26 June 2022.

Alpe d'Huez, France

Alpe d’Huez or the “island in the sun” as the local tourist office likes to market this place is located in the Grand Rousses Massif south west of Grenoble. It is reached after ascending over 1000 meters from the main valley floor. The road up is well known to cyclists, especially those that have competed in the Tour de France and have pedaled their way through the twenty-one hairpin bends on the ascent.

The resort has grown up around a traditional farming village but has done little to retain its original charm. That said it is not an unattractive village and the mountain scenery is to most, simply superb.

Alpe d’Huez is one of very few all round year round sporting destinations. It offers summer skiing as well as being Frances’ fifth biggest ski area in winter. Climbing, biking and walking are all very popular here too. And in addition to these traditional mountain pursuits there are plenty alternatives including: indoor golf which I in my teens was a pioneer of and to my mind potentially had a bright future in until my parents banned the use of golf clubs in their house. Ces’t la vie! Also, near the lifts is the heated outdoor swimming pool which is free to use for lift pass holders.

Off the slopes the resort has a good selection of restaurants catering for every taste and budget, some lively bars and a few offering a more relaxed atmosphere. There is also a reasonable selection of accommodation including self catering apartments, hotels and one or two chalets.

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