Why choose Avoriaz ski resort?
Avoriaz is the biggest ski resort in the cross-border Portes du Soleil region which connects France to Switzerland. Les Portes du Soleil is one of the largest ski areas in the world, spanning the French Alps to the south of Lac Leman.
It is a true ski-in and ski-out winter destination, with ski lifts heading up to the Swiss border or over towards Châtel, another ski resort on the French side of the border. Alternatively, skiers and snowboarders can taken the long runs down from Avoriaz to the proper town of Morzine and link into the Les Gets ski area.
Where is Avoriaz?
Les Portes de Soleil area is located to the south of Lac Leman (which people sometimes incorrectly refer to as Lake Geneva). It is the big lake in the south-west of Switzerland with both the cities of Lausanne and Geneva on the lake shoreline.
The French side of the Portes de Soleil is best reached from the west and Avoriaz is within easy reach of both Geneva airport and the network of French motorways.
Where is the closest airport to Avoriaz?
Geneva Airport is far and away the most convenient international airport to use for an Avoriaz ski holiday at under 100 kilometres and just over one hour’s drive away. The airport offers the largest range of flights and airlines. The next real alternative at Chambéry is a much smaller airport more popular with the ski resorts further to the south.
|Airport||Distance to Avoriaz|
|Geneva Airport||93 kilometres|
|Chambéry Airport||147 kilometres|
|Lyon Airport||223 kilometres|
|Grenoble Airport||226 kilometres|
Getting to Avoriaz by train
Avoriaz does not have its own train station but the rail links of Thonon-les-Bains and Cluses are both around 30 kilometres away. Both stations, especially Thonon, have connections to major cities during the winter season. Bus services link both stations to Avoriaz.
Driving to Avoriaz
The nearest motorway connection is at Cluses, with access via the network to both Geneva and Annecy. The road to Avoriaz passes through the ski resort of Les Gets and the town of Morzine before climbing to the altitude of 1800 metres and the ski resort of Avoriaz.
Drivers should note the altitude of Avoriaz resort and have the obligatory winter equipment. Avoriaz is also a car-free resort. There are three indoor car parks (the official website warns that owners of cars with a roof box should book in advance) and one larger outdoor car park.
Alternatively drivers can use the large car park at the base of the Les Prodains cable car and then travel up to the resort by cable car. All car parks have a weekly or daily charge.
Transport around the resort is either on foot, by lift, by horse-drawn sleigh ‘taxis’ or by ‘snow taxis’ during the night and on the weekend.
Where to stay in Avoriaz?
Much of Avoriaz was designed to be apartment accommodation and with radical architectural designs to fit in with the surrounding mountain landscape. It is a true ski-in ski-out resort with lifts and trails leaving the resort in many directions (and providing transport within the resort).
Although most of the accommodation is in self-catering apartments, there are some hotels in Avoriaz.
Avoriaz ski hotels
Here are a couple of highly-rated hotel accommodation options in Avoriaz:
The Hôtel des Dromonts is a four-star establishment, with a wellness centre, spa and two restaurants. The hotel’s unique design offers panoramic views of the landscape and accommodation is in rooms or suites
The Hôtel MiL8 is another four-star hotel at the heart of the village and on the ski slopes. The hotel name refers to the altitude of the resort and it offers 42 rooms and suites, all with balcony to admire the mountain views.
Map of Avoriaz accommodation
Those who would rather stay in apartment accommodation have plenty of options in Avoriaz. Those who want to get an idea of general availability for their chosen stay can enter dates of arrival and departure below to see which accommodation options may be suitable. Click the ‘+’ or ‘-‘ buttons to zoom in or out and click on the prices to see more information and/or book a particular establishment.
Avoriaz ski area
Avoriaz is located at the heart of Les Portes du Soleil ski area and skiers and snowboarders are spoilt for choice when deciding in which direction to head off in the morning.
There are quite a number of options close to the resort for those who want to get used to the slopes again. The Lac Intrets and Fornet chairlifts have some cruising runs for a warm-up at the beginning of the day.
Looking directly up towards the Swiss border, two long draglifts head up towards the pass at Chavanette – the notorious challenging black bump run on the other side is known as the ‘Swiss Wall’, although after a heavy dump of snow it is occasionally possible to ski it in powder. There is also the welcome Choucas chairlift to relieve snowboarders and to help ease the pressure on the lifts for this popular route.
Note 1: Skiers who are intimidated by the Chavanette bumps can ride the chairlift on the Swiss side down from top to bottom
Note 2: There is a border post at the top of the Chavanette chairlift and customs personnel have been known to chase skiers down the bumps if they ignore a request to stop for a ‘chat’.
An alternate route to the left at the top of the draglifts is to take the Cuboré chairlift up and head over to the Lindarets valley. Here there is an attractive long cruise down to Les Lindarets and, if snow conditions permit, further on down to Ardent. Lifts from Les Lindarets access the slopes above Avoriaz or, in the other direction, the skiing towards Châtel.
There is also an option to take the Mossettes chairlift back up and try another black bump run over into Switzerland. There are also easier intermediate routes over the border but whichever level is taken, skiers and snowboarders will find themselves down in the skiing around Les Crosets.
The route up from Avoriaz and down into Les Crosets is also part of a popular Portes du Soleil circuit which winds through some of the Swiss villages and back into France via Châtel. Skiers would head from Les Crosets across to Champoussin and then over to Morgins, with its link up and over back into France.
The circuit is not over at Châtel however as skiers have to make their way to the Plaine Dranse skiing and then into the Lindarets valley before finally accessing a chairlift to the ski slopes above Avoriaz. Those planning on attempting the circuit should be of a decent intermediate level in order to complete the route in time before the last lifts close.
The final alternative from Avoriaz is to head down in the direction of Morzine. Competent skiers can take the Grands Combes chairlift to attempt the open black bowls under Les Hauts Forts down to the base of the Prodains cable car. (Watch for avalanche warnings.)
Otherwise there are some easy intermediate runs which also lead to the base station of the cable car or to the hamlet of Super Morzine. Ski bus or lift will take the visitor down into the bustling town of Morzine and across to the lifts which access the skiing around Les Gets. This is a sizeable ski resort in its own right and skiers and boarders can easily spend a couple of days in this direction exploring all that the ski runs above the village have to offer.