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FAQs for Alpe d'Huez

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    About FAQ's - Resort Information for Alpe d'Huez

    About FAQ's - Resort Information for Alpe d'Huez

    Here is collection of general resort knowledge compiled from years of responding to email enquiries, getting ourselves lost, finding ourselves, late-night bar conversations, your feedback, plus translations of French brochures. We have put this resource together to help you out when you are planning a trip to the resort. Updating this section is a never-ending task so if we have missed anything out, or you spot that we are out of date or just plain wrong, please do let us know!

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    Are there any creches / childminding / baby sitting services in Alpe d'Huez?

    Are there any creches / childminding / baby sitting services in Alpe d'Huez?

    There are a number of childcare options available in Alpe d'Huez. Please be aware that booking in advance is always recommended and that nurseries may want to see medical records and vaccination certificates. Please see our Childcare Services section for further information and contact details.

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    Are there any family rates or child discounts on lift passes?

    Are there any family rates or child discounts on lift passes?

    During the winter the Alpe d'Huez lift pass company offers various discounts for families and children. For a full list of what's available see our Winter Lift Pass Options page and to find out about prices visit Lift Pass Prices in Alpe d'Huez

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    Are there any free lifts in Alpe d'Huez?

    Are there any free lifts in Alpe d'Huez?

    Yes, there are free lifts in Alpe d’Huez.  The easiest to access are the “Grenouilles” (by the DMC) and the “RifNel” by Les Bergers.  Whilst neither have a “gate” to access them it is advised that you obtain an “empty” lift pass from a lift pass office to be on the safe side.  The free RifNel drag lift serves a lovely, gentle, wide and fairly long run, great for little ones or out and out beginners.You can read more about the ski lifts in our Lift Section.

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    Are there any nightclubs or late night bars in Alpe d'Huez?

    Are there any nightclubs or late night bars in Alpe d'Huez?

    Don't worry if the thought of going to bed early every night in order to be first up the mountain in the morning isn't your cup of tea! There is plenty in Alpe d'Huez to keep the night-owls happy, take a look at our Bars & Clubs in Alpe d'Huez Guide to find out where to party in resort.

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    Are there any non-smoking bars and restaurants?

    Are there any non-smoking bars and restaurants?

    Since January 2008 smoking has been banned in all bars, cafés and restaurants in France. Patrons are generally free to smoke on the terrace and during the winter months smokers are often catered for with outdoor heaters. Have a look at our Guide to Dining in Alpe d'Huez for suggestions of restaurants and bistrots in Alpe d'Huez.

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    Are there rules and restrictions on the lifts ?

    Are there rules and restrictions on the lifts ?

    The Alpe d'Huez lift system operates during both summer and winter seasons and has different restrictions regarding access according to the time of year. Please see Alpe d'Huez Ski Lift Guide for further details.

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    At what age should my child start skiing?

    At what age should my child start skiing?

    Most ski teachers wouldn’t recommend starting skiing before the age of three or four at the earliest. The right age will vary from child to child, and depends upon the child’s strength, co-ordination and attitude. For this age group skiing should remain a play activity, so don't expect a young child to ski all day - a couple of hours is ample. For more information on ski school and children please read our Guide to Children's Skiing in Alpe d'Huez.

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    Can I cross-country ski in Alpe d'Huez?

    Can I cross-country ski in Alpe d'Huez?

    Cross-country skiing is a great alternative to regular alpine skiing if you fancy taking things a bit slower and enjoying the tranquillity of the surroundings. It is still a great form of exercise though, as it is more energetic than it looks! You can find out all about the cross-country trails in Alpe d'Huez in our Guide to Cross-Country Skiing.

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    Can I drink the water in Alpe d'Huez?

    Can I drink the water in Alpe d'Huez?

    Yes! Alpe d'Huez is a proper town with decent water treatment. The water can sometimes taste a bit metallic due to the high mineral content and during the melting periods some people prefer to switch to bottled water just in case the treatment plants are over-capacity. Generally though the water in the Alps is, on the whole, wonderful mountain spring water and Alpe d'Huez is no exception. It is perfectly safe to drink and tastes even better than the water at home!

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    Can I get sunburnt in winter?

    Can I get sunburnt in winter?

    Very easily! Always take precautions against the strength of the sun on a skiing holiday. At altitude and with the reflection off the snow, the sun’s rays can cause damage very quickly. Always, always wear sunglasses, even when the sun is not shining. Apply sunscreen, apply it thickly and keep applying it (you can still burn though cloud cover). Putting on factor 40 once in the morning will not protect you from burning. Reapply every hour.

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    Can I get to Alpe d'Huez by train from the UK?

    Can I get to Alpe d'Huez by train from the UK?

    Yes, you can... but it is not likely to be the best or cheapest option, as in every case you will need to change at least once. Your best bet is Eurostar from London (Waterloo) to Paris (Gare du Nord) and then changing to an SNCF TGV train from the other side of Paris (Gare de Lyon) to Geneva or Annecy. Read more about travelling to the Alps in our Guide to How to Get to Alpe d'Huez.

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    Can I go swimming in Alpe d'Huez?

    Can I go swimming in Alpe d'Huez?

    Yes, Alpe d’Huez has 2 swimming pools, one indoors in the sports centre (Palais des Congres et des Sports) and an outdoor one next to the ice rink on the main street.  Remember guys to wear your “James Bond” style trunks (Daniel Craig or Sean Connery depending on your age!!) as “boardies” are forbidden. Scroll down to 'Swimming' in Summer Activities for more information.

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    Can I picnic at any of the mountain restaurants?

    Can I picnic at any of the mountain restaurants?

    Picnicking is forbidden, or ‘interdit’, in most mountain restaurants. You may get away with eating your own sandwich if you buy some chips and a drink to go with it – but don’t be surprised if it is frowned upon. However, there are plenty of great places to eat al fresco in the mountains - as long as you don't mind nestling down into the snow or perching on a slab of rock! If the weather is too bad for eating outside then some mountain restaurants have a "salle hors sac" where you can tuck into your packed lunch indoors. For our recommendations, please see Mountain Restaurants in Alpe d'Huez.

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    Can I take my baby to a ski resort?

    Can I take my baby to a ski resort?

    Yes, you can take your baby to a ski resort but be aware that sudden changes in temperature and altitude are not recommended. For help on in-resort childcare, equipment rental and helpful tips go to our Tips for Families in Alpe d'Huez & Vaujany.

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    Can you suggest some activities in Alpe d'Huez for children?

    Can you suggest some activities in Alpe d'Huez for children?

    Alpe d'Huez is very much a family-friendly resort and welcomes children of all ages. From things that you can do as a family to activities that the children can go off and do with their new 'holiday friends' you will find plenty to keep everyone happy. Please see our Alpe d'Huez Activities section for a few suggestions.

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    Can you suggest some hiking routes to try?

    Can you suggest some hiking routes to try?

    If you come to Alpe d'Huez in the summer (and between you and me, you really should) chances are you'll want to get your walking boots on and go on a ramble or two. Alpe d'Huez offers some beautiful walks for all standards, from gentle rambles to challenging hikes, you can enjoy the mountains just as much in summer as in winter. Have a look at our page on Hiking in Alpe d'Huez for further information.

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    Do I need a car in the resort?

    Do I need a car in the resort?

    Alpe d’Huez is a quite a compact resort and is pretty easily accessed on foot.  There is also a great system of free buses for getting around. If you are staying in the village of Huez or the Les Bergers Quartier of town (by the altiport) a car will be handy, however in peak season (Christmas, New Year and February half term) parking is at a real premium and a car can be more of a hindrance than a help.

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    Do I need a photograph for my lift pass?

    Do I need a photograph for my lift pass?

    Not any more. Due to the invention of magnetic 'hands-free' passes cutting out a passport sized photo to attach to your ski pass is no longer necessary. The only exceptions are the season passes and free passes - for these your photo will be taken digitally at the lift pass office, or you can bring along a photo for scanning. Don't forget you can now order your passes in advance and online, and have them sent to your home address or hotel / rental agency in the resort.

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    Do I Need a Work Permit in Alpe d'Huez?

    Do I Need a Work Permit in Alpe d'Huez?

    If you are from Europe, the chances are you will not require a work permit or "autorisation de travail" to work in France - Switzerland is a different matter. Please see our Working a Ski Season in Alpe d'Huez to find out more about visas and passports.

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    Do I need to carry chains in the car (often a paying optional extra in car-hire)?

    Do I need to carry chains in the car (often a paying optional extra in car-hire)?

    Yes! During snowy weather, resorts restrict access to vehicles with snow-tyres or chains, and sometimes traffic police will not allow any vehicle on to the resort access road without chains being fitted. Chains can be bought at any of the garages in the area or can be requested as part of a car hire package (if you are taking a car locally). We'd recommend that you buy them in advance at home though, to ensure the correct size & that they're actually in stock. The colour-coded 'quick-fit' variety are usually the best option and make sure you buy the right dimensions for you tyres - one size does NOT fit all.

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    Do the Ski Instructors Speak English?

    Do the Ski Instructors Speak English?

    Almost certainly – ESF instructors are mainly French but teach lots of English clients year after year, and so have a good understanding of the language. You will also find that many of the private schools in resort employ English instructors, so enquire when booking if this is important to you. When booking into a group lesson most ski schools will try and keep people of the same nationality together, to avoid confusion. During quiet times of the year you may find yourself in a mixed group, but the instructor will still try to engage with individuals in their own language. You can find details of all the instructors on our Ski & Snowboard Schools listings page.

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    How Can I Get a Job in Alpe d'Huez?

    How Can I Get a Job in Alpe d'Huez?

    There are a number of different approaches to finding work in a ski resort. The simplest way is to apply to season workers websites via our Job Finder. Many of the larger companies such as Tour Operators will recruit their staff long before the season starts, so if you fancy yourself as a resort rep then you’d better get in early! Take a look at our section on Working a Ski Season to find out lots of other useful information.

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    How do I find the best flight deals?

    How do I find the best flight deals?

    The internet is swamped with websites offering scheduled flight comparison searches. Our Flight Finder offers searches specific to airports closest to the ski resorts so you can quickly and easily see prices and availability. By going to the airlines directly the process is often simpler, however you don't get any comparison. The alternative to scheduled flying is to obtain seats on charter flights by contacting the major tour operators from your country (UK tour operators here). Through them, you may be able to arrange and pay for your flight (and transfer to Alpe d'Huez) in advance, although this is not always possible as flight seats are sometimes tied to beds and are therefore in short supply.

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    How do I get around Alpe d'Huez?

    How do I get around Alpe d'Huez?

    Getting around Alpe d’Huez couldn’t be simpler with a series of 4 bus routes running during the day and 1 at night.  These services are free and run throughout the ski-season.  Generally being ‘circular’ in their operation it really doesn’t matter which way you get on the bus, as eventually it will get to the stop you want!!  The green ‘Circuit Pomme’ (Apple Bus) runs from Huez village right through town up to the DMC lift centre and back down to Huez village.  The red ‘Circuit Fraise’ (Strawberry bus) runs in a loop and serves the L’Eclose area of town.  The blue ‘Circuit Myrtille’ (Blueberry Bus) runs in a loop pretty much around the central area.  The yellow ‘Circuit Citron’ (Lemon Bus) generally serves the Quartier Les Bergers (the altiport area) L’Eclose area and the DMC/Cognet area.   Generally, if your destination is in the central area of town then any of the routes will serve your purpose or at least get you closer to your destination.  On the whole the free bus shuttles start at around 8.30am and run until 6pm.

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