Celebrating its 80th anniversary, Alpe dHuez is not only famous for its iconic 21 hairpin bends that feature in the Tour de France, but its ski runs that connect Alpe dHuez with Auris en Oisans, Oz en Oisans, Vaujany and Villard Reculas, offering more than 2,200 metres of elevation, 84 lifts and 250 kilometres of pistes.
Opening on 3 December 2016 (until 23 April 2017) and brand-new for the winter season, Alpe dHuez grand domaine Ski has updated the Signal area in Alpe dHuez (with two new chair lifts, a fresh green run and more snow cannons) and introduced an exciting pay-as-you-go lift pass. The ski area now offers a new ski-in, ski-out hostel in Oz-en-Oisans, a dedicated luge piste in Auris-en-Oisans and, the characterful village of Villard Reculas is celebrating its 70th birthday too.
Read on to find out more?
NEW: Swanky Signal area
SATA, Alpe dHuez’s ski lift management company, has invested 12 million euros in developing the Signal area of the resort, the last part of Alpe dHuez to be modernised. Ready for the 2016/17 winter season, there will be a new Telemix hybrid express chair lift which will replace the existing Signal chair lift. The new lift will carry 3,300 passenger per hour in 39 eight-person chairs and eight 10-person cabins.
In association with the new Signal hybrid ski lift, skiers will now find a new green run equipped with 22 snow cannons. Starting from the peak of the Signal, at an altitude of 2,108 metres, the piste will cross the summits of the Sarasins and arrive in the beginners area at the ‘Grenouilles’. Beginner skiers can have fun on the mini jumps, slaloms and obstacles en route.
Further to these developments, the Signal Bis piste will be equipped with seven new snow cannons to ensure the coverage is plentiful throughout the season. And the Grande Sure chair lift will be replaced by a fixed clamp, four-seat chair lift comprising 91 chairs, doubling the capacity from the Vieil Alpe area to 1,650 passengers per hour.
NEW: Pay as you ski lift pass from SATA
For skiers who are new to Alpe dHuez grand domaine Ski, or those who enjoy spontaneous skiing adventures, SATA has introduced the Alpe dHuez Express, a new pay as you ski lift pass, that allows visitors to ski first and pay later.
Skiers simply have to buy a card for £20 pp, register it to their credit or debit card, and then start exploring the resort. Alpedhuez-express.fr then charges skiers? bank cards for the number of days skied.
Those using the Alpe dHuez Express ski card will automatically make the most of promotional offers available throughout the season. And reduced rates apply for skiers and snowboarders spending more than three days on the mountain:
Adults (aged 13-64): £46 down from £51 pp per day
Children (aged 5-12) and Seniors (aged 65-71): £38 down from £42 pp per day
Students (aged 13-25): £42.5 down from £47 pp per day
Plus, on day seven and day 11 everyone with the Express ski card is charged £25.50 pp
Families who ski for more than six days pay a special family rate where everyone pays the child price.
When skiers buy their passes online before Tuesday at midnight, they can buy their Saturday lift pass from just £30.90.
For more information, visit: sataski.com
NEW: Stay at the top value Moontain hostel
New for Winter 2016/17, the Moontain Hostel will provide skiers with a convivial and top-value place to stay in the centre of Oz-en-Oisans, which is linked to Alpe d?Huez by a cable car.
The Moontain will offer a range of room sizes to suit varying budgets and preferences of skiers:
Shared rooms: sleeping from four to 12 guests, shared rooms are ideal for those who want to meet like-minded skiers on their travels. Priced from ?23 per bed per night.
Premium shared rooms: premium shared rooms are also an excellent choice for those who want to meet other skiers but the rooms are smaller (four beds) with a private balcony or terrace, desk area, comfy arm chairs and private bathrooms. Priced from ?30 per bed per night.
Private rooms: private rooms have two or three single beds and have access to a shared relaxation area with TV. Priced from ?30 per bed per night.
Premium private rooms: ideal for couples, families or small groups of friends, premium private bedrooms sleep two to four guests and include a private bathroom, TV, desk area and most of them have a private balcony or terrace. Priced from ?36 per bed per night.
Guests can eat breakfast with fellow Moontain guests from ?7 pp, take a Moontain packed lunch to the pistes from ?4 pp and enjoy an evening meal from as little as ?10 pp.
The Moontain will organise themed evenings throughout the season and can accommodate business trips and meetings.
Facilities: covered parking, laundry room, luggage storage, ski room, relaxation area with TV, terrace area, campfire and library.
All resorts in Alpe d?Huez grand domaine Ski are connected by the lift system (beginners don?t even have to ski to access them). See interactive piste map here.
The Moontain is close to a number of restaurants and bars in Oz-en-Oisans
Oz-en-Oisans is 50 km from Grenoble. Access and travel information here
For more information please visit www.moontain-hostel.com
NEW: Updating the children?s area
Children who are learning to ski in Oz-en-Oisans will have a fantastic introduction to the sport in the Jardin des Neiges, an area dedicated to beginner skiers aged two to six years old. The fun, spacious area is situated in the heart of Oz-en-Oisans opposite the kindergarten, and the magic carpet, drag lift and playground all help with the learning experience. New for the season, day care can be combined with ski school on a full-day or half-day basis for children aged three and above. (Six half days cost from ?211 or six full days cost from ?310.)
Après-ski entertainment for all
Those looking to try different activities after a day of skiing can try a whole host of options from Nordic walking to ice climbing and wine tasting. Skiers can discover new ways to slide down the mountain and test out airboards, yonner, snow scooters and paret for free on Wednesdays and Fridays. Plus, circus skills, astronomy demonstrations and magic shows are a selection of the family-friendly entertainment that will also be available throughout the winter season.
For more information on Oz-en-Oisans visit : www.oz-en-oisans.com
70 years of skiing in Villard Reculas
What was once a small agricultural mountain village connected to its neighbours by one small road ? that was only accessible in the best weather conditions ? is now a charming, traditional ski resort in Alpe d?Huez grand domaine Ski. The first ski lift was constructed in 1946 by two seasonaires, who wanted easy access to Alpe d?Huez. However, as the level of skiing was too challenging at the time, the lift was unprofitable and became bankrupt, before being bought by the local lift company, SATA.
Despite its initial foray into tourism, Villard Reculas was faced with the rural exodus that plagued the countryside, which ultimately led the villagers to take more control over the development plans of investors to protect and respect its Savoyard architecture and ambience. To this day, Villard Reculas retains its authentic alpine charm.
For more information on Villard Reculas visit: www.villard-reculas.com
New luge piste
After investing 3.5 million euros in developing the beginner ski area in Auris-en-Oisans, the resort is continuing to enhance its offering for those learning to ski, especially children. A new luge piste has been constructed for kids wanted to sledge down the slope, overlooked by the neighbouring bars and restaurants where parents can supervise. The area was already a popular section for sledging, but the new and dedicated run makes the fun activity a lot safer. The luge piste can be accessed by the magic carpet, which was new last season, using the beginners pass.
The beginners ski pass costs just ?15 pp per day and provides access to the two magic carpets: Bauchet and Bambins and the Piégut drag lift.
For more information on Auris-en-Oisans visit : www.auris-en-oisans.com
NEW: Pay as you go ski lift pass from SPL Oz/Vaujany
The SPL Oz/Vaujany lift company has introduced the ?Director Ski?, a pay-as-you-go ski lift pass that allows visitors to ski first and pay later.
Skiers simply have to buy a card for ?15, register it to their credit/debit card, and then start exploring the resort. SPL Oz/Vaujany then charges skiers? bank cards for the number of days they have spent on the slopes.
Those using the card will automatically make the most of promotional offers available throughout the season. And reduced rates apply for skiers and snowboarders spending more than three days on the mountain.
Exciting times ahead?
Continually wanting to develop, Vaujany has announced it will invest ?32.5 million to improve the resort, with ?21 million being spent on new lifts and pistes. (Other projects include a cycle route over the col du Sabot, which will then become the highest local pass.) Although skiers and snowboarders won?t see any changes during the 2016/17 ski season, here?s what?s in store:
2016/17 : Reprofiling of the ?Les Travers? piste for better access to Montfrais
2016/17 : Installation of two viewpoints at 2,800 m
2017: An extension of La Vaujaniate is being built for ?4.85 million to help ease the flow of people off the mountain from Montfrais
2018: The La Fare gondola will be replaced for ?7.5 million
2019: The Clos Giraud chairlift will be replaced for ?8 million
Date tbc: The local slalom piste ?La Stade? in Montfrais is receving a ?350,000 investment in order to become a giant slalom
For more information on Vaujany visit: www.vaujany.com
Booking offers for Alpe d?Huez grand domaine Ski
Book early to make the most of the multiple offers and wide choice in accommodation.
Holiday deal from 24 December 2016 to 31 January 2017: up to ?208 pp reduction
Accommodation for four, plus six-day adult ski passes. Book before 16 November 2016.
Holiday deal from 4 to11 February 2017: up to ?156 pp reduction
(Accommodation for four, plus six-day adult ski passes. Book before 11 January 2017. )
Reduced ski holiday prices can be found at Alpe d?Huez Reservation Centre
Christmas has come early in Alpe d?Huez as the resort is offering an additional day?s skiing and an extra night for all trips reserved from 17 to 24 December 2016.
When skiers book accommodation and ski passes together, they can receive reductions on the combined package, making the most of top quality snow and a perfectly groomed ski area with fewer crowds than in the school holidays.
From 7 to 14 January and 21 to 28 January 2017, accommodation and six-day ski pass package is priced from ?309 pp staying in a studio apartment that sleeps up to four people.
April sees lighter days, quieter slopes and cheaper prices ? ideal for skiing. Skiers can benefit from special offers on lift passes, accommodation and ski rental when they book via the Alpe d?Huez Reservation Centre:
From 8-23 April 2017, skiers can get a child?s ski pass (aged 5-12) for free for each adult pass bought, valid from one to 15 days.
From 15-23 2017, skiers can save up to 50% on rented accommodation and ski rental at selected ski shops across the resort.
For more information on the special offers available, please visit reservation.alpehuez.com