Avoriaz excels when it comes to services for families with a wide selection of ski schools, a superb beginners plateau and a well-respected snow garden for the very little visitors. Many of the big tour operators remove the hassle of childcare by providing in-house options.
Avoriaz is a car-free resort which creates a much more informal environment for your kids to play than some other ski resorts – you do however need to watch out for horse-drawn sleighs, snowcats / piste-bashers and of course skiers! The big attraction for many parents is that everything is on the doorstep in Avoriaz (including the pistes) and many of the accommodation providers offer an in-house childcare service. Older children are well looked after too with regular competitions, organised activities and junior discos hosted by the resort. The short transfer time from Geneva is also a major plus point for families.
Ski school for children
The Village des Enfants in Avoriaz is certified by the Ministry of Youth and Sport. There are over 100 instructors and supervisors and ski lessons are offered to kids aged from three to 16. Snowboard lessons are available for children aged eight to 16. There is a branch of the British Alpine Ski School in Avoriaz too and we have always heard great feedback about the quality of their instruction and small group sizes. Freedom 2 Ski offer English tuition in teenage groups (ages 14 – 18) and this can be a great way of making sure that the older kids have fun in a safe way but without having to be seen with the oldies!
The ‘Les P'tits Loups’ nursery offers childcare for babies, toddlers and infants aged three months to five years old. It is run by state qualified staff but you must book in advance. The next step for toddlers is to get them learning to ski and enjoying the outdoors (fingers crossed!) whilst still leaving Mum and Dad free to enjoy the slopes. To this end the snow garden in Avoriaz is superb and ESF also operate a ‘Piou Piou’ Club for children aged 3 and above. This is located near the tourist office in a very convenient spot and prices are very reasonable.
Restaurants for children
Chalet d’Avoriaz offers a better than average menu for children if you are looking to eat at lunch time with the children. It is also conveniently located right next to the beginners plateau! At the other end of the town Chez Flo also offers a reasonable choice for kids at sensible prices. If children are capable of skiing in to the next valley Mamo’s restaurant in Lindarets is very child-friendly. The owners always go the extra mile to make sure that children are happy and for that reason parents go back there day after day!
Activities for children
There are plenty of ways to keep children amused when they are not skiing and one of the favourites is a ride on a horse-drawn sleigh. These don’t come cheap but with prices starting at 15 euros they won’t break the bank either. Ice-skating is another popular activity and when the weather closes in it is always worth checking out the cinema listings. The cinema shows afternoon matinees of child-friendly movies in English from time to time. From 2012 the new indoor water world ‘Aquariaz’ will provide a swimming pool with wave pools and slides.