Avoriaz Ski Resort Guide
Perched on a cliff high above Morzine, there are few more dramatic or recognisable resorts than Avoriaz. Purpose-built in the 1960s as part of the Portes du Soleil ski area development by Jean Vuarnet, what Avoriaz lacks in form it definitely makes up for in function.
The angular, dark wood-clad building that make up the town are almost entirely high-rise apartments. There are actually only a few hotels & chalets in resort, but that simply means Avoriaz benefits from great-value self-catered accommodation. There are a good range of local amenities including plenty of shops and bars which are all central within the resort – as well as the impressive Aquariaz Water Centre.
One of the biggest draws to Avoriaz is its compact and well-designed layout. Accommodation here is mostly ski-in and ski-out which provides a fantastic level of convenience for a French resort. Rather uniquely, Avoriaz is also completely pedestrianised – with the only forms of traffic allowed in the resort being horse-drawn sleighs and snowcats. This creates a more sedate atmosphere perfect for families, but can also mean a short walk through the snow on your arrival.
Avoriaz has always been a great destination for families, and won the ‘Best Family Ski Resort’ in 2012 and 2013 at the World Snow Awards. They have fantastic facilities for children and have dedicated large ski areas to beginners. Avoriaz also lays on family-friendly events throughout the winter season.
Avoriaz also benefits from being just a short transfer journey from the busy international airport of Geneva. At a distance of almost 100km and taking approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes – the journey between Geneva airport and Avoriaz is one of the shortest, and cheapest ski transfers available. This is a fantastic bonus for skiers and snowboarders keen to spend as much time as possible on the slopes.
Skiing in Avoriaz
Avoriaz has a varied choice of ski terrain surrounding it, with the majority of pistes classified as blue and red. This creates a great local area for beginner and intermediate skiers. Children and families are also well catered for with a 25 acre area dedicated to ski schools and learners.
The great thing about Avoriaz though is it is in a great position within the huge Portes du Soleil ski area. 600km of skiable area is literally right on the doorstep, as the resort sits directly on the main lift circuit. Avoriaz actually has lifts and pistes fanning out in all directions, with direct links to Chatel in one direction and Champery in Switzerland in the other.
Throughout the Portes du Soleil there are pistes to suit every level of skier, and an impressive amount of off-piste skiing to be found with minimal effort. Difficult black runs tend to be spread about the area – but there are some seriously steep pistes if you so desire. Snowboarders also benefit from 6 different park and freeride areas around Avoriaz designed just for them.
With its fast, modern lift system and high, snow-sure slopes Avoriaz is an ideal base for exploring the wider Portes du Soleil area. All abilities of skier and snowboarder will find something challenging for them, while parents can rest easy knowing their kids are protected in the designated learner areas.