The legendary Alpe d'Huez
A landmark of the Tour de France, the famous Alpe d’Huez climb is also the opportunity to explore a remarkable archaeological site, take in spectacular panoramic views from a 3,300 metre summit, visit picturesque Oisans villages, and cycle a high mountain road.
Huez, the oldest village in the community, features steep, flower-lined lanes that give it special charm. In the same area, the unique Brandes archaeological site is home to ongoing excavations and a medieval silver mine. From the Col de Sarenne (1,999 m), you’ll enjoy spectacular views of Oisans and the glaciers of La Meije, as well as four alpine lakes (Lac Besson, Lac Noir, Lac Faucille and Carrelet), which mirror the surrounding summits.
Ride the Alpe d’Huez cable car up to the summit of Pic Blanc, at an altitude of 3,330 metres, and you’ll be treated to exceptional panoramic views of the surrounding area. To visit the Cascade de Pont Ferrand, take a right onto the unpaved road halfway between the col and Clavans-en-Haut-Oisans.
Besse en Oisans
Besse-en-Oisans is a classic Oisans village. Its traditional stone and wood architecture has earned it a spot on France’s register of historic buildings. Make sure to visit the Maison des Alpages and the artisanal bakery (4 km from the route). Both are members of the Oisans Route des Savoir-Faire, an association dedicated to promoting local heritage.
You can also visit Mizoën, a perched village overlooking the Chambon dam, which is also on the route. “Route de la Roche,” the mountain road between La Balme d’Auris and La Garde-en-Oisans, is one of the most spectacular roads in Oisans. It offers superb panoramic views of the Bourg-d’Oisans plain.
Panoramic views not to miss
- View from switchback 7, Saint-Ferréol.
- Col de Sarenne (view of the glaciers of La Meije).
- “Route de la Roche,” between Auris-en-Oisans and La Garde-en-Oisans (panoramic view of the Bourg-d’Oisans plain).
Crozets de l'Oisans
Crozets de l’Oisans are a great dish for cyclists and a good alternative to pasta. This specialty is completely different from the Savoie version of the dish. Crozets are typical of the Dauphinois mountains, since they require only fl our, potatoes, dairy, and eggs. It used to be that the local inhabitants had to fi nd ways to feed their families all year round with just these basic ingredients. They did their best to provide a little variety!
Many families ate Crozets every Friday, since it was traditionally the day when they didn’t eat meat. Preparation and cooking time: 1 hour and 10 minutes.
Mash 5 cooked potatoes and mix them with 4 eggs and some salt. Gradually add fl our and lukewarm water to make a stiff dough. Roll the dough into long logs and cut them into small cubes; these are the crozets. Poach them for a half an hour in a generous quantity of salted boiling water. Stir from time to time with a wooden spoon, drain. In a casserole dish, alternate layers of crozets with layers of Gruyère cheese.
Top the layers with cream or melted butter. Heat in the oven until warm and serve piping hot. Crozets are also served at the Auberge du Savel in Clavans-le-Bas, and in restaurants in Besse-en-Oisans.