Are you looking to go skiing in the Alpe d’Huez Grand Domaine and don’t know where to stay? How about Oz-En Oisans or Vaujany? Both ski resorts are linked by several of the 85 ski lifts that serve the massive ski area which gives you access to 250kms of groomed skiing across 120 ski runs. Like Alpe d’Huez ski resort, Oz-En Oisans is located directly on the slopes, while Vaujany is a little further down the mountain in a valley.
Vaujany is a traditional French village and Oz-En Oisans is a car-free village in the Oisans Mountains of the Isere region. While they are not as famous as their big sister resort Alpe d’Huez they should not be overshadowed by her. They still offer the same world-class skiing with fewer crowds in a more relaxing atmosphere.
Why ski Vaujany and Oz-En Oisans
After staying in both of these resorts during my ski trip to France, I found myself asking why I hadn’t been here before. The people in Vaujany were warm and friendly, plus the accommodation, service, and facilities were of the highest of standards, especially at my hotel Le V de Vaujany Hotel.
Oz-En Oisans has direct access to the slopes and you are able to get to either Vaujany or Alpe d’Huez by a quick cable car. Then it is easy to ski back in the afternoon on the blue and red slopes, like in Val Thorens.
Vaujany Ski Resort Village
Vaujany is a charming French village located at an altitude of 1125m and is just over an hour’s drive from Grenoble. It is a working village with a permanent population of 350 and receives more than 300 days of blue skies each year. Vaujany has been able to cleverly evolve without taking away from its heritage, authenticity and French-style architecture. It reminded me a little of the Sainte-Foy ski resort village in Tarentaise.
There are discrete escalators allowing pedestrians to get between different levels in the resort with their skis or boards. As well as an underground car park which has direct access via a lift to the main ski station if you are coming in for a day. There is also a state of art aquatic centre featuring an ice-skating rink and a swimming pool and much more.
If you get a 6-day ski pass, you get free entry to the leisure centre during your winter holiday. Looking for a new ski jacket this winter season and what is best for you? Then check out this buyer’s guide on features, types and styles.
Oz-en-Oisans Ski Village
Oz-en-Oisans is a car-free ski resort just like Avoriaz in the Ports du Soleil, Les Arcs and Tignes ski resort. It is located not too far down from Alpe d’Huez and has some impressive views of the Belledonne range. Unlike other car-free resorts, Oz-en-Oisans does not have any purposely built high-rise buildings catering to the masses. Instead, they have chalet-styled buildings no more than a few storeys high.
Due to its position on the mountain, the morning and afternoon shade helps preserve the snow cover and quality. Giving you better conditions when skiing and less slush. If you are driving, there is an underground car park and open-air car park further down the mountain so as not to interfere with the Oz-en-Oisans setting.
The newly opened Eau d’Olle Express gondola now links the below village of Allemond to Oz-en-Oisans and takes only 8 minutes. Meaning you have more options in regard to places to stay. It even allows you to drive up for the day leave your car at Allemond and then go skiing for the day.
√ Get huge discounts with Sun & Ski sports for all your ski and snowboard gear this season.
Ski pass options
Oz Vaujany ski pass
You have two options for ski passes, you can either get one for the Oz Vaujany area or one for the Alpe d’Huez Grand Domaine area. Those who are unlikely to venture very far or are only learning to ski should get a pass just for the Oz-Vaujany. For intermediates and advanced skiers, the Alpe d’Huez Grand Domaine pass is a much better option.
Included with a ski pass for 6 days or more is one entrance to the swimming pool and ice rink in Vaujany village. Family ski passes (2 adults and two children) are also available for passes 6 days or more.
Here is the Oz Vaujany site for the ski pass and prices for the season.
Alpe d’Huez ski pass 2022/2023
When you purchase an Alpe d’Huez Grand Domaine pass it includes access for 2 days to Les 2 Alpes, 2 days to Serre Chevalier, 2 days to Puy Saint Vincent, 2 days to Montgenèvre and 2 days to Sestrière. Here is the official site to check out the prices for Alpe d’Huez Grand Domaine ski passes for the 22/23 season.
⇒ Make sure that your insurance covers winter activities like skiing. Compare the best holiday insurance for FREE
- 2 Ski Resorts – Oz-en-Oisans & Vaujany
- 53 km of piste
- 30 Pistes ( 6 Greens, 12 blues, 10 reds & 2 blacks )
- 20 ski lifts/gondola
Alpe d’Huez Grand Domaine Ski Area
- 5 Ski Resorts – Oz-en-Oisans, Vaujany, Aple d’Huez, Auris-en-Oisans & Villard-Reculas
- 2 Ski Villages – Huez 1500 & Maronne 1450
- 250 km of piste
- 135 Pistes (42 Greens, 37 blues, 42 reds & 42 blacks)
- 68 ski lifts/gondola
There is a snowpark near the Montfrais chairlift on the Vaujany side, which is great for beginner and intermediary levels. For the more advanced, you have the bigger snowpark over in Alpe d’Huez ski resort next to the Jeux chairlift.
The snowparks have an automatic filming system, where Skiers and snowboarders can log in with their ski pass. Then do your best trick and watch your video on the big screen. Please remember to always wear a helmet when in the snowpark.
Oz Vaujany ski area
Confident skiers should check out the legendary Sarenne, the longest Black run in the world at 16kms or Le Tunnel which goes through a steep tunnel carved into the rock. Both start at Pic Blanc (3330m) and descend via the Gorges de Sarenne (1510m).
Once you are at the top of the Poutran 2 you will not only have amazing views but literally be in the centre of the Alpe d’Huez Grand Domain ski area. From there you can go all the way up to the Pic Blance 3330 and ski down crossing over the black and red piste. If you are looking for something a little easier, then head up to La Blance 2700 and ski using both the red and blue piste down.
Vaujany ski station
Vaujany ski station is linked to the Alpe d’Huez Grand Domain area and is easily accessible via cable cars and gondolas. From the village, you have two options for getting up to the ski area, the Vajujany-Alpette cable car or by the Villette then Monterais gondola.
If you want to head straight over to Oz or Alpe d’Huez take the Vajujany. If you’re keen to ski more in the Vaujany area then go by the gondola where you can ski in the Montfrais area, which offers a variety of greens, blues, and red pistes. It is also where ESF Ski teaches children and beginners.
On your way back confident skiers can take the la fare black piste which takes you straight back to the Vaujany ski station. For the more intermediates, you have the Vaujanlate red piste that finishes at La Villette and you can easily get the Villette cable car from there to the village.
Oz-en-Oisans ski station
Oz-en-Oisans ski station is even more accessible to the Alpe d’Huez Grand Domain ski area, as it is higher and closer. The L’Alpette gondola will take you towards Vaujany while the Poutran 1 and Poutran 2 will take you towards Alpe d’Huez ski resort.
On your return, you have a couple of options for skiing back, the chevreuils blue piste, Alpette, and I’olmet red pistes that combines into one or the roche noire black piste. Personally, the Alpette and I’olmet red piste were my favourites because you get to ski right next to frozen waterfalls.
The beginner’s and children’s ski areas are located right next to the ski village and you can easily walk there. The area is serviced by carpet lifts and drag lifts.
The lifts in the Oz-Vaujany area give you easy access to reach two circuit trails at 2100ms. There is a 10km Boucle de Poutran and the 20km Boucle des Lacs both offering stunning views. The best way to get to them from Oz is the Poutran and Poutran 2 cable car.
Night skiing in Oz
Night skiing is available every Tuesday in Oz en-Oisans ski resort on the Olmet and the Clos du Pre green slopes. During the school holidays, the night ski session is preceded by a torchlight parade by children.
If you are looking for things to do at night in Vaujany, I suggest heading to the Leisure centre and using your free entry that comes with the 6-day ski pass.
Sunset skiing in Vaujany
While there are no ski slopes lit up for night skiing in Vaujany, you can try sunset skiing. Every Tuesday evening, you can descend from the Dome des Rousses with the ski patrol to Oz-en-Oisans or Vaujany ski resort. As you watch the sunset, you are provided with local and regional products to enjoy before descending. A good level of skiing is mandatory.
Ski Instructors & ESF
The ESF ski school has instructors and dedicated skiing areas in both Oz-en-Oisans and Vaujany ski resorts. ESF teach all levels of alpine skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, and off-piste skiing. They also offer snowshoeing and guiding which can all be booked online.
Beginners ski area Vaujany
ESF Vaujany meeting point is located near the information centre and ticket office at Villette gondola and Vaujany-alpette cable car. The learning ski area is based in the Montrais area just at the top of the Montrais gondola, which parents can easily get to if they are not skiing. Booking and information here for ESF Vaujany
Beginners ski area Oz-en-Oisans
ESF Oz-Oisans office and meeting area is in the centre of the village and is easy to locate as its only a small place. The children’s and learning area is right next to the village near the bottom of the Poutran 1 cable car. Booking, pricing and additional information are available here on the ESF Oz-Oisans
Where to eat in Oz & Vaujany
There is no shortage of places where you can eat in both Oz and Vajuany or even in Alpe d’Huez if you want to ski over there. In Oz en-Oisans you have La Potee Oz Restaurant in the centre of the village. If you want something on the slopes head to L’Aventure which not only has great food cooked on an open fire but has great views from the balcony of Poutran slope.
As for Vaujany, I recommend either La Remise which makes delicious woodfire oven pizzas or head to the amazing fine-dining restaurant IDA. On the slopes check out Le Vaujaniat which does some of the best burgers around. It is located near the beginner’s and children’s ski area making for a great spot to wait. A little further up the slope is Les Airelles an altitude restaurant with a huge terrace that serves typical alpine food like pasta, salads etc.
Non-Skiing Activities You Can Do in Oz & Vaujany
The Oz-Vaujany area offers a wide range of non-ski activities for those not skiing and those wanting to take a day off skiing or snowboarding. Like dog sledding, ice climbing, Nordic walking, snowshoeing, or even “Snowga”, yoga on snow.
Here are just a few of the things you can do in both Oz and Vaujany.
Panorama Pic Blanc
On a clear day, head up to Pic Blanc, the highest peak in the Alpe d’Huez Grand Domaine area at 3330m. It offers amazing panoramic views across 1/5 of the French territory. Some of the mountains you will see are Mont Blanc, Grandes Jorasses, Grand Combin, Cervin, and Grand Paradis. It reminded me of the views of Mont Blanc from Pays de Gex.
The Pic Blanc is the starting point for the famous longest black run the Sarenne at 16 km and Le Tunnel.
Vaujany Muséum is a modern museum located in the village centre near the main gondola. It offers interactive experiences like multi-sensory exhibits of animals and nature.
You can learn about the history of the Vaujany and how they have expanded over the years. It even has a flight simulator that takes you over the Isere mountains. Not only is it free but it is a great place to take the family.
La Grotte de Glace
The La Grotte de Glace is an ice cave that has creative sculptures and snow cravings. Situated at 2700m you can get there via the Poutran lift and then the DMC2 lift.
Each year there is a different theme and at the time I went, it was United States landmarks. There was a Statue of Liberty sculpture, Mount Rushmore carved into the ice, and much more.
Tips for skiing in Oz & Vaujany area
Back before 4 pm: Make sure to get back to your side of the resort before 4 pm, as you don’t want to get stuck once the lifts close.
Free WIFI: You can access free WIFI for the Oz Vaujany ski area by connecting your mobile to recharge packages.
Not party resorts: Neither resort are for groups looking to party or looking for an apres ski season. If you want a drink after skiing, you have Le QG in Vaujany and Le P’tit Verre d’Oz in Oz en Oisans.
Traffic-free: As Oz is mostly a traffic-free village be prepared to carry your bags to your accommodation.
Public parking: There is public parking available at both ski resorts which is free for non-covered areas. There is undercovered parking but there are limited spaces and there will be a small fee for both places.
Weak Wifi single spot: Wifi in Oz is not great and I struggled to get the internet when I was there and in the restaurants. I assume it is something that will improve in the future.
Where to stay Hotel Le V de Vaujany
I stayed at the luxurious Hotel Le V de Vaujany while skiing in the area. It is perfectly located only a few minutes walk away from the main lifts in the heart of the village. The hotel’s ski rooms are based next to the lifts, so you don’t have to carry all your equipment back.
The hotel has 25 spacious rooms including 4 senior suites each with 2 bedrooms. Most of the rooms had south-facing balconies that took in views of the village and mountains. I loved my room and the bed was unbelievably comfortable, which is fantastic after a hard day skiing. Even with my big ski bag and other personal stuff the room still felt spacious.
On the top floor of the hotel, there is a Pure Altitude spa taking advantage of the views that include a pool, sauna, and a Nordic hot tub. On the ground level is a bistro-style gastronomic restaurant, lounge bar, and outside terrace.
Hotel Le V de Vaujany makes you feel like it is your home away from home and that’s exactly how I felt as soon as I stepped inside. You can check prices and availability for the winter season.
Spend a couple of days in Grenoble
Like a lot of other ski resorts in France, Grenoble is only a short distance from Vaujany and Oz-en-Oisans. Hence it is nicknamed the capital of the French Alps. While most travellers use Grenoble as a stopping point to get to the ski resorts, the city has so much more to offer. Here is a fantastic itinerary enabling you to get the best out of Grenoble.
The best bit is that there is a regular shuttle bus that runs between Vaujany and Grenoble. It usually takes about one hour to drive the 33 miles on a good day. Another great resort close to a major city worth mentioning is St Johann near Salzburg.
Ski resorts within the Isére region
- Grenoble – How to see the best of the city in 2 days
- Alpe d’Huez – Tandem Paragliding in the French Alps
- Vercors Massif – E-biking and Caving in the Alps
Have you skied the Oz Vaujany ski area before in France? Were you aware that it was part of the famous Domaine skiable ski area?
If you liked this article on skiing, please, share!
Cover picture provided by Oz-En Oisans tourist office
⇒ You can check hassle-free here and read what is required before travelling to France from the UK.