Avoriaz Ski Resort

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Avoriaz ski resort France is part of the immense Portes du Soleil
Avoriaz ski resort France is part of the immense Portes du Soleil
Avoriaz skiing
Avoriaz skiing
Avoriaz alpine village in the Portes du Soleil ski area
Avoriaz alpine village in the Portes du Soleil ski area
Avoriaz highest lifted summit, 2277m Pointe de Mossette, is a freeride powder haven into Switzerland
Avoriaz highest lifted summit, 2277m Pointe de Mossette, is a freeride powder haven into Switzerland
Avoariaz village is on a bustling plateau, full of humans & novice ski lifts & terrain
Avoariaz village is on a bustling plateau, full of humans & novice ski lifts & terrain
Avoriaz is the busiest of the Portes du Soleil ski resorts
Avoriaz is the busiest of the Portes du Soleil ski resorts

Avoriaz Ski Resort

Readers Ratings

Avoriaz

Avoriaz3.5/51
Avoriaz3.5 out of 5 based on 1 reviews
  • Recommend
    100%
  • Would Revisit
    100%
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Portes du Soleil Resorts

French

Châtel
Les Gets
Morzine

Swiss

Champery-Les Crosets
Champoussin
Morgins
Torgon

    Portes du Soleil Ski Trail Map
  • Portes du Soleil Ski Trail Map
  • Vertical (m)
    Avoriaz only
    1,160m – 2,260m (1,110m)

    Portes du Soleil
    950m - 2,277m (1,327m)
  • Average Snow Fall
    8m
  • Lifts (195)
    13 Gondolas
    78 Chairlifts

    Avoriaz only
    34 lifts - 3 gondolas, 17 chairlifts
  • Opening Date & Times
    December to mid-April
    8:30am to 4:30pm
  • Terrain Summary
    Runs – 79km (incl. routes)
    Longest run – 8km
    Advanced - 12%
    Intermediate - 29%
    Beginner - 59%

    Portes du Soleil
    600km of trails
  • Lift Pass Price
    Day Ticket 20/21
    Avoriaz only
    Adult - €TBA
    Child - €TBA
    Child u/5yr – Free

    Portes du Soleil Lift Pass
    Adult - €55.50 to 59
    Child - €42 to 44
    Child u/5yr – Free
    Portes du Soleil Ski Trail Map
  • Portes du Soleil Ski Trail Map

Avoriaz Ski Resort France

One of the snowiest places in France, Avoriaz ski resort is part of the sensational & massive cross-border Portes du Soleil ski region. Avoriaz can lay claim to the highest village, best snow & terrain in the region, plus the most controversial village architecture (& that is no small feat in French ski resorts)! Add to that its popularity & one quickly gets a picture of what to expect!

Pros & Cons for Avoriaz Ski Resort

Pros

  • Vast terrain & diversity, interlinked with other resorts & straddling the French-Swiss border.
  • Highest snowfall zone in the region combined with shaded, predominantly north-aspect terrain.
  • Ski lifts are modern & efficient – the best in Portes du Soleil (and they need to be!).
  • Superb novice areas near the village.
  • Diverse beginner & intermediate terrain – both on & off-piste.
  • Huge array of terrain parks.
  • Massive off-piste & freeride terrain options for everyone from beginner to expert.
  • Best location from which to ski the entire Portes du Soleil, with direct lift & piste trail connections to Champery-Les Crosets in Switzerland, plus Châtel & Morzine in France (via a short bus ride).
  • Ski-in ski-out resort village with expansive views.
  • Liveliest après ski in the Portes du Soleil (near the village & the ski lift hub at Les Lindarets).
  • Excellent free bus links between Avoriaz & Morzine-Montriond.
  • Fabulous lodgings are available off the mountain in several nearby hamlets & towns.
  • Ski two countries but speak one language – French (the Swiss sector is in the French speaking part of Valais).

Cons

  • Busiest snow holiday destination in the region with extremely high visitor numbers at peak periods.
  • Relatively low top elevation (2,260m) & shortish skiable vertical of between 300-600m in the upper alpine (with possibilities of 1000m verts in two locations).
  • Major on-piste trails in Avoriaz are prone to high skier traffic & the subsequent slope conditions that follow it!
  • The easiest accessed off-piste terrain gets skied-out remarkably quickly.
  • Accommodation is highly sought after & can be expensive.
  • Easy to get ‘lost’ - pay close attention to signage as people have been known to end the day stuck in the wrong country!

Pro or Con (depending on your perspective!)

  • Close to Geneva.
  • Finding untracked off-piste within the resort requires some local knowledge.
  • The ski resort village architecture is a ’love it or hate it’ proposition!
  • Village accommodation is predominantly self-contained apartments.

Skiing & Snowboarding Terrain

The long Avoriaz novice, beginner & intermediate runs will delight the vast majority of skiers & boarders, particularly because of the ease with which one can link to Chatel or Switzerland, expanding the possibilities infinitely. The blue run from Pointe de Mossette to Ardent is around 8 to 10km long depending on your number of turns! Various snow-parks like ‘The Stash’ increase the fun factor. Advanced riders may be less impressed, but only marginally. The pistes of the Grandes Combes have a solid 1000m skiable vertical all the way down well-pitched, north-aspect slopes & the off-piste freeride options are as expansive as one’s imagination.

See here for the Avoriaz ski trail map.

Ski lifts are amongst the best in the region.

Interlinked with Portes du Soleil

Avoriaz is in a super central location to other cracking ski areas. It is lift connected into the rest of the Portes du Soleil via the Pointe de Mossette & Chavanette into Champery-Les Crosets, off-piste terrain into Morgins in Switzerland, the Chaux Fluerie chairlift into Châtel, the Super Morzine gondola & free ski buses into Morzine. Depending on who you believe, the Portes du Soleil has more or less than 600km of ski trails & close to 200 ski lifts. Whichever way one looks at it, any resort within the broader ski region is worth visiting, particularly after cold storms from the north & west.

To get a sense of the enormity of skiing the ski region, see here for the entire Portes du Soleil ski trail map.

Where is Avoriaz France?

Avoriaz is in the Haute Savoie of the French Alps, just south of the Swiss border & Lake Geneva (Lac Leman). By road, Avoriaz village is only 94km (1½hr) east of Geneva airport via the nearest major town (& ski resort) of Morzine. Morzine is a mere 13km (20min) from Avoriaz. The closest train station is at Cluses, 42km (1hr) to the south.

The closest airport is Geneva (GVA), but given the nearby TGV train line, airports are far away Paris (CDG) can be utilised to get to the area.

Cluses railway station is on the TGV line from Paris. It is 1⅓hr by regional train from Geneva (leave every 2hr through the day). Buses on the route 91 travel from Cluses to Morzine on a limited timetable of between 2 & 6 times a day, with the most services on a Saturday. Only one bus goes to Avoriaz and it is a single direct express service on a Saturday.

Search & book here fortrain tickets to Cluses.

Unless one has a rental car, given the poor bus timetabling, if getting a train to Cluses, we recommend organising a private transfer to Avoriaz. Alternatively, if the financials stack up, simply get a transfer direct from Geneva airport. A private transfer can be quite time & cost effective, particularly if in a group of 3 or more people.

Search & book here for all transfers to Avoriaz.

Avoriaz Accommodation

The amazing Avoriaz village dominates a high plateau above Morzine. Perched spectacularly on a clifftop, it is an architectural marvel, particularly at a distance! At first glance, it may appear out of step with the natural environment, but upon further investigation, one may conclude it is in fact brilliant. Similarly, you may conclude that you don’t like it all – just another in a long list of polarising ski village designs in the French Alps. (Everything looks better in winter😊). Whilst a stay in the alpine village is super convenient from a ski-in ski-out point of view, we recommend also looking at quality alternative lodging options in the quiet hamlets at the lift bases of Ardent or Les Prodains; or slightly further afield in the towns of Montriond & Morzine.

As with the majority of French Alps ski resort developments, most accommodation in Avoriaz is simple, smallish, self-contained apartments & chalets (with options for full catering!). There are relatively few hotels or high-end accommodations. As with everything, there are always exceptions to the rule, but they come at a price! Some excellent 5-star apartments are at the Residence Pierre & Vacanes Premium L'Amara. They come complete with a horse-drawn sleigh to help you get around the village. The 4-star Hôtel MiL8 provides some of the best hotel rooms in the village.

Search & book here for all Avoriaz ski accommodation.

The valley villages of Morzine & Montriond make marvellous alternatives to the alpine village at Avoriaz. The Super-Morzine gondola from town, plus regular free ski-bus connections to the lift bases at Ardent and Les Prodains provide convenient access to Avoriaz for day trips.

Search & book here for all Morzine ski accommodation.

Activities

Naturally, for a high alpine village on a clifftop, Avoriaz has a tropical themed pool complex called Aquariaz. Complete with lush vegetation, a gently flowing river with rocks, pools & slides, its major saving grace from a Powderhounds point of view is at least there is an outdoor hot tub. There are all sorts of water-based fitness activities for those that think skiing isn’t a physical enough sport! There is a reasonable entry fee.

Reviews

The Powderhounds visited Avoriaz & Portes du Soleil in 2019 & have been too incredibly busy (or slack - you decide!) to finish the reviews & information relating to this magnificent ski area and its many & various parts. Take our word for it and just go there. Click on the review links in the left column on this page (or top of page if on a mobile) to read our (eventually) long-winded but humorous & inciteful thesis-like prose, plus see a few additional photos.

See how Avoriaz & Portes du Soleil compares to the rest of the European ski resorts on the Europe ski resort ratings page.

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