Attracting everyone from families to freestyle fanatics, Avoriaz is one of the best-loved ski resorts in the Alps. Avoriaz offers a short transfer from Geneva and high-altitude snow-sure skiing across the vast Portes du Soleil. Here are our top 15 reasons to love Avoriaz…
1. Its cliff top setting
As far as resort locations go, it’s hard to beat Avoriaz for the wow factor. Much of the resort is perched at the top of a huge cliff which means some spectacular views down the valley to the nearby resort of Morzine. In fact Avoriaz has a ‘Quartier Falaise’ which translated means the ‘Cliff Neighbourhood’
2. Its unique architecture
It’s not just its prominent location that makes Avoriaz stand out – the buildings themselves are pretty striking. Like many other resorts in the French Alps, Avoriaz was purpose built in the 1960s. However, rather than use concrete like some other resorts, Avoriaz was designed using red cedar wood and geometric shapes to emulate the surrounding mountains, whilst also being modern and avant-garde. Love or hate the design, the architecture is certainly to be admired as from a distance the buildings do indeed mirror the landscape.
3. It has a great range of ski in/ski out accommodation
Avoriaz’s distinctively shaped buildings play host to a fantastic range of apartments to suit all requirements and budgets, plus one 4 star property the Hotel des Dromonts. What’s more, almost all of the accommodation is ski in/ski out and family friendly.
4. It’s right in the heart of one of the world’s largest ski areas
The enormous Portes du Soleil ski area has a staggering 650 km of pistes spanning 12 separate resorts, and Avoriaz sits right in the middle, making it the perfect base to explore them all. There’s no way you’ll cover all of the terrain in a week!
5. You can border hop to your heart’s content
As well as covering eight resorts in France, the Portes du Soleil ski area also includes four Swiss resorts that you can ski into freely. As Avoriaz is located right next to the Swiss border, you’ll find yourself skiing back and forth between France and Switzerland all day long. And there’s no need for a passport either, just a lift pass.
6. It’s got altitude
It might not be the highest resort in the Alps, but at 1800m, it’s the highest in the Portes du Soleil ski area, and consistently gets great snow. Avoriaz is the place to base yourself if you want the very best snow early, mid or late season.
7. Are we there yet? Yes we are!
With many resorts in the Alps requiring a long-ish transfer from the airport, Avoriaz takes a refreshingly short time (traffic permitting) from Geneva of under an hour and half, making it a great destination for a short break and the perfect destination for families with younger children.
8. No cars and horse drawn sleighs for taxis
In most resorts a ride in a horse drawn sleigh constitutes a fun après activity, but in Avoriaz it’s the primary mode of transport. The resort is completely car free so once you’ve left your car or transfer bus at the entrance you’ll have to get around either by sleigh, resort shuttle or on foot, and the former is by far the best option.
9. It’s fantastic for families
As a pedestrian resort with predominantly ski in/ski out accommodation and fantastic ski school and leisure facilities for kids, Avoriaz is generally considered to be one of the most family friendly ski resorts in the Alps, and it was even voted ‘Best Family Resort’ at the 2013 World Snow Awards. You can also find out more here about family ski holidays in Avoriaz.
10. It has an amazing tropical water park
At the end of a day’s skiing, or when the weather’s bad, there’s no better place to head than the incredible Aquariaz water park. Designed to be a tropical aquatic paradise in the mountains, this massive pool and spa complex has loads of features to keep kids entertained and help adults unwind, including a wave machine, halfpipe waterslide, climbing wall, hot tubs and water jets. It’s easily the best facility of its kind in the Alps
11. Freestyle heaven
Those into freestyle skiing or snowboarding will absolutely love Avoriaz. Whether you’re just making your first forays into the park or are an aspiring pro, the resort’s world-class terrain parks have everything for everyone. La Chapelle Snowpark has four lines of kickers ranging from XS to L in addition to a line of rails and another of boxes. Expert freestylers should head to the Arare Snowpark with its massive L and XL rated kickers and more technical rails and boxes, or the Superpipe, both of which are used to host major freestyle events. Budding young freestylers will love the Burton Kids Parkway, which has small jumps and boxes specifically for little ones.
12. … And backcountry bliss
However, Avoriaz is not just about freestyle. There’s also some epic backcountry riding to be had, and last season the resort even hosted a qualifier event for the Freeride World Tour.
13. The Stash
The Stash is a massive natural terrain park that was designed by Jake Burton as a fun way to combine backcountry and freestyle skiing and snowboarding in a controlled environment. The area consists of 1.3km of un-groomed runs incorporating over 80 natural wooden jibs and features of varying degrees of difficulty, and there’s even a mini version, ‘Le Lil’Stash’ for younger kids. As well as being great fun, The Stash also aims to deliver messages about sustainability and environmental protection to riders of all ages.
14. It’s home to one of the world’s most extreme ski runs
Regularly featured on lists of the most extreme ski runs, La Chavanette, or Swiss Wall as it’s more commonly known, is one of the steepest and widest black runs in the world. If the 50 degree pitch isn’t enough to deter you from giving it a go, the fact that it’s generally covered in huge, and invariably icy, moguls may make you think twice.
15. It parties hard
Avoriaz loves to throw a party and it certainly doesn’t do things by halves. The season kicks off with a week-long opening party full of concerts and events, followed by a busy schedule of other snowsports and music festivals throughout the season. One of the biggest is the Rock the Pistes festival held in March, which features a packed programme of big name bands.
To discuss a ski holiday to Avoriaz call one of our experts on 0131 240 3300 or search online here.
Posted on Friday 12 Dec 2014