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Top 10 things to do for non-skiers in Alpe d'Huez

There’s a whole host of things to do away from the slopes

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| Rob Wood, Alpe d'Huez Reporter | Published
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Non-skiers make up a surprisingly large percentage of visitors to Alpe d’Huez and, as such, the resort provides plenty of things to do away from the slopes.

Here’s the top 10 things to try out away from the slopes this winter.

1. Come to Tomorrowland in March

The ultra-famous Belgian festival Tomorrowland, which attracts thousands of music fans, comes to Alpe d'Huez this winter. For a week in March, this alpine resort will turn into Ibiza on the snow thanks to the first-rate DJs that will grace Tomorrowland Winter Festival's stage including Martin Garrix, Armin van Buuren, Steve Aoki, Afrojack or Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, to name but a few. No need to ski for this one!

Events Calendar for Alpe d'Huez

2. Go shopping

Over the past few years, Alpe d’Huez's profile has been on a fast upward curve and this is reflected not only in the new five-star hotels in resort but also in the shopping now available here. The commercial centre at Les Bergers – by the Marmottes lift station – is home to several high-end winterwear boutiques and casual street clothing shops. Meanwhile, up in the main street and around the ice rink, there are plenty of fashionable boutiques like Superdry, Napapijri, O’Neill, Levis, Fred Perry, JOTT and Schott.

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3. Take in a bit of culture

Every Thursday night throughout the winter season, the local church – located next to the leisure centre – hosts a classical music concert with artists from all over the world. Prices are €10 per person and the concerts get underway at 18:15. For those interested in Alpe d'Huez's heritage, the museum regularly holds locally themed exhibitions with history and geology very much to the fore. The region's rich history really means they have plenty to choose from.

Local lift operator SATA also provides twice-weekly guided tours up to the summit of the Pic Blanc. The views from here are truly epic and, on a clear day, you see for literally miles and miles including as far as Mont Ventoux, the 'Giant of Provence' to the west. These tours start from the DMC lift station at the top end of town and you will need to purchase a day 'pedestrian' lift pass to gain access up to 3300 metres.

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Events Calendar for Alpe d'Huez

4. Visit the leisure centre

The huge leisure centre really offers something for everyone, young and old, skier and non-skier.  Indoor activities include a climbing wall, swimming, a gym, group indoor cycling, yoga, Pilates, fitness classes, table tennis, crazy golf, squash, tennis, boules and a cinema – I think I’ve listed them all!

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Sports & Fitness Centres Alpe d'Huez

5. Try the Alpine Coaster

Opened in 2017, the Alpine Coaster has proved a huge success. Located in Les Bergers quartier, next to the Marmottes lift, the coaster comprises a 700m high-speed, adrenaline-fuelled course. It boasts a virtual reality option to further enhance the thrill, taking you through four seasons in one ride. Reaching speeds of up to 40kph, the action is certainly fast and furious. The coaster is open seven days a week throughout the season, with extended opening hours in the peak month of February.

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6. Go ice skating

Normally only reserved for Christmas festivities in the UK, in Alpe d’Huez we are lucky enough to have an ice rink that's open all year round. Situated right in the middle of town, on the main street, it's open every day into the evening. Skates are available to hire at the rink. The ice rink also holds weekly 'curling initiation' sessions and is home to the local ice hockey team, who have regular home games here throughout the winter season. The ice hockey games are free to watch but wrap up as it gets bitingly cold in the evenings at the rink.

Sports & Fitness Centres Alpe d'Huez

7. Pamper yourself

Over the past few years, several high-end spas have arrived in resort. Many are located in the larger hotels in resort, like the super-swish spa inside the Chamois d’Or Hotel at the DMC lift station. Pretty much every treatment you can think of is available in resort, with something to suit all tastes and budgets.

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8. Try snowshoeing

Whilst you may think you are like Scott reaching the Antartic with a couple of tennis rackets lashed to your feet, it really is a great way to spend a day here and take in the natural beauty that is all around. There are miles and miles of almost endless walks that await you and your 'raquettes', and it’s very easy to do. You can simply hire the kit from pretty much any ski hire shop in resort or you can buy the kit if you fancy – prices start at around €75 for the 'raquettes' and you will need a couple of poles to assist you as well. The area around the fort is particularly popular for snowshoe walking, as is the Sarenne Gorge area up behind the Altiport. If you prefer a guided snowshoe walk, this too is available, with prices starting at €23.

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9. Let the Husky or ski-doo take the strain

The scenery around Alpe d’Huez is truly stunning, and you can take it all in without breaking a sweat. Every day, ski-doo tours are run by Espace Motoneige from the Les Bergers commercial area at the bottom end of town (by the Marmottes 1 lift station). Prices range from €80 up to €260 depending on the length of trip you choose. Evening meals are included in some of the evening tours and are generally taken up at high altitude restaurants, which provide a wonderful view over the resort. For a more old-school trip around the slopes, why not try a traditional Husky-sled ride, operating from the top end of the Altiport at the end of the trail to the Sarenne gorge, the rides take place every afternoon.

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10. Or just relax in a deck chair

One great aspect of skiing that non-skiers often miss out on is simply chilling in a deck chair in the afternoon sun up at a mountain restaurant. By simply purchasing a pedestrian lift pass from any of the lift pass offices, non-skiers can access many of the best restaurants up on the hill. Just remember your sunscreen. 

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More inspiration...

These are only a few of the things to do away from the slopes, giving you a taste of what’s on offer. Get out here and try it all for yourself.

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Wintersports in Alpe d'Huez