Avoriaz, Haute-Savoie visitors guide
Visit Avoriaz, France
Avoriaz is a ski resort in the French Alps, very close to the French border with Switzerland, north-east of Annecy and to the east of Geneva.. The resort falls within the popular 'Portes du Soleil' ski region, along with neighbours Morzine, Abondance and Les Gets and several other resorts, both in France and in Switzerland.
France This Way comment: due to its architecture, beautiful setting for skiing among the forests and pedestrianised town centre Avoriaz is a very popular and desirable winter resort.
The resort of Avoriaz itself is an a very impressive location situated high on the top of a cliff. It is pedestrian only (car free), and is a very unusual resort from an architectural point of view - although development of Avoriaz started in the 1960's and didn't follow the 'Alpine chalet' style, it also avoided the 'concrete high rise' style of resort.
Instead of having conventional buildings, those in Avoriaz were designed with the landscape in mind and to integrate into the environment as much as possible, by mirroring design elements from the rocks and cliffs in the immediate area, incorporating natural elements (for example the roof tiles in Avoriaz are of red cedar, and most of the buildings are clad in wood rather than concrete), and by avoiding right angles in the building designs whenever possible.
The result works very well, and is a radical (and very attractive) contrast with many other ski resorts developed in the 1960's.
Transport within the main village of Avoriaz is in sleighs and carriages (or on skis), an idea which ensures that the resort maintains its individuality and makes for a very attractive skiing location with all facilities close to hand. As you would expect from a top class resort the facilities are very varied, with innumerable cafes, bars and restaurants.
The view from the summet just above Avoriaz is also exceptional.
Avoriaz skiing and activities
Skiing in Avoriaz, and in much of the Portes du Soleil region, is in a stunning setting, with pine-clad mountains and ski slopes and challenges for all levels of ability, and in a south-facing position.The Wall ski-run is said to be one of the best in Europe, and Avoriaz is also regularly rated very highly for its snowboarding opportunities.
Skiing here is between 1800 and 2500 metres above sea level, and the resort is open from mid-December to the end of April with snow assured by the position of the resort, further north than many of the popular ski stations. There are 51 pistes (5 green, 26 blue, 14 red and 6 black) covering almost 70 kilometres in total.
There is also a focus on first-time skiiers here with lessons, equipment and a designated training area, and pistes reserved for beginners, all at competitive prices.
For those who prefer not to ski all the time there are also many activities available such as ice-skating, hot air balloons, mountain bike riding on snow along with leisure facilities such as a spa and a cinema. If that sounds a bit too easy you can also try diving under the ice! Helicopter rides and skydiving are among the other exciting experiences.
In the second half of March Avoriaz also hosts the popular 'Rock the Pistes' Music Festival.
The children's club is open to children from 3-16 years old, and because of its efforts in entertaining children as well as their parents Avoriaz was also recently awarded a prize as Best Family Winter Resort. This takes place in a designated 'Village des Enfants' with more than 100 instructors on hand. Of course the absence of cars in Avoriaz also helps ensure their safety.
Portes du Soleil that includes Avoriaz is the largest ski region in Europe so even if Avoriaz is not enough you can be assured of an endless variety of ski slopes and off-piste routes - there are 650 kilometres of ski runs to choose from!.
Summer in Avoriaz
Summer activities in the mountains are also catered for, and Avoriaz is very well placed to explore this beautiful section of the Alps
Particularly popular with those who enjoy hiking or mountain biking, with 650 kilometres of mountain bike tracks on your doorstep, you will also find a golf course, a tropical water park and many other leisure opportunities.
Avoriaz has also been the end point for stages on the Tour de France on several occasions.
For a more traditional resort, Morzine is situated below Avoriaz and is also part of the Portes du Soleil region.
Map of Avoriaz and places nearby
Visit near Avoriaz with France This Way reviews
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Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby
- Jardin botanique alpin La Jaÿsinia: remarkable garden (13 km)
- Roc d'Enfer: site of natural beauty (13 km)
- Cirque de Sixt Fer a Cheval: grand site of france (15 km)
- Cirque du Fer-à-Cheval: site of natural beauty (15 km)
- Sixt-Fer-à-Cheval: most beautiful village (15 km)
- Cascade du Rouget: site of natural beauty (15 km)
- Cascade de la Diomaz: site of natural beauty (21 km)
- Lac d'Anterne: site of natural beauty (22 km)
- Col de Romme: site of natural beauty (24 km)
- Jardin d'eau de pré curieux: remarkable garden (26 km)
- Mole: site of natural beauty (26 km)
- Lac Cornu: site of natural beauty (27 km)
Market days in Avoriaz, France
Regular market(s) are held in Avoriaz each Wednesday. (Markets are held in the morning unless stated.)
The French version of this page is at Avoriaz (Francais)