Alpe d'Huez is a city the in French Alps. Besides being a winter ski resort, Alpe d'Huez is a Mecca for cycling fans as in many years one of the most important stages of the Tour de France ends at the ski station.
Alpe d'Huez is southeast of Grenoble. Head south from Grenoble on the E712 to Le Pont-de-Claix, take the D1085 heading east and then join the D1091. From the other direction, you can take to D1091 from Briançon.
A good way to get to the top of Alpe d'Huez on Tour de France race day is to drive in the morning to Oz en Oisans and ride the ski lift. It goes up to the top of the mountain and then back down into Alpe d'Huez. The lifts runs again after the stage to take the fans back to Oz en Oisans.
For a taxi in Alpe d'Huez, try Accueil Allo Taxi on +33476802900, Chalvin Stephane on +33476803344, or Alp Taxi on +33476807243.
There are no car hire facilities in the town so you will need to hire from your arrival airport or drive. In the summer the valley through Bourg d'Oisans at the foot of the mountain is open all the way to Briancon but in the winter the cols are often closed. In winter a car is pretty well useless in town as all roads apart from the main road up the mountain are closed by snow. During the ski season you will need either winter tyres and/or chains and in certain conditions these are compulsory. All areas of the town are eaily accessed on foot and there is a free bus service (navette gratuite) which runs until late evening.
The road the cyclists take is approximately 9 miles (or 13 km) long and consists of 21 hairpin turns. The road is packed with cycling fans, as many as 500,000 of them every time the Tour de France passes through.
For fans of cycling history, a unique feature of Alpe d'Huez is that each of the 21 hairpin turns is numbered from 21 (at the bottom) to 1 (at the top). Each of these numbered signs also has listed the names of one or two of the winners of the stage to Alpe d'Huez and the year they won the stage.
For a ski resort Alpe d'Huez is well served for eating out and most of the listings are also open during the summer season. If you are self catering there are several well stocked supermarkets including those with deli and meat counters and a stand alone butchers near the Tourist Office. All of these get very busy once the lifts are closed so it is sometimes more time efficient to shop before heading out in the morning. There are plans to build a larger Casino supermarket in the main drag for winter 2013/14.
Also on the main road (avenue des jeux) is the 'rotigrill' which sells excellent spit-roasted meat, chips, pre-prepared vegetable dishes and more. Whole roast chicken and chips (will serve 4) for about €12.
Pomme de Pin. Classic mountain food with fondue, pierre chaud and raclette featuring large on the menu but with some excellent and very large starters and a, not always avilable, but interesting selection of desserts.
Le P'tit Creux. Now run by the wife of a previously husband and wife team the food is still good and occasionally excellent. Definitely not mountain specialities, the menu often features fish and desserts are very reliable. Excellent and not ridiculously priced wine list. Fantastic views from the sun deck in summer.
Altibar. Located at the altiport which can be hard to get to in the winter unless you fancy a half hour walk. Summer access by road is fine and it is a great place to stop for lunch on a snowy day with easy access from the piste (green run). Refurbed during autumn 2012 the interior is now more stylish and less rustic than other options and the food is of a consistently high standard. Risottos are outstanding. Another very solid wine list.
Passe Montagne. Very reliable and you are guaranteed a warm welcome from Valerie the owner and the open fire which burns in the winter. Mountain specialities like tartiflette are served but some excellent steak and duck dishes are also staples. Desserts are varied and often surprising.
Pinocchio. Pizzas cooked in a wood oven, totally reliable with some unusual combinations of topping. Steaks also good. Advisable to book even during quieter parts of the season.