Ski resorts by train

Avoriaz - slopes

Skiing for all standards

Beginners: nursery slopes within the resort and plenty of gentle terrain towards Les Lindarets promote a satisfying feeling of going places within a week. In the centre of the village the new Riglet Park, part of the Village des Enfants learning zone, is a concept developed by Burton to encourage children to become more confident in snowboarding, with mini rails, pyramids and half-pipes.

Intermediates: Avoriaz is one of the quickest entry points to the Portes du Soleil circuit that includes Chatel in France and Morgins, Les Crosets, Champoussin and Chambery in Switzerland. This is a cruiser’s paradise, skiable in either direction by anyone who can tackle a red run with confidence. Chatel is the weakest link: there is a direct link from Avoriaz by blue or red slopes but if you want to ski to Les Gets, you have to first to cross Morzine using a (free) bus. It is possible to belt round in four hours, but a day trip with a Swiss lunch is much more enjoyable.

Experts: Avoriaz has speedy lifts to the top of Hauts-Forts, the gateway to tough black runs down to Les Prodains. On the Portes du Soleil, the moguls on the Swiss Wall at La Chavanette are a test of skill, nerve and fitness, while the powder fields towards the Pointe de Ripaille take a while to ski out after a dump.

Ski Schools and guides

The Avoriaz Alpine Ski School (00 33 450 38 34 91), run by Ian McKeller for 16 years, heads the British presence with lessons for adults and children. Peter Hughes’s Freedom2Ski (00 33 6730 49412) and Mike Hammond’s Ski Skills (01279 816382) are also recommended.

ESF also operate in Avoriaz with English speaking instructors.

Choose from over 17,000 instructors in 250 resorts across the French Alps


Lift system

Avoriaz has 70km of groomed runs and 34 lifts, most of them modern. With 197 lifts linking 12 villages and accessing 650km of piste, the Portes du Soleil lift pass is one of the most extensive in Europe.

A new cable car, introduced in February 2013 links Morzine and Avoriaz, carrying skiers 580 metres in four minutes.

Snow reliability and snowmaking

When it comes to snow sure, the name says it all: 1800m is plenty high enough to guarantee good conditions throughout the winter. Nature gets a helping hand from 68 cannons on 11km of piste. 

Terrain parks

Avoriaz built the first terrain park in France in 1993 and now has four, plus a super-pipe. With very few drag lifts, beginners start easily and progress rapidly to the mini jumps and ride-on boxes in Parkway and the airbag jump in La Chapelle. The main park is at Les Lindarets, but the Californian-style Stash, a wooded mountainside with three routes cut through the forest, is awesome for freestylers and all-mountain riders

Snowcarbon Founder, Daniel has made a two-minute film about Avoriaz, interviewing British skiers found at random on the slopes, to ask what they think about the resort, which you can see here:

Portes du Soleil piste map

Ski area
Village Altitude
Ski Altitude
1800m - 2466
Green Runs
Blue Runs
Red Runs
Black Runs
Total Runs 280
Terrain Park
Cabin Lifts
Chair Lifts
Drag Lifts
Total Lifts 195