Alpe d’Huez grand domaine ski area is right at the heart of the Southern Alps. Each village accessing this exceptional ski area has its own style and ambience and offers something a bit different to the next. As a whole, the five destinations offer a diversity of accommodation, activities and facilities to suit all holidaymakers.
What’s new in Alpe d’Huez
72 new snow cannons on Sarenne, Europe’s longest black run
SATA the Alpe d’Huez ski area management company is always striving to improve the quality and performance of the slopes and lift infrastructure. This year they aim for the full 16km of the famous Sarenne slope to be accessible and skiable by 6th December with the installation of 72 snow cannons guaranteeing snow-cover on the lower half of the slope. The new snow cannons will feature from Marmottes 3 to the Sarenne Bridge at 1,600m. The Herpie Lake will also become the highest artificial lake in Europe. The financial investment is estimated around 8 million euros (which includes the introduction of 72 snow canons, the lake and the snow factory). 6 webcams have also been distributed along the itinerary so skiers will be able to view real-time snow conditions on the Sarenne and the length of the Sarenne will be illuminated by each cannon which is equipped with LED lights to create a ’slope to the stars’ for night skiers.
Ski the 16km Sarenne at night
Good skiers looking for something a little out of the ordinary can try out this unforgettable experience on the legendary Sarenne black slope. Skiers take the last cable car up to the top of Pic Blanc, to an altitude of 3,330m, and watch the sun set over the Grandes Rousses enjoying the mountains in the company of Alpe d’Huez qualified ski instructors and ski patrollers. There will be a short stop at le GUC mountain refuge for an aperitif before venturing down the 16km and 2000m vertical drop of this iconic run. Once they have conquered the majority of the slope skiers can celebrate with a mountain dinner at the Auberge de la Combe Haute before returning by bus to the resort.
More information from SATA – 04 76 80 34 72 – www.sataski.com
New Snowboxx festival – 21st-28th March 2015
After two successive sell out festivals in Andorra, Snowboxx festival has found a new home in the French Alps. Snowboxx 2015 will be held in Alpe d’Huez 21st-28th March and promises bigger artists, more pistes and more parties. Not content with just moving resort, Snowboxx is also redefining the concept of the festival offering skiers, snowboarder and festival-goers a ‘festival village’ experience. The town will be split up into 4 areas: The Town Centre, the High St, Downtown and the Mountain and include a host of spectacles and activities from headline music acts, acrobatic ski displays, daily retro après sessions, Karaoke ski cabins, slopeside yoga, open air pool parties, mountain meals, ice sculptures, an on-the-mountain art project and a fancy dress world record attempt!
Visit: www.snowboxx.com for more info
One for the kids
This winter a new family centre, composed of a school and canteen, has been developed to include a nursery that welcomes children from 3 months to 4 years old. Little skiers will also be well looked after at the ‘Chalet des enfants ESF,’ a modern center that combines ski lessons and activities for children over 2 and a half years old.
Alpe d’Huez wins the First “Trophées de la Montagne”.
On the 23rd of April 2014 Alpe d’Huez competed against 44 other participants and was awarded the trophy for the ‘green initiatives’ category at an event held in Val d’Isère,
This trophy was awarded in recognition of the resort’s development and use of new electricity-powered machinery including a hybrid slope groomer, electric shuttle and electric vehicles.
See: www.alpedhuez.com for more info
What’s new in Vaujany
A new three-star residence, Les Epinettes, is planned to open in December 2014. The new residence is located close to the ski-lifts and will include 59 apartments (306 beds). Sympathetically built in the traditional style, combining wood and stone, the apartments will retain the Vaujany spirit.
Vaujany seamlessly marries rustic mountain appeal with modern facilities and was awarded the ‘Family Plus Mountain’ certificate in 2009 and, more recently awarded the “Station Verte” (respecting nature and the environment) certificate this year. At 1200m altitude the resort is made up of traditional alpine chalets and offers superfast links to the slopes. The modern lift system and lightning quick access to 250 km of slopes ensures skiers can make the most of their days on the mountain. If the skiing isn’t enough entertainment an impressive leisure centre offers a variety of fun facilities from a covered ice rink, 4 lane bowling alley, swimming pool and spa to a climbing wall and toboggan run.
What’s new in Oz En Oisans
Skiing’s not the only way to get down the mountain in Oz en Oisans. Each week, there’s something new for skiers to try from Airboards, snow skates, Trikke Skki, Snowscoots and Yooners; there’s plenty to challenge yourself and each other with. Available for all ages, these activities provide a whole new way of speeding down the mountain. There are also numerous different sports and activities in resort; from the warm pool and spa and indoor climbing wall, to the outdoor ice rink, badminton and table tennis.
New for 2014-15: try Nordic Walking for free this winter
Nordic walking is incredibly popular and a sport usually associated with the summer. Oz en Oisans is now offering the chance to try Nordic walking during the winter seasons in picture perfect snowy surroundings. Guided by an instructor, guests will be able to discover the magnificent plateau de l’Alpette, high up at 2000m. It’s the ideal opportunity to discover the walking trails and cross-country skiing in an awe-inspiring location. Originally a Finnish pastime, Nordic walking is becoming more and more popular. It doesn’t matter if you’re a complete beginner, occasional walker or seasoned runner – everyone is invited to have a go. The poles will help to guide you across the snow and discover a new side to the mountain.
Nordic walking is free and available: every Tuesday and Thursday from 9.30am to 11am.
More for the kids
Oz en Oisans has also introduced a new snow garden for children over the age of three and a nursery in the heart of the resort that has been specially adapted for those aged 6 months and over. Parents can be reassured that whilst they enjoy the mountain their children will be having fun with traditional games, discovering the mountain, creative workshops, climbing and electric quad bikes.
visit: www.oz-en-oisans.com/en for more information
Coming soon to Auris en Oisans
A new 4* residence is coming soon to Les Balcons d’Aurea; located on the Place des Orgieres, with a host of shops and services on the doorstep and with spectacular views of the Ecrins, Les Deux Alpes Glacier and the Meije. The 4* residence will feature shops, restaurants and a spa (with pool, spa facilities, solarium and fitness equipment) and a private underground parking lot. Every resident will have ski in ski out access to the Alpe d’Huez ski domain.
The family focused resort of Auris en Oisans is designed to make winter ski holidays easy on a budget. Numerous free activities and events are organised by the resort to keep families entertained from wacky ski races, ‘fun on the slopes with inflatables’ and ice sculpture competitions. Most accommodation is ski-in-ski out with easy access to the slopes and resort centre. A dedicated novice ski area ensures learners progress quickly in a calm environment while the better skiers can enjoy the whole Alpe d’Huez ski domain.
Villard Reculas – step back in time
Villard Reculas has retained its Alpine charm so much that it remains still more a traditional mountain village than a resort. The first ski lifts were installed here in 1946 making it the starting point of what is now one of Europe’s biggest ski areas. Since then Villard Reculas has become a fantastic ski destination, without parting ways with its Alpine authenticity. Its cosy, inviting chalets and architecture make it one of the most beautiful villages in the Alpe d’Huez region and a tranquil haven for true mountain enthusiasts.
New for this season, Villard Reculas has introduced a new pedestrian square with cafés and terraces that make the most of the sun. The square will also become a hub for various entertainments and shows throughout the season. There is also a new green slope allowing easier access for beginner skiers into the resort.
Whether you go by road or on the piste, Villard Reculas is just 15 minutes away from Alpe d’Huez and offers fantastic value. The village itself has a friendly and warm atmosphere, but for those seeking a little more excitement, there’s plenty to enjoy; from the swimming pool to the ice rink and the Palais des Sports. Each week a programme is planned by the Tourism Office, offering a wide range of activities for the whole family to enjoy, including snowshoe hikes and farm visits.
For more information on Alpe d’Huez grand domaine ski visit: www.alpedhuez.com