Green Traveller's Guide to Avoriaz, France
Since it was built in the 60s Avoriaz has invested in protecting its habitat. This green foresight has moulded the way the resort looks: the wooden cladding, balconies and roofs of the apartment buildings all contribute to effective thermal insulation.
And there’s no need to compromise on the skiing. Avoriaz is a gateway to the Portes du Soleil ski domain, which includes Morzine and Chatel as well as slopes in Switzerland. Particularly suited to intermediates and beginners, there are also good pistes for experts. With this many mountains around, you’re never going to be lost for things to do in the region once the snow has melted. Everything is geared towards outdoor living; hiking, snow shoeing, dog sledding and glacier walking are some of the most exhilarating things to do.
Did you know?
Number of lifts: 206 (Portes du Soleil)
No traffic except skis, sledges and horse-drawn sleighs
For 20 years (1973 to 1993) Avoriaz was the host of "Festival international du film fantastique d'Avoriaz" a film festival focused on science fiction and horror movies.
Where to stay
Nestled in the heart of Avoriaz's snowy sommets, the Hotel des Dromots is a warm and almost mystical place. Offering a spectacular location, right next to the ski lifts and all the amenities expected from a 4 star hotel from a piano bar to a bar complet with wood fireplace and a full menu of cocktails or a relaxation centre.
Address: 40, Place des Dromonts F-74110 Avoriaz
Website: Hôtel des Dromonts
Chalet Alaya Designed by Jean-Michel Villot, this is a modern chalet in the centre of the resort (and very close to the Children’s Village) which sleeps 14. Although there are plenty of mod-cons (home cinema TV, sauna…) the renovation has been carefully done using local wood and stone from around the resort. Address: 74110 AVORIAZ France Website: Chalet Alaya
An integral part of Avoriaz's natural growth the new Amara neighbourhood will feature stylish, luxurious and spacious tourist apartments. These have been built, not only with their own identity and architecture, as well as with saunas, hammam, relaxation rooms, swimming pools, gyms and healthcare centres, but in accordance with strict ecological requirements. Consequently all of the residences are Très haute performance énergétique (THPE) an exacting French qualification of ecological performance. Relaxation and luxury with a green conscience.
Address: 74110 AVORIAZ France
Sister to the Amara Neighbourhood, Crozats is as ecofriendly but more about creating a cocoon for you and your family, rather than splashing out in luxury. This fully fitted apartments have a real mountain studio feel with contemporary art touches, mixed with more traditional wood furnishings.
Address: 74110 AVORIAZ France; Phone:
Website: Crozats Neighbourhood
Where to eat
Chalet d'Avoriaz Chez Lenvers
Joseph has owned this address for over 22 years, after his father and his great grandfather. With a true respect for his Savoyard tradition and past, he introduces guests to local delicacies with original recipes and delicious local ingredients. But the particular speciality of this place, apart from its delicious bacon salad, is that the chalet d’Avoriaz Chez Lenvers is the only place in the world (bar one Swiss restaurant) that offers 'le triolet de fondues de fromage'. No ordinary fondue, here the caquelon (a fondue melting pot) has 3 compartments in which 3 different cheeses from a selection of 8 can be tasted. You may need to ski extra hard the next day to work the meal off, but an unforgettable gastronomic experience.
Address: Avoriaz 74110 Avoriaz; Phone: +33 (0)4 50 74 01 30
Website: Web address not available La Crémaillère
In the heart of the Lindarets, the Goat Village, this restaurant offers food for the soul. A beautiful savoyard chalet, find an excellent menu with ambience to match. Try their local mushrooms and home made tarts. The Braize family invites its guests to sample its recipes passed down through the generations made with regional quality products of quality. Not the easiest place to reach, only accessible by ski in winter, but well worth the trip.
Address: Les Lindarêts Village des Lindarêts 74110 MONTRIOND; Phone: + 00 33 (0)4 50 74 11 68
Website: Web address not available La Table du Marché
St Tropez in the mountains: this is Avoriaz's own version of Christophe Leroy's acclaimed restaurants. It creates a convivial gastromonic atmosphere inside the intimate Hôtel des Dromonts with tables set over several levels giving onto an expansive open terrace and the Hauts-Fort mountain. Point of note: there are over 50 different variety of refined cheeses on offer. Perfect way to end a subtle and rich meal.
Address: 40 place des Dromonts 74110 Avoriaz
Website: La Table du Marché
Where to visit
The Stash is a giant ecological snowpark. Opened in 2008, this park was installed with the utmost respect for its surroundings, using only wood, no metal, create its own space. Found in the centre of an expanse of un-groomed snow it is ideal for trying out wide turns in powder snow. The slopes here wind and out of the Lindarets forest trees and are punctuated with hidden wooden obstacles all over the secret passages. A brilliant piece of Ecotourism, and great fun.
Website: The Stash Snowpark
A wild and wicked festival in the mountains with the best of the pop/rock scene both French and International. All open air, all in nature, these concerts will be taking place in the unique surroundings of the skiable areas of the Ports du Soleil. Enjoy great music in the great outdoors with this festival that promises to be wild, very wild.
Address: Portes du Soleil
Website: Festival des Concerts Sauvages
L'Aquariaz A tropical jungle in the mountains you say? Madness you say? Not quite. Over more than 2000m2, L'Aquairaz will combine a serpentine river with a water pool complete with climbing wall, water trees, bubble pools and a sidewinder (an enormous water pipe!) to make an incredible water experience away from the cold. In Summer, the area will open towards large outside beaches. Address: 74110 Avoriaz Website: L'Aquariaz
Things to do
Ever wanted to zip through the air, seeing the lush landscape below stretch before you? How about mixing flying and skiing, so you can take an adrenaline filled run down a mountain, keeping your skis on the ground while your sails are in the air? Leaping out in the mountains with paragliding and speedriding, two intense and active sports. But don't worry the friendly instructors will make these activities fun and far from intimidating.
Address: Les Meuniers 74430 Seytroux
Website: Paragliding & Speedriding
Avoriaz is known for its dog sledding races holding annually the Grande Odysée, an international competition, and, while maybe not quite so fast, you can certainly get a taste of the reason why. The whole family can take part in this great activity, where the powerful and beautiful husky dogs will guide you along on a beautiful adventure through the snowy wilderness. Then, when the sledding is over, go and get to know these cute and friendly dogs all the better. Just be sure not to be licked too much!
Address: 74110 Avoriaz; Phone: +33(0)6 80 93 26 20
Website: Dog Sledding
An old sport given new legs, Ski Joring dates back to 2500BC in Switzerland but can now be found in Avoriaz. A different way to swoosh along the snow, this activity will not only bring you in touch with the landscape but with the majestic horses that will be your guide and your support. Entirely safe and a lot of fun, put your trust in this (somewhat) tamed part of the wild and travel like the wind.
Address: Les Frasses du Haut 39150 CHATEAU DES PRES
Website: Ski Joring
Scrunch your way through the absolutely stunning Avoriaz landscape. Reachable little seen and little known beauty spots, with taking your time to appreciate the wintry world around. Away from the noise, the crowds and any kind of pressure, kind the grand open spaces that punctuate and create this wonderful mountain landscape.
Address: ESF AVORIAZ 74110 MORZINE; Phone: +33(0)4 50 74 05 65
Website: Snow shoeing
The nearest train station to Avoriaz is Cluses. On the weekends, there are regular bus services betwen Cluses and Avoriaz . Book your bus travel with SAT Mont Blanc.
Day train (7-8h): After arriving in Paris Gare du Nord off the Eurostar, take the metro to Paris Gare de Lyon. From Paris Gare de Lyon there is a regular service, every two hours, to Avoriaz, with journeys taking just under 4h30.
Sleeper train (12h): Board the 7pm Eurostar from London St Pancras to Paris Gare du Nord then transfer to Paris Austerlitz. Board the 11pm sleeper train to Cluses, arriving at 8.15am.