It's really easy to get to Alpe d'Huez from all around Europe and that's because the ski area is located just 105km from Grenoble Alpes-Isère International airport (about one hour and 30 minutes) and 210km from Geneva airport, the second-largest in Switzerland (about three hours away). Flying isn't your only option, though, you can always drive here and there are also trains available.
Feeling spoiled for choice? That's because you are. However, this also means that there's more than one option to consider when deciding how to come here, and that's what we're here for. We've written the complete guide of the best options to travel to Alpe d'Huez. Let us help you figure out what's the perfect choice for you.
Best ways to get to Alpe d'Huez
Alpe d'Huez is located in southeast France, in the department of Isère, part of the Rhône-Alpes region and is famous for both its challenging cycling routes and top-class skiing.
What’s the best way to get to Alpe d'Huez?
We're not just going to give you one route to Alpe d'Huez, and below you'll find what we think are the main pros and cons:
- Pros: Fast – you just can't beat flying for pure speed. Grenoble is the closest airport to Alpe d'Huez while Geneva offers the greatest selection of airlines, most frequent flight times and lowest prices. Airport transfers are the also fastest way to reach the ski area – you’ll be at your accommodation’s doorstep in about one hour and 40 minutes from Grenoble and three hours from Geneva.
- Cons: Carbon footprint – to be honest, we feel a bit bad about flying these days. You can make up for some of this by not hiring a car and opting for an airport transfer instead. More and more transfer companies are trying to offset their emissions and electric transfer vehicles are becoming a common sight on Alpine roads.
The extensive network of European motorways makes it easy to come to Alpe d'Huez by car.
- Pros: Convenience – you'll have a car to move around resort and even visit neighbouring ski areas.
- Cons: Time-consuming and air pollution – it can take quite a long time to reach the Alps and you may have to split your journey into more than one day. You'll also have to be ready and equipped to drive on the snow or in inclement weather conditions. For the winter season, from 1st November until 31st March, it is mandatory to have snow chains in the boot of your car or winter tyres fitted. Plus, parking in resort or at the foot of the slopes may be difficult during peak season and you'll have to consider the impact of your car's emissions on the valley's environment.
Train to Grenoble
High-speed TGV trains from Paris stop at Grenoble train station, around one hour and 15 minutes from Alpe d'Huez.
- Pros: Eco-friendly and comfortable – carbon footprint can be reduced by as much as 90% when travelling by train. Trains also have more legroom, so you'll be able to relax while you enjoy the ever changing scenery and even take a stroll along the aisles or visit the onboard café.
- Cons: Speed – travelling by train takes longer than flying for more or less the same amount of money. However, transfers from Grenoble train station are shorter than from the airport so you'll catch up time, plus you'll save on waiting time.
Coach or long-distance bus
It's possible to get to Alpe d'Huez on a coach or long-distance bus, although it's probably our least favourite option.
- Pros: Price – coming to Avoriaz by coach is usually the cheapest alternative (although this isn't always the case). Plus, coaches are more environmentally friendly than flying, releasing seven times less CO2 per person. Buses are also quite sociable so you may get the chance to make new friends before you set foot on the slopes.
- Cons: Less comfortable and more time-consuming – it can take up to 20 hours or more to reach Alpe d'Huez and buses aren't the most comfortable places to sleep on, you'll be quite exhausted when you reach the pistes!
Flying to Alpe d'Huez
Our experience has taught us that flying is the most convenient way to travel to Alpe d'Huez – it’s faster, easier and sometimes cheaper than any other means of transport.
Which airports are near Alpe d'Huez?
At a glance, these are the main travel hubs for Alpe d'Huez. Times and distances are approximate and can be affected by snow, bad weather or peak holiday times:
|Nearest Airports to Alpe d'Huez | Times & Distances|
Where do you fly to for Alpe d'Huez?
There are two main options when flying to Alpe d'Huez, your choice depends on whether you prefer a fast transfer or a wider selection of flights from lots of different international destinations.
Quickest transfer time: Grenoble airport
Grenoble is the nearest airport to Alpe d'Huez. This small international airport operates only during the winter and summer seasons and is used mainly for tour operators and charter flights. There are also regular flights to and from the main cities in the UK, as well as some European capitals.
Below is a list of airlines flying to Grenoble, including direct flight destinations to and from the airport. Flights are only available during the high season and their frequency may increase during the winter months, from December to March-April.
|Grenoble Airport | Airlines & Direct Flight Destinations|
|Easyjet||Bristol, Edinburgh, Liverpool and London|
|Jet2.com||Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds, London, Manchester and Newcastle|
|WIZZ||London and Warsaw|
|Ryanair||Dublin and London|
Regular flights and wide range of destinations: Geneva airport
For a larger selection of airlines and direct flight destinations, frequent year-round flights and more competitive prices, Geneva airport (three hours to Alpe d'Huez) is another great option, even if transfer times are longer.
Below is a list of European flight destinations to and from Geneva airport. Bear in mind that some international flights may only be available during the high season, while their frequency may increase during the winter months, from December to March/April.
|Geneva Airport | Direct Flight Destinations & Airlines|
|UK and Ireland||Aberdeen, Belfast, Birmingham, Bournemouth, Bristol, Dublin, Edinburgh, Exeter, Glasgow, Isle of Man, Jersey, Leeds Bradford, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Southampton||Aer Lingus, British Airways, Easyjet, Flybe, Jet2.com, Swiss|
|Northern and Central Europe||Austria (Vienna), Belgium (Brussels), Denmark (Copenhagen), Finland (Helsinki), France (Ajaccio, Bastia, Biarritz, Bordeaux, Calvi, Figari, La Rochelle, Lille, Nantes, Nice, Paris, Rennes & Toulouse), Germany (Berlin, Frankfurt, Hamburg & Munich), Latvia (Riga), Luxembourg, Netherlands (Amsterdam), Norway (Oslo), Sweden (Stockholm & Goteborg), Switzerland (Zurich)||AirBaltic, Air France, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Easyjet, Eurowings, Finnair, KLM, Lufthansa, Luxair, Norwegian, SAS, Swiss, Transavia|
|Southern Europe||Greece (Athens, Heraklion & Kalamata), Italy (Brindisi, Cagliari, Catania, Milan, Naples, Olbia, Palermo, Rome & Venice), Portugal (Faro, Lisbon & Porto), Spain (Alicante, Barcelona, Bilbao, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Ibiza, Madrid, Palma de Mallorca, Santiago de Compostela, Tenerife & Valencia)||Aegean, Alitalia, Easyjet, Iberia, Swiss, TAP, Vueling|
|Eastern Europe||Albania (Tirana), Belarus (Minsk), Bulgaria (Sofia), Czech Republic (Prague), Hungary (Budapest), Poland (Krakow & Warsaw), Romania (Bucharest), Russia (Moscow & St Petersburg), Serbia (Belgrade & Pristina), Ukraine (Kyiv)||Aeroflot, Belavia, Easyjet, LOT, Swiss, UIA, WizzAir|
Geneva airport also offers direct flights to and from America (US and Canada), Africa (Algeria, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mauritius, Morocco and Tunisia), Asia (China) and the Middle East (Israel, Kuwait, Lebanon, Turkey, Qatar and UAE).
Getting from the airport to Alpe d'Huez
Grenoble airport is only 105km away from Alpe d'Huez. There are several ways to make the trip, including airport transfers and regular buses
How do you get from Grenoble airport to Alpe d'Huez?
The easiest and fastest way to get to Alpe d'Huez is to book an airport transfer. The Grenoble to Alpe d'Huez transfer time is around one hour and 40 minutes but will be longer on snowy days and in peak weeks, such as Christmas, New Year, school holidays and Easter. Learn more on our Transfers Guide page.
In winter Ben's Bus also runs regular bus transfers from Grenoble airport to Alpe d'Huez, with up to eight shuttles per day. The bus transfer time from Grenoble to Alpe d'Huez is around one hour and 50 minutes.
How do you get from Geneva airport to Alpe d'Huez?
Private transfers run from Geneva airport to Alpe d'Huez throughout the season. In winter there are also ski shuttle buses that leave Geneva airport every Saturday at 12:00 and 16:00, and return from Alpe d'Huez on Saturdays at 04:50 and 07:50. The bus transfer time from Geneva airport to Alpe d'Huez is around four hours.
How do you get from Lyon airport to Alpe d'Huez?
Private transfers run from Lyon airport to Alpe d'Huez throughout the season. In winter, Ben's Bus also runs regular bus transfers from Lyon airport to Alpe d'Huez every day except on Wednesdays, with extended frequencies on Saturdays. The bus transfer time from Lyon to Alpe d'Huez is around two hours and 30 minutes.
How do you get from Chambery airport to Alpe d'Huez?
Passengers flying into Chambery airport can take a train to Grenoble and then hop on a connecting bus to Alpe d'Huez – our guide on how to get to Alpe d'Huez by train has all the information.
Trains to Alpe d'Huez
Travelling to Alpe d'Huez by train isn't necessarily the easiest or fastest option as you will have to change trains a few times along the way. However, it's a great option when considering the impact of your journey on the environment, as it's been proved to be more eco-friendly than flying. Trains also allow you to carry more luggage without additional charges.
How do you get to Alpe d'Huez by train?
Grenoble is the closest train station to Alpe d'Huez, around 65km or one hour and 15 minutes from the centre of resort. Trains to and from Paris stop here. It's also possible to travel from London to Alpe d'Huez by train – the train travel time is around nine hours. We've compiled a very comprehensive guide with all you need to know to get to Alpe d'Huez by train.
Driving to Alpe d'Huez
Bringing your own vehicle with you to Alpe d'Huez is a good choice if you want to have more flexibility once you’re here, even if you don't really need a car in winter to get around resort thanks to the free shuttle buses.
How do you get from the UK to Alpe d'Huez by car?
It's not a short trip from the UK to Alpe d'Huez by car but it can be done in one or two days, depending on where you leave from. Most people driving from the UK to France will need to cross the English Channel from Dover to Calais, the nearest French town. The Calais to Alpe d'Huez driving time is around nine hours for a distance of 930km. The most direct route is via the French motorways A26, A5, A31, A6 and A48.
You can cross the Channel by the Eurotunnel or a cross-Channel ferry which takes cars from Dover to Calais in around 90 minutes. We recommend you book tickets in advance. There are also ferries from Portsmouth and Poole to Caen, Cherbourg and St. Malo, in the north of France while, from Hull near Leeds, you can travel by ferry to Zeebrugge in Belgium and then make your way down to Alpe d'Huez.
Another thing to take into consideration when bringing your car to Alpe d'Huez is that the road on the way up to resort from Bourg d'Oisans is around 15km long (a 25-minute drive more or less) and very winding in places. Even though snow clearers operate every day in winter, driving conditions can be challenging. For the winter season (from 1st November until 31st March), it is now mandatory to have snow chains in the boot of your car or winter tyres fitted, and local police carry out regular spot checks. Read our Driving to Alpe d'Huez Guide and find more information on our Parking in Alpe d'Huez page once you’ve arrived.
Coaches & long-distance buses to Alpe d'Huez
Getting to Alpe d'Huez by coach takes considerably longer than flying. However, it’s also usually cheaper, making it a good option when travelling on a low budget. There are a number of international coach companies that travel between the largest cities in Europe and Lyon, Grenoble and Geneva, from where a bus or a transfer will take you to Alpe d'Huez. These include FlixBus, Eurolines, BlaBlaBus and RegioJet.
Bringing your skis, snowboard or bike to Alpe d'Huez
Airlines, trains and transfer companies are well versed in catering for customers who travel with their own sports equipment. Each company will have its own individual policy terms and conditions depending on the type of gear you are transporting so it’s well worth checking the details in advance. Here's a snapshot of the different transport options and a guide to their restrictions:
How to bring your sports gear to Alpe d'Huez by plane
Most airlines charge a fee for taking skis, snowboards, bikes, golf clubs, parachutes and mountaineering equipment on board, so check before you book. However, a few airlines, such as Swiss, will fly the first set of skis or snowboard for free. Also, make sure you pack your gear well and ensure it falls within the packaging guidelines specified by the carrier.
How to bring your sports equipment to Alpe d'Huez by train
On Eurostar trains from Paris, you can take one pair of skis or one snowboard onboard for free with you as part of your standard two-bag luggage allowance. Skis are also allowed for free in TGV trains. Bikes can be transported in special luggage carriages or on board when disassembled and stored in a carrying case in French trains, although fees may apply so check before you book.
Can you bring skis, snowboards or bikes with you in airport transfers?
Shuttle buses are usually well equipped to transport sports equipment but it’s always important to let them know exactly what you’re bringing so that they can ensure they have sufficient capacity. Sports equipment may be subject to a surcharge, please ask when booking.