Family Skiing in Alpe D’Huez
After introducing the kids to skiing last year in Val D’Isere (see here for my blog on that holiday!), there was no way they were going to let us get away without another ski holiday this year. Therefore, I turned to those wonderful folk at Alpine Answers again to book us another fantastic holiday. I cannot recommend Alpine Answers enough – they claim to be a human search engine which will find you the perfect ski holiday to suit your requirements: They are yet to let us down.
This year, they booked us a chalet with Skiworld to Alpe D’Huez – and we all loved it, it is the perfect ski resort for a family. Let me talk you through why …
Well, yes, obviously, that’s why we were going BUT Alpe D’Huez has over 250k of pistes to explore (Plenty for Mum and Dad to discover whilst the kids were at ski school!). It has the longest black run in Europe (Yes, I did do it!) and a glacier – therefore it makes the resort snow sure – up on the glacier, there is pretty much always snow. Added to that they have 100s of snow cannons – boosting the snow and keeping those pistes looking good. Even at the start of the season when the snow was dodgy – there was snow in Alpe D’Huez and skiing to be done.
Alpe D’Huez is nicknamed ‘L’ile de Soliel’. To those non-french speakers, that is The Sun Island! Alpe D’Huez is situated in a predominately, sunny south facing bowl. It boasts 300 sunny days a year, with December averaging out on 7.5 hours of sun a day and April, 11.5 hours. Anyone, who has already skied with kids, you will know that sunny skiing is much more preferable!
We have always preferred our children to ski with the smaller, independent ski schools. This year, they skied with an Alpe D’Huez school called Easy Ski, run by the lovely Thierry. My children were in the first stage ski lessons – there were 9 of them in total. Their wonderful teacher, Yann, was simply amazing. He had taught in Alpe D’Huez for over 40 years. When I asked him why he had been here so long he replied that not only is the weather brilliant (see above!), but the runs are perfect. The beginners runs are right in the village, the intermediate and more advanced are also easy to reach. Therefore, during your child’s lesson, they will spend more time skiing and learning, rather than on lifts getting to suitable pistes. He taught them fabulously, and they reached red level, which is the equivalent to three stars on the ESF programme. They can now both parallel turn and stop sideways, which after 2 weeks of skiing, I reckon is pretty good! I have linked some footage of them skiing – yes I am rather proud!
Off the Piste
We were skiing in a party of four children, and one adult who had only skied for a week many moons ago. Therefore, one of our requirements was that we stayed in a resort with other facilities should you not want to ski. Again, Alpe D’Huez doesn’t disappoint. It boasts an outdoor pool (obviously heated!) and ice rink. You can visit both for free once with your liftpass. We actually only ended up visited the pool once (skiing was far too good!), but it was worth the visit. The water was divine, and swimming surrounded by the snowy mountains was stunning! My daughter even braved rolling in the snow and then jumping in!
Although we never discovered it, there is also a sports hall which has a climbing wall, indoor tennis, archery, an indoor pool and squash courts. I also noticed ‘pietons’ (pedestrians) on the slopes on specially marked out routes, which took you up the mountains – another great way to enjoy the fabulous mountains and air.
(Picture Credit: Alpine Charms)
Lastly, our stay was made perfect by our wonderful chalet girl, Steph. She looked after ‘Petit Etoile’, which is operated by Skiworld. Although, the chalet is slightly on the tight side, Steph made it a wonderfully welcoming place.
Sadly, her amazing cooking meant I didn’t quite ski off all those lovely meals she made us! From cooked breakfasts, sumptuous cakes at afternoon tea to delicious four (yes four!) course meals in the evening, Steph served up top notch food. She made sure we were all catered for, and she served the children high tea – she even made pizza with them one night. I cannot recommend Ski world and their chalets enough – I felt so well looked after, and Steph is an asset to the company.
So – what are you waiting for? Skiing is the BEST family holiday: You exercise, you spend LOADS of time together doing something you all enjoy and if you stay in a chalet like ours, you get to feast on fine wine and food!
Vive le ski!