnic on La Sarenne piste, Alpe-d'Huez

Skiers take a break and admire the views from the Sarenne piste.

The perfect picnic spot

We’re not the only ones who feel that way; around the half-way point we pass a relaxed group of skiers and ’boarders seated around a perfectly-sited picnic table. Visible in the far distance beyond is what must be Les 2 Alpes. Like everything else, right now it seems a very long way away.Further down things begin to narrow as we drop into the Gorges de la Sarenne, through which we snake our way serenely, enjoying the unspoilt landscape of dormant larch trees and the snow-covered stream after which the piste is named.

As we drop ever deeper the shadows close in around us and temperatures drop correspondingly, so we’re grateful to see ahead of us the first signs of life for a very long time, in the shape of a cosy chalet-style mountain restaurant. Beside it is a welcoming snack-bar, complete with a partly-sunlit area of tables for hungry and by now mile-weary skiers like us. We therefore grab a table, place our order and recharge our batteries, while reflecting on what we’ve just experienced.

Job done – and yet…

Normally we’d settle for that and work our way back up to the main village for a shower, a change of clothing and a look around. But having come this far (and aware that the fast-approaching bad weather must soon be upon us) we climb aboard the nearby Alpauris chairlift at its mid-station and ride up to the opposite side of the valley. At the top we transfer to the Louvets high-speed chairlift and ski off onto Col, a Blue-graded scenic run around the side of the mountain which then serves up an overview of the compact ski village of Auris-en-Oisans. The scenery is very different over here, and the pistes are mostly north-facing, which helps maintain snow quality.

While not the most attractive or traditional-looking development, in its own way Auris is a charmer and packs a surprising variety of terrain into its relatively modest area. It’s also quick and easy to cross the Gorges de Sarenne and reach Alpe d’Huez, as we discover when we take the Auris Express chairlift and ski back down to rejoin the bi-directional Alpauris chair. In either direction, the spectacular ride is almost worthy of a theme-park.

Did someone say ‘snow’..?

It’s just as well that we’ve packed such a lot of skiing into our first day, for no sooner have we returned to our apartment than the anticipated weather front sweeps in with a vengeance, producing some of the heaviest snowfalls of the season. When we awake the following morning the village is subsumed in great billows of drifted snow, allowing the clearance crews to demonstrate their impressive skills in keeping things moving for visitors. Alpe d’Huez really is quite a place. heart, end feature