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Alpe d'Huez is a large ski resort located within the Central French Alps. With an elevation of between 1,250 and 3,330 metres, there are a variety of conditions to be enjoyed here. This entire resort is situated within the Rhone Alps and it is approximately 59 kilometres outside of Grenoble. Although active since at least as far back as the 1930s, this location gained a great deal of prominence after being used during the 1968 Winter Olympics.
It is said that Alpe d'Huez is one of the best resorts for beginner skiers, as there are numerous shallow slopes. However, we should also point out that the location is famous for those who enjoy steep skiing thanks to a number of sharp angles found at higher elevations. There are 249 kilometres of piste and 84 ski lifts to use here. Although many of the slopes here face south, this attribute does not have a large impact thanks to the extensive snow-making facilities found throughout the resort.
Two famous black runs known as Tunnel and Sarenne continue to attract advanced skiers and the latter is actually the longest run in the world (16 kilometres in total). Other challenging areas include the two summits of Pic Blanc (3,330 metres) and Dome des Petites Rousses (2,808 metres). There is also a 50-degree slope known as the Cheminnes du Mascle Couloirs and the large open-powder field of Le Grand Sablat. A final interesting feature associated with Alpe d'Huez is the fact that it offers a high-altitude heliport for those who wish to be dropped off in more challenging locations
Other nearby resorts include La Grave (off-piste) and Serre Chevalier. The glacial parks of Les Duex Alpes are also excellent for anyone who is looking to further explore the entire Oisans region as a whole.
Besides the excellent skiing conditions found within this region, Alpe d'Huez also boasts an amazing French culture. The actual town (and the largest resort) is found at 1,889 metres above sea level. Due to this elevation and a proximity to nearby glaciers, summer skiing is sometimes a possibility (depending upon the conditions). A wealth of sunshine can be enjoyed throughout the year and this has given rise to the colloquial name of “The Island of the Sun”.
Much like many other villages located within this region of France, a quaint restaurant seems to be just around every corner and those on holiday should make it a point to take some time and wander through the ancient streets which run throughout the town. Many shops and restaurants have been run by the same family for generations, so expect nothing but the most friendly people upon your arrival.
While there are many roads which lead to Alpe d'Huez, the most common option is to book a regional flight with nearby Grenoble Airport. There are both shuttles services as well as taxis when arriving to and from this amazing skiing destination.