Alpe d'Huez is a fantastic winter playground with a reputation for sunshine, a huge variety of ski-ing and some iconic runs. The Grandes Rousses ski area is actually made up of many smaller ski resorts, all linked by a modern lift system. Oz, Vaujany, Villard Reculas, Huez & Auris are all part of the area.
The Sarenne is the longest black run in Europe, at 18km in length. The "Tunnel run" of Inversens is another poular draw, as is the Folie Douce, specialising in on-piste apres-ski at 2000m.
There is a small airfield, an ice racing track, an outdoor pool and ice rink too....
The 1968 Grenoble Winter Olympics hosted the bobsleigh at Alpe d'Huez, though this was dismantled shortly after the Games and almost nothing remains of this facility now.
Unlike most ski resorts, which close down for 7 months between ski seasons, Alpe d'Huez has a summer season filled with bikers and hikers. The Tour de France is a regularly visitor, with the 21 bends up to the resort from Bourg d'Oisans a genuine Mecca for road cyclists. Add to that a great downhill mountain bike scene, including the Megavalanche race every July and you have a recipe for a vibrant summer.
Website: Alpe d'Huez
(Approximate times, without heavy traffic)
Grenoble airport: 1 hour 45 minutes
Grenoble train station: 1 hour 15 minutes
Lyon airport: 2 hours
Chambéry airport: 1 hour 45 minutes
Geneva airport: 2 hour 45 minutes