One cycling route that can only be recommended for the fittest travellers is the road up from Bourg-d'Oisans to the ski resort of L'ALPE D'HUEZ. The resort is situated more than a vertical kilometre above the valley floor, and the eleven-kilometre road, which crawls up the valley side, is often used as a stage in the Tour de France. As you ascend through the 21 hairpins, there's a fine view of the acutely crumpled strata of rock exposed by passing glaciers on the south side of the Romanche valley. During the winter, the extensive network of télécabines and téléphériques whisks skiers to the Pic Blanc (3330m), at the bottom of the Chaîne des Rousses ridge, from which two mammoth black runs (over two kilometres in length) descend. Yet while it is undoubtedly a skier's paradise in winter, the purpose-built resort itself has little character in July and August.
The hotels in the main village are generally expensive and unremarkable; one three-star hotel that provides excellent facilities and a central location near the pistes is Le Dome, Place du Cognet (Tel:04.76.80.32.11Web: www.dome-alpedhuez.com ; Price: 151-200). A cheaper, if less convenient, option is to stay in one of the chambres d'hôtes in Huez en Oisans, just below the main village. One of the best is Florineige (Tel:04.76.80.94.89Web: www.hebergement-florineige.com ; Price: 81-100), which is run by Yves and Sylvie Forestier, both of whom are ski instructors and they are very knowledgeable about walking and cycling in the area.