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a large outdoor party at the Folie Douce apres ski bar in Alpe d'Huez

With over 300 days of sunshine a year (including a hefty number during high season), it's really no surprise that this French ski resort is nicknamed the 'Île du Soleil' (Island of the sun).

If you're looking for something less mainstream and a little more wallet-friendly, Alpe d'Huez skiing is a great option. The resort is located only two hours from Grenoble (making it an outside option for a ski weekend) and its large and varied ski area is crowned by the epic 3300m Pic Blanc Glacier.

What's more, the resort's high altitude means there's lots of ski-in ski-out accommodation up for grabs. If awesome après ski is essential, you won't be disappointed, either. Alpe d'Huez has a brilliant selection of bars to let your hair down in - including its own incarnation of the legendary Folie Douce.

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Ski holidays in Alpe d'Huez

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Alpe d'Huez's impressive range of runs is matched by a huge variety of activities and venues in the resort itself. The mountain town is set at 1860m above sea level, meaning it has a brilliant snow record and offers instant access to the slopes if you're new to navigating ski lifts.

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You'll find Alpe d'Huez resort is spread out over several districts. Jeux is where most of the action takes place, from the bulk of the nightlife to some of the best restaurants in the area. There's also the Les Bergers area on the outskirts of the town that's got a good selection of chalet accommodation, including plenty which are ski-in, ski-out.

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Put plainly, Alpe d'Huez has it all when it comes to awesome places to sleep, eat and party. There's somewhere to suit every budget and booze craving (including a rum bar), plus you'll find loads to keep non-skiers occupied - think spas, cinemas and sledding adventures out in the snow.

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Alpe d'Huez après

If you need to quench your thirst in between runs, Alpe d'Huez has you covered with its ace après ski scene.

On the slopes, your first stop for a pint (or a glass of champers) should be La Folie Douce. The Alpe d'Huez venue is found at the top of the Marmottes 1 ski lift and it's always pumping out great tunes to a lively crowd.

In Alpe d'Huez town, The Underground Bar (nicknamed The Undie) is a top place for a booze up. It's located beneath a hotel on Chemin de la Chapelle and is loved by both locals and visitors for its live music nights and welcoming vibe.

Smithy's Tavern is less than ten minutes away on foot and hosts fun themed nights every Tuesday, plus it has awesome promo drink offers on Sundays. And the best part? The restaurant area serves up tasty Tex-Mex grub to keep you going into the night.

Restaurants in Alpe d'Huez

Fans of French cuisine will find Alpe d'Huez's restaurant offering particularly attractive, although there are options for those who prefer burgers over foie gras.

Most of the resort's eateries are located on or off the main drag in Jeux, but you'll find a few gems a little further afield. Le Passe Montagne next to the town's tourism office serves up regional mountain dishes (think fondue and raclette), in addition to a few wild cards like duck shepherd's pie. If you fancy a break from French fare, Le Trappeur is a great little burger joint - you've earned it!

On the edge of Cognet, a northern suburb of the resort, is where you'll find the Chamois d'Or Hotel. It's worth a visit purely to eat in its excellent restaurant which boasts stunning chalet-style decor, a roaring open fireplace and a menu of homemade, seasonal dishes.

Alpe d'Huez nightlife

If you want to keep the party going off the pistes, Alpe d'Huez has a solid selection of nightlife spots.

The best place to begin the night is O Bar. Part of a hostel, it's one of the oldest and friendliest bars in the resort. Punters flock there to enjoy a few pints by the fire and to dig into tasty tapas. O Bar also shows the latest sports fixtures if you want to keep tabs on your favourite team while you're away.

Zoo Bar is another venue that's ideal for more chilled out evenings. It's on Rue du Coulet and often hosts live bands, including local talent. Those keen to stay up until sunrise should make a beeline for electro dance club L'Igloo. While pricier than most other clubs in Alpe d'Huez, it stays open late and regularly hosts some great guest DJs.

Mountain bites

If hunger pangs hit while you're out on the slopes, you'll find a handful of eateries worth putting on your agenda.

Near the bottom end of the Alpette lift is where you'll find Auberge de l'Alpette. Sit out on their sun-soaked terrace and tuck into quick lunch options like omelette or sample the always tasty plat du jour. They also serve up strong coffee if you're in need of a pick me up.

Chalet du Lac Besson is another ace place to grab lunch, but it's a little off the beaten track. You can either walk 10 minutes from frozen-over Lac Besson or ski there along the Chamois track. For something a little more unique, L'Altiport is a local favourite right next to the resort's tiny airport and they are well-known for their innovative menu.

Alpe d'Huez for non-skiers

A group of adults on toboggans at night

There may be someone in your group who's not that fussed about the actual skiing. If that's the case, you're in luck as Alpe d'Huez has an abundance of activities to suit non-skiers.

Enjoy some R&R at one of the resort's many hotel spas, take a plunge in the Alpe d'Huez Open Air Swimming Pool (don't worry - it's heated!) or test your strength at the indoor climbing wall at the Sports and Convention Centre.

If you've got your heart set on snowier pursuits, consider trying ice driving, snowshoeing or gliding across the snow on a dog sled. Alpe d'Huez also offers paragliding, plus those with cash to splash can take to the skies in a helicopter or small plane.

When it comes to evening activities which don't involve alcohol, the resort has two cinemas which show the latest flicks. You could also slip on some skates at the open air ice rink - it stays open until 10.30pm in high season.

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Alpe d'Huez ski trips

Alpe d'Huez has one of the best ranges of accommodation in the French Alps. Choose a classic catered chalet (like Chalet Louisa which comfortably sleeps up to 18 people) or go for something smaller where you can easily self-cater.

Alpe d'Huez hotels are also very decent, especially ski-in, ski-out options on the fringes of the town centre. You'll also find all-inclusive, resort-style hotels like Club Med in Les Bergers which offer up the fullworks when it comes to food and luxe extras such as fitness centres and swimming pools.

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