Avoriaz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Avoriaz in the Rhone Alpes region of France is part of the Porte du Soleil ski area which encompasses a host of ski resorts that straddle the France/Switzerland border. There are 12 resorts in total with access to 650 Km of piste with 208 lifts serving 279 runs. Avoriaz is the highest of the resorts at 1800m.

Avoriaz is approx 40 km from Cluses, and you will travel through Les Gets and Morzine to get there. The last 14 km from Morzine is a series of tight hairpins; expect to take an hour over this last bit, and have your snow chains handy!

Avoriaz was one of the first purpose built resorts in the Alps, and is in a prime location. Its architecture is fairly uninspiring and Avoriaz is often called “Paris on Snow” due to the high rise nature of most of the buildings.

It boasts several “natural” snowboard parks designed by Jake Burton, as well as Olympic standard parks and pipe. The area is vast and caters for skiers as well as boarders. There are 9 restaurants within the Avoriaz boundary, and if you buy an all area pass you can literally ski from resort to resort – just remember to take your passport with you!

Avoriaz resort does not have the village atmosphere that you will find elsewhere and eating and drinking is on the steep side. A pint of Amstel Lager will set you back €11. There is however the usual restaurants, pubs and clubs and a couple of well stocked supermarkets. If you get tired you can use horse drawn open sleigh taxis to get you about.

 

Facilities:

Update 2012/13 Parking Exterieure

This is a great car park to stay in, if a little bleak. It is handy to leave the camper for a week or so if jetting back to Blighty as the transfers to Geneva are relatively cheap ($40) and quicker than places like Bourg etc.

There is water available at the 'piste basher' garage just below the car park. Although I was directed there by the car park attendant to get fresh water the guys in there were a little surprised at my pitching up with cannisters. I think as the season goes on as we ply them with the odd bottle of wine for their 'troubles' we should get free access to the water. Obviously advisable to go fully stocked.

If the lift pass office is closed (early season) the staff at the button lift adjacent to the car park will let you on and t from there you just ski down to the main pass office at the top of the Prodains lift.

Staying in the car park can be a little noisy on your days off due to the proximity of the board park and the pumping tunes but if you are into hip hop and rap it saves your batteries having your stereo turned off!

There is also a car park which I haven't stayed in yet which is free. It is on the road leading up to Avoriaz from Morzine and geographically it looks very close to where the top of the SuperMorzine Bubble meets the bottom of the Zore chairlift, so a great position.

Thanks to Paul Million for the 2012/13 update

 

Parking is in a main carpark about 300m from the main resort, and costs €7 a day (Jan 07). You will be asked to park to the rear of the carpark, just look for the other vans. Other than one of the best views in the Alps there is nothing else here. No electricity, no water and no gas. You can at a push empty your cassette in the carpark toilets.

I would advise you to take spare water, and a generator with spare fuel to this location. You should manage a week before you need to resupply. There is an Aire in Morzine but it’s a right faff to get into. The nearest gas dealer and Garage is located in Morzine, and the nearest LPG is in Cluses, so make sure you’re topped up before driving up to Avoriaz.

There is a lift pass kiosk right next to the carpark at the bottom of one of the board parks, we didn’t experience any queues here as most people get there passes at the main tourist info in the resort centre.

To summarise: This is a cheap but austere place to park. The rewards more than make up for this. What you get is slope-to-van door skiing at altitude, a view to die for and quick access to some of the best terrain Europe has to offer. Lift prices are reasonable at €190 a week and you rarely have to queue for a lift. Eating and drinking out is expensive, and you will be hard pushed to find many Brits here in the evening, they tend to stay in Morzine.

www.portedusoleil.com

GPS Co-ordinates: lat: 46.194547, lon: 6.768534 (N 46° 11’46”, E 6° 46’02”) 

Thanks to Austin and Lindsay Hinds

 

Update & new images December 2009 by Steve Pirnie

Water was difficult to obtain. In containers from stables across road but not very welcoming.

Excellent skiing - large area. Can ski back to motorhome off piste.