Skiing in a Winter Wonderland: Avoriaz

View of the mountains and the valley town below from Avoriaz.

Despite the Indian summer days we have been experiencing this week, winter is almost upon us, which means that the snowboarding season is too! In excited anticipation of the slopes, I am sharing these pics of Avoriaz where I spent a week snowboarding in 2008.

The Portes du Soleil ski area has 650 km of pistes located in France and Switzerland.

A purpose-built ski resort in the Portes du Soleil area of the French Alps, Avoriaz was constructed in the 1960s by three architects who put an emphasis on designing a resort that would blend in with the mountains and be environmentally friendly. In contrast to the concrete blockhouses typical of other ski areas, the buildings in Avoriaz are clad in wood and are without sharp angles to resemble the surrounding mountains.

The buildings were designed to blend in with the mountains.

To reduce noise and air pollution, as well as to allow a relaxing and quiet escape from urban life, the architects made Avoriaz a car-free village. Movement around the resort is by foot or skis and you can ski-in and ski-out of your accommodation (always great!). And finally, for those who dislike walking, or for the romantics amongst you, the horse-drawn sleighs, which act as taxis, make this picturesque resort a veritable winter wonderland. Unfortunately for me, it looks like I’ll only be hitting the US East coast “mountains” this year!

Horse-drawn sleighs are the only transport in the car-free ski resort of Avoriaz.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Annabel
    Nov 13, 2011 @ 03:30:42

    I got all excited you were going to come and visit until I saw the last sentence… must be planned for another year!


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