The temptation not to list this aire and resort has been strong! It’s a hidden gem and whilst it’s definitely not for everyone, Vaujany is a just the sort of place we were looking for when we set on our motorhome ski adventure.
It’s really easy to get to (about an hour from Grenoble), has a fascinating history (best wait until after you visit before you look into that too deeply!) and is about as motorhome friendly as you can imagine.
The journey to Vaujany
There’s only one way into Vaujany in the winter as the Col is pretty much permanently closed so you’re most likely arriving from the direction of Allemont. This place is exceptionally unremarkable unless you’re into industrial history and hydro-engineering.
The village of Vaujany well sign posted and there are a few switch backs – nothing too hairy but we wouldn’t recommend anything in excess of 8m long for two reasons. Firstly the aire isn’t equipped to accommodate anything long and secondly, if you happen to be travelling when the avalanche tunnel is in use, you might find that a pain in the backside.
Once you’re in the village, there are a few ways to get to the aire but we recommend the following:
- After Le Petit Vaujany take the fork to the right onto Route de La Drayre
- You’ll pass car parking spaces (sometimes occupied with motorhomes) on your right hand side (about half a mile)
- Once you reach a newish roundabout, you need to take the first turning (going back on yourself) and the aire is directly in front on you, slightly uphill and to the right.
- So many perfectly clean WC’s you won’t have to pee in the some one twice
- The aire itself is free
- It’s really quiet but connected by one teleferique to the Grand Domaine which includes Alpe d’Huez
- Swimming pool, spa and gym located 3 minute walk from the aire
- Restaurant right next to the aire
- Funicular takes you straight up to town so despite the very steep nature of this village, you won’t need to break a sweat!
- 16amp electrical for €10/24hours (purchased at the Office de Tourism – up the funicular, past the teleferique, up the escalator, on your left – open until 6pm daily)
- Free water and waste disposal
- Loads of extra activities besides skiing – snow shoeing and walking, ice hockey and skating, bowling
- Perfect for dog owners – loads of walks
- Really lovely restaurants and bars – just a few but they’re great
- You can ski in the area without forking out for a full domain pass and pedestrian passes are also available
- High winds can cut you off from all major ski areas
- The aire is small and you might not get a space (10 places) – particularly in holidays or at the weekend – avoid turning up from Thursday night on
- If après is your thing – don’t bother – Vaujany isn’t for you
- Stock up before you go on essentials – the supermarket is very limited
- Everything is closed from 12ish to 3ish and there’s no bread after 9am until 4pm in the afternoon
- Like a few resorts, you can get stuck in the village of Oz (not a joke) and it’s a total pain to get back. You have to bus down the mountain to Allemont and then taxi (or catch a different bus back if you’re lucky) back. Just plan ahead… and if they say the lift shuts at 16.45… they mean it.
Arguably the best ski station we’ve been to. You’ll get to know your neighbours whether you like it or not and we did.
It’s completely unlike any other French resort or ski village with unique aspirations and a culture to match.