Back in 2013 Avoriaz was awarded Best Family Resort by the World Snow Awards and it’s easy to see why. With no motor traffic at all through the centre of the village, great ski schools teaching from 3-years upwards and an excellent selection of pistes from nursery to black, it really has been designed with families in mind.
Set in France’s Alpine region and part of the Portes du Soliel area, this is a charming purpose-built resort whose quiet streets are only disturbed by the sound of horse-drawn sleighs and skiers returning after a day on the slopes.
Designed so that all the accommodation is either on or very close to the pistes, parents will love the ease of getting the kids out on to the slopes in the morning and the quickness of getting tired children back to your accommodation at night.
Great for Infant Skiers
If your kids are just starting their skiing adventure then Avoriaz is a perfect choice as the nursery slopes are at the heart of the resort and the ski schools are all very good, particularly at teaching this level.
Infants are welcome to find their legs at Village des Enfants where children from three years old can experience their first slide. Village des Enfants offers a daycare service where they will combine lessons with a crèche service from 9.30 – 5.30.
At ESF lessons start from 4 years old and, like Village des Enfants, they have their own protected area with cartoon characters, magic carpets and lots of fun activities.
The Pistes at Avoriaz
With the children safe in ski school you’ll have the freedom to explore the excellent skiing area. You can pretty much leave Avoriaz in any direction you choose and discover some great runs.
Opposite the village are the slopes of Arare-Hauts Forts with its challenging runs down to Les Prodains, to the left you can head towards Switzerland and the tricky Swiss Wall, and behind the resort is the Lindarets-Brocheaux valley with its lifts to Châtel or Pointe de Mossettes.
If your children get the hang of it quickly then the nursery slopes provide access to a network of very easy, gentle blues, perfect for practicing their snow plough with you.
The Portes du Soleil is a great skiing area for intermediates with a lot of blues and sedate reds to be found around Avoriaz itself. The blues around Les Prodains and Super-Morzine are particularly picturesque and if you like going through trees then you should definitely check out the Lindarets runs.
Those who like a challenge should head towards Châtel for the runs to Prés-la-Joux and L’Essert. And if you want to venture over the Swiss border but don’t feel up the Swiss Wall then Pointe de Mossettes is a much gentler option.
There are some great, challenging runs for experts in Avoriaz if you know where to find them, this is afterall the home of one of the World Cup downhill courses. If you fancy pitting your speed against the professionals then head over to Les Prodains or the equally difficult runs at Hauts Forts.
The great thing about Avoriaz is that their black runs really are black (not red runs bolstered up to black status to attract skiers, as in some resorts) so seek these out for a really challenging ski.
The notorious Swiss Wall from Chavanette is purposely left ungroomed to give an ‘off piste’ feel and is definitely one to take on if you want to push yourself to the limit on its mogul-strewn surface.
If you want to travel a little further afield then head over to Châtel to its Linga area which will provide plenty of thrills for the advanced skier.
How to Get to Avoriaz
Avoriaz is conveniently located close to both Geneva and Chambéry Airports with a transfer time of just an hour and a half. Lyon Airport is also close, although the transfer time is slightly longer at three hours, which with small children might be a little challenging.
The quickest and easiest way to get to Avoriaz from any of these airports is to book a transfer with Shuttle Direct before you set off. Let them know how many of you will be travelling and what ski equipment you will have with you and they will send a vehicle to meet you at the airport and take you directly to the resort. With a direct transfer you’ll enjoy the advantage of not having to stand around with all the other skiers waiting for coaches or taxis.
Where to Stay:
Résidence Pierre & Vacances Premium L’Amara – The stylish self-catering apartments at Résidence Pierre & Vacances Premium L’Amara offer a great family-friendly option with the choice to cook your own meals or to venture downstairs to the restaurant and bar. With spacious accommodation and a heated indoor swimming pool combined with ski-in-ski out access this is the perfect place for a family with young children. Close by is the L’Aquariaz Mountain Spa with 2000 square meters of swimming pools and water slides, a climbing wall and outdoor hot tub.
Hotel des Dromonts – For a seriously stylish option try the Hotel des Dromonts. Set right on the slopes for ski-in-ski out access, this place is super cool but still very child friendly. There’s a great spa and a restaurant serving authentic local food, the bar is cosy and welcoming after a day on the slopes.
Résidence Pierre & Vacances Electra – Kids will love the bright colours of the contemporary interiors at Résidence Pierre & Vacances Electra. These self-catering apartments offer child-friendly bunk-bed rooms, spacious seating and dining areas, and balconies overlooking the slopes. There’s a grocery delivery service available by request.
About Shuttle Direct:
Take the stress out of travelling to a ski resort with a young family by letting Shuttle Direct collect you at the airport and delivery straight to your destination. Shuttle Direct is the leading provider of airport transfers to destinations across Europe and North Africa offering luxury private cars or group transfers. Book online before you set off and let them know what equipment you will be travelling with and Shuttle Direct will transport it for you free of charge.