Alpe d'Huez, France Ski Holiday Guide

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Alpe d'Huez spreads like a sunbather over a south-facing shelf in the French Alps, just a 30 minute drive from Grenoble and at the midpoint of the big Grandes Rousses ski area. The ski resort developed in the 1960s and was one of the venues for the 1968 Winter Olympics, but now a lot of the concrete creativity is beginning to show its age, although a roll down of fresher, more sensitive development has improved the over-all look of the place. The Vieil Alpe quarter, or any of the low-lying villages in the region, is your best bet for alpine charm.

The ski resort extends up to 3,330m at the peak of the Pic Blanc and you don't have to stop skiing until the end of April, even if it's slightly damp underfoot. The downside to this upside is that poor weather can quickly shut the Pic Blanc cable-car and badly curb the resort's best skiing, as well as the celebrated Sarenne run. Although Alpe d'Huez is the fifth largest ski resort in France, it is every bit popular as the top of one of the most laborious climbs in cycle racing. When you drive up the 21 hairpins on the ascent from the valley floor, just count yourself lucky you're inside a car -.the Tour de France goes up this same road each July.

There are 87 ski lifts that serve the Grandes Rousses ski area. If you don't wish to sit on them the entire day, take the Pic Blanc cable-car up to 3,330m and you'll be able to ski for nearly an hour and a half without having to get your pass out once again. Alpe d'Huez bears it all, from some of the best beginners' slopes in France and other more challenging blacks in the Alps. For a combination of both, go for the longest black run in the Alps, the Sarenne, which stretches 16km from the top of the glacier and changes gradient from almost vertical to practically horizontal on its 2,000m descent. It's a run that can be tackled by any competent intermediate, especially now there's an easier route down the steepest part.

Residence Pierre & Vacances L'ours Blanc  LobbyResidence Pierre & Vacances L'ours Blanc
There Are 237 Rooms At This Family-Friendly Ski Hotel. The Hotel Has a Fully Refurbished Reception and Guests Are Welcomed in a Lobby With Lift Access

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