Most skiers have heard about the French resort of Alpe d’Huez, but think about its smaller neighbours that have all of the charm of village life but with usage of among Europe’s most snow-sure areas? Catherine Scott pays a flying visit.
Alpe d’Huez is continuing to grow spectacularly in stature since Polish engineer Jean Pomagalski installed the initial drag lift in France there in the 1930s.
Pomagalski continued to found the international Poma lift company, while Alpe d’Huez now gets the fifth largest ski area in France with 250km of slopes encompassing the slopes of the outlying villages of Auris, Villard Reculas, Oz en Vaujany and Oisans.
Few Brits appear to find out about these smaller villages that have the original quaint feel many battle to find in lots of French purpose-built resorts.
But don’t make the error of convinced that what these villages have in charm they lack in ski convenience, they will have access to one of the primary ski areas in Europe.
Alpe d’Huez has great pistes for several standards, an enormous ski area, reliable snow cover, and is simple to access, a 90-minute drive south-east of Grenoble, the nearest airport. The village is situated at 1,860m on a sunny plateau above the valley town of Bourg d’Oisans, and on the decades it is rolling out at random, leading to an architectural hotchpotch put into eight small districts, or quartiers.
We were residing in both Villard and Vaujany Reculas, skiing between your two and calling set for lunch and an unbelievable advanced toboggan-run within their big, better- known sister Alpe d’Huez.
For those that want to steer clear of the crowds of the busy mega-resort but nonetheless want usage of a massive ski area, Vaujany and its own neighbour Villard-Reculas provide a cost-effective alternative.
We started our trip in Villard-Reculas a little unspoilt hamlet linked to Alpe d’Huez by one lift just.
Villard-Reculas was once a little agricultural mountain village linked to its neighbours by one small road – that has been only available in the best climate – nonetheless it is really a charming now, traditional ski resort in Alpe d’Huez grand domaine Ski.
We were residing at the chilled out 4* Résidence in the center of the hamlet only a short Regain, if steep rather, walk right down to a little parade of shops and restaurants and the real home of the ESF ski school.
On our arrival we tried our hands, and feet, at snowshoeing, not at all something I before have tried. I must admit that I thought snowshoeing was predominantly something for non-skiers to accomplish while their buddies are shredding the powder on / off the piste. How wrong I was.
during the night
Our snowshoeing experience was. So armed with head-torches and special snowshoes – nothing beats the tennis racket things from days gone by – we tripped with this guide walking up a blue run which we were to ski down the next day,
The ski conditions were incredible, with drifts to your waists which made the complete experience hilarious up, exhausting and sometimes a little hairy. Up the ungroomed piste we headed in to the trees once, climbing higher and higher with difficulty.
But if we thought increasing was hard, decreasing was equally difficult then. Loved it, but nonetheless think some would has been preferred by me of skis for the descent.
day we were on more familiar territory with skis firmly on our feet &ndash
The following; and boards needless to say in a few full cases. We were to ski to your next destination, Vaujany, so all our bags were transported for all of us.
Vaujany seamlessly combines the rustic charm and authenticity of a mountain village with modern facilities and will be offering superfast links to the center of Alpe d’Huez grand domaine Ski and its own 250 km of slopes.
The resort is a superb choice for keen skiers with the swift modern lift system ensuring they are able to take full advantage of long days on the mountain.
The natural village environment has an ideal platform to find and revel in the mountains by snowshoeing, skiing and hiking.
In addition it includes a state-of-the-art leisure centre, ideal for people who have young families who might not desire to spend the complete time on the slopes.
well being an indoor pool
As, there’s bowling alley, fitness centre, ice hamman and rink and a fantastic restaurant.
If that isn’t then nearby Alpe d&rsquo enough; Huez boasts the opened Luge des Begers &ndash recently; an alpine roller coaster on the slope – all with virtual reality goggles if you’d like them and worth a chance no real matter what your actual age definitely..
Apres ski may possibly not be massive in Vaujany since it is actually a grouped family resort, but there are many excellent restaurants and bars to make sure your hunger and thirst is quenched by the end of full ski day.
We stayed in the La Perle De L’Oisans 4* chalet apartments with a picture-postcard location on the sun-drenched south-facing slopes at the heart of the village.
For those used to French apartments, these should come as a welcome surprise as La Perle’s rooms are spacious and furnished beautifully.
Villard-Reclus and Vaujany offer a lot more than skiing just. It’s a geniune French Alps food experience.
The whole resort provides an abundance of refreshments experiences year-round and, for individuals who desire to experience some Alpine charm while enjoying among the better skiing in Europe, they’re worth increasing your list definitely.
A seven-night self-catered stay at 4* Chalet Le Regain, Villard Reculas, costs from £867 for a three-bedroom apartment sleeping around six people and at 4* La Perle de L’Oisans, Vaujany, from £1,000 for a two-bedroom apartment for to six people up.
Direct return flights from Leeds Bradford to Grenoble cost from £82 per person with Jet2.
A six-day adult lift pass for Alpe d’Huez grand domaine Ski is priced from €267 / £234
Snow-shoeing in Villard Reculas from £18 per person,. www.villard-reculas.com