About Family Activities in Alpe d'Huez
Whatever you choose to do on your family holiday, you are sure to find a huge range of activities across Alpe d'Huez. There is something for everyone, every ability and every age. Check out the selection of things to do below for some holiday inspiration!
Practice your Robin of Sherwood skills in a tranquil Alpine setting. Beginners can learn 'tir l'arc' from scratch and those with more experience can put their skills to the test with a variety of courses; there is a practice range up by the summer luge where you can hire the equipment and take the advice of an instructor. The nearby Vaujany Tennis Club also has archery facilities.
There are a number of badminton courts at the Palais des Sports. In winter the courts are open every day from early December to the end of April. The courts are also open throughout the summertime. Booking ahead is recommended at any time of year.
You can play basketball indoors in the winter and on two outdoor courts in summer in Alpe d'Huez, at the Palais des Sports. Booking ahead is recommended at any time of year.
Canoeing / Kayaking
Canoe rafts are an unsinkable, stable type of inflatable canoe that allow you, without too much technique to profit fully from the joys and fun of white water river descent. The descents are taken on by groups of 4 to 5 boats, accompanied by a fully qualified guide. You are equipped with neoprene suits and shoes, a safety jacket and a helmet. The course which you take is chosen according to the water levels and experience of the participants.
A not-so-gentle but extremely refreshing summer activity is one way to describe canyoning! Plunge yourself into the mountain streams via a series of abseil descents, jumps and natural water slides – just make sure you choose a warm day! You will make your way along rivers and rapids, using the river bed as a natural obstacle course. Not suitable for very young children, but anyone over the age of about 8 can take the (very cold) plunge and try canyoning. With the safety of a guide everyone can abseil down cascades, splash into pools and ride the river rapids. You can choose from short beginners’ routes or longer ones for the more adventurous.
Different companies will have their own policies on age limits but usually, unless they are booked onto a children's activity course, anyone under the age of about 14 years old will have to be accompanied by an adult. A basic level of swimming ability is required for safety reasons. There are a number of adventure companies that offer guided descents down the local waterways.
Depending on the age of your child there are a number of childcare options available in Alpe d'Huez. There are also numerous babysitting and nursery facilities available in the area.
The main winter establishments are the ski schools which offer a combination of tuition and childcare for children 3 years and older. You can book your child in for full or half day programmes and lunch can also be provided for an extra charge.
You may find that the main sports centre of each town host a kidsclub during the summer holidays, normally from 1st July to 30th August, with activities such as swimming, climbing, tennis, basketball, ice-skating, etc. and organised hikes & picnics.
Catch the latest films and releases in Alpe d'Huez on your winter or summer holiday. Some cinemas open their doors early on a bad weather day, otherwise you'll find most screenings in the evenings. Look out for VOST for English speaking films.
Enjoy a number of cycling trails and routes in Alpe d'Huez and what better way to explore Alpe d'Huez than on a bike when you can enjoy the beautiful scenery. Have a look at our cycling guide for more information and explore the cycling routes that are in the area. If you are in Alpe d'Huez without your biking gear there are a number of cycle hire shops in who rent and sell bikes, gear and more.
There is a multisports court at the Sports Centre where you can play indoor footbal. Alternatively, you can try "Jorkyball"! Derived from football and inspired by squash, two teams play against each other to score a goal without using the arms... but you can use the court's walls.
There are over 2.5 million people doing geocaching around the world and some of them (perhaps surprisingly) are right here in Alpe d'Huez!. It’s a relatively new craze that started taking the world by storm in May 2000 after a computer geek decided that GPS could be “really exciting”. He hid some treasure at his home in Portland, America, for people to find, broadcast the GPS coordinates and said, “Come and get it”. His only rule: “Take some stuff, leave some stuff”. And that’s exactly what Geocaching is…you go in search of treasure by using the GPS system on your mobile device – once you’ve found it, you write your name in a logbook and replace the treasure you decide to take. It’s pretty simple really and means, as a family, you can be adventurers together. You won’t usually find anything quite as precious as gold, silver and diamonds but nevertheless it’s quite exciting!
As well as being home to the world renowned Poutran International Equestrian Training Centre, Alpe d'Huez is also a great place to ride just for fun. The scenery is stunning and you can cover much more terrain on horseback than on your own two feet!
The Centre Equestre on Route du Col de Poutran offers a variety of lessons and weekly courses as well as horse and pony rides. Holders of a Visalp Pass can claim 10% off all hacks. There is also the Les Nouvelles Ecuries des Centaure in nearby Reaumont.
One of the best ways to take the spectacular mountain scenery from a different point of view is on a hot-air balloon. There are activity companies in Alpe d'Huez offering balloon rides, which usually take up half a day including preparation and inflation.
Take yourself on a mini nordic adventure with a team of huskies. The trips take you on the snowy pedestrian routes around resort for a real taste of what it's like to manage your own team of huskies. It's a very popular winter activity, so booking at least 48 hours in advance is a must. They run from early December to the end of April (snow-permitting).
Ice-skating / Hockey
Get your skates on and enjoy the ice skating rinks in Alpe d'Huez. The perfect activitiy for families and groups you can enjoy an afternoon of ice skating. There are a few ice skating rinks in Alpe d'Huez and one of them is even open year round so you can enjoy this, normally winter activity, in the summer time too.
A great activity for the whole family, if you want to give climbing a go in an indoor centre, then Alpe d'Huez has somewhere for you to go. Climbing equipment is normally provided, or you can bring your own and insurance is normally needed before you hit the climbing wall.
Enjoy a few hours of fun in the summer months on the miniature golf course in Alpe d'Huez. Great for some gentle exercise on a sunny day, Alpe d'Huez has a mini-golf course open every day from 9:00 on Chemin de Brandes.
Alpe d'Huez is a mecca for mountain biking, with varying terrain and fantastic views it is perfect for mountain biking enthusiasts. With the whole of the mountain area to explore, the different and varied terrains suit bikers of all levels. So you can enjoy a leisurely cycle around some of the lower level trails with the whole family.
Alpe d’Huez and the Grandes Rousses are renowned for being an exceptional mountain biking area. Stunning scenery, miles and miles of dedicated MTB routes and summer access to the cable cars make this a fantastic place to put your bike (and you!) through its paces.
Nature Reserves & Parks
The Ecrins National Park is one of the highlights of the Southern Alps region; a haven for all sorts of wildlife as well as a magnet for outdoor sports enthusiasts, it is well worth a visit at any time of year. The 750 000 people who visit the Ecrins National Park each year are a diverse bunch including families with children hoping to spot a marmot or two!
Challenge your family to a game of paintball! This exciting activity offers fun for groups of all ages. In most cases you're split into teams and a variety of scenarios and courses are offered at the beginning of all games, with each game lasting approximately 2 hours; the ultimate aim is to shoot your opponents with paint pellets and capture their flag before they get hold of yours. There are a number of adventure companies and courses that offer you paintballing fun in Alpe d'Huez.
Skiing & snowboarding
The main draw for people coming to Alpe d'Huez in winter is of course the skiing and snowboarding. The Grande Domaine area has something for every level of experience.
Sledging / Tobogganing
Alpe d'Huez has its own sledging designated area. It opens daily and is located under the Grandes Rousses/DMC gondola lift; groomed and equipped with banked turns, brakes and helmets are required but not provided (can be bought or hired from most sports shops). Unlimited access to the area with ski and walking day passes, ski half-day passes and all Visalp passes. Cost without pass is €6.30 per gondola ascent. You can also sled on the piste next to the Bergers shopping centre or go night sledging on the Butte de l’Eclose slope. The illuminated sledding area opens on Tuesday & Thursday evenings from 17:30-19:30. Again, brakes and helmets are required but not provided (can be bought or hired from most sports shops). Access is free with a Visalp pass.
Strap lightweight plastic snowshoes to your feet, and walk effortlessly through deep snow. Either set out on your own, or join a group led by a knowledgeable local guide and explore the hidden parts of the valley. On these half day group outings you will get off the beaten track to follow animal footprints, discover mountain flora and fauna and learn the history of the valley. Snowshoes and ski poles are provided. Take a look at adventure companies for details of guiding companies who do snow shoe walks. You can also hire snowshoes from most Sports Shops, grab a trail map from the Tourist Office and head off on your own adventure. Be sure to check the weather forecast before you go. This is a perfect activity for bad weather conditions or for non-skiers, and walkers and nature lovers will love these outings. Don't forget to take energy bars and wear comfortable (waterproof!) boots.
There are so many things for kids to do in Alpe d'Huez throughout the summer that sometimes the only way to make the most of it is to enrol them in a summer club! For younger children there is the Mini Cats activity club for 3-6 year olds. Here your children can try their hands at mini-golf, trampoline, rock climbing, hiking, ice skating, circus skills and pony trekking amongst other things. There are also themed workshop weeks on a range of diverse subjects such as the circus, pottery, meteorology, animals, orientation, history and more.
Multi-activity athletic tournaments are aorganised every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoon at the Sport Centre, while ‘Sun Stages’ activity courses run on a weekly Monday to Friday basis for 6-18 year olds. There is also a play area with a climbing frame beside the ice rink rink on Avenue des Jeux in the centre of town.
For older kids Montlao offers 5 day outward bound courses for teenagers aged from 14 to 17 years. These courses include activities such as climbing and canyoning under the supervision of qualified instructors. Each day lasts from 10:00 until 17:00, transport and equipment is provided by the company and alternative activities are arranged if the weather turns bad.
Whether you like to take a dip indoors or outdoors, you'll be able to find somewhere to go for a swim in Alpe d'Huez. Most hotels, lots of chalets and apartments have their own swimming facilities, however there are also municipal swimming baths that you can visit, which often come free with your lift pass purchase. In summer and winter you should be able to find somewhere to take a dip, so don't forget your towel and your swimming costume or shorts.
Tennis is a great way to get the legs moving and to enjoy the sunny summertime weather. You can play a friendly game or have a lesson, whatever you choose to do it is a great way to have fun with friends and family. Open during the summer season there are tennis courts and training walls in Alpe d'Huez. Lessons are usually available in groups or privately. Perfect as a family outing you can hire a court and when tiredness hits you can enjoy some refreshments and snacks at the tennis club or café.
Tours & excursions
For something a little different to do, challenge your family or friends to a game of Ice laser quest in an icy maze. This is something good for the kids to enjoy on a bad weather day, or even for grown-ups who want a bit of fun.
The Alpe d'Huez ice caves are a magical grotto of glistening sculptures and fairytale figures. Dug out many years ago by two local guides they have become an annual feature; each winter expert ice sculptors arrive to create a new exhibition based on a different theme every year. At 2700m the caves are accessible via the Grandes Rousses / DMC gondola. Buy your pass on line - go to the pedestrian lift pass prices section if you're a non-skier.
Tree-top / Forest adventures
Head to the adventure park for a day, and everyone is guaranteed to leave with a big smile on their face. Adventure parks are designed for children and adults to play, explore, exercise and have fun in the natural mountain surroundings. Enjoy the thrills of adventure courses created in the forest in the mountains. The ropes, swings, tunnels, trees and activities will be a great day for children and adults alike. With all the protective gear provided and safety information given you can head out and enjoy the trees and wilderness. Qualified guides will be around the course throughout to make sure you are safe and having as much fun as possible. Different courses and tracks can be tried and tested, each one with a varying level of difficulty. There are courses designed for children only and tracks for juniors and adults to enjoy.
Via Ferrata climbing offers an element of security that still allows beginners to enjoy the achievement of having scaled a mountain! This form of climbing was invented by Italian soldiers in the Dolomites who used it to enable them to scale vertiginous faces easily and quickly. These days it is a popular sport that makes the thrill of mountain climbing more accessible to children, beginners and those who want a bit more security when they climb.
There are two Via Ferrata routes on the Grandes Rousses Massif, both south facing; an elementary route that can be completed in around 2 hours and a more challenging route that takes about 2 ½ hours. The routes can be accessed from Pierre Rond (via the Col de Sarenne) or Huez Village.
Following marked routes through the mountains you are helped along by steps, bridges and ladders whilst being roped up for extra safety. Suitable for adults and children over the age of 8, you need to have a harness, helmet, carabiners and ropes/tethers in order to do the activity. The kit can be rented from most sports shops in town or you can also arrange a Via Ferrata guide, who of course, will provide all the necessary equipment for you.
Walking & Hiking
In the summer months Alpe d'Huez is a mecca for walking and hiking in the beautiful Alpine mountains. As the snow melts and the sun begins to shine the mountains make an excellent place to head out on a hike or walk. Walking is the perfect activity for groups, families and friends, and you can pick from a number of routes ranging in difficulty, including easy child friendly walks. Along the way enjoy the fantastic mountain views, beautiful scenery and wildlife that is normally hidden in the winter months. Check out our walking and hiking guide for more details on hiking in Alpe d'Huez.
If you haven't experienced white water rafting before then this is a definite 'must try' on your list of activities to do! There are a number of trained guides in resort who will let you experience some of the best white water rafting available in the Alps. From the middle of May until September, the mountain rivers flow furiously as they are fed from the melt waters running off the glaciers high above the town. There are various options available from a three hour adrenaline rush to a full days excursion - this activity is guaranteed not to disappoint.