The story of Vaujany, an obscure mountain village in a sleepy valley, is the stuff of fairy tales. In the 1980s, a hydro-electric scheme was developed lower down the valley and the village was awarded a huge amount of compensation. The villagers decided to purchase a state-of-the art 160-person cable car and built a link with one of France's biggest ski areas, Alpe d'Huez. It was the village's salvation. Visitors can now enjoy the languid pace of life in Vaujany, while taking advantage of a huge skiing domain of almost 225km, served by some 85 lifts. A separate gondola provides alternative access via Vaujany's own ski area, Montfrais.