Avoriaz, France

Avoriaz is located above the Portes du Soleil in France’s Haute-Savoie region and allows access to eight French and six Swiss ski resorts.

It is both the birthplace and the brainchild of 1960 Olympic downhill ski champion, Juan Vuarnet. Despite initially facing opposition about transforming this former mountain pasture into France’s only pedestrianised ski village, skiers have now been visiting this unique resort, moulded by Vuarnet, for the last 40 years.

Notable for its award-winning 1960s inspired architecture, the wooden multi-storey buildings in Avoriaz also form part of the breathtaking landscape.

How to get there

Despite Avoriaz being a traffic-free resort, there are numerous ways to reach its entrance. The Getting Around in Avoriaz section below also provides additional information regarding your arrival.

By rail

It is possible to take the Eurostar from London to Paris, before taking the TGV train service to Geneva, Thonon-Les-Bains, or Cluses. Shuttle buses are available at these stations and they will take you to the resort. To book your seats, visit this website.

By road

From northern France, you should travel through Dijon to reach the resort. However, if you are approaching from the west or central areas, travel via Lyon. If you are arriving from the south, head towards Valence. Follow signs for Chamonix (A41) and leave at exit 18, signposted Cluses. Follow directions towards Tangines (D902). You will then find signs for Les Gets and Morzine. Avoriaz is located 15 kilometres beyond Morzine.

You will need to leave your car at the entrance to the resort in one of the numerous car parks. Falaise P1 and P2 offer covered parking and this will cost you approximately €12.50 per day or €76 per week. It is possible to reserve your space in advance by visiting the following website. Please bear in mind that these car parks are not suitable for all 4×4 vehicles or vans over 1.85 metres high.

A larger car park is also available, offering spaces for 1600 cars. It costs €7 per day or €43 per week.

Les Prodains, situated at the bottom of the resort, offers free uncovered parking and a cable car provides access to the village.

By air

Located within a one hour drive of the resort, Geneva Airport is the closest option. It is well-served by numerous budget airlines, which offer flights departing from airports across the UK. EasyJet and BMI Baby are always good options to choose.

From the 12th of December 2008, EasyJet will offer flights to Geneva from Manchester Airport.

Alternatively, you could choose to fly to airports including Turin (247 kilometres away from the resort), Lyon St Exupery (200 kilometres away from Avoriaz), Annecy (96 kilometres away), and Chambery (145 kilometres away).

From the airport, you have numerous options…

Taxi

Taxis are readily available at most airports but can be costly depending on the number of passengers in your group and the distance to resort. From Geneva, you should not have to pay more than €150 but check rates before you travel.

Bus

Buses run from Geneva Airport to the resort but bus travel is not a convenient option from the other airports. Further information on timetables and prices can be found here.

Hire car

From your chosen airport, it is possible to hire a car and this is normally cheaper if organised in advance. Some airlines offer discounts if you travel with certain car hire companies and this is well worth investigating.

Hiring a minibus is a good-value alternative for larger parties but make sure your vehicle is suitable for travelling with ski equipment if you choose to bring it with you to the resort.

Refer to the By road section above for information about parking in Avoriaz.

Getting Around in Avoriaz

Upon arrival in Avoriaz, there are numerous environmentally-friendly ways to reach your hotel.

It may be possible to meet your hotel representative at the entrance to Avoriaz and they will be able to assist you with transporting luggage. Alternatively, baggage sleds are available. All you need is a €1 coin, which is refunded when you return your sled.

Alternatively, if you would prefer to travel in style, you could take a horse drawn carriage to your accommodation. This will cost you between €5 and €13. There is an additional €2 fee for every piece of baggage. Horse drawn carriages are available from parking zone P2 or the Prodains cable car.

Shuttle buses also operate throughout the resort. These cost €6 in summer and €8 in winter for families. However, it is free if you have a weekly parking ticket. Individual tickets can be purchased for €1.50 or €3, depending on when you travel.

Who the resort caters for

With spectacular views overlooking Mont Blanc and Morzine, the picturesque resort of Avoriaz offers something for everyone.

Providing access to 650 kilometres of slopes, it caters for beginners, intermediate skiers, and advanced skiers. There are also numerous off-piste opportunities and a World Cup downhill run for the more adventurous skier!

With three terrain parks and a half-pipe for snowboarders, it is also considered one of the best resorts for boarding in Europe.

After a long day on the slopes, the resort offers numerous restaurants suitable for relaxing. For visitors looking for a livelier après-ski scene, there are eight bars and a nightclub.

Throughout the year, Avoriaz caters very well for non-skiers. Other winter activities on offer include glacier walking, heli-skiing, ice skating, husky sledding, ice diving, and helicopter tours. In summer, it is possible to try canyoning, golf, horseriding, fishing, mountain biking, paragliding, rock climbing, and white-water rafting.

For children aged between 3 and 16, Avoriaz boasts the Village des Enfants. A team of 120 instructors is on hand here to provide ski and snowboard lessons.

There is also a bowling alley, ice rink, and cinema located within this resort.

Accommodation

Avoriaz offers a wide range of chalets, hotels, apartments, gites, hostels, and mountain huts.

One stylish choice which offers skiing on the doorstep is Les Dromonts. Owned by award winning chef, Christophe Le Roc, guests can enjoy local gourmet cuisine before visiting the hotel’s guest lounge or bar. The hotel also offers a massage and beauty service.

Family-run Chalet Hotel Neige et Roc sits on top of the Avoriaz cliffs. At 1270 metres high, it offers fantastic views over the Alps. This beautifully renovated farmhouse is situated next to the cable car station. There is also a playground and mini tennis court for kids.

Alternative accommodation can be found on the Avoriaz website.

It is also possible to book self-catering accommodation through the Tourist Office or through hotel operators including Pierre & Vacances, Maeva and France Loc.
Club Med offer an all-inclusive holiday package from €980 per week.

Slope information

  • Green runs 3
  • Blue runs 24
  • Red runs 15
  • Black runs 5

Advanced slopes

Expert skiers should head to either the Swiss Wall at Chavanette, the black runs on the Swiss side Mossettes, or the black runs heading from Hauts Forts to Les Prodains.

Intermediate slopes

The Portes du Soleil offers numerous red and blue runs, which offer stunning views for intermediate skiers.

Beginner slopes

Green runs can be found at the centre of the resort and some of the blue runs are also suitable for beginners.

Ski passes are available for the Avoriaz ski area or the wider Les Portes du Soleil region.

Resort vitals

  • Resort Height 1800m
  • Top lift 2280m
  • Downhill pistes 650km
  • Lowest piste 1100m
  • Ski lifts 35
  • Cross country trails 45km
  • Maximum vertical 1180m
  • Highest lift 2280m