Spring is in the air as we enjoy longer sunnier days. Don't forget your sunscreen!
As another memorable season starts to draw to a close, the days get longer and warmer and there is no better place to be than in Alpe d’Huez.
The Easter school holidays bring families back to the resort for a short end of season break in the mountains. The warmer spring days also bring a party-vibe to the town and the sun and snow conditions obviously warrant a longer lunch break on a sunny terrace.
To make the most of the sunny days read on for what we like to do in resort throughout April.
What are the weather and snow conditions like?
As the winter draws to a close for another year, the temperatures rarely dip below freezing, usually falling between a low of -1°C overnight and a high of 6°C, plus there's still the chance of snow and therefore a last minute powder day isn't unheard of.
What's on in Alpe d'Huez in April?
Giant slalom and dual slalom
If you're up on the pistes you can't miss these knock-out skiing comps. The winners will go on to compete at national level, so the stakes are high.
French BBQ Championships - Date to be confirmed
Yes, believe it or not, this is a real championship! With wall to wall sunshine almost guaranteed by mid-April, BBQ week has been a long-standing event on the end of season calendar in resort. This isn’t your average BBQ, this is the French National BBQ Championships and it’s truly mouth-watering. Masterclasses and demonstrations take place across Alpe d'Huez and virtually every bar in town enters into the spirit, filling the whole resort with the wonderful aromas of top-notch BBQs. What better way to spend a few hours in the glorious spring sunshine.
School holiday skiing
April and the Easter break is a popular time for families. Here are our insider's top tips for the school holidays:
- It will be almost impossible to book private lessons over this period, group lessons are the best option. Make sure to get your ski and snowboard lessons booked well in advance to avoid disappointment.
- If you're not in ski school, be an early bird. Arrive at the lifts before they open so that you get up and away before the ski school classes set out around 09:15.
- Ski over lunchtime. The slopes are calmer between 12:00 and 14:00 while the French take a leisurely lunch break.
- Pre-book your lunch and avoid the queues. Some restaurants offer a Click & Collect service. It's the best way to avoid the queues and make the most of your time in the mountains.
- Seek out the peripheral areas. Try to avoid the busy main ski areas. A great tip to get away from the madding crowd is to hop onto the AlpAuris lift (aka the 'scare chair') at the Les Bergers area of resort and head across to the Auris sector of the ski area. It’s always much quieter over there and there is something for everybody with plenty of variety.
- Get off-piste. Competent off-piste skiers can book a local mountain guide and explore the vast off-piste areas in the valley or even go touring to find complete solitude in the backcountry.
Bars and clubs
Part of every season's end is the closing parties that accompany it. Basically, the principle is to drink the bar dry and give this incredible season a fitting send-off. Up on the hill, the closing party at La Folie Douce is never to be missed, whilst in resort ever-popular haunts such as Smithy's Tavern, The Underground Bar, and Freeride Pub will host great parties from mid-April onwards.
The usual array of events around resort carries on right up to the closing of the lifts at the end of the month. These include guided tours to the Pic Blanc, curling sessions at the ice rink, classical music concerts at the church and guided tours of the museum, providing some great entertainment away from the slopes.