At the heart of the Southern Alps lies Alpe d’Huez grand domaine ski. This impressive ski area and the five lift-linked ski villages that make up Alpe d’Huez grand domaine Ski – Auris en Oisans, Alpe d’Huez, Oz en Oisans, Vaujany and Villard Reculas – have their own style and ambiance and are now even easier to access following the introduction of a new Eurostar route direct from London to Lyon that takes just 4hrs 41mins.*
This season Auris en Oisans has received a complete makeover with the introduction of a brand new accommodation complex, a re-profiled beginners’ area, more snowmaking facilities and new beginners lifts to make accessing the slopes even easier for those just starting out. The village offers an excellent value alternative to most resorts found in other big French ski areas.
Also new for winter 2015-16 beginner-specific lift passes are now available in the villages of Alpe d’Huez, Villard Reculas and Auris en Oisans allowing access to a range of progressive slopes for a fraction of the price, and development of the legendary Sarenne black ski run is finally complete.
Read on to find out more on what’s new in each of the Alpe d’Huez grand domaine Ski villages below.
What’s new in Auris En Oisans
A brand new accommodation complex – Les Balcons d’Auréa – will welcome its first guests in Auris en Oisans this winter. The high-end tourist residence includes 98 apartments ranging from studios to 4 bedroom-suites. Located just 100m from the resort centre, Tourist Office, ski school meeting point and lifts this ski-in ski-out self-catered residence offers fantastic value. Facilities include an on-site restaurant with breakfast and dinner options, heated ski room, indoor and outdoor parking and a wellness leisure centre with heated indoor swimming pool, spa with hammam, sauna, and fitness room. Holidaymakers can book the new accommodation in packages with Crystal Ski and Peak Retreats.
Auris-en-Oisans lifts and slopes have been brushed up for beginners.
SATA SKI (the piste management team) and the village of Auris-en-Oisans have been working together to offer holidaymakers a new ski area at the foot of the slopes in the village. Following a 3.5 million euro investment in development and snow-making the whole beginner ski area in Auris-en-Oisans has been re-profiled, expanded and enhanced with new and upgraded lifts and snow-making facilities to aid access and those learning. At the top of the Sures chair lift, the Corniche piste has also been modified to provide another beginners area which is now equipped with 16 snow cannons to maintain conditions throughout the season. On top of this Auris-en-Oisans resort has enhanced its snow making network in the area heading towards the Col de Maronne up to the Louvets chair lift by installing 12 extra snow cannons. This guaranteed snow cover will ensure a link between the resort of Auris-en-Oisans and Alpe d’Huez for the whole winter season.
In time for the 2015-16 winter season the Piégut chair lift and four surface lifts will be replaced by a magic carpet allowing easy access to the departure point of the Sures chair lift and the Auris-Express. An additional magic carpet for beginners will be introduced replacing the Bauchet lift and three new drag lifts will speed up access and ensure efficiency.
NEW beginners lift pass in Auris-en-Oisans
In line with the piste developments a new entry-level lift pass has been introduced to offer beginners a more user friendly deal. The beginners ski pass costs just €15 per day and provides access to the two magic carpets: Bauchet and Bambins and the Piégut drag lift.
What’s new in Alpe d’Huez
The Sarenne goes all the way
New snow cannons and improvements carried out on the Sarenne piste for winter 2014/2015 meant the iconic black slope was successfully open through to 12th April 2015. This thrilled 370,000 fans who were able to make more use of the ski area. This season SATA SKI will finalise the snow coverage project adding 30 more snow cannons and 4.5km of new piste down to the Alp Auris ski lifts. SATA aims for the legendary Sarenne black slope to be open from 5th December 2015 to 24th April 2016.
From dawn til dusk on the Sarenne
For a new way to start the day SATA offers early risers the opportunity to open the Sarenne run with the ski rescue patrollers. The trip departs once a week at 8:30am. The outing is free with a valid ski pass for the grand domaine ski area. Skiers can sign up to get an SMS alert or email to receive information. Departures are weather dependent. For more information and to reserve a place visit: www.sataski.com
Ski one of Europe’s longest black slopes at night – ‘Sarenne by night’
Good skiers looking for something out of the ordinary can try out night skiing on the legendary Sarenne too. Skiers take the last cable car up to the top of Pic Blanc (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, ski patrollers and a glass of vin chaud. Once they’ve conquered the majority of the slope they can celebrate with a mountain dinner at the Auberge de la Combe Haute (an alpine restaurant at an altitude of 1600m) before returning by bus to the resort. The excursion is available weekly throughout the season (weather permitting) and costs 75€ per person. Reserve a place at: www.sataski.com
Introducing a NEW beginner lift pass in Alpe d’Huez
A new ski pass called the Première Glisse has also been created in Alpe d’Huez and gives access to the ski lifts in the beginners area and to the Sures chair lift as well as the Forêt and Col. The pass costs just €22 per day.
What’s new in Oz en Oisans
The Oz-Vaujany chair gets a lift
The Oz-Vaujany chairlift revamp has been completed for the 2015-16 season. The cabins have been modernised inside and out to improve the safety and comfort for holidaymakers and speed up access.
New wine-tasting evening to awaken the senses
Annie-Françoise Crouzet, 4th Master Sommelier and ‘world nose’ invites guests to an evening of wine tasting where guests can savour the wines made from local grape varieties. Guests will have the opportunity to taste 6 wines, paired with meats and cheeses from the region. This event is organised as part of the ‘Week of Taste’ and will be hosted on Thursday 25th February at 8pm.
For more information on Oz-en-Oisans visit: www.oz-en-oisans.com
What’s new in Vaujany
New 3* tourist residence Le Crystal Blanc.
Consisting of 80 apartments ranging from studios to three-piece suites, this new residence maintains the spirit of the traditional buildings in Vaujany with its stone, wood and gable roof features. The residence has views towards the Grandes Rousses, a heated indoor pool with jacuzzi, solarium, steam room, wellness centre with massage rooms and treatments, gym and a daily range of guest services. For more information visit: www.lecrystalblanc.fr
Making its debut this winter Vaujany Sports and Leisure Centre swimming pool will offer aquabike hire and courses. Aquabiking – as you would imagine – involves pedalling a bicycle submerged in water and is ideal for those that want to try something a bit different on holiday. The activity combines the benefits of cardiovascular exercise and helps burn off that extra piece of chalet cake whilst being gentle on the joints. With a capacity of 10 participants per course, booking is required. For more information visit: www.vaujany.com/en/leisure-center or call 04 76 79 83 83
What’s new in Villard Reculas
Following a €350,000 investment, the pretty village of Villard Reculas is also enhancing its beginner’s slopes and the area at the foot of the pistes. A magic carpet has been installed at the foot of the slopes and the area’s snow coverage will also be boosted with 4 new snow cannons.
Explore Alpe d’Huez grand domaine Ski with a NEW App
A new mobile app « Alpe d’Huez grand domaine Ski » has been launched to help skiers get the most out of their holiday. The app provides plenty of useful information including an interactive piste map with GPS, weather updates, snow cannons, webcams and a guide for each resort within the grand domaine ski area. To avoid queuing at the lift pass office it is also possible to reload the ski pass online via the app. The Ski + concept enables visitors to measure their performance accomplishments and to set themselves new challenges.
Top Events in Alpe d’Huez grand domaine Ski
Ross on tour – Alpe d’Huez: 24th-25th February 2015
Leading wintersports brand Rossignol comes to Alpe d’Huez and will offer free equipment testing to all. Guests can try out Rossignol skis and snowboards, enjoy events and games and try and win some Rossignol kit.
Telemark World Cup – Auris-en-Oisans: 19-20th March 2016
The Telemark world cup will be held for two days at Auris-en-OIsans. Spectators will have the chance to meet the French Telemark team at a special evening with a screening of the film Télémarcoeur. The event will also give participants the opportunity to test and hire telemark equipment, go night skiing with a telemark professional or take part in an introduction to speed skiing with a timed downhill on the Gentiane track.
Ladies Week – Auris-en-OIsans: 5th-8th March 2016
Auris-en-Oisans doesn’t only want to celebrate Women’s Day on 8th March, women will be queens of the pistes all week! The ski area and all traders have prepared a special program of events and promotions for women to be pampered! Of course, men are also welcome.
Sarenne Snow Bike – Alpe d’Huez: 16th April 2016
If you’ve heard of the famous ‘Megavalanche’ in summer then the ‘Sarenne snow Bike’ is the winter version. The un-timed mountain bike decent down the legendary Sarenne black piste will set even the most hardened adrenaline junkie’s heart racing. Riders set off at an altitude of 3300m and snow bike 16km to the village of Huez at 1460m. Participants need to be a dare devil to rise to the challenge of this snowy and rocky trail but it’s worth it for the glory of completing it! Visit: sataski.com for more information.
*The new London St-Pancras-Lyon Eurostar service is available on Saturdays in the winter season (Nov-March) and takes just 4hrs 41 minutes. Fare prices start from £89 return.
A new online media library
The online media library in Alpe d’Huez has been given a makeover. It is more ergonomic, aesthetic and intuitive. Now all needs can be met in terms of obtaining photos, logos and images for the media.http://mediatheque.alpedhuez.com