For many years, the inhabitants of Oz-en-Oisans (860m), on the northern slopes of the Massif des Grandes Rousses, depended on mountain agriculture for their living and the village has preserved its traditional charm. The ski resort developed from 1988 onwards on former pastureland at an altitude of 1350 m. This opportunity revitalised the village following a rural exodus and it is now an attractive tourist location.
- “Alpe d’Huez Grand Domaine” skiing and MTB
- Pic Blanc panoramic view
- Plateau of lakes
- Refuge de la Fare mountain hut
- Ferrous springs
- Spruce forest
- Oz waterfall
Oz-en-Oisans is a family resort that offers a wide variety of sporting and mountain activities. The ski resort of Oz is linked to the Grand Domaine and offers downhill skiing, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, Nordic walking and ice skating, in addition to a large choice of resort events. Its territory extends up to the famous Pic Blanc, the 3330 m high point accessible in both summer and winter, with a panoramic view that has been awarded three stars in the Michelin guide! The range of activities is just as wide in the summer and includes a forest adventure park, renowned mountain biking trails, canyoning and, of course, hikes in the pastures around the lakes or in the lovely spruce forest. Oz also hosts major events, including in summer the mountain-biking French Cup or Championship and in winter, the Pyramide d’Oz (ski competition) or festive events, such as the Snow music festival and the Festival des Glisses Givrées.
History and Heritage
In the Middle Ages, Oz was known by its Latin name “Osso” (according to a 1339 text). It featured a number of fortifications including the 11th century “poipe” at Pré Reynaud (podium reynoudi), which was a mound of earth built to hold fortified towers.
At this time, as throughout its history, the inhabitants lived from agriculture and raising animals. In the 13th century, at an altitude of nearly 3000 m, lead and silver was mined for the benefit of the Seigneur du Dauphiné. This was one of the highest mines in the French Alps and led to the construction of a fortified house in the centre of the village.
As regards mountaineering, the STD (Société des Touristes du Dauphiné) built its first Oisans mountain hut here in 1876-1877; the Refuge de la Fare at an altitude of 2216 m.
The way of life changed little before the 20th century, but thanks to hydroelectricity, Oz was the first mountain village to have electric lighting.
In August 1943, during the Second World War, Le Bessey d’Oz was home to a 30-man resistance camp, which was one of the key features of the Résistance in the Eau d’Olle valley. The men took part in operations protecting roads, transporting weapons and attacking German convoys.
As was the case for all villages in the valley, life in Oz changed significantly with the building of the Grand’ Maison dam, which led to the development of tourism and the modern-day resort.
For more information, contact Oz en Oisans Tourist Office
Oppening periodsSUMMER (July from August) : everyday, 9.00AM – 12.30PM / 2.30PM – 6.00PM, WINTER (from December to April) : everyday, 9.00AM – 1.00PM / 2.00PM – 6.00PM
OFF SEASON from Monday to Friday, except public holiday: 10.00AM - 12.00PM / 2.00PM – 5.00PM