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 and another one as in the nearby Vaujany Tennis Club. The Palais des Sports has indoor archery and compressed air shooting facilities open in summer and winter. Children over 8 years old can try archery while compressed air shooting is available for those over 10 years old.
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 and in July and August. 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.
Beach volleyball or beach football in the heart of the French Alps may sound strange but in Alpe d'Huez you can hop on the sand and play a game of volleyball with your friends or family. The beach volleyball/football courts can be used free of charge, and there are even beach tournaments arranged on a weekly basis. They are open every day in July and August.
Canoeing / Kayaking
Canoe rafts are an unsinkable, stable type of inflatable canoe that allows you, without too much technique to profit fully from the joys and fun of whitewater 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.
Kayaking is a fun watersport that can be enjoyed as a team or on your own. Unlike canoeing, paddlers face forward and have a double bladed paddle. It is a versatile sport that you can enjoy on rivers, lakes and the sea. You can take your inflatable or plastic kayak and make your way down the water. Using the double-bladed paddle you can control the speed, direction and enjoy the experience and wonderful views in your own time. There are some watersports centres and adventure companies who can take you out for your kayaking experience.
In the Ecrins National Park, there are several rivers you can descend on a kayak or canoe, including the Vénéon, the Rive, the Eau d'Olle or the Romanche, offering different levels for diverse experiences.
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 riverbed 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.
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.
The sports centre of each town host a kids club 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 and picnics.
Catch the latest films and releases in Alpe d'Huez on your summer holiday. There are two cinemas in Alpe d'Huez, Le Palais and Le Signal-Mégarama open in winter and summer. Films are on in the evening, at around 18:00 and 20:30 with screenings at 14:30 when there is bad weather. Look out for VOST for English speaking films.
The roads around Alpe d'Huez are the setting for some of the most famous gruelling sections of the Tour de France with its 21 bends but there are easier cycling routes in the area, most of them starting in Bourg d'Oisans. 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.
Also see: Cycling in Alpe d'Huez
There are a number of beautiful mountain lakes, rivers and streams where fishing is permitted in Alpe d'Huez. The Lac de Bergers is a designated children's fishing area. Each August a competition is held here for all keen anglers up to the age of 13. Situated in resort, just in front of Les Bergers shopping mall, it is easily accessible and a popular summer relaxation spot.
An Alpe d'Huez 'Société de Pêche' (fishing club) license is required for all sites and can be purchased from the Tourist Office for a day, a week, a month or a season. An AAPPMA fishing licence is also necessary for some sites, enquire locally for details. There are also varying regulations governing the number of fish you can catch, the size of the fish and hours of fishing permitted.
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.
Be in charge of your own sled and team of excitable husky dogs, driving them along forest paths in winter. After a brief explanation of how to make your team stop and start, you set off following the guide’s team. If this all sounds a bit much you can opt for a less physical outing where you sit in the sled and the guide does all the hard work! 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).
Hydro speeding is one of the newer 'extreme' water sports to hit the market, it's a fun and exhilarating way to get yourselves down a river!. Using a large float, which bears resemblance to a bodyboard, be ready to cling on for dear life as you send yourself hurtling down the rapids! This activity is a little more demanding physically than rafting or canoe rafting but allows you to discover the unique sensation of surfing down whitewater rivers. It is also accessible to all, no need to be a professional diver or swimmer, you just have to be smart at using the water movements, obstacles and waves. In Alpe d'Huez, you can descend the Veneon river near Venosc on a board wearing a thick neoprene and fins. Children over 12 years old should be able to try it.
Ice-skating / Hockey
Get your skates on and enjoy the ice skating rink in Alpe d'Huez, the perfect activity for families and groups. There is an ice skating rink in the centre of Alpe d'Huez offering skate rental. They also organise figure skating and curling lessons, as well as human curling.
Alpe d'Huez has an indoor climbing wall at the Palais des Sports. Climbing equipment is normally provided, or you can bring your own and insurance is normally needed before you hit the climbing wall. There are 21 routes to choose from starting from 4a on a 12-metre high wall as well as a bouldering room. Book in and pay at the main desk of the sports centre.
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 09:00 in July and August on Chemin de Brandes. In the winter, there is an indoor mini golf course at the Palais des Sports, open from early December until the end of April. Ask at the main desk on arrival for prices (free for children under 5).
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. 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.
Also see: Mountain Biking in Alpe d'Huez
Museums & Galleries
Alpe d'Huez and its surrounding area have a range of museums and galleries to visit and learn more about this fascinating region. If you want to know more about Alpine flora, fauna and minerals, you can head to the Fauna Museum in Vaujany, the Bourg d'Oisans Museum, or the Maison du Bouquetin in Allemont.If it's heritage and customs you're after, visit the Notre Dame des Neiges Church, the Grotte de Glace, the Espace Patrimoine or the Brandes Archaeological site, all in Alpe d'Huez.
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!
Every Thursday (and Tuesday during French ski holidays) the Signal opens for night skiing. One of the most spectacular things you can do at night in Alpe d'Huez is to ski down the Sarenne at night. A restaurant meal is included and it's definitely one of those unforgettable holiday moments everyone should experience! Read our review.
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.
Petanque / Boules
Petanque is a very popular sport in France. In Alpe d'Huez you can play boules all year at the "Boulodrome" in the Palais des Sports. You can also rent equipment here.
Alpe d'Huez is a great place to go rock climbing for beginners. The Oisans region boasts great climbing for those who wish to see more of the area. Le Vernis (750m) has 30 routes that are accessible all year round; Venosc (950m) has 51 routes and the climbing season runs from May to October; La Bérarde (1500-2000m) has a whopping 100 routes and is open throughout spring, summer and autumn; La Chalp (1000 m) has 37 routes and is also open throughout spring, summer and autumn.
Skiing & snowboarding
The main draw for people coming to Alpe d'Huez in winter is, of course, the skiing and snowboarding. Alpe d’Huez forms part of the fabulous 'Alpe d'Huez Grand Domaine Ski Area' combining the resorts of Alpe d’Huez, Auris-en-Oisans, Huez-en-Oisans, Oz-en-Oisans, Vaujany and Villard Reculas into one giant, heavenly playground with 249kms of pisted runs. Alpe d'Huez is also an excellent place for beginner skiers, with two large and four smaller nursery ski areas, 41 green pistes and 34 blue pistes.
Also see: Ski Areas in Alpe d'Huez
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 a 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.
Raquette à Neige or Snow-shoeing in and around Alpe d'Huez is a perfect activity for bad weather conditions or for non-skiers. Either set out on your own or join a group led by a knowledgeable local guide and explore the hidden parts of the Oisans mountains and the Grandes Rousses. Snowshoes and ski poles are provided by most companies offering this as an experience, or you can hire snowshoes from most Sports Shops or Ski Hire 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.
There are two snowparks in Alpe d'Huez, one in Montfrais and a larger one beside the beginner runs above 1800, most easily accessed from the DMC 1st station. Although this last park is larger in size it is very beginner-friendly with a number of small features providing a gentle introduction to park riding.
Also see: Snowparks in Alpe d'Huez
You can play squash at the Palais des Sports from early December to the end of April as well as in July and August, every day of the week. There are four courts to choose from and you should book ahead to avoid disappointment. Pay and book in at the main reception desk. Rackets and sports shoes are available to rent.
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 to 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 organised 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 to 18-year-olds. There is also a play area with a climbing frame beside the ice 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 are provided by the company and alternative activities are arranged if the weather turns bad.
In the summer, sledging or luge takes place on the hillside close to the Eclose chairlift. Take the lift up and sledge down to the bottom. The lift runs from 10:00 to 14:00 and is free for those with an annual or seasonal pass, as well as for anyone with a 3-day summer pass and above.
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 at the Palais des Sports. You can choose from the outdoor pool with a paddling pool and saunas or the indoor pool also with a paddling pool or even take part in aquabiking, aquapalming and aquaerobics classes. One entry is included with your ski pass or you can upgrade to a Premium pass for more visits.
Play a game of tennis with friends and family in Alpe d'Huez, a great all year round activity to enjoy in the Alps. At the Tennis Outdoor de Brandes there are 6 courts open every day in July and August. The Palais des Sports also offers 2 indoor tennis courts open in winter and summer. Booking ahead is recommended at any time of year, especially if you require lessons. You'll also find 15 tennis tables in the sports centre.
Tours & excursions
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
Alpe d'Huez has a 400m zip wire that's open in winter and summer at the XFly centre. Here you can also do some climbing and jump on a giant airbag, and you don't have to be a child to enjoy it! At the Palais des Sports, there is also an indoor adventure trail hung 8m above the floor open every day in July and August for anyone over 6 years old.
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 2.5 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
Whether your idea of walking in the mountains is a gentle ramble or a three-day hike, Alpe d'Huez has something for you. The valley has 143 miles of beautiful, marked hiking trails and 12 lakes within walking distance from the main resort. To make the most of the higher trails you can buy a Summer Lift Pass; from this higher elevation, you will be treated to the most spectacular views of the lofty peaks in the Massif des Grandes Rousses and the Ecrins National Park. Check out our walking and hiking guide for more details on hiking in Alpe d'Huez.
Also see: Walking Routes 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 Vénéon river flows furiously as they are fed from the meltwaters 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.