Have you ever watched James Bond or Jason Bourne throwing their high performance cars around ice-covered roads and thought you’d like to try that? Well on the Alpe d’Huez ice track in France’s snowy Alps, you and a group of your mates could do just that.
The Evodriver Driving School runs ice track experiences where you will not only learn how to drive safely on snow but you’ll also have the chance to have a go in a choice of high performance cars including BMWs, Audis and Mercedes.
While on your next ski holiday to Alpe d’Huez, you and your mates will have the choice of whether to go around solo in cars or take on race conditions in Evodriver’s high speed ice buggies for the ultimate Fast & Furious challenge.
What An Ice Driving Experience Involves
Whether you choose a beginner’s session or you’re ready for something a bit more advanced, one thing is guaranteed at any level: a heart-racing, adrenaline-pumping, high octane ice driving experience.
Set on the edge of the L’Eclose area of Alpe d’Huez, the track is 820m of sheet ice protected on both sides by banks of snow. Set out over an L-shaped course there are two substantial straight stretches, on which you can pick up speed, and a series of hairpin corners where you will have to put into practice everything the instructors have told you about keeping control of your vehicle.
Just to put this hair-raising course into perspective, this is the track on which the Alpe d’Huez section of the Trophee Andros race is held every year, on which the professional drivers reach speeds on the ice of well over 100mph. As part of the famous French race circuit, the track here has seen drivers including Alain Prost and Olivier Panis pit their wits against its icy twists and turns.
If you’ve never driven under these kind of conditions before (and let’s face it, not many of us have!) then don’t worry, the highly qualified and experienced instructors at Evodriver will talk you through everything before letting you out on the ice.
Your session will start with a ‘theory’ briefing in which the instructors will talk you through the basics of ice driving before the ‘practical’ part of the course begins. The thorough briefing will ensure that by the time you leave you will have acquired a new set of driving skills which will stay with you when you return home (should you ever need them).
There are a range of different ‘courses’ you can take if improving your skills is what you’re after:
- Beginners course – A 30 or 50 minute session with 10 minutes theory (€50-90)
- Safe driving on ice course – An intensive three and a half hour session with one hour theory (€290)
- Masters course – A two and a half hour course (€290)
- Buggy driving on ice – a fun-filled 15 or 30 minute session with five minutes theory (€50-90)
If there are more than 12 of you then you could hire the track for a Buggy Relay Race experience in which your time around the track will be crucial in helping your team win.
More About the Resort
If you like the idea of channelling your inner James Bond on the ice track but are wondering what the skiing is like at Alpe d’Huez, then rest assured – it is a resort famous for satisfying all level of skiers.
Set at 1869m with a top altitude of 3330m, the resort offers skiers 249km of pistes. Many of the runs here are challenging enough to get even the most experienced skier’s heart-rate pumping, and there is also extensive off-piste skiing. For those in your group who are not quite so confident, there is an excellent range of intermediate and beginner runs.
With its combination of glacier and valley skiing the snow is practically guaranteed here, with a season which generally runs from December to late April.
How to Get to Alpe d’Huez
The easiest way to get from any of these airports up to the resort is by booking an airport transfer with Shuttle Direct. Book a group transfer for you and your mates online before you set off and, if you let them know what ski equipment you’ll have with you, they’ll transport all your skis, boots and boards at no additional cost.
Where to Stay:
Hôtel Eliova Le Chaix – A great budget ski-to-the-door choice is the Hôtel Eliova Le Chaix. With its own restaurant and bar and free WiFi throughout the property, this is a good place for you and your mates to base yourself during your time at Alpe d’Huez.
Hotel Le Beau Site – Save some money by staying outside of Alpe d’Huez at the Hotel Le Beau Site in the satellite resort of Les Orgières. Just a 20-minute ski from the larger resort, the hotel has its own restaurant, bar and games room as well as free WiFi throughout.
Le Caribou – If you prefer being at the heart of the action Le Caribou with its lively bar and sunny terrace is a good option, situated just under 100m from the lifts.
About Shuttle Direct:
A leading provider of airport transfers to destinations across Europe and North Africa, Shuttle Direct transfers offer a hassle-free way of getting from the airport to your resort. If you’re travelling with a group you can save money by booking a shared group transfer online before you set off and a driver will be at the airport when you land to take you to your resort.