France, Portes du Soleil Ski Area
Sitting at the heart of Portes du Soleil ski area (and marking its highest resort and ski station), Avoriaz has a 1960s post-modernist ‘pop art’ feel about it. Instantly identified by its tall apartment blocks scattered around winding roads on the cliff-top plateau, with a stunning vista over the valley and Morzine below. Thanks to its high position, Avoriaz celebrates a great snow record.
Avoriaz is a pedestrian town: All cars, buses, taxis and vehicles stop off at the entrée station on the outskirts of town, and everywhere from there is reached by foot, horse drawn carriage, or snowcat. This makes it an ideal location for families, and you can very literally ski in and out of your hotel!
A great resort for beginners, intermediates, skiers and snowboarders alike, there is a little something for everyone in Avoriaz. While the Portes du Soleil stretches over 650km in every direction, stretching over the border into Switzerland, there is still plenty to do off the piste as well with delicious restaurants in abundance, alongside bars and amenities in the centre of Avoriaz. There is potential to ski over to Switzerland for a day. There are also lots of family-friendly activities like ice skating, as well as more adventurous activities like parapenting for those seeking an adrenaline kick!
Ski and board rentals
Hiring your equipment is arguably the easiest, and one of the cheaper options of getting on your skis and boards when out in resort. You can rent blue/ red/ black grade equipment with Inghams and everything will be arranged for you for your arrival.
For beginner skiers you can save money on lift pass, lessons and equipment hire with our ‘LEARN TO SKI’ packages. See 'Ski Extras'.
Avoriaz is the perfect destination to learn how to ski. With beginner nursery slopes very close to the town and easily accessible ski lifts, you won’t have to travel far to meet your instructor for your morning of lessons.
Inghams can arrange lessons for you whatever your age, including ski school for children and morning lessons for adults. Save money with our exclusive ‘LEARN TO SKI’ packs.
The ESF ski school in Avoriaz gathers close to the drop off point, or entrée station, at the base of Plateau ski lift where the Jardin des Enfants is.
Avoriaz for beginners
Beginners taking part in ski lessons will gather near the drop off point in Avoriaz, and from there they will tackle the gentle nursery slopes around the tops of the Plateau chair lift and top of the Proclou chair lift. The Super Morzine area has some lovely gentle runs that stretch from Avoriaz to Morzine where you can get the cable car back up again. For those beginners with a little more confidence and seeking to ski independently, the long, gentle green Proclou piste is a great place to start, and follow it up with the easy blue runs around the Prolays and Brochaux chair lifts.
Avoriaz for intermediates
The whole Portes du Soleil is an absolute treasure for the intermediate skier with plenty of pleasant blue runs that aren’t too heavily cluttered and offer astounding vistas.
The area that towers over Avoriaz and is accessed by the Lac-Intrets chair lift offers plenty of easy cruising, and the blue runs in the Les Lindarets area (easily accessed by the Prolays chair lift) dip and dive in and out of the woods. When armed with a little more confidence, don’t be afraid to explore further afield: climb to the Col du Fornet peak and descend from there, and explore the red runs over on Plaine Dranse.
Avoriaz for advanced
Fresh powder and off-piste skiing can be quite hard to come by in the immediate area around Avoriaz, but during the peak season, thanks to its high altitude, Avoriaz can enjoy up to almost 8m of snow. There is a stretch of black pistes and powder pockets that can be reached in the Les Hauts Forts area at the top of the Grandes Combes chair lift. Head over towards Chamossiere in Les Gets for some challenging areas, and the Cornebois in Chatel.
Freestyle and terrain parks
Sitting directly above Avoriaz is the Snowpark Chappelle which includes a variety of features- XS, S, M, L jumps, boxes, rails and kickers. There is an area exclusively for the beginner freestyler to get some practice here as well.
Also in Avoriaz is the Snowpark d’Arare which includes some much bigger features (up to XXL) and an airbag and kicker installed in the spring.
The Stash Freestyle Park was the first of its kind- a long snaking run that dips and dives through the trees with rails, boxes and kickers made out of natural materials and hidden in corners and between trees.
Across the Portes du Soleil there are a total of seven parks, four airbags and a superpipe in Avoriaz.
Childcare and kindergarten
If you have babies and toddlers who need minding while you ski during the day, help is at hand*. In Avoriaz there is a calm and professional nursery school who will happily take babies as young as 3 months and children up to the age of 5. For those parents who are keen to get their children on the slopes with them, there is the children’s village (Village des Enfants) in the centre of Avoriaz where they will enjoy lessons in the morning, and an afternoon of play time and rest.
*If you are interested in arranging childcare during the day for your children, please be aware that you cannot book this through Inghams, you must arrange it locally.
Avoriaz is a completely pedestrian town with no cars, buses or taxis allowed onto the streets. The drop off point is on the north-western point of town where you can park your car in either an underground or open air carpark for the week, and the buses and taxis stop here.
Getting to and from Morzine is easiest via the Prodains cable car, which pedestrians can access until 21:00 on weeknights, and 00:00 on weekends.
It is best to try and get around town on foot but there is also a horse and carriage ‘taxi’ service available!
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Avoriaz restaurants, food and drink
Avoriaz has a great selection of restaurants for a variety of different tastes. The food in the area is predominantly French with Swiss influences, and be sure to try some of the delicious wines while you’re at it!
For family friendly on-the-go hearty burgers, curly chips and snacks in an ideal piste-side location, head to Changabang, located opposite the Prodains cable car summit station. However it can be quite popular on a sunny day!
Also in the area (and situated just below Changabang) is Chez Flo offering both inside/outside dining and a delicious menu of Savoyard dishes, croque monseuirs and chips. Next door is Les Trappeurs which is both a lively après bar as well as a good place to stop for a bite to eat, also offering Savoyard dishes but also some Italian specials, and wine!
For a finer dining experience in the evenings head to La Cabane, which serves steak, a mouth watering fondue board, tapas-style food, and more. There is also a bar on the lower levels with pool tables which can be popular in the evenings.
Les Fontaines Blanches sits in the Festival area of Avoriaz and is a highly popular destination with Inghams guests over the years.
If you are looking for something whilst on the go, head to Les Lindarets, or better known as 'The Goat Village'. Mamas restaurant here is family friendly and offers meals and snacks for everyone.
Avoriaz après, bars, clubs and nightlife
Après culture reigns supreme in Avoriaz, and plenty of the bars and restaurants come to life at 5pm when the lifts close and everyone is growing a little thirsty! Providing you get the last lift at 5pm back up to Avoriaz, Happy Hours Bar at the base of Ardent is a wonderful bar to wet your lips in, with imported beers on the tap, wines, and even fresh smoothies and milkshakes. Snacks are also served and there is live music occasionally.
La Kinkerne at the bottom of the Les Prodains cable car is a lively and popular après ski haunt for those staying in both Morzine and Avoriaz. Live music with DJs can be expected, and La Kinkerne hosts the Sun:Sets event with sports competitions, music, BBQ, and cheap-n-cheerful drinks. Will be back for 2017!
Back in Avoriaz and its getting late- head to Shooters Bar, which has a lively atmosphere and mostly indoors so you stay warm in the evenings. The Yak is a basement club and is open until early, with guest DJs, house music and good times!
Guests can expect the usual sporting goods stores, souvenirs, tabac shop, and a chemist (pharmacy) when shopping in Avoriaz. Most of the shops in the town are based along the Promenade du Festival which stretches past the tourism office. There are several Sherpa supermarkets for those who are living in self-catered accommodation and they are based very conveniently close to the hotels. You will find two ATM machines near to the tourism office on Promenade du Festival. If you’re looking for a little tasty treat then head to the Avo Saveurs bakery that does the most delicious Nutella sandwiches!
If you want a full day of shopping it might be best to head down the valley to Morzine, where you will find a much wider array of shops and facilities.
Avoriaz spas and relaxation
Inghams Hotel des Dromonts is home to the Pure Altitude Spa, one of the best spas in the town that offers a sensorial voyage down memory lane with a space age 1960s Alpine inspired spa. Newly refurbished to the highest standard of luxury, it almost looks straight out of a James Bond film! Here you can find various massages (including sports massage), beauty treatments, relaxation, Jacuzzis and saunas.
If you’re looking for something that’ll incorporate children too, head to Aquariaz swimming pool complex where you’ll be transported a thousand miles away to a warm sub-tropical climate even when the snow is falling outside. There is an open air spa heated to 34 degrees, as well as massage benches and a water playhouse to keep the kids occupied.
Avoriaz arts, culture and events
Avoriaz is a relatively new resort; purpose built in the 1960s with a ‘space age’ feel to it, but there is still plenty of culture to be had. With Rock the Pistes happening every year in March and the new Snowboxx festival migrating to this small town, it’s a real hot spot for music lovers.
The mountains around Avoriaz are also home to plenty of vista spots that stretch over France and neighboring Switzerland. For a wonderful experience and photo opportunity head up the Fornet chair lift and you’ll see what we’re talking about!
More culture and Alpine lifestyle can be found if you venture down into the much older and more traditional Morzine at the base of the mountain.
If you fancy a change from skiing and snowboarding day in and day out, why not try snow scooting? You can spot people all across the mountain trading their equipment in for the day in exchange for one of these fun items that is a cross between a bike and a snowboard! Hire them locally and return.
You can go tobogganing on the pistes (within reason) at any time of day. Either buy your sledges or hire them, the Boulevard des Skieurs is flood lit at night for you to enjoy. There are also excursions for night time sledding for the much more adventurous that involve a head lamp and a little bravery to boot!
Talk to your Inghams rep in resort if you want to know some more about night time tobogganing.
Horse drawn sleigh rides
Acting as the taxi service in Avoriaz, there are plenty of horse-drawn sleighs around the town, and grabbing a trip from one end of Avoriaz to another is great fun for everyone of all ages!
There is a small ice rink in the middle of Avoriaz, lit up at night and you can hire your skates locally. This is a fantastic child-friendly activity that can be enjoyed even after the pistes close for the day.
Aquariaz swimming pool sits in the middle of Avoriaz and feels like a tropical haven a thousand miles away from the Bahamas! Several different swimming pools, including themed areas for children, spa pools, fountains, and whirl pools.
There is a two-lane bowling alley and arcade located in a subterranean complex on Place des Dromonts. It’s hard to miss the big ‘bowling’ sign out the front!
Located in the centre of Avoriaz near the tourism office and ice skating rink, the small cinema has two screens and shows all of the national releases. Be aware that some films will be voice dubbed in French.
For the thrill seekers out there- paragliding (or parapenting as the French word goes) is available in Avoriaz and Morzine throughout the ski season for those who dare. Check with your insurance policy before booking this sort of activity.
Speak with your Inghams rep in resort and pay locally.
If you think the mountains are beautiful from the ground then try seeing them from above! Helicopter tours and rides are available in resort and make a great day out for everyone.
Chat with your rep if you would like to arrange a helicopter tour.
You can take a guided ramble through the beautiful Alpine landscape with a pair of snowshoes. This relaxing activity is the perfect way to step back and enjoy a slower pace of things, explore the forests, spotting animals and breathing the fresh mountain air. There are even evening snowshoe walks to be enjoyed, so talk to your Inghams rep in resort if you fancy taking the mountains in at a different pace.
Chat with your Inghams rep if you would like to arrange a snowshoeing excursion.
With 216km cross country trails and tracks in the Portes du Soleil area, 45km of them sit in Avoriaz alone. There are 4 areas that are generally accessible from Avoriaz and Morzine: the Manche Valley, Morzine-Avoriaz Parc Naturel des Cretes de Zorre, Lake Montriond, and Pleney-Chavannes. You can grab cross-country skiing lessons with the ESF in Morzine.
Chat to your Inghams rep in resort if you would like to know some more about cross country skiing.
LEARN TO SKI
6 days local Avoriaz lift pass, 6 days 'Blue' ski/boot hire, 6 days tuition
Adult from £344 Child* from £276
All Learn to Ski packs must be pre-booked in the UK and are not bookable locally.
*Child Ski = 4-12yrs
|Child 5-15yrs||Child 0-4yrs|
|Portes Du Soleil Area Pass|
|Local Avoriaz Pass|
Passes include non-refundable deposite of €3 for hands free card.
Portes du Soleil Pass: L (31 Mar- End of season), H (All other dates).
|Skis & Boots||£112||£131||£147|
|Snowboard & boots||-||£131||£147|
|Child (6-12 yrs)*||Skis & Boots||-||£61||-|
|Snowboard & boots||-||£61||-|
Equipment Hire (6 days) – Please see here for description of hire categories.
*Snowboard & boots from 8yrs. White category skis & boots available for children 3-5yrs: £46.
|Tuition||Days||Hours||Adult 13yrs+||Child 4-12yrs*|
|Ski (morning)||6||2hrs per day||£133||£124|
|Snowboard||6||2 1/2 hrs per day||£159||£159|
*Child snowboard tuition= 7-12 yrs. Ski tuition commences 9.15-11.15am and 9-11am during school holidays (24 Dec- 5 Jan & 3 Feb- 2 Mar). Snowboard tuition commences 9-11.30am.
Prices and supplements are correct at time of publishing but may vary up or down; correct prices will be advised at the time of booking.
Resort Code: FRAV
Languages spoken: French
Time difference: GMT+1
Flights depart Saturday
Isle of Man
Transfer by coach 1hr 45mins
Flight supplements may apply.
*Only private transfers at a supplement available on these flights
Private transfers and Self drive are available.
Car hire available: No
Evening resort bus service: No
Parking available: No
Resort Ski bus available: No