Avoriaz is a small but popular ski resort near the Swiss border in France. Just over an hour and a half from Geneva airport, it’s an easy place to get to for young families on a coach, and not too bad a journey getting back to the airport on your return journey, hungover and tired.
The village was created by three men who met in a bar
Avoriaz was partly created by the Olympic ski racer, Jean Vuarnet, in the 1960s. Alongside him was an investor with money, and a builder who had the resources to build the village. It was decided that the village would be completely pedestrianised, and even to this day, the only way you can get around is using either a horse and cart or a snow plough. All of the buildings face south, allowing for the sun to heat up the apartments in the day, and all follow the shape of the mountain behind them.
You can ski to Switzerland from the resort
With Switzerland being just a 30 minute ski from the resort, it makes for a great day trip. All the runs there are blues, so even the less competent skiers among us are able to get there easily.
It’s hosted Snowboxx Festival for the past three years
Snowboxx is one of the most unique festivals in Europe, and is the brainchild of two Uni of Manchester graduates. It’s hosted the likes of Stormzy, Basement Jaxx, Fatboy Slim and Chase and Status.
You can go downhill mountain biking
For you adrenaline junkies out there, Avoriaz is one of the best places to visit to try out downhill mountain biking in the summer. There’s also snow-biking which you can try out from the 2018/2019 season, in which you ride a small motorised bike around the pistes.
There’s plenty to do on your days off from Skiing
For a small town, Avoriaz is buzzing with things to do. With it’s centre being home to many a good shop, as well as the Aquariaz tropical themed swimming pool and spa, you’d be a hard-pushed to find a better location for non-skiers. You can also go for walks along the pistes – they aren’t too steep in general, so you get a lot of walkers rambling around the mountains.
It’s a regular host of the Tour de France
Avoriaz has hosted the final stage of the Tour six times already, the last time being in 2010. Avoriaz was also at the centre of controversy when Floyd Landis finished the stage in 2006, only to be drug tested and convicted for drug doping.
There’s a wide range of good restaurants to try out
Avoriaz hosted “Festival international du film fantastique d’Avoriaz”, an international film festival, for 20 years until the early 1990s. David Lynch and Steven Spielberg are among those who’s films won awards at the festival. “Le Bistro”, in the centre of the resort village, is now the permanent home to the film posters from the event, and the food is delicious.
There’s also Chapka, and the Chapka burger is definitely one to try. Yeti bar also does a great hot chocolate after a long day on the slopes.