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AVORIAZ...promises you happy holidays at the very heart of Portes du Soleil, an area where the mountains are all around you

Ski safari:
Skiing is at its best in the open and not just on either side of the ski lift. The locals call it a “ski safari”. This is where you are able to go for long treks without ever seeing the same piste twice in a single day. Ski lifts are arranged so that skiers can go from one valley to the next and experience the superb landscape. Our mountain is not over-developed and skiers are evenly distributed across the region.

A panorama on skis:
When you are skiing, you can see some of the finest panoramas in the Alps: a stunning view of Lake Geneva from above and a breathtaking view of Mont Blanc and the Dents du Midi...

Hidden runs:
Children (and their parents) can try going on small off-piste runs. These hidden runs are 2 or 3 m off the edge of the piste and you can safely slalom between the trees and slide down toboggan runs formed by deep snow.

Skiing in nature:
On some trips, it is not unusual to come across mouflons or chamois...

A mountain which isn’t over-developed
The skiing area of Portes du Soleil often has vast stretches of snow that extend over 650 km. In fact, what characterises Portes du Soleil the best is that it is somewhere the mountains are all around you.

Introductory training course:
a return to nature and wide-open spaces The Children’s Village offers children aged 8 to 16 introductory courses: the aim is for them to practise skiing in the wide-open spaces of Portes du Soleil on introductory trips: you never ski on the same piste twice and you move from valley to valley between France and Switzerland. The course is based on the same principles as a long trek in summer, emphasising observation of nature (chamois, moufl ons, birds of prey...) and the countryside(the Dents du Midi, Lake Geneva...). The course, trialled last winter, was extremely popular with youngsters.
Tel : +33 (0) 4 50 74 04 46 www.village-des-enfants.com

Removing rubbish from the pistes
As of next winter in Avoriaz, take a careful aim! “Target-bins” are being placed underneath chairlifts to catch rubbish dropped by skiers. Everyone can play their part keeping the mountain clean. It is a fun, original idea to help the environment.

Avoriaz is in the centre of the Portes du Soleil area
  • 266 pistes stretching over 650 km
  • 25 black / 100 red / 106 blue / 35 green pistes
  • 214 km cross country skiing pistes
  • 385 km of snowshoe hikes
  • 195 ski lifts
  • 10 snowparks / 3 half-pipes / 4 boarder-cross
  • 694 snow canons covering 391 hectares
  • 89 piste caterpillars
  • 1050 employees on the pistes and ski lifts
  • 1080 ski and snowboard instructors

Natural snow
Located between Mont Blanc and Lake Geneva, Avoriaz enjoys superb weather conditions: high snow fall because of banks of moist air from one of the largest lakes in Europe coming up against the cold natural barrier of the highest mountain in Europe.

The average monthly snowfall chart between 1998 and 2008 indicates that snow coverage is guaranteed throughout the season.
SnowfallIn the resort 1 800mAt the summit 2466m
November 59 cm67 cm
December 137 cm169 cm
January 126 cm149 cm
February 116 cm125 cm
March 163 cm189 cm
April 123 cm140 cm
Average over the last ten years
 724 cm839 cm

“Snow is guaranteed”, no two ways about it
Avoriaz hoteliers promise thath there will be snow this year and have cancellation insurance for your stay in the event there is no snow. All the details of the “Snow is guaranteed” insurance policy are available on request (Christelle: +33 (0)4 50 74 24 23).

Classes for parents
Amazing fact: The Children’s Village is offering skiing courses for parents! Yes, there are adult courses scheduled around the time of the children’s classes and they are held in the same place. This makes it easier for everyone and means that a skiing holiday can be fun... for parents as well.
Times:
from 9.30 to 12.00 for children, from 9.45 to 11.45 for parents.
from 1.30 to 4.00 for children, from 1.45 to 15.45 for parents.
All prices can be found on www.village-des-enfants.com

Avoriaz, the resort clad in wood
Residences and chalets covered with a wooden layer of red cedar shingle tiles that become gently enveloped by the snow, roofs that follow the angle of the slopes, in a perfect harmony of moutain and modern design, because right angles do not exist in nature, sloping sides to make the sky seem closer ...
… Avoriaz, the trend-setting resort,the resort of well-being In the streets, sleighs replace cars, skiers can ski right to their door, children go around in sledges, and the bars and terrace cafés soak up the sun .. for those special moments

Avoriaz & it's surroundings
Avoriaz is one of the most distinctive Alpine ski resorts you will probably ever visit; perched high on a rocky promontory it looks down over the mountains of the Portes du Soleil and beyond. Situated at the centre of the Portes du Soleil it falls within the Chablais region of the Haute-Savoie, bordered by Lac Leman (Lake Geneva), the River Arve and Mont Blanc - there is no shortage of stunning natural beauty!

The Portes du Soleil is renowned for being the largest international ski area in Europe, spanning both France and Switzerland and encompassing the eight French resorts of Abondance, Avoriaz, La Chapelle d’Abondance, Châtel, Les Gets, Montriond, Morzine, St Jean d’Aulps and the six Swiss resorts of Champéry, Champoussin, Les Crosets, Morgins, Torgon and Val d’Illiez

History of Avoriaz
Possibly the most modern resort in the Portes du Soleil, Avoriaz is instantly recognizable for its dynamic architecture, based on the concept that in nature there are no right-angles. However, back before winter sports transformed the resort Avoriaz, or ‘Avorea’ as it was known, was little more than a cluster of alpine chalets and high-altitude pastures. Farmers from the lower village of Morzine would bring their cattle up the mountain to graze during the summer months. When winter arrived the harsh weather drove them back down to more sheltered land leaving the higher ground deserted. Back then skiing was not the popular and accessible pastime that it is today; the few hardy souls that trudged up through the heavy snow to ski back down had the mountains to themselves. One of these men was future Olympic champion Jean Vuarnet.
Jean VuarnetIn 1960 Vuarnet became a local hero when he won the men’s downhill skiing at the winter Olympics in Squaw Valley, California. On returning from his triumph he was made director in charge of transforming Avoriaz into a ski resort. Together with friends and business partners Gerard Bremont and Jacques Labro, amongst others, Vuarnet set about creating a viable infrastructure and generating interest in the resort. From the outset their plans were considered avant-garde and drew much criticism. The idea of making the resort traffic-free seemed absurd in the 1960’s when environmental issues were not on many people’s agenda and owning a car was a sign of affluence. However, the concept of leaving your car at the entrance and getting about on foot, sledge or even pony and trap is what gives Avoriaz much of its charm to modern day visitors. Vuarnet’s vision of Avoriaz as a ‘small Savoyard Colorado’ was totally different to the ideas that other, larger ski resorts were developing along. However, he and his associates knew that they were with working with a relatively small village that, geographically, could not expand outwards and so a more lateral approach would be necessary to carry out the development.
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