Avoriaz is one of the most stunning alpine ski resorts you can visit. Situated on a distinctive rocky outcrop, it boasts a dramatic location near France’s border with Switzerland, bordering both Lake Geneva and Mont Blanc. Since the resort is in the heart of the Portes du Soleil, it provides a great base for enjoying this renowned ski circuit, the largest in Europe.
The resort itself has a modern aesthetic, its buildings are bold and sharp, featuring quirky lines – but it fits beautifully with the natural surroundings. It is also traffic free, with only sleighs and sledges being modes of transport, providing a unique atmosphere, open access to the slopes as well as being great activities in themselves which are safe for children.
The Portes du Soleil ski area has over 650km of piste and off-piste as well, so skiing or boarding in the area is hugely varied. Due to the elevation of Avoriaz, the snow tends to last throughout the season.
Since the Portes du Soleil has an extensive area for skiing and boarding, it offers varied slopes for all abilities. The area itself offers stunning views over breathtaking mountain scenery and also the alpine charm of the lower level villages of Morzine and Les Gets. Skiers have the opportunity to experience a variety of different slopes in the area, with the longest run being 6km.
There are 140 easy runs, 100 intermediate runs, 25 difficult runs and the north-facing slopes help to ensure good snow. The resort has excellent facilities and tuition for skiers, but it is also superb for snowboarders, with three snow parks and a superpipe.
If you would like a day away from the slopes to add some variety to your holiday, there are plenty of other activities to keep you occupied. You can try glacier walking, tobogganing, head off on a snow mobile, go ice skating, or take a ride on a horse or husky drawn sled.
There is also a cinema and a bowling alley which stays open until the early hours. The resort includes a supermarket and ski shops but it lacks boutiques or specialist shops which can be found in other nearby towns. In the summertime, Avoriaz is popular with hikers, mountain bikers, climbers and horse riders who also come to enjoy the lovely scenery and spectacular mountains.
There are a wide variety of local places to eat. You could try some of the local specialities such as meat and cheese, which are alpine cooking favourites. Fondue is also a local treat; you might like the cheese version, where you dip pieces of crusty bread into melted cheese; or the meat variety, in which you skewer pieces of raw meat and cook them yourself in a pot of hot oil.
Most of the local food here is great for those coming in from a day on the slopes; it is hearty, hot, filling and will provide you with lots of energy for another day of skiing.
Bistros and Italian pizzerias are amongst those serving traditional mountain foods, if you want tasty food that is simple and works for your budget. There are also some high quality gourmet restaurants; ‘La Table du Marche’ in the Hotel des Dromonts, has set high standards due to its innovative and award-winning owner and chef, Christophe Leroy.
‘Le Bistro’ offers an a la carte menu and Savoyard specialities, as does ‘Les Fontaines Blanches’ brasserie, which also serves traditional French cuisine. ‘La Boule de Neige’ is one of the most popular places for great pizza. The village of Morzine has many dining opportunities if you are willing to travel a bit further afield.
The resort is a lively place with some fantastic nightlife to be enjoyed. There are a number of bars where you can go to have a quiet drink or begin your night out. ‘Tavaillon’ is a bar-pub and ‘Globe Trotter’s Cafe’ is always popular. If you want something more up-beat with live music or club nights, then head to the ‘Place’, ‘Le Choucas’ or ‘Le Fantastique’. Entrance fees are not usually too steep and the clubs and music venues are usually crowded with plenty of people from all over the world.
Avoriaz is one of the most popular alpine ski resorts and for good reason. The stunning location is perfect for exploring and the Portes du Soleil ski area can provide the basis for an action packed holiday.
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