About Summer Activities in Avoriaz
Whatever you choose to do on your summer holiday you are sure to find a huge range of activities across the Avoriaz area. From relaxing to full on adrenaline there is something for everyone, every ability and every age. Check out the selection of things to do below for some holiday inspiration!
Archery is one of those sports that people all ages love to try. There are archery lessons with qualified instructors every day in the summer from 09:30 to 12:00 and from 14:00 to 19:00 (closed Saturday mornings) at the Plateau Sportif in Avoriaz, available for anyone over 6 years old. Kids can also practice archery in Avoriaz at the Village des Enfants and become the Robin Hood of the Alps. They will provide them with bow and arrows and they can also take lessons with qualified instructors.
There are basketball courts available for free at the centre of resort. Tournaments are organised regularly by the tourist office.
Beach volleyball in the heart of the French Alps may sound strange but in Avoriaz you can hop on the sand and play a game of volleyball with your friends or family. Located in the centre of the resort, the beach volleyball courts can be used free of charge, and there are even beach volleyball tournaments and children's activities arranged regularly. Open every day from 09:00 to 20:00.
There are two bowling alleys in Avoriaz to keep you entertained on bad weather days or if you're looking for something to do with a group.
Canoeing / Kayaking
Canoe rafts are an unsinkable, stable type of inflatable canoe that allow you, without too much technique to profit fully from the joys and fun of white water river descent. The descents are taken on by groups of 4 to 5 boats, accompanied by a fully qualified guide. You are equipped with neoprene suits and shoes, a safety jacket and a helmet. The course which you take is chosen according to the water levels and experience of the participants.
Kayaking is a fun watersport that can be enjoyed as a team or on your own. Unlike canoeing, paddlers face forward and have a double bladed paddle. It is a versatile sport that you can enjoy on rivers, lakes and the sea. You can take your inflatable or plastic kayak and make your way down the water. Using the double bladed paddle you can control the speed, direction and enjoy the experience and wonderful views in your own time. There are some watersports centres and adventure companies who can take you out for your kayaking experience.
A not-so-gentle but extremely refreshing summer activity is one way to describe canyoning! Plunge yourself into the mountain streams via a series of abseil descents, jumps and natural water slides – just make sure you choose a warm day! You will make your way along rivers and rapids, using the river bed as a natural obstacle course. Not suitable for very young children, but anyone over the age of about 8 can take the (very cold) plunge and try canyoning. With the safety of a guide everyone can abseil down cascades, splash into pools and ride the river rapids. You can choose from short beginners’ routes, such as the one in Balme (Cluses) or longer ones for the more adventurous like the route down in Nyon (Morzine) which is not suitable for children under 12. Activity companies will take you from Avoriaz to your chosen route.
Caving / Pot-holing
Caving or pot-holing (also known as Speleology) is an exciting way to explore the mountain caves and their intricate tunnel systems which have been naturally formed by the rock over time. Most of the caves will be absorbed in darkness so a hard hat and head torch are worn as well as appropriate clothing. If you are caving with an adventure company then they will provide all the safety equipment and tools necessary, as well as a professional guide. There are multiple caves to explore in the Avoriaz area, as well as in Megevette and La Balme. Children must be over 7 years old to participate.
Catch the latest films and releases in Avoriaz on your winter or summer holiday. At Cinema Les Portes du Soleil you'll find most films are shown in the evenings with some films screened in the early afternoon. Look out for VO or VOST for English speaking films.
The roads around Avoriaz are the setting for some of the most gruelling sections of the Tour de France but they can be tackled by enthusiasts as well as professionals. To gain the most from your riding in the area it goes without saying you need to have a reasonable level of fitness although you do not need to be a super man or woman. In Avoriaz, the most famous cycling route is the ascent from Morzine which is a short 14.5 kilometres with 850 metres of altitude gain and an average 6% ascent with peaks of 11%. You can try and measure yourself against Bernard Hinault's record, 33 minutes in 1979.
Also see: Cycling in Avoriaz
Visit La Ferme de Seraussaix, on the road on the way down to Morzine, to buy some locally made cheese and sausages. You can also take a tour of the farm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 to 12:00, followed by a tasting of their products. Book in advance with Avoriaz tourist office.
There are over 2.5 million people doing geocaching around the world and some of them (perhaps surprisingly) are right here in Avoriaz!. It’s a relatively new craze that started taking the world by storm in May 2000 after a computer geek decided that GPS could be “really exciting”. He hid some treasure at his home in Portland, America, for people to find, broadcast the GPS coordinates and said, “Come and get it”. His only rule: “Take some stuff, leave some stuff”. And that’s exactly what Geocaching is…you go in search of treasure by using the GPS system on your mobile device – once you’ve found it, you write your name in a logbook and replace the treasure you decide to take. It’s pretty simple really and means, as a family, you can be adventurers together. You won’t usually find anything quite as precious as gold, silver and diamonds but nevertheless it’s quite exciting!
The area boasts the 9-hole Morzine-Avoriaz golf course. Situated at the entrance to Avoriaz, the course is bordered by pine forests and has the spectacular back drop of the Chaîne des Aravis. You are welcome to dine at the clubhouse, pick up a few essentials from the pro-shop, or just relax with a drink on the terrace.
There is also an 18-hole course in Les Gets. This fairly technical golf course offers panoramic views and great facilities. The clubhouse is a nice place to enjoy a drink and the restaurant has a lovely terrace on which to have lunch. Coaching, equipment hire and electric buggies are all available. With stunning mountain views and pleasant summer weather, this is a wonderfully relaxing way to spend the day.
Gym / Fitness centres
There are fitness facilities in Avoriaz if you want to keep fit while you're here. The tourist office also offers fitness classes in the summer including Zumba, Body Sculpt, Cardio Step and Hatha Yoga which sometimes take place outdoors (no booking needed, find the full programme at Avoriaz tourist office).
Sit back and admire the Chablais mountains from even higher up! Panoramic helicopter flights are available from Avoriaz (weather permitting) with a couple of local flight companies. You can choose from quick 5-minute flights to longer tours around the Portes du Soleil area.
The Portes du Soleil offers a wide expanse of spectacular terrain on which you can saddle up and go exploring. There is a wide range of trails and routes waiting to be explored and there are a few companies offering horse riding tours around the mountains, forests and rivers. At the Village des Enfants, kids can ride ponies.
One of the best ways to take the spectacular mountain scenery from a different point of view is on a hot-air balloon. There are some companies in Avoriaz which offer balloon rides, which usually take up half a day including preparation and inflation.
Hydro speeding is one of the newer 'extreme' water sports to hit the market, it's a fun and exhilarating way to get yourselves down a river. Using a large float, which bears resemblance to a bodyboard, be ready to cling on for dear life as you send yourself hurtling down the rapids! This activity is a little more demanding physically than rafting or canoe rafting but allows you to discover the unique sensation of surfing down white water rivers. It is also accessible to all, no need to be a professional diver or swimmer, you just have to be smart at using the water movements, obstacles and waves. In Avoriaz, anyone over 7 years old can descend the Dranse river on a board wearing a thick neoprene and fins.
Avoriaz has a 12-hole crazy golf open every day, the perfect activity to enjoy with the whole family.
Avoriaz and the wider Portes du Soleil area was the original, and still remains, the best mountain biking (MTB / VTT) area based in a winter ski resort. Its popularity has increased year on year, aided and abetted by the stunning alpine scenery and 80 kilometres of world class trails. The variety of terrain ensures that everyone from beginners to expert and pro-level downhill and freeride riders, can get many days riding on trials suited to their preferences and ability level. Avoriaz only boasts 12 downhill pistes, 2 enduro trails and 2 pump track circuits.
Also see: Mountain Biking in Avoriaz
The summits and ridges of the Chablais region might not be as famous as their neighbours in the Mont Blanc area but the fact that they are more gentle make them fantastic terrain to discover ski mountaineering.
Orienteering involves going on foot through unfamiliar terrain and requires the honing of your navigational skills, with the use of maps and a compass to go from one place to another. The Alps offer a great playground where to practice it surrounded by stunning landscape, and it is also a great activity for children, with the Village des Enfants in Avoriaz offering orienteering events and lessons. Just try not to get lost!
Challenge your friends and family to a game of paintball! This exciting activity offers fun for groups of all ages. In most cases you're split into teams and a variety of scenarios and courses are offered at the beginning of all games, with each game lasting approximately 2 hours. The ultimate aim is to shoot your opponents with paint pellets and capture their flag before they get hold of yours. To practise it in Avoriaz, the minimum age is 14 years old and there is a minimum of 10 participants.
Paragliding / Parapenting
If you’ve never tried paragliding before then Avoriaz is a great place to learn how to fly. Known as “parapenting” in France, there are a great number of clubs and organisations in the area whose sole purpose is to give you the experience of flying. Flights usually start at the top of the Super Morzine lift and descend down to the Pleney, other popular routes depart from the Chaux Fleurie, the Ardent and the Crete d'Arare. Top tip: go on a sunny, warm day when the thermals will keep your airborne for longer.
Petanque / Boules
Petanque or boules is one of the most popular games in France with plenty of spaces to practice it in every village in the country. There are petanque grounds available for free in the centre of Avoriaz.
Avoriaz is a great place rock climbing for both beginners and experienced climbers. Experienced climbers can tackle the mountain side rock and enjoy the fantastic views (just make sure you have all the right gear and safety equipment). For beginners there are a number of adventure companies or mountain guides who can take you out on your first climb and show you the 'ropes'! The main rock climbing area, known as the 'Falaise d'Avoriaz' is located at the top of the Prodains lift, around a 45-minute walk from there. It is a challenging wall with routes ranging from 4c to 7c.
There are over 400 kilometres of marked running trails in the Portes du Soleil area, most of them divided into easy, medium, difficult and expert runs, as well as skyruns (with bits above 2000m on mountain ridges). Avoriaz is a great area to practise this sport and you can even get high thanks to the lifts running during the summer.
Many people would not automatically think of Avoriaz as a place to shop, however, the town boasts some great stores. As you would expect from an outdoor sports resort, there are plenty sports stores where you can get your hands on some of the top mountaineering, ski and snowboard brands but there are also some fashionable clothing stores and plenty of shops selling traditional mountain goods.
Sky-diving & parachuting
If you want to experience the beauty of the mountains and the thrill of falling through the mountain sky then you can do just that in Avoriaz. At the local school, they will teach you all the basics you need to know about skydiving in a quick session, take you up in a helicopter and then jump out of it with you! You must be over 15 years old to sky dive in Avoriaz.
Spas & massages
If it is calm and relaxation you are after then head to a luxury day spa or book in for massage therapies and beauty treatments. A day spa is also the perfect activity when the weather turns as you can keep warm and revive aching muscles in a sauna, steam room and jacuzzi or take a refreshing dip in a swimming pool. Most of the hotels boast a spa open to the public while at Aquariaz, in the centre of resort, you will find heated pools, jacuzzi and an outdoor hot tub.
There are two squash courts in Avoriaz, open every day from 09:00 to 19:00. You need to book them at the tourist office where you can also rent rackets.
Swimming can be great fun for all the family. In Avoriaz, the 'Aquariaz' centre is an aquatic paradise offering a huge water park made up of a gentle flowing indoor river, a slidewinder (an aquatic halfpipe), a toddler's paddling pool and water playhouse, and a large pool with natural climbing walls.
Tennis is a great way to get the legs moving and to enjoy the sunny summertime weather. Open during the summer season there are five tennis courts in Avoriaz. Lessons are available in groups of 2 or individually. There are also tennis tournaments every Thursday morning between the end of July and August, register at the tourist office.
Tours & excursions
One way to find your way around town in the summer is to hop aboard the miniature tourist train that trundles daily through the resort, offering a free transport service. The Avoriaz 'Petit Train Touristique' is a great way to take in the sights and get your bearings!
If you fancy a free, educational activity, why not try a lesson in Cheese making at the central Morzine cheese shop? La Fruitiere L’Alpage (which is close to the Ferme De La Fruitiere restaurant) offers free tours of its cheese cellar on Wednesdays at 09:00. You’ll learn about how all the popular Savoyard cheeses are made, whilst also tasting a few!
Head down towards Thonon in summer and you can take a trip underground at the Gorges du Pont du Diable. There are a series of walkways and steps leading you into the gorge. It's a great place to escape the heat of the summer days!
Tree-top / Forest adventures
The Village des Enfants in Avoriaz offers a great array of activities for children aged from 3 to 16 years old. Younger children can play on the mini-trampoline or bouncy castle, learn circus skills, try out the climbing wall, go pony trekking and learn gymnastics amongst other things. Older kids will enjoy archery, judo, pony trekking, mountain biking, fencing, building log cabins, taking part in various nature workshops and more. There are also football pitches, street basketball areas and a skate park, all free of charge.
Alternatively, the Fantasticable in the Portes du Soleil is the only one of its kind in the Alps. Located in Chatel at the top of the Chaux Fleurie lift this zip wire covers over three kilometres in two stages and reaches speeds of up to 100km/h. Strapped into a harness you fly face first across the valley, taking in the views in unique style. All safety equipment is provided - Superman outfit optional...
If climbing up sheer rock on the end of a piece of rope sounds a bit scary, then Via Ferrata climbing offers an element of security that still allows beginners to enjoy the achievement of having scaled a mountain! This form of climbing was invented by Italian soldiers in the Dolomites who used it to enable them to scale vertiginous faces easily and quickly. These days it is a popular sport that makes the thrill of mountain climbing more accessible to children, beginners and those who want a bit more security when they climb.
Following marked routes through the mountains you are helped along by steps, bridges and ladders whilst being roped up for extra safety. The main Via Ferrata site in Avoriaz is the Saix du Tour, its 600m in length afford some beautiful views over the valley. It features foot bridges, monkey bridges and ladders and should take around 2-2 1/2 hours to complete. It is accessible from May to October, if there is no snow. Suitable for adults and children over the age of 8, there are various adventure companies who can take you out on your Via Ferrata adventure.
Walking & Hiking
In the summer months Avoriaz is a mecca for walking and hiking in the beautiful alpine mountains. The Portes du Soleil offer 800 kilometres of marked trails that go across a wide variety of mountain landscapes, from ridges to forests, farms and, of course, views of Mont Blanc and the Dents du Midi. From Avoriaz, you can embark on short walks to lakes like the Chavanette or the Lac de Montriond, farmlands like the Alpage de Morzinette or the Séraussaix farm or waterfalls like the Cascade de Brochaux. Longer hikes will take you across the border into Switzerland or down the surrounding valleys.
Also see: Walking Routes in Avoriaz
The 'Aquariaz' centre is an aquatic paradise offering a huge water park made up of a gentle flowing indoor river, a slidewinder (an aquatic halfpipe), a toddler's paddling pool and water playhouse, and a large pool with natural climbing walls.
If you haven't experienced white water rafting before then this is a definite 'must try' on your list of activities to do! From the middle of May until September, La Dranse river, around 20km from Avoriaz, flows furiously as it is fed from the melt waters running off the glaciers high above the town. There are various options available from a three-hour adrenaline rush to a full days excursion - this activity is guaranteed not to disappoint.