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 terrain looking toward Fornet
Avoriaz skiing terrain looking toward Fornet
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
The village of Avoriaz is on a bustling plateau, full of humans & novice ski lifts & terrain
The village of Avoriaz 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
Reading the trail signs is important at Aviraiz & the Portes du Soleil
Reading the trail signs is important at Aviraiz & the Portes du Soleil
The infamous
The infamous 'Swiss Wall' is just over the border from Avoriaz
Freeride terrain below the Pointe de Mossette from the Swiss side of the ski resort
Freeride terrain below the Pointe de Mossette from the Swiss side of the ski resort
Les Lindarets at Avoriaz has several fun bars & restaurants
Les Lindarets at Avoriaz has several fun bars & restaurants
Les Hautes Forts (2,466m) rises behind Avoriaz village
Les Hautes Forts (2,466m) rises behind Avoriaz village
Beginner ski terrain in the sheltered Les Lindarets area of Avoriaz
Beginner ski terrain in the sheltered Les Lindarets area of Avoriaz
Pointe de Mossette (2,277m) has fabulous on & off-piste terrain at Avoriaz
Pointe de Mossette (2,277m) has fabulous on & off-piste terrain at Avoriaz
Terrain parks abound in the region, like this off the Arare ski lift
Terrain parks abound in the region, like this off the Arare ski lift
Mixed ski terrain around the Brochaux chair below Avoriaz village
Mixed ski terrain around the Brochaux chair below Avoriaz village
The Stash is a fun ski area at Avoriaz, with natural & man-made park features
The Stash is a fun ski area at Avoriaz, with natural & man-made park features
Wide terrain & piste trails looking toward Pointe de Vorlaz at Avoriaz
Wide terrain & piste trails looking toward Pointe de Vorlaz at Avoriaz
Après ski action at Les Lindarets is great in the early afternoon sun
Après ski action at Les Lindarets is great in the early afternoon sun
Avoriaz is closely linked with Champery & Les Crosets in Switzerland
Avoriaz is closely linked with Champery & Les Crosets in Switzerland
Ski Avoriaz France
Ski Avoriaz France

Avoriaz Ski Resort

Readers Ratings

Avoriaz

Avoriaz4/52
Avoriaz4 out of 5 based on 2 reviews
  • Recommend
    100%
  • Would Revisit
    100%
Mountain People Ski Snowboard Holiday Packages Italy  France French Alps Package

Portes du Soleil Resorts

French

Châtel
Les Gets
Morzine

Swiss

Champery-Les Crosets
Champoussin
Morgins
Torgon

Avoriaz Maps & Stats

    Avoriaz Ski Trail Map
  • Avoriaz 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 (196)
    14 Gondolas
    78 Chairlifts

    Avoriaz only
    34 lifts - 4 gondolas, 16 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 23/24
    Avoriaz only
    Adult (26-64yr): €50 to 54
    Senior (65yr+): €46 to 50
    Youth (16-25yr): €46 to 50
    Child (5-15yr): €40 to 42
    Child u/5yr: Free

    Saturday Special
    Flat Rate: €38 to 42
    Saturday & Sunday Special
    Flat Rate: €69 to 73

    Portes du Soleil Lift Pass
    Adult (25-64yr): €54 to 68
    Senior (65-74yr): €49 to 61
    Youth (16-24yr): €49 to 61
    Child (5-15yr): €41 to 51
    Senior over 74yr: €26
    Child u/5yr: Free

    All passes are cheapest is purchased online
    Rates decrease by 15% from 1 April
    Portes du Soleil Ski Trail Map
  • Portes du Soleil Ski Trail Map
    Avoriaz Village Map
  • Avoriaz Village 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 (PdS) ski region. Avoriaz can comfortably lay claim to the region's highest village, best snow, incredible novice & beginner ski runs & facilities, and great advanced terrain, plus the most controversial village architecture (& that is no small feat amongst French ski resorts)! Add to that its popularity & one quickly gets a picture of what to expect. However one can only grasp the genius of the Avoriaz after seeing it for real. We suggest you do.

Pros & Cons for Avoriaz Ski Resort

Pros

  • Vast terrain & diversity, plus seamlessly 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 in & 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, car-free 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.
  • Incredibly cheap Saturday & weekend lift pass rates for adults.
  • 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 1,000m 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! (We have grown to love it.)
  • Avoriaz village is car free. All cars are parked in garages or open air car parks near the village. Getting around is on foot, ski or one of 20 horse drawn sleighs.
  • Getting to most village accommodation requires oversnow transport (for a fee) in either a snowcat of horse-drawn sleigh (of course you can walk or ski too!).
  • Village accommodation is predominantly self-contained apartments.

Skiing & Snowboarding, Lifts & 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 in France, or the Swiss parts of PdS, expanding the possibilities infinitely. First and foremost, Avoriaz has designed its village around beautiful novice terrain and ski tows right through its heart. A more convenient place to learn to ski is hard to imagine. The blue & green 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 1,000m skiable vertical all the way down well-pitched, north-aspect slopes & the off-piste freeride options are as expansive as one’s imagination.

Check out the ski trail map for Avoriaz below.

Avoriaz Ski Trail Map
Avoriaz Ski Trail Map

Avoriaz plays up its position near the Portes du Soleil’s infamous Chavanette or ‘Swiss Wall’ run, but it is a truly over-rated proposition. As the name suggests, it isn’t even in France and is merely steep, bumped, nastiness which we would be pleased to see relegated to the history books (we are powder hounds after all, not bump dogs!). The better adventures are exploring the off-piste from the backside of the Pointe de Mossette or with a bit more effort, the ridge toward Pointe de Chésery.

Ski lifts at Avoriaz are amongst the best in the region, and they need to be! A few upper mountain surface tows and the old triple chair running up one side of village are the exception rather than the rule. Access to the resort from the valley terminals at Ardent and Les Prodains is great for day-trippers. The Super-Morzine gondola from Morzine is easy from near the centre of town (at Morzine that is). The gondola is perfect for novices but not great for advanced riders looking for immediate access to the slopes due to the multitude of lift connections required after it - take the bus to Les Prodains instead. The very slow Plateau triple chair will thankfully be replaced by a 10-person gondola in time for season 24/25 and will dramatically improve movement through the village.

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.

Lift Pass

Local lift passes for Avoriaz are available and are generally €9-14 cheaper than a Portes du Soleil pass. All lift tickets are even cheaper when purchased online. The flat rate prices for Saturday & weekend local lift passes is exceptionally cheap & amazing value.

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 for train 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.

Driving up to Avoriaz village in a rental car is easy enough, but given its altitude comparative to the rest of the region's villages, does have its challenges in poor weather. On arrival, prior to parking, you will need to off-load your gear and either walk/ski it to your accommodation, or use one of the 20 horse-drawn sleighs (or at peak times mechanised snowcats with cabins). A trip on either the horse draw sleighs or snowcats does cost a few € (depending on the destination, in season 23/24, journeys are from €7 to 16/trip plus a small luggage supplement).

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 covered in snow during winter😊). It is a cunning design, with car-free pedestrian & ski friendly snow-covered streets where the only things you need to look out for are the numerous horse-drawn sleighs transporting guests from A to B. 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 many 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. 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.

[AdListings collection="Europe" category="France Portes du Soleil" subcategory="Avoriaz Packages"]

Ski Rentals, Lessons & Equipment

Ski rentals are available in at multiple convenient locations in the Avoriaz village through our local partners. Receive a discount when you search & book via our Avoriaz Ski & Snowboard Rental page.

If you need someone to show you around, help improve your technique, or assist in finding the best snow stashes, search, compare & book ski instructors & mountain guides via our Avoriaz Lessons & Guiding page.

[AdListings collection="France" category="France Services" subcategory="Avoriaz Ski Rentals Clothing"]

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 & again in March 2023. We had a superb time exploring this fascinating village & ski area. Take our word for it and just go there and check it out. The village is like no where else on earth. 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 French ski resorts on the France ski resort ratings page, or compare to the rest of Europe on the European ski resort ratings page.

Follow Powderhounds Europe on Instagram to see where we are currently skiing. Follow our main Powderhounds page on Facebook to stay in touch with up-to-date info, tours, and discussions.

Tours in or near Avoriaz

Safari (Road Trip) Tours

White Owl Swiss Ski Safari
SNOW, WINE & CULTURE SKI TOUR
8 Days | 7 Nights | 6+ Ski Days
Ability: Intermediate to Expert
Experience the best of both worlds on a ski safari through the famous valley of wine in Switzerland. An unforgettable journey visiting 6 amazing ski resorts with thrilling slopes & breathtaking views & forays into France & Italy. After skiing, be immersed in the delights of great restaurants & enriching culture .....
Price p/p From price based on a tour group of 6 guests on an 8-day tour.
Base/invoice currency is in CHF inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 4,277
View Details
 
See all Safari (Road Trip) tours that visit Avoriaz here
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