Alpe d'Huez is a large, modern resort on a high, open, sunny plateau east of Grenoble. It was developed for skiing, but consists mainly of large numbers of undistinguished small buildings rather than monolithic blocks. The resort spreads down a gentle slope in a triangular shape from the main lift station at the top corner. The main village is divided into three named 'quarters'; Vieil Alpe includes the original chalet-style part of the village, at the lower end. Outside the central triangle there are four satellite 'quarters'. The major one is Les Bergers, a second major lift base at the eastern corner of the resort; it has a chalet suburb spreading uphill. A blue piste descends from the west side of the resort to the original (but much expanded) village of Huez, where there is lodging (and a lift to the main resort). The lift pass gives days in some other resorts (including Les Deux-Alpes, Serre-Chevalier and Montgenevre). There are buses twice a week to Les Deux Alpes, but the proper thing to do is to go by helicopter. We agree with readers that this is 'fantastic fun' (70 euros last season; three days a week). There are plans for a cross-valley lift (which, subject to permissions being granted, they hope to open by 2020).
Pros

Extensive, high, sunny slopes, split interestingly into different sectors, with some very long runs

Vast, gentle, sunny nursery slopes

Efficient access lifts from villages

Livelier than many French resorts

Cons

Some main intermediate runs get badly overcrowded in high season

Many runs get too much sun, so slush and ice are hazards

Many tough runs are high, and exposed - very few woodland runs

Spread-out resort village

Getting there

  • Chambery airport: 1.5 hours
  • Geneva airport: 3 hours
  • Grenoble airport: 1.5 hours

Holiday Discounts

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