Avoriaz , France
Join GirlieCamps in Avoriaz this winter, right at the heart of Portes du Soleil, one of the world’s largest ski areas. No matter what you like, huge white powder-covered mountain sides or forrest skiing, you will find it here. We ski and ride snowboard in the entire domain and accross the border between Switzerland and France.
Avoriaz is the latest addition to GirlieCamps’ offering, a truely unique ski resort.
► THE RESORT
Avoriaz is one of the top resorts in “Les Portes du Soleil”, a huge ski area on the border between Switzerland and France. The resort is situated on a mountain side on an altitude of 1800 meters. The village is a car-free zone which is rare nowadays! You literally ski right to the doorstep of your apartment. The taxis are horse-drawn sleighs and the sunny terraces where skiers and non-skiers can get together allow you to enjoy the pleasant atmosphere of Avoriaz.
Avoriaz is located in the territory of the commune of Morzine. It is built on a shelf high above the town of Morzine, which is among the pioneering towns of skiing with its first lifts (early 1930s). Avoriaz is unique amongst the 1960s purpose built ski resorts. It was designed by three young architects Jacques Labro, Jean-Jacques Orzoni and Jean-Marc Roques, loosely inspired by the Swiss architect Le Corbusier. The resort consists of high rise buildings (12- 16 floors) covered with wood, with acute angles and a close similarity to the mountains that surrounded them – the result being that seen from afar Avoriaz blends in very well with the mountains.
Apart from snow-based pursuits, Avoriaz is also a centre for trekking, golf, VTT (mountain biking) and other outdoor activities during the summer. Les Portes du Soleil is among the top downhill mountain biking stations in Europa and by far the largest domain in France. Several of the more testing routes embark from Avoriaz.
► THE SKI AREA
Avoriaz is a station on the main circuit of one of the largest skiing areas in the world, Les Portes du Soleil’s domain is named after a pass between France and Switzerland. It includes the French resorts Abondance, Avoriaz, Châtel, La Chapelle d’Abondance, Les Gets, Montriond, Morzine-Avoriaz, St Jean d’Aulps and the Swiss resorts Champéry, Morgins, Torgon, Val-d’Illiez – Les Crosets – Champoussin. The total lift capacity is close to 250 000 persons/h making it one of the two largest linked lift networks in the world alongside Les Trois Vallées.
Avoriaz’ part of the skiing area consists of about 130 km of piste, divided in 4 sectors, Lindaret, Haut-Forts, Fornet and Super Morzine, the latter being mainly a connection to Morzine. Lindaret is a beautiful valley with a number of red and blue runs plus a single black. In the Lindaret valley one finds The Stash – a conceptual snow park developed by Burton and based on ecological principles. The Fornet area is a large bowl with basically skiing everywhere between huge rocks and crevasses. From one of the ridges around the Fornet bowl you can test the famous La Chavanette – also known as The Swiss Wall, one of the steepest pistes in Europe. Haut-Forts is the most demanding area with a number of black runs starting at 2 400 and ending at 1 100 m.
With over 7.5m of average snow-fall per year Portes du Soleil offer wonderful skiing conditions. The area is especially well suited for free-skiing and for trekking. There are vast areas of forest skiing. You can also ski around between the different resorts using the ski lifts.
Avoriaz is also a pioneer in snowboarding and today hosts some of the best snow parks. Read more about Portes du Soleil.
- 283 pistes : 27 black, 104 red, 119 blue, 33 green
- 197 ski lifts
- 650 km pistes
- 10 snowparks
- 90 restaurants close to the slopes
Avoriaz’ Snowparks are very famous in the Alps. In fact, the resort has built 5 specific areas for park riders of all levels, and all type of practices:
- The Stash: a revolution amoung the snowparks, with wooden-made modules located in a forest
- The Lil’Stash: little wooden-made modules for children or beginners
- The Arare: oldest and most famous park in Avoriaz, for riders of high levels (jumps, modules…)
- La Chapelle: The snowpark for all levels. Different lines exist according to your level
- Kids Parkway: an educational snowpark to learn beginners how to behave and act on snowparks
You will find every details on Avoriaz’ Snowparks website HERE.
► HOW TO GET THERE
Avoriaz is easily accessible from either Thonon at Lake Geneva or Cluses-junction on the A40 motorway between Geneva and Chamonix. Either way one follow the D902, Route des Grandes Alpes, to Morzine and then the D338 running from Morzine to Avoriaz. Snow chains are often necessary. You find driving instructions here.
Geneva-Cointrin intercontinental airport is the closest airport. There are regular bus connections from the airport to Morzine (see http://www.altibus.fr/).
There are no trains going directly to Avoriaz/Morzine. The closest train stations are Gares de Cluses (28 km) or Thonon-les-Bains (33 km). There are regular bus transfers from these stations (see http://www.altibus.com/). For train tables check out http://www.sncf.fr/.
If you need a taxi for the last part of the trip you can contact directly Morzine here.