Built high above the mountain town of Morzine in the heart of the Portes du Soleil ski area, Avoriaz has been hosting Alpine skiers since 1800. The resort has preserved its history and environment by keeping it fully pedestrianised – that is, no cars allowed. Though you can certainly use your car to traverse the winding hairpin bends in the road up from Morzine, you must leave your vehicle in one of the car parks near the entrance of Avoriaz.
However, the lack of cars is what makes Avoriaz so charming. When you arrive and park, the resort will arrange for a horse-drawn sleigh to take you and your luggage to your accommodation. And that’s not all. The activities available in Avoriaz prove that travelling on wheels is so overrated.
Horse-drawn Sleigh Rides
If you’re absolutely charmed by the sleigh ride to your accommodation, you can take a guided tour of Avoriaz in this old-fashioned, horse-drawn winter vehicle. Cosy up under fur and wool blankets and trot past snow-capped chalets and evergreens sparkling with frost. Avoriaz is a classic example of 20th century architecture and heritage, so you’ll feel as though you’ve stepped back in time.
If you’ve never heard of skijoring, you’re not alone. This Scandinavian sport involves skiing while being pulled along by a horse! If you’re looking for a bit more of an adventure than a relaxing sleigh ride can offer, skijoring might be for you. Ask at your accommodation about booking an introductory or ‘forest run’ session.
If you’re looking to travel on your own two hooves, give snowshoeing a try. Snowshoes work by evenly spreading out a person’s weight over a larger area. When you strap on these wide shoes, you’ll seem to “float” over the snow and can traverse untouched winter wilderness with ease. Ramble through the forest with a guide and see if you can spot some Alpine wildlife.
How to Get to Avoriaz
As noted earlier, there are no cars allowed in Avoriaz, so if you intend to drive to the resort, be prepared to leave your car in one of the car parks. The drive from London is about 11 hours, just over 650 miles. Don’t forget snow chains for your tyres once you hit the snowy mountain roads!
If you’re planning to arrive by air, Geneva is the nearest major airport to Avoriaz. You can arrange a private or shared airport transfer from Geneva to Avoriaz, which is about a two-hour drive. With all your ski gear in tow, a direct transfer from the airport is the easiest and most convenient option for you and your family.
Where to Stay
Hôtel Le Mont Jorat – Enjoy the quaint and comfortable budget accommodations at this picturesque chalet in Abondance, about six miles from Avoriaz. A communal TV lounge offers an opportunity to socialise with other guests, while the restaurant serves up traditional Savoyard dishes. With its warm wood furnishings and rustic decor, Hôtel Le Mont Jorat offers an authentic Alpine experience.
Résidence Pierre & Vacances Saskia Falaise – This mid-range set of apartments is located right in Avoriaz, with direct ski-in ski-out access to the slopes. Apartments at Résidence Pierre & Vacances Saskia Falaise have fully equipped kitchens, with a shopping delivery service available in winter months. Another excellent option for families, Résidence Pierre & Vacances also has a children’s club to entertain your little ones!
Les Chalets d’Adelphine II – Located just six miles from Avoriaz in the charming town of Les Gets, the high-end Les Chalets d’Adelphine II offers chalets for six to ten people, making it a perfect place for families. The traditional wood-panelled chalets share access to an indoor pool, sauna and hot tub – ideal for warming up after a day on the slopes!