Whilst not winning many awards for architectural merit, Avoriaz is superbly located in the heart of the huge Portes Du Soleil region, offering lots of ski in ski out accommodation options of mainly apartments. This vast area suits all levels of skiers and beginners will feel safe to learn in relative seclusion, whilst any intermediates and above will enjoy a trek over to Switzerland. Given that the area is an intermediates paradise, for the more experienced skier there are several good, long black runs, including an ex world cup downhill run and “The Wall” which is an imposing mogul field. There are also 5 varied terrain parks (Inc The Stash), 1 superpipe and 1 boardercross. Then after spending all that energy exploring the area, check out the superb and atmospheric row of on mountain restaurants at Les Linderets. One of the best “on mountain” experiences in Europe.
The village itself offers numerous bars and restaurants, producing quite a lively atmosphere. There is also a public fitness centre with spa, dog sledding, mountain biking in the snow and a bowling alley. The village offers an excellent Childrens village for kids aged 3 to 16 as well as a creche that takes children from 3 months to 5 years old. Definitely a good family choice as long as you don’t mind the modern, purpose built, manufactured surroundings, but enjoy revelling in the excellent ski area.
With its wood clad buildings and mimetic architecture blending with the surrounding rocky cliffs Avoriaz has a unique feeling, as is the ability to get around much of the village through a network of tunnels and lifts to avoid the elements. Once outdoors there are a few streets but the layout is quite simple. Bars restaurants and shops look out onto the thoroughfares with the majority in the main square.
The one drawback is that it can become congested during busy periods, although the resort has invested heavily in high capacity, high speed lifts at the bottlenecks to reduce this. And there are so many lifts that it’s generally possible to avoid the worst crowds by taking alternative routes. For example, use the Cubore chair and the drag lift on the other side to access Switzerland, use the chairs rather than the cable car to ascend from Prodains and the Brochaux chair rather than the main Lindarets lift back from the valley. That will save you time and possibly frustration.
It’s a very family-friendly resort with traffic-free snowy paths and pistes to stroll around. The Village des Enfants, where youngsters from age three can be looked after and learn first turns, is on a gentle slope right in the middle of the resort. The Aquariaz water park is an oasis of tropical green jungle and also right in the heart of the resort and great fun for children. It includes a gently flowing indoor river with bubbles and jets, a play area for younger ones, with slides and rainfall showers, an outdoor hot tub and an aquatic halfpipe to slide down in a giant rubber ring.
Avoriaz is by far the highest and most snow sure resort in the huge Portes du Soleil area (and now markets itself as Avoriaz 1800 – it is set at 1,800m – to emphasise the fact). The whole of the Portes du Soleil area is an intermediate paradise and extends into Switzerland as well as France. There are many local ski areas to be explored, as well as doing a full circuit of the PdS, from France over to Switzerland and back.
Avoriaz is very much an apartment-based resort and started off aiming at mid-market/budget clientele with small basic apartments. However, there are now a number of more luxurious apartments, with a few catered chalet options, as well as some interesting hotel options, so most accommodation bases seem to be covered and we are happy to help advise where we can.