Located in the Southern Alps and across the valley from Les Deux Alpes, Alpe d’Huez is only a short transfer from Grenoble airport. The journey up from the valley to the resort has been made famous by the Tour de France, with Alp d’Huez hosting the final leg almost every year since 1976. As you make the 14km climb think of the cyclists racing up the 8% incline and the prospect tired ski legs will undoubtedly be put into perspective!
Grenoble Airport - 65km / approx 1 hour 10 mins
The easiest option is with a private or shared transfer with Ski Lifts or hire cars are an option if you prefer to drive.
Public transport is an option however not quite as convenient, as you’ll need to make your way from the airport to Grenoble’s coach station.
Chambery Airport - 122 km / approx 1 hour 40 mins
The easiest option for private transfers is with Ski Lifts or hire cars.
Pretty inconvenient if you plan on taking public transport. You’ll need to head into Chambery to take the train to Grenoble (approx 45 mins), from where you can take the bus up the mountain to resort.
Lyon Airport - 171 km / approx 2 hours 10 min
Private transfers with Ski Lifts are the best option, as is hiring a car and driving.
There are regular busses from Lyon Airport to Alpe d’Huez, although they require a change in Grenoble. Tickets are available from the Transiere counter in the arrivals hall of the airport and the journey takes just under 3 hours.
Geneva Airport - 207km / approx 2 hours 30 min
Ski-Lifts are an excellent transfer provider that offer a variety of reliable airport transfers to Alpe d'Huez from Geneva.
Turin Airport - 220 km / approx 3 hours
Realistically, the most likely transfer options from Turin are private transfers using Ski Lifts, car rental, or a pricy taxi ride.
Trains are available however this is not really a convenient option and as it requires numerous changes and a very long journey.
If you require a hire car for your ski holiday, there are a number of fantastic car rental companies based in Europe.
If you like to travel by train, the best option is to take the Eurostar to Paris, and then change to the direct TGV to Grenoble. This will require a taxi ride in Paris from Gare du Nord to Gare de Lyon. From Grenoble you can take the bus up to Alpe d’Huez, which takes just over an hour. Rail Europe (www.rail-europe.com) have timetables and the ability to book tickets.
Another option, although probably less straight forward, is to take the Snow Train, which is a direct service from London to the Alps. Trains leave London every Friday night, arriving into Bourg St Maurice on Saturday morning, and every Saturday morning, arriving later that afternoon. From Bourg St Maurice you can either take a 2 hour taxi ride straight to the resort, or for a more wallet friendly option you can take public transport. This involves taking the train to Grenoble, with a change in Chambery en route, and then the bus from Grenoble to Alpe d’Huez. So, not the easiest option but it can be done if the desire is there. The Snow Train can be booked at www.eurostar.com
Travelling to Alpe d’Huez takes between 7 and 10 hours from Calais depending on the road conditions and your attitude to speed.
For directions, your best bet is to use the excellent service provided by www.viamichelin.com. A couple of pointers that their algorithm can’t give you though – when driving make sure you look out for junction 8 of the A480 on your way out of Grenoble; it is not well signposted if you’re not au fait with the local regional names. Alpe d’Huez and its neighbouring resorts are referred to as “Stations de l’Oisans-Vizille”, rather than their actual names. Whatever you do make sure you don’t get sucked into Grenoble city centre as it can be a bit of a nightmare trying to get back out.
In resort, there are many car parks with six indoor pay and display costing about €45 a week, and nine free outdoor car parks. You could stay in a different one every day of your holiday! For those mad enough to take a motor home to a ski resort you can park in Parking des Brandes in resort for €10.50 a day, it has 75 spaces and gives you access to water, drainage, and electricity.
Travel in the resort
Alpe d’Huez has a bus service that is free with your bus pass, however it is notably slow. There is a lift from the tourist office up to the top of the DMC called the “lobster pot” that runs and can be used to ski down to different parts of the village.
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