© Chris Barbalis
How to get to Alpe d'Huez
Discover the top ways to get to Alpe d'Huez
Close to Grenoble airport and with plenty of transfer options, Alpe d'Huez is an easy resort to get to.
Alpe d'Huez is only a 90 minute drive or bus ride from Grenoble airport. There’s a fair bit of weaving for the last 25 minutes, but that’s all part of Alpe d’Huez’s charm.
If you’ve come for the cycling, those 21 switchbacks between Bourg-d’Oisans and the resort are likely to be high on your to-do list.
Alpe d'Huez isn’t on a train line, but Grenoble SNCF is only 1h 15 away and TGV (high speed) trains from Paris and Lyon stop there.
So given the options, what’s the best way to get here?
Flying to Grenoble
Flying to Grenoble Alpes Isère Airport is the easiest way to get to Alpe d'Huez for most international visitors.
The only trouble with flying to Grenoble is the environmental cost. Driving, coming by coach or catching a train are usually better options if you want to reduce CO2 emissions.
Flying to other airports
If you can’t get a flight to Grenoble, Geneva is your next best option. It’s further away from the resort, but many more international carriers fly there. And there are plenty of transfers from Geneva to Alpe d'Huez.
You could also consider flying to Chambery and Lyon.
We wouldn't recommend flying to Turin or Milan - even if they look close on the map. The journey times are usually longer and you'll often have to rely on pricey private transfers.
Getting from the airport to Alpe d'Huez
There are several ways to get from the airport to Alpe d'Huez.
|Flying to||Best option||Journey time|
|Grenoble||Airport transfer||1h 30+|
|Geneva||Private transfers (any time) or ski shuttle buses every Saturday in winter||3 to 4 hours|
|Lyon||Private transfers||2h 30|
|Chambery||Train to Grenoble, then transfer from there||3 hours|
Train to Alpe d'Huez
Getting here by train involves a few changes, often in large cities like Paris or Lyon, which can be tricky with baggage or kids. But:
- it's the most environmentally-friendly option
- it's arguably more comfortable - you get more leg room than on a plane or in a car
- you normally won't have to pay extra for luggage
- journey times can be similar to driving or flying if you're doing a trip like London to Alpe d'Huez
Which railway station is closest to Alpe d'Huez
Grenoble is the closest train station to Alpe d'Huez. It's about 65km or 1h 15 from the centre of resort by car or airport transfer.
If you're coming from the UK, London to Alpe d'Huez by train is about 11 hours. 9 hours on the train, followed by transfer time.
Driving to Alpe d'Huez
Alpe d'Huez is relatively easy to get to by car.
If you're using the French autoroute, the journey as far as Grenoble (the nearest big city) is straightforward. Things get a little trickier the closer you get to Alpe d'Huez.
The 15km stretch between Bourg d'Oisans and the resort has 21 switchbacks (hairpin bends). These are cleared every day during winter, but it's not a trip for nervous drivers - especially in bad weather.
Remember too that if you're coming here for a ski holiday, you'll need to fit winter tyres or keep snow chains in the boot of your car.
Driving to Alpe d'Huez from the UK
It takes just over 9 hours to drive from Calais to Alpe d'Huez - a distance of around 930km.
Unless you're driving an electric car to the Alps however, driving isn't very environmentally friendly. And parking can be difficult once you get here - especially in peak seasons.
Coach to Alpe d'Huez
Getting to Alpe d'Huez by coach takes longer than flying. It's usually cheaper though, which makes it a good option if you're on a budget.
It's also a relatively environmentally-friendly way to travel.
Reducing your environmental impact
We know flying is often the most convenient way to get to Alpe d'Huez, but we'd encourage you to look at alternatives.
One option is to take the train as far as Grenoble and do the last leg by transfer from the airport or city centre. This allows you to minimise your carbon footprint while still getting to the resort in good time.
|Mode of transport||CO2 per km per person|
|Electric car with 4 passengers||13 grams|
|Diesel car with 4 passengers||43 grams|
|Petrol car with 4 passengers||48 grams|