One of the bigger costs of your trip, here is all you need to know about buying your ski pass.
The Portes du Soleil ski area offers something for every level of skier and snowboarder, from gentle beginner pistes to more challenging descents, it's definitely somewhere you can make the most of with the right lift pass.
And as we all know, when it comes to planning a ski trip, buying a lift pass is one of the bigger investments. So, before you take the plunge, take a look at our guide full of tips and tricks of what to buy, when to buy it and what to do with it once you've got it.
Here's a quick run down of our best insights:
- Buy ski-passes online, saving time and money in resort
- Look out for web-only ski-pass deals
- Get up early and ski the whole area till your legs fall off (maybe do some fitness training before coming)
- Avoid faffing in lift-queues, spend more time skiing
- Play in the family fun zones
- Enjoy piste-side extras
- Ski in the other resorts included in your pass
- Use the leisure facilities
- Make the most of the après-ski opportunities
Whilst it's possible to buy your lift passes when you get to resort, instead of spending your first morning standing in a long lift pass queue in the cold, buying in advance means you're straight up the mountain on day one. Buying online couldn't be easier, and the pass card itself can be reloaded / recharged if you visit resort again.
Rather than opt for them to be mailed to your home address, simply pick them up in resort - it's just one less thing to remember to pack. There are usually pick up boxes/machines you can collect them from on arrival.
As with many things these days, the deals tend to be online, and that's no different when it comes to lift passes, especially if you buy well in advance taking advantage of any 'early bird' specials.
Web exclusive deals offer fantastic value for duos, families and groups on the six-days plus passes especially, these are only available if you buy online (even though you can opt to pick them up in resort or have them posted to you).
The family pass (two adults + at least two children) offers great savings, especially as in Avoriaz children tickets are from ages 5-15 years. If you're coming in a group of friends take a look at the 'duo' and 'trio' packages for savings galore.
If you're topping up existing passes card, reference numbers are required. It's also worth knowing that you'll buy your passes safe in the knowledge that up until the day before all passes bought online are fully refundable.
Make the most of the pistes
To make the most of your lift pass, set yourself the goal of experiencing the whole area. Get up early and catch the first and last lifts every day for six days in a row and ski it all. Then if there's time start on the off-piste. This way, you'll be maximising your piste-to-buck ratio. More realistically, take your time, enjoy it, and like us, take a long leisurely lunch after three pistes.
The Avoriaz ski area has:
- 51 piste-basher prepared slopes
- 75.5km of skiable distance
- 2,466m highest point
- For the advanced skiers and snowboarders there's steep fast black runs and moguls and the Hauts Forts sector for powder hounds
- Fun zones
- Snow parks galore
Avoid faffing around in lift queues
The lift-barriers check hands-free passes on the LEFT SIDE, remember to:
- Put your lift pass in a pocket on the left side of your ski jacket or trousers and you'll whizz through the turnstiles. Often ski jackets come with a small pocket on the left sleeve exactly for this purpose.
- Don't put any credit cards or phones in the same pocket as your pass, you'll simply confuse the machines.
- Kids trouser pockets are often lower than the sensors - use their sleeve pockets.
There are often single person lift queues to fill spaces on the chairlifts, don't neglect to use these and make some new friends on the way up.
And in all seriousness, take-off rucksacks and hold them in front of you. The straps can get caught on the lifts if they're still on your back, or you can be pushed to the front of the seat with the extra depth, and this is dangerous.
Avoriaz is home to no less than seven snow parks, and there is so much to do in these fun zones, in fact if you're up for it you could spend your entire holiday in them.
The most famous and well-known is the Burton Stash - one of it's kind in Europe. There's also the lil' Stash, the Burton Kids Parkway, the Baby Park, the Big Park, the permanent Superpipe and the Ski Cross.
Ski in the dark after everyone else has gone home - the closest night skiing is on Morzine's Pleney piste, which once a week turns on the floodlights and allows you to ski under the stars.
Ski in other resorts too
Personally, we're not convinced if you'll get around to this one during a week-long stay. But if the above is not enough for you, the Portes de Soleil lift pass gives you access to 650km of pistes across 12 linked resorts in France and Switzerland: Avoriaz, Les Gets, Morzine, Montriond, Abondance, La Chapelle-d'Abondance, St Jean d'Aulps, and Châtel in France, and Champéry, Val-d-Illiex les Crosets Champoussin, Morgins and Torgon in Switzerland.
A tour of the area can be completed by experienced skiers in a day, and by doing this you will discover a wealth of terrain, along with stunning scenery and breath-taking views across the Alps.
World famous après-ski
If you're not already exhausted by the prospect of all that skiing, and you think you'll still have some energy for dancing in your ski gear, you're in luck. The famous Folie Douce Morzine-Avoriaz is 'the' party on the mountain, only accessible if you head up via the lifts. Open every day for fun and frolics, with DJs, live performers, loud music and an unforgettable après-ski experience.
Just make sure you leave enough time to get the last lift down to resort, a last minute helicopter taxi home isn't going to be cheap.
All of these tips will help you get the most out of your ski pass. Now, all you need to do is get out here and see for yourself. Read our resort guide for all you need to know, and we look forward to seeing you on the slopes.