A Guide to Camping In & Around Alpe d'Huez
Camping is beloved of the French and they do it very well with campsites being an easy and popular accommodation choice - it is also a much more affordable way to enjoy your favourite places.
As you will quickly realise, motorhoming is very popular in France, perhaps partly because of the law that permits people to park off-site. This popularity means that off-site parking areas get very popular in the summer months, as do official campsites (where if travelling in July August peak it’s recommended to book in December!).
Campsites range from a basic field with a shower block, to fully equipped holiday parks with on-site restaurants and glamping lodges. There are heaps of campsites in and around Alpe d'Huez. Some are remote and idyllic, whereas others are a mere stone's throw from the shops and bars of the nearest town. For obvious reasons, most are only open in summer, so be sure to enquire in advance if you are coming before May or after September.
Luxury camping / Glamping
Some campsites go beyond a cold shower and a chemical toilet, some have untold luxuries such as dining and leisure facilities! If you're partial to a bit of glamping then check out the services offered by each campsite.
Aires de Service
"Aire" is the name given to a lay by where you may pull over and park up for the night - some have facilities such as a toilet block, others are literally a few parking spaces at the side of the road. There is a good guide called All the Aires, that details where to find them and what to expect at each one.
Wild or off-site camping
Camping is forbidden in the mountains and the PGHM will occasionally clamp down on it; however some of the mountain huts allow bivouacking on their land, so enquire if they are happy for you to pop up a tent before heading for the hills.
Campsites in Alpe d'Huez
There is a choice of sites at Bourg d’Oisans, where you’ll also find a few restaurants and bars within reasonable walking distance. Campings La Piscine, La Cascade and A La Rencontre du Soleil at the bottom of the Tour de France climb to Alpe d’Huez all open for the winter season, and offer facilities such as heated shower blocks, drying rooms and cottage or mobile home accommodation.
Further out of town Ferme Noemie offers accommodation in three-star apartments on site, half an hour from either Alpe d’Huez and also a perfect base for exploring the snowshoeing and cross-country possibilities at the little resort of Col d’Ornon. There are also three drag lifts up there serving a beginner area and four alpine pistes, all of which is worth it for the novelty value of skiing a genuinely local resort.
Location: Alpe d'Huez Region