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Left: Justine and family enjoy the ski slopes; above: at the fantastical Grotte de Glace; right: above the alps When it comes to beginners the resort also has two dedicated areas exclusively for visitors to learn the art of ski-ing or snowboarding away from the main pistes, as well as a kids’ area with a covered magic carpet surface lift. A quirky fact that appeals to little ones is that a couple of the resort’s runs, as well as an avenue in the resort and children’s play park, are named after marmottes, or marmot, which are large squirrel-like creatures that make their home in this area. And, if you visit at the end of the season, you’ll probably be lucky enough to see them popping up to greet the world above as the snow starts to melt as we did. If your children’s legs are weary after a morning skiing, and they don’t fancy getting back on the pistes after lunch, a nice activity is to switch into your snow boots and take them on the DMC Gondola to the Grotte de Glace, up 2700 metres. Here you’ll discover fabulous sculptures carved into the walls of an ice cave spanning a 120 metre long gallery. Or, if your children can ski red runs, and they’ve still got energy to burn off, you can also ski to and from this cave, instead of going via the gondola. Once seen as a competitor to the premier ski resort of Courchevel, Alpe d’Huez, which encompasses the slopes of the outlying villages of Auris, Villard Reculas, Oz en Oisans and Vaujany, is one of Europe’s premier skiing venues and the fifth largest in France. And by 2021 there will also be the opportunity to ski over an even bigger area as a €350million gondola link is being created to link Alpe d’Huez to the neighbouring, and equally popular resort of Les Deux Alpes.
Information As with all ski resorts there’s a plethora of accommodation available to suit all budgets. But my family and I stayed at the Residence Pierre et Vacances’ Les Bergers in the Bergers’ quarter, which is one of eight quarters within the resort - there’s also Cognet, Jeux, Eclose, Vieil Aple, Huez Village, Passeaux and Qutaris. Our four star accommodation, made up of various sized apartments, boasted a heated, outdoor swimming pool and sauna, and a lounge with a bar, fireplace and pool table. For more information visit www. pierreetvacances.com For more information on Alpe d’Huez in general visit www.alpedhuez.com
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contents Features 8 A tale of two c
P 88 88 give aways Win a row of gor
The Medieval City of Carcassonne Th
The inside track The Medieval city
Left: Le Parc Franck Putelat restau
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The weekly market (Tuesday, Thursda