Alpes d’Huez Property guide
Alpes d’Huez, situated in the Central French Alps in the Isere department, is one of Europe’s premier skiing venues. It is one of the largest resorts in the world, with 249km of pistes and 84 ski lifts, and there are few places to rival it in terms of the extent and variety of terrain. Situated between 1.860 and 3,330 metres, Alpe d’Huez owes part of its fame to the 21 bends in the road leading up the resort, which provide the setting for the most challenging stage in the Tour de France each year.
The ski domain in Alpe d’Huez
Good for: Families Groups Off-piste Non-skiers
Staying in Alpe d’Huez
The main village is split into a number of sectors, or ‘quartiers’ – the Quartier du Vieil Alpe, the Quartier des Bergers and the Quartier des Jeux. The best bet for those in search of accommodation in a quiet, residential part of town is certainly the Quartier du Vieil Alpe – it is Alpe d’Huez’s oldest sector, and is undoubtedly the town’s most authentically charming district. The centre of town is known as the Quartier des Jeux, and mainly offers shops, restaurants and bars. A good alternative to the Quartier du Vieil Alpe is the Quartier des Bergers – the most modern part of town. Accommodation here is mainly in self-catered apartments, and the area is livelier than the old part of town, with a number of places to eat, drink and shop. Alpe d’Huez has three 4* hotels, two of which are situated in the central Quartier des Jeux. There are also seven 3* hotels and eight 2* hotels scattered around the town. As with all French resorts, in addition to hotel accommodation there is a vast choice of apartments and chalets to rent, ranging from the luxurious to the fairly basic. There are also a number of satellite villages surrounding Alpe d’Huez, offering pleasant alternative bases.
Skiing in Alpe d’Huez
Alpe d’Huez’s ski area is vast – it covers an area of 25 acres, spans an altitude range of 2,230m and offers 249km of interlinked slopes including the 16km black Sarennes ski run, the longest in the world. Serious thrill seekers can also test their skiing mettle on the infamous “Tunnel” run, which takes its name from the tunnel through which it passes before dropping away steeply. There are plenty of opportunities for challenging off-piste skiing, too – the exclusively off-piste resort of La Grave is nearby, and the Alpe d’Huez area is well known for free skiing, attracting many steep skiing enthusiasts with its high altitude terrain. Alpe d’Huez is also a great place for beginners to develop their skills; the gentler slopes on the outskirts of the resort are the perfect place for inexperienced skiers to build their confidence. There is a large network of blue and red runs for intermediates to enjoy. As for snowboarding, while experienced boarders can enjoy the vast and varied off-piste terrain and the fantastic free-riding offered by the extent and variety of the mountains, options for beginners are a little more limited. Unfortunately, the main nursery slopes are almost all accessed by drag lifts, although on the plus side, there are no pistes which are closed to boarders. Alpe d’Huez has two snowparks – one fairly gentle, and one more expert. There is also a boarder cross course. The ski area is nicknamed “l’ile au soleil” or “the island in the sun” because its south-facing location allows it to enjoy an average of 300 days’ sunshine per year. However, you can enjoy the fantastic weather without having to compromise on snow cover thanks to Alpe d’Huez’s extensive snowmaking facilities. For those in need of a little extra tuition before hitting the slopes, the resort offers an Ecole de Ski Francais, as well as three other English-speaking ski schools.
Other activities in Alpe d’Huez
Alpe d’Huez has plenty to offer besides skiing. It is one of the livelier French resorts, with plenty of bars, restaurants and night clubs in which to relax after a taxing day on the slopes, although it can get rather pricey. Other winter sports to try include dog sledding, snow mobile rides, tobogganing, snow shoeing and walking in the snowy expanses of the Parc des Ecrins. The resort also offers a number of spas, as well as two cinemas and a sports centre, so visitors will have plenty to keep them occupied even in bad weather.
Alpe d’Huez in summer
Alpe d’Huez is situated on the edge of the almost unbelieveably beautiful Parc des Ecrins. This huge national park makes Alpe d’Huez a paradise for summer visitors as well, with activities such as walking, climbing, rafting, horse riding all within easy reach. The resort is also a mountain biker’s paradise – the truly committed can pit themselves against the notorious road leading up to the resort, which welcomes the Tour de France every year. Not for the faint-hearted, it stretches over 14km, climbing around 3670ft on an average 7.9% incline.
Alpe d’Huez with children
Alpe d’Huez is a great place to bring the kids. As with virtually all French mountain resorts, the Ecole de Ski Francais runs a great kids club with themed activities and skiing lessons for children aged 3 and above. There are also a number of creches and baby sitting services available.
Getting to Alpe d’Huez
The resort is only 40 miles from Grenoble airport, which is served by a number of low-cost companies offering cheap flights to a number of destinations across the UK. It is possible to book bus transfers between the airport and Alpe d’Huez. It is also accessible by rail via Grenoble train station, with daily buses providing transport from the station to the resort. Additionally, Lyon airport is 95 miles away.
Alpe d’Huez fast facts…
– 38 green slopes stretching over 47km
– 32 blue slopes stretching over 53km
– 34 red slopes stretching over 74km
– 16 black slopes stretching over 66km
– Village at 1850m
– Top lift at 33330m
– 7 mountain restaurants
Our team of sale advisers at Sextant Properties will be happy to help you to find a property in Alpe d’Huez. We have a large network of agents in the French Alps. All of them are registered French real estate agents and speak both French and English. Whatever kind of property you are looking for: flat, chalet, gite or B&B we will do our best to find a property in the French Alps matching your requirements. To find out more about our selection of properties for sale in Alpe d’Huez do not hesitate to contact us.