Avoriaz – Skiing With A Difference


For a family ski holiday with a difference, consider Avoriaz in the Northern French Alps.

Parents with young children may have reservations about going on a skiing holiday. However, Avoriaz aims to take away all the stress by providing a unique, family-friendly experience.

Avoriaz is at the highest point in Portes du Soleil, one of the largest skiing areas in the world. Guaranteed snow from December to April, the resort boasts 130 kilometres of slopes ranging from the beginner green slopes to the expert level black slopes.

The resort was designed in the late 1960s. Initially exclusive to the French ski ‘jet-set’, today it is more mainstream with primarily self-catering accommodation. The hotels blend in well with the mountainside and the clever architecture has been acknowledged with various awards over the years.

What is so different about Avoriaz? The resort is completely pedestrianised. When you arrive at the car-park outside the resort, horse-drawn sleighs are waiting to take you to your hotel. You will sense a peaceful silence immediately. Children will love the magical feel to the place, particularly evident at night.

The resort is very family-friendly. The ‘Village des Enfants’ teaches children aged 3 and over to ski and snowboard. The parent’s ski classes cleverly mirrors the children’s timetable. ‘Les P’tits Loups’ nursery looks after children aged 6 months to 3 years.

It is possible to ski almost from the door of the hotels in the centre of the resort. The main street leads straight to the ‘pistes’. This is to be well appreciated when you have young children in tow on the way to ski school each morning. There is no need for long walks in uncomfortable ski boots.

In Avoriaz the myth that there is nothing to do on a ski holiday except go skiing is laid bare. Skating rink, fitness centre, squash, snow mountain biking, night sledding, skydiving, dog sledding, showshoe walking, bowling, cinema – the list of alternative activities for the family is endless.

Another unique selling point is Aquariaz. Described as ‘the highest waterpark in Europe..offering year round fun for families’ and the only one of its kind in the French Alps, Aquariaz is a tropical leisure centre with three different zones including water slides, a water playhouse, and a ‘Chill Out’ space.

The winter ski season opens on 14th December with a Snowsports Festival. Free ski gear tests are on offer, children can try out snowboarding; there are live rock concerts, the first fondues of the season and ‘free mulled wine and roast chestnuts’.

Snow Magazine states that ‘The place definitely has a feel of ‘child-friendliness..never more evident than at Christmas when Santa arrives on his sleigh, accompanied by elves laden with sweeties for the kids’.

Fly direct to Geneva and take a coach direction Chamonix, via Morzine to Avoriaz.   Isn’t it time you dusted off the ski boots in the back of the wardrobe and rediscovered ‘la joie des pistes’?

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

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