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One of the world's major ski centres, the Grandes Rousses ski area above Alpe d'Huez is a huge and high domain served by an extensive lift system. The resort itself is one of Europe's highest and largest with a massive vertical drop, crowned by the Sarenne Glacier. Built above the original village of Huez, the resort has expanded in all directions over the past 20 years.
[more] Today the resort is big and vibrant with far more shopping and 'things to do generally' off the slopes than in most other ski centres, especially by French standards. Architecturally the place is a mish mash of traditional Alpine chalet style wood and stone buildings, some rather ugly rectangular concrete developments and one tasteful modern construction. There are two huge beginners areas directly above the resort and those going on to the top of the lifts will be able to see a fifth of France, on a clear day, from the top station. The resort has a reputation for both good snow falls and good sunshine with south facing slopes - the areas protected by nearly 860 snow cannon. Alpe d'Huez is one of the most southerly located major international resorts in the French Alps.
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