All you need to know about ski holidays by train

Alpe d'Huez - introduction

Deep in the Rhone Alps, Alpe d’Huez Grande Domaine Ski has become one of France’s truly big resorts – in every way. In extent, reputation and history. Its vast ski area embraces a number of villages, ancient and modern.

Constant development, both on and off the slopes, has now made it one of the world’s largest resorts with a great deal of appeal and a reputation for giving visitors a very warm welcome. Recent building has all been in an attractive Alpine chalet style. In polls of French skiers and boarders the resort is regularly voted among the country’s top five wintersports destinations. It can quite genuinely now put itself on a par with the likes of Val d’Isere – but with, thankfully, some less painful prices.

It has always been known for very good intermediate and beginner slopes, but it has also become a magnet for expert skiers from all over the world. Free-riders are drawn to the wealth of high altitude steep terrain. While from the top of The Pic Blanc glacier at 3330m, there are four runs with a vertical drop of 2000 metres (to Oz en Oisans at 1135m).

And of course, Alpe d’Huez GDSski is famous internationally not just for skiing – it is one of the main mountain elements, and its steep hairpin bends one of the most testing features, in the Tour de France, and has been a stage finish almost every year since 1976. So its summer market has benefited from that connection – making it a year-round resort with which to be reckoned.

Another big plus point in the winter is the high number of sunny days you can expect – the locals say: ‘When it’s not sunny in Alpe d’Huez, it must be night time.’ All in all, you can’t go wrong here.


  • Fabulous range of skiing, with particularly long runs
  • Lift pass that covers five villages, comprising 250km of groomed piste and 84 lifts
  • More sunny days than most French resorts
  • Good selection of mountain restaurants
  • Excellent nursery slopes, easily accessible
  • Wide accommodation options, and a choice of villages


  • Some of the most popular intermediate runs can get crowded
  • The amount of sun on some slopes mean they can get very worn (although efficient snowmaking generally keeps runs open)
  • Most skiing is above the tree-line, so in bad weather the lack of visibility is a problem
  • Many tougher, more exciting runs are at high altitude and can be vulnerable to closure in bad weather

Alpe d'Huez Grand Domaine piste map

Ski area
Village Altitude
Ski Altitude
Green Runs
Blue Runs
Red Runs
Black Runs
Total Runs 135
Terrain Park
Cabin Lifts
Chair Lifts
Drag Lifts
Total Lifts 75