Photo: © celineaudetoursdunchemin – Avoriaz 1800
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There are lots of reasons to visit Avoriaz in France for your skiing holiday. This unique location has something for everyone, thanks to its location and family-friendly amenities.
Its architecture may divide opinion, but it ticks lots of boxes for many people as a ski resort.
In this ultimate guide to Avoriaz 1800, we will go through all the things that attract people to Avoriaz year after year.
Where is Avoriaz 1800 in France?
Avoriaz 1800 is located in the Haute-Savoie department in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes in France. The ski resort is part of the larger Portes du Soleil area, which includes several notable towns and villages, including Morzine, located about 10 kilometres south of Avoriaz 1800, which you can access via the ski lift system.
Les Gets is another ski resort with the Portes du Soliel, linked to Morzine and is about 15 kilometres from Avoriaz. In fact, you drive through Les Gets and Morzine on your way to Avoriaz from Geneva Airport. Another noteworthy ski resort linked to Avoriaz is Châtel, accessed via the ski lift system and pistes.
Even though Avoriaz is in France, its closest airport is Geneva Airport in Switzerland. Geneva is about 85 kilometres from the resort, making getting there incredibly easy.
How High is Avoriaz 1800?
As the name suggests, Avoriaz 1800 sits at 1800m above sea level, overlooking the village of Morzine at roughly 1000m. The highest point within the Avoriaz 1800 ski resort area is called “Le Hauts Forts.” It reaches an elevation of approximately 2,466 m above sea level. Le Hauts Forts offers stunning panoramic views of the surrounding Alpine landscape.
On the other hand, the lowest point within the resort is not specifically named. It refers to the lower areas of the ski slopes and village, which are approximately 1,400 meters above sea level.
The resort’s elevation ensures a colder climate compared to lower-lying areas. This results in lower average temperatures, which helps maintain and preserve the snow for longer. The higher altitude also reduces the risk of snow melting too quickly during warmer spells. This is something that resorts at lower altitudes struggle with, especially towards the end of the winter.
Views of Avoriaz 1800 at night above France’s best family friendly ski village
The location of Avoriaz is perfect, as it sits in the Portes du Soleil in France. The Portes du Soleil is one of the worlds largest ski areas, consisting of 12 linked ski resorts. It straddles the French-Swiss border, and its lift system allows you to cover a considerable distance pretty quickly.
Geneva airport is just 1 hour 30 minutes drive away, and Chamonix isn’t much further if you want to explore the area more during your visit.
Built-in the 1960s, Avoriaz started as a trendy, cultural centre. It was home to film festivals and was the place to be seen as a celebrity in the French Alps. It has a very distinctive look, designed to camouflage it from the valley below. This look may not be to everyone’s taste, but it is certainly impressive.
The layout of Avoriaz means the resort is car-free. If you drive, you need to park outside the resort and get taxied around by horse-drawn sleighs (your luggage is delivered to your accommodation by snowcat). This car-free environment means that as soon as you step outside your accommodation, you are on the snow. Therefore, Avoriaz is a true ski-in-ski-out resort.
Take a ride on one of the many horse drawn carriages (which serve as taxis), Avoriaz’s only mode of transport (except skiing!).
FANTASTIC ACCOMMODATION IN AVORIAZ
The majority of accommodation in Avoriaz is self-catered. It is mainly made up of great value properties. This is one of the many reasons Avoriaz is popular with families. However, there are also some superb high-end apartments in Avoriaz, and here are our favourites.
If you want panoramic views of the French Alps, Residence Atria-Crozats will deliver. These new four-star apartments are nicely decorated, with a quality finish. Their interior is elegantly designed with wooden cladding, to create a balance between modern and Savoyard decor.
You can stay in a 1-bedroom apartment, suitable for 4 to 5 people, or you can also choose other apartments with up to 2 bedrooms. One of the big attractions to the Residence Atria-Crozats, is its sauna, hammam and gym. This is perfect for rejuvenating sore leg muscles from skiing all over the Portes du Soleil.
The location of the Residence Atria-Crozats is very convenient, but the ski hire shop located in the building makes life even easier. They will also shuttle you and your family to and from the property.
This 5-star self-catered option offers views over the Ardoisere valley, from spacious apartments. Its style is inspired by a traditional Savoyard chalet while providing the comfort of a 5-star hotel. The apartment’s facilities are perfect for unwinding after a day on the mountain. The Deep Nature spa has an outdoor hot tub that overlooks the snowy alpine vista. You can also swim in the heated indoor pool or enjoy the sauna and hammam. If you don’t feel like you have had enough exercise, the apartment block also has its own gym.
The location of Residence l’Amara couldn’t make life easier, as it is a ski-in-ski-out building. But, it is also located close to the children’s village and play area.
Book Your Dream France Ski Holiday Today
BONUS OFFER -$500 OFF + 1 Bottle of Champagne - PROMO CODE: TOP500 - Ends 29 Nov!
-$500 OFF + 1 Bottle of Champagne
PROMO CODE: TOP500 - Ends 29 Nov!
Avoriaz 1800 is 100% ski-in ski-out with easy slopes into the village catering well for beginners
ON THE MOUNTAIN
For Beginners and Families
Avoriaz is one of the most popular ski resorts in France for beginners and families. This is because it is so easy to get to the green runs from your accommodation. Many people get their first turns in on the Proclou run. This long piste has a gentle gradient and is serviced by a fast-moving chairlift. Alongside the Proclou run, is the Lil’ Stash. This is a snowpark with small features, including jumps, boxes and log slides. It is perfect for experiencing your first taste of freestyle. There is also a little boardercross style piste that winds through the trees, that kids love.
At the bottom of Proclou, you will find Shreddie’s treehouse. Here, you can safely ski across bridges suspended in the trees, and you may even see Shreddie himself, the local yeti!
Due to the sheer size of the Portes du Soleil, you can experience a diverse range of skiing and snowboarding. Avoriaz itself has long blue and red runs to blow out the cobwebs. But the selection of pistes on both sides of the French-Swiss border offers lots of variation. For example, if you are staying in Avoriaz on a peak week, you may want to head over to the Swiss side for quieter slopes. Even during school holidays, you can have whole pistes to yourself.
You can do a circuit of the Portes du Soleil, that takes you through most of the resorts, which is worth doing on a good weather day.
For Advanced Skiers
Advanced skiers and snowboarders have a lot to do in Avoriaz and its surrounding areas. From epic off-piste to world-class snow parks, you have it all. Heading down to Lindarets from Avoriaz gives you access to The Stash. The Stash is one of the area’s superb snowparks, but this one is eco-friendly. Its features are built from naturally fallen trees in the forest. There are a few different routes to take. Each one varies in its difficulty. Some of its features are massive, while others are a little more realistic for mere mortals.
One of the famous slopes to tackle in the area is the Le Pas de Chavanette. This is more commonly known as “The Swiss Wall” (or Mur Suisse). It is a very steep black run that isn’t groomed. On a powder day, get there early to enjoy the ride into Switzerland. When the moguls start to form, they can reach the size of Volkswagens.
Avoriaz is repeatedly the snowiest ski resort in France, and there is a myriad of off-piste options around Avoriaz. Some are accessible by lift, while others require you to put in some effort and hike or ski tour to. To ensure that you can enjoy the off-piste to the fullest, it is best to hire an instructor or guide. A guide will be able to take you to the best places for the snow conditions.
Avoriaz has the best snowparks in France which includes the eco-friendly lil’ Stash and The Stash
The après in Avoriaz is very lively, mainly thanks to La Folie Douce. This is pretty much a nightclub on the slopes that opens during the day. La Folie Douce is very popular and is definitely an experience. It is packed with revellers being entertained by dancers, singers, DJs and musicians. Expect to see lots of Champagne being sprayed all over the crowd.
There are more sedate options if you want something a little less full-on. The JaJa Bar is a chic and cosy bar, perfect for relaxing on a sofa while working your way through their extensive wine list. La Tavillon has a huge selection of beers on tap, big-screen TVs and tasty burgers. Head there between 4 and 6 to enjoy their popular happy hour.
A lively alternative venue you may enjoy is Shooters. They host live music every afternoon and evening. You can choose from a list of 50 shots to sample all the way to its 2 am closing time. If you want to continue your night, The Yak nightclub is open from midnight to 5 am, which is later than any other establishment in Avoriaz.
Ski all the way down to the bottom of the Ardent cablecar, and you will come across Happy Hours. This is one of the liveliest bars on the mountain. Every day is a party at Happy Hours that starts around 4 pm. This place goes crazy, thanks to its mega sound system and guest DJs. Expect to see lots of British seasonairs, especially on Wednesday afternoon when it is their day off. They are often enjoying the in-house concoction, known as the “scary cocktail”. If you get to Happy Hours a little earlier, you can enjoy their simple, but excellent food.
Ski 2 countries (France + Switzerland) on 1 pass without unstrapping your skis/snowboards
There are many mountain restaurants in and around Avoriaz. The fact that Avoriaz is ski-in-ski-out means you can easily access many of the restaurants in the resort. But, you may want to head into Les Lindarets. This is a bowl that is easily accessed via blue runs (and The Stash). There are many restaurants to choose from, but a favourite is Les Marmots. This is a small restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating. Their selection of burgers, crepes, local dishes and daily specials is excellent, as is the friendly staff.
If you would like something a little more up-market. Head a bit further down the mountain, to the “goat village”. Here you will see lots of cosy mountain restaurants that are perfect for a lunch stop. Le Petit Lindarets is excellent, and they offer a range of local specialities with a twist.
Aquariaz, the indoor aquatic paradise featuring a river, a water playhouse, a paddling pool, a large pool with climbing walls, massage benches and an open-air hot tub!
NON-SKIING ACTIVITIES IN AVORIAZ
There is more to Avoriaz than spending all of your time on the mountain. The tourist office and local businesses have made sure that guests can experience many things. Here are just some of the fantastic things you can do:
Aquariaz is a unique facility, as it is an aquatic paradise set in the mountains. Enjoy a selection of water slides, pools, a lazy river and an aquatic half-pipe. Aquariaz is ideal for families, especially if you want to mix your holiday up by enjoying some of the other things Avoriaz has to offer.
One of the best ways to see the mountains and valleys of the alps is by paraglider. In Avoriaz, you take off on a tandem paraglider from the top of the Arare piste, before soaring over the skiers below. Enjoy 15 minutes of alpine views in silence, before landing at the Prodains lift.
Snowmobile tours from Avoriaz are super fun. After the lifts have stopped turning, and as the sun starts to go down, take a guided tour on one of these fantastic machines. Your route takes you around the Super Morzine area. Here, you can experience incredible views and empty treelined pistes. This is especially good on a clear full moon night.
Fat Bike Tours
The Portes du Soleil is a magnet for mountain bikers during the summer. But mountain bikers can get their fix during winter too. After the pistes have closed, Avoriaz Alpine Ski School give you the opportunity to explore the forests around Super Morzine on electric fat bikes. Qualified guides and instructors give you tips on how to get the best out of these bikes while taking in the epic scenery.
On a plateau just above the Prodains cablecar, is the Igloo Village. Here you can book on to a guided evening snowshoe tour, that finishes with a sociable fondue meal in an igloo. You can even stay the night in an igloo after your fondue. It is best to pre-book, as the igloo snowshoe walk is becoming more popular every winter.
How To Get To Avoriaz 1800
There are a few ways you can reach Avoriaz 1800; many travellers fly to reasonably local airports or drive. It is possible to arrive by train, but it can take quite a long time. However, we recommend booking a private transfer to Avoriaz 1800 from the train station or airport. This makes your trip straightforward and stress-free. Here are a few ways how to get to Avoriaz 1800:
How To Get From Paris To Avoriaz 1800
If you want to get from Paris to Avoriaz 1800 by train, you can, but the resort doesn’t have a train station. The closest train stations are at Cluses, 42 kilometres away, and Thonon-les-Bains, 45 kilometres away. Each of these stations is about one hour drive from the resort.
It is worth noting that even though rail travel through France is exceptional, you need to expect your travel time to double when compared to flying.
How To Get From Geneva Airport To Avoriaz 1800
Most people who visit Avoriaz 1800 arrive via Geneva Airport. The easiest and fastest way is to book a private transfer. It takes all the stress out of travelling, leaving you to enjoy the stunning scenery on the drive up the mountain.
Hiring a car to get to Avoriaz is a good choice if you want to have more flexibility once you’re there. However, remember that Avoriaz is a car-free resort, so you’ll have to leave your vehicle at one of the car parks outside the resort. So unless you want to explore outside the Portes du Soleil, you probably won’t return to your car until it’s time to leave. There is a good chance you’ll have to dig it out of the snow, too.
Another thing you must consider is that your hire car needs to have snow chains or snow tyres fitted to drive to Avoriaz 1800. This is required by law between November and March. This is one of the many reasons we recommend booking a private transfer.
Why Book your Ski Holiday to Avoriaz 1800
Avoriaz offers so much to its visitors. Whether you are a complete beginner or an expert skier, Avoriaz and its surrounding areas have something for you. It is a world-class ski resort that is evolving every year, adding more to its list of things it offers to its guests.