AVORIAZ / MORZINE
Les Portes du Soleil is a major ski sports destination in the Alps, encompassing thirteen resorts between Mont Blanc in France and Lake Geneva in Switzerland.
Avoriaz is located in the municipality of Morzine, on an alpine plateau on the French side of Lake Geneva, that is, between the lake and Mont Blanc. This conveniently positioned and almost 400 square meters large region is also known as Les portes du soleil – The Gate of the Sun. The entire region is divided into 12 smaller ski resorts, interconnected by a cable car system that is amongst the largest ones in the world. Although the ski trails are marked with different symbols and are quite easy to follow, it is not advisable to move around without a map (ski map) in your pocket.
Ski resort with no cars
Avoriaz is conceived as a modern and functional ski resort of inventive architecture characterized by wood-panelled skyscrapers. Apartments are located within the skyscrapers and in just a few steps, it is possible to reach the trails that pass through the resort itself. This ski resort has well-designed ski-in and ski-out and it is safe from traffic having no-cars-allowed policy. Large parking lots and garages are located at the city entrance and luggage is transported by special snow vehicles. Several cable cars also run through the city. The lower and upper parts are connected by an elevator system.
In the six smaller surrounding valleys, quality accommodation is also offered: Les Gets (popular for families with children), then Montriond, St-Jean d’Aulps, then Abondance (known as the church center and medicinal spa resort) from which the road leads to the picturesque La Chapelle d’Abondance and Châtela. Just across the border, in Switzerland, Targon, Mergins, Champoussin, Champery and Val d’Illiez are located. Situated slightly below Avoriaz (1,800 meters) lies Morzine (800 meters) – a town with traditional rural architecture where the first attempts of ski tourism began. However, due to the higher altitude, Avoriaz guarantees a heavy snow cover even when it disappears in other parts of the region.
Trails of different difficulty levels
Mur de Chavanette is considered to be one of the steepest trails in the world and the trail with the most jumps. Of the more difficult ones, the trails around Crozats and Intrets are interesting, while the trails Les Gets and Châtel are not recommended for beginners or snowboarders. Around Morzine, the trails at Pleney (1600 meters) and Ranfolly are mostly of medium difficulty level. The other trails of the region are well maintained, pleasant to ski on, and recognizable for their width.
During the day, various daily events are organized, and in the evening, in the area of barely several hundred meters, you can visit the bars, restaurants and discotheques – which makes this the best après-ski offer in this region. The region also has a rich cultural offer – science fiction film festivals, instrument workshops in Les Getz and… WEB.
The very view of the sunset from the upper station of the Chamossière cable car shakes even the most ardent opponents of romance to their core.
There are over 250 kilometre of cross–country ski trails in the entire region, of which 39 kilometres in Avoriaz itself. The most popular are those in the Vallee de la Manche valley (above Mirzine) and the panoramic trails around Avoriaz and Les Getz.
Among other sports facilities, the offer is mainly related to snow sports: ice climbing, ice skating, deep snow touring, snow biking, etc. But there is also a night slide, horse-drawn sleigh ride, electric snowmobile for children, guided snowmobile rides at night, visit to Igloo village, ice diving, dog sledding, paragliding… You will surely be interested to know that Aquariaz has a water park and offer of spa treatments and massages.
Avoriaz is recommended for beginners and inexperienced skiers. Most trails are blue or red and start from the city centre.
If you are travelling by plane, the nearest airport is in Geneva, only two-hour drive away.
Drink plenty of water as this is one of the few regions in France where they will wholeheartedly offer you tap water. Why? From here, the water, which is filtered through numerous layers of limestone, is bottled in nearby Évian and sold around the world.
Travel Advisor – Ski Guide