Downhill skiing & snowboarding
Lift-assisted downhill skiing and snowboarding are the most popular activities in Avoriaz. So much so that we could write several guides dedicated to them... and, in fact, we have! Take a look at our Ski Areas, Pistes and Parks Guide where you'll not only find a lot of information on the Avoriaz ski area but also links to many other articles: Ski Lifts Guide, Best Pistes Guide, Snowparks Guide, Beginner Ski Areas Guide, Advanced Ski Areas Guide, Off-Piste Ski Areas Guide, Ski Itineraries Guide and even a guide on the best places to go skiing when the weather is bad.
However, lift-assisted downhill skiing and snowboarding aren't the only things you can do in Avoriaz while having a pair of skis or a board strapped to your feet.
Ski touring & split boarding
Whether it's going up the pistes that most people normally ski down or tackling a backcountry route, ski touring and split boarding allow you to get off the beaten path while working a sweat up the slopes. A number of ski schools, private instructors and companies can show you around or, if you've got all the necessary knowledge, you can head out in your own group. Some of the most famous ski touring routes in Avoriaz include the Vallée de la Manche or Col du Fornet, the Hauts-Forts summit, the Pointe de Vorlaz and the Dents du Midi tour crossing the border over to Switzerland.
How much does it cost to go ski touring or split boarding in Avoriaz? It depends. Ski touring prices in Avoriaz range between €60 per day f you’re only renting the gear and around €400 if you’re also getting a guide for the day to help you explore the backcountry. Of course, if you already have the equipment and the local knowledge, ski touring in Avoriaz is free!
The Portes du Soleil boasts 216 km of tranquil cross-country trails. There are four cross-country areas accessible from Avoriaz: the Manche Valley with 25 km of challenging circuits, the Morzine-Avoriaz at Parc Naturel des Crêtes de Zorre with up to 47 km for all levels, Lake Montriond with 10 km of Canadian-style runs and the Pléney-Chavannes sector with 18 km of forest runs.
How much does it cost to go ski touring or split boarding in Avoriaz? You can hire the comfortable boots and lightweight skis and poles fairly inexpensively from most sports shops in Avoriaz, with cross-country rental prices starting at around €15 per day. You may also want to book a group or private lesson to learn the basics, in which case prices start at around €180 for a 6-day group lesson. Finally, to access the higher trails you'll need a lift pass. Cross-country skiers can purchase pedestrian passes starting at around €7 for a single trip and up to €80 for 6 days.
Heliskiing & heliboarding
Heli-skiing is not permitted in France but there are a couple of companies in Avoriaz offering panoramic helicopter rides that include heliskiing. They pick you up in resort and take you over the border into Italy or Switzerland from where you will ski down accompanied by a mountain guide. It is expensive, but definitely a once in a lifetime experience!
How much does it cost to go heliskiing in Avoriaz? Perhaps unsurprisingly, heliskiing is one of the most expensive activities on this list – after all, you’re swapping the lifts for your very own helicopter! Prices start at around €300 per person and include the helicopter ride and a guide to go with you as you ski down the remotest areas in Avoriaz.
Telemarking is a form of downhill skiing where you are only attached to the binding at the toe so, to turn, you have to lunge and bring your heel upwards. Talk to one of the ski schools or private instructors who can teach you how to telemark and take you out on excursions using this technique.
How much does it cost to go telemarking in Avoriaz? It depends. Telemarking prices in Avoriaz range between around €40 if you’re only buying a ski pass for a day, plus around €70 if you’re adding one-day gear rental, and around €90 if you’re also getting a private instructor for an hour to teach you the basics.
Modern winter biathlon is a combination of cross-country skiing and rifle shooting that tests not only fitness but also patience and control. In Avoriaz you can try your hand at this Olympic sport. If you like cross-country skiing but want to add another challenge, then biathlon is the perfect way to escape into the natural, quiet surrounding mountains and then shoot stuff. Bit of a contradiction this one, but it's fun all the same.
How much does it cost to try out biathlon in Avoriaz? Biathlon lessons usually start at around €150 for a half-day and they include all the equipment but for the cross-country ski rental, which starts at around €15 per day.
The idea behind speed riding is to combine the sensations of skiing and paragliding into one activity, and then descend off-piste sections of the mountain using a mini-wing to enable you to access areas that you might not normally go. Learning and having fun with speed riding comes very fast as long as you are a competent skier – you need to be able to ski red pistes with confidence in any type of snow.
How much does it cost to try out speed-riding in Avoriaz? Beginner speed riding lessons usually start at around €100 for a half-day group lesson and they include the wing but not the ski hire – high-end ski hire for advanced skiers starts at around €30 per day in Avoriaz. Speak to one of the companies offering this activity who can show you the ropes (literally).