by: Rob - 2nd March 2009

  • 4
  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced/Expert
  • 4All-Mtn. Terrain
  • 4Family Friendly
  • 4Aprés Ski
  • 4Terrain Park
  • Overall Value
Huge area, tightly clustered village
Seems a little a tough to get to...

Full review

Avoriaz is near the geographic center of the vast Portes du Soleil area, on the French side. It’s a purpose-built ski town, so there’s no old-world European charm like you might find at a place like Zermatt. But as ski villages go, it’s very pleasant. Access to the town itself (and when I say “town”, I mean “clusters of high rise condos”) is restricted. There is a large parking lot near the terrain park, and snowcats appreared to be transporting luggage to and from. I didn’t actually stay in Avoriaz, but it definitely looks like a place you come to stay for a week or two, not just for a couple of days. The village can also be reached by tram from the parking area at Les Prodains, and we saw families with carts full of provisions waiting on the tram. For a great view of the Avoriaz area, check out this webcam: http://livecam.avoriaz.com/index.php?webcam=1&langue=2 It’s a very high-resolution camera that pans 360 degrees. The Portes du Soleil area is so vast that there is terrain for just about any taste…the usual broad and gentle European pistes, above tree line bowls, some tree skiing, and some serious hike-to terrain. Overall though, Avoriaz is more geared towards beginner and intermediate skiers, but advanced skiers can find things to keep them occupied. The views, while nothing to make Chamonix tremble, are quite nice. The highest elevations are at about 2800m (9200’), so the snow is reliable on the upper slopes. The food? Well, it’s France. Need I say more? I had lunch twice in Avoriaz, and found nothing to complain about.
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