Beyond Skiing: 15 Experiences for Your Festive Holiday in Vaujany
The festive season is a magical time, especially for young families. How would you and your family picture a truly special Christmas holiday?
It could be that you’d wake up on Christmas morning to the sound of sleigh bells, and peek out of the curtains at the sight of falling snowflakes and fresh snow blanketing around your cosy chalet, which of course would be dressed with Christmas lights and decorations.
You might imagine a Christmas where you can relax, eat, drink, be merry and partake in some Christmas Day powder shredding down the mountains with all your nearest and dearest, without having to worry about cooking a turkey!
When New Year’s Eve comes around, you might be looking for a touch of glitz and glamour and somewhere open late to count in the New Year in style.
If this is the kind of Christmas holiday you’re looking for, find the Alpine village of Vaujany, nestled on the scenic slopes of the Alpe d’Huez ski area. It comes alive over Christmas and New Year, making an ideal backdrop for some winter holiday fun.
Unlike some of the mega ski resorts scattered throughout the Alpes, Vaujany is all about the family. It has a reasonably priced creche, dedicated ski school, safe streets, and tonnes of leisure centres for everyone. With snow-sure slopes, the festive Christmas markets, popping fireworks, and numerous parties that go on during the season, Vaujany is the place to go… and don’t forget, Santa lives here!
We came here almost 30 years ago and never left. Here’s a few of our favourite reasons why we love celebrating our holidays in Vaujany:
Christmas in Vaujany
1. Skiing in a winter wonderland
With more than 300 days of glorious blue skies amongst the cascading snow from Mother Nature, Vaujany is the perfect location to spend an active Christmas holiday in the Alps.
Home to over 250 kilometres of pistes, with endless possibilities for beginner and intermediate skiers alike, the village resort of Vaujany is ideal for families. And with skiing up to the Pic Blanc at 3330 metres, you’re guaranteed a white Christmas.
2. Deck the halls of your Christmas chalet
Vaujany is an excellent place for young families to celebrate Christmas. The chalets are decked out in festive decorations, Christmas trees and candle lights. Father Christmas is often spotted through town giving sleigh rides to those who feed his reindeer carrots.
Our in-chalet chefs will happily cater the perfect holiday feast for your family. Our chefs take great pride in their work and as one guest put it “the food was delicious… I mean delicious food!”
3. Torchlight descent down the mountain
Father Christmas is a busy man in Vaujany. Once he tucks Rudolph in for the night, he likes to hit the slopes with the local ESF (ski school) instructors. He leads a torchlight descent snaking down La Fare piste opposite the village just before the fireworks start!
4. Forget Christmas dinner! Experience an ultimate 5 course meal
Of course, sometimes you just want a quiet holiday in your chalet. Whether it’s just you and your sweetheart or your whole family including the in-laws, our in-chalet chefs cook you up a five course dinner to celebrate the holiday in style.
5. Get festive with fairies
During Christmas week, Oz en Oisans throws the ultimate kid-friendly theme celebration - Fairy Christmas! All week long there are special events like a parade, fire dancers, a torchlit ski down with Santa, giant lateran releases, and more.
6. Shop for last minute gifts at the Christmas markets
Throughout the Oisans, you’ll find plenty of Christmas markets to explore with the whole family.
The Avent Gastronomic Fair and Christmas Market in Allemont offers breads, sweets, and food options galore.
The Christmas Market in La Grave is full of local artisan stalls and is the perfect place to find your sweetheart a last minute Christmas gift. Don’t miss Santa at Marche de Noel in Le Bourg-d’Oisans.
New Year’s Eve Celebrations
7. Watch the fantastic fireworks
Celebrate the end of your festive ski holiday with a fiery display of fireworks. Dress in your warm clothing and head to the slopes to watch the ski instructors zig-zag down the La Fare piste with torches lit.
As they arrive at the bottom, an impressive display of fireworks lights up over the La Fare waterfall for an incredible backdrop. Vaujany really delivers here with a sterling display to music.
8. Join in the Village Festivities
If the little ones aren’t tired yet, hit the village for lots of traditional French mountain attractions you don’t see much these days. There are fire dancers, wolves and bears on show, and even a bucking bronco from the Wild Wild West of America.
9. Count in the New Year!
After the fireworks it’s time to celebrate properly. Many of the bars and restaurants in the village will be hosting New Year’s Eve parties and events. Our favourite place for a drink or two is Stiefs. You’re sure of a warm welcome - he serves some delicious Belgian beers, aperitifs, and digestives.
Another personal favourite of ours is L'Etendard, a Belgian hotel with a friendly vibe and best of all… happy hour! Prepare to bring your dancing shoes, as the music goes on until the early hours.
Celebrate All Week Long with Winter Activities and Special Events
10. Performances and competitions for all
The holiday celebrations span all week in Vaujany. The ski resort and village put on a huge amount of shows and activities for every member of the family to enjoy. The village organises ice hockey matches with the local teams, ice skating performances, and curling and broomball competitions for the public.
On December 27th, Vaujany is hosting “The Ice Stars,” an international ice skating show as part of French Television Christmas Gala celebrations. The event is affordable fun for the whole family to enjoy after a day of skiing.
11. Learn the old tales of the mountains by candlelight
Every Monday, the Heritage Center offers a free walking tour of the old village of Vaujany lit by candlelight.
You’ll learn about the village’s historical landmarks, old tales and customs of mountain life in Vaujany. There's even a chance to meet some of Vaujany’s local artisans, artists, and producers who open their doors to you.
12. Discover glacial art in an ice cave
Sitting at 2,700 metres up a mountain in the Oisans, an ice museum has been formed out of snow by two guides, Bruno Gardent and Bernard Lambolez. Each year beautiful glacial sculptures are carved into the ice. Be sure to take some pictures, as the sculptures melt and a rebuilt every year!
Eat and Be Merry
13. Delicious Meals Cooked by Marcus Cull
Some of the best food in the French Alps can be found in our very own Chalet Saskia.
Head Chef, Marcus Cull, has been with us for over 20 years and provides all our guests with delicious meals. As one guest said, “Marcus gave us a series of wonderful meals beautifully presented. What a holiday!”.
If you’re looking to get out on the town and try some of the local village options, La Remise has good wood-fired pizzas that even the pickiest child will love.
14. Wine and Dine in Vaujany’s Top Restaurants
Chez Bibi is an excellent choice for non-skiers at lunchtime. The restaurant offers a different plat du jour daily and if you’re staying at one of our Oisans apartments, they can provide you with a platter of traditional charcuterie and cheese. Le S’Tou is Vaujany’s only five-star restaurant with great views of the La Fare.
Vaujany and Alpe d’Huez offers a range of excellent mountain restaurants where you can soak up the atmosphere of the mountains and spoil yourself with some first class lunches!
We really enjoy La Combe Haute, which can be reached after a long and scenic descent of the Sarenne. It’s cosy inside and the outdoor terrace is wonderful when the sun is shining.
Further afield is the Foret de Maronne set in an idyllic location on the edge of the forest and then there is the Chalet du Lac Besson for those that like a little adventure!
Closer to home you have the Auberge de l’Alpette, La Grange and Les Airelles, all with wonderful terraces and friendly attentive service.
15. Head to the Markets for Foodie Delights
During the New Year’s Eve festivities in the village, you’ll find plenty of food stalls selling mulled wine and beer. Don’t miss the cheese, saucisson, and delicatessen stalls either. The French really do know how celebrate the holidays through their stomachs.
Come Celebrate with Us This Year
Have you been dreaming of a white Christmas and excellent New Year adventure? Come see why we love Vaujany. We’ve celebrated close to 30 Christmas and New Year’s holidays in this idyllic French ski resort. No matter how old your children are, we can help you plan the perfect festive family ski holiday.
Contact us today to start planning a magical winter break, or if you’re not quite ready to start making plans, sign up for our free email course to learn everything you need to know about planning a ski holiday.