Essential Holiday Guides
What You Need to Know for Your Family Ski Holiday in...
France is a popular holiday choice for budding and expert skiers but Avoriaz is the place to be.
France is a popular holiday choice for budding and expert skiers but Avoriaz is the place to be. A picturesque, pedestrian resort set on the mountainside with views overlooking the Morzine Valley with accommodation for everyone, from spacious and luxury apartments to functional and cosy retreats, making it an ideal family ski holiday destination. Best of all, it promises a 100% guarantee for snow so you donâ€™t ever have to worry that your family ski holiday will disappoint.
Contents 3 Choose Where You Want to Stay: Avoriaz 5 Choose How You Want to Travel 6 Now Choose Your Holiday Package
Aquariaz Water Park
8 Buy or Rent Ski Equipment 9 Things to Book Before You Depart 10 Excursions – What Else Would You Like to Do? 11 Other Helpful Tips to Consider 12 A Quick Checklist
Choose Where You Want to Stay
What To Consider Think about how many people are travelling so you know how many rooms you require and whether one apartment can accommodate all of you and if so, how many bathrooms one apartment can offer if you are a large party. If you have young children you may want to look for an apartment that is not just a groundfloor so they can sleep away from any evening entertainment. If you are travelling with an infant be sure to ask if a cot can be supplied, if required. Decide roughly when you would like to go away and search online or with travel agents to see if any ski special offers are available before booking. Off peak seasons tend to be cheaper, if your children aren’t at school yet, but you can sometimes find some great group deals. What do you want from your Avoriaz apartment? Modern interiors, open fire, traditional or cosy wood architecture? Look at the full layouts of apartments and décor, considering if you will be comfortable staying there, before booking. Make sure the accommodation is child friendly too. Location, location, location! What will you be doing on your Avoriaz holiday? Ski school? Après ski? Waterpark? Look for an apartment that is a convenient walking distance from all of the amenities you are interested in. If you have young children you may want to be a little further from the main entertainment centres and bars that can be noisy. All apartments are ski in/ski out so proximity to the slopes is the one location point you don’t need to worry about. Think about how much time you will spend in your apartment and what you will need from it. If you are likely to need the internet then you will require luxuries such as Wifi. If your evening entertainment will include family movie nights in, check that the apartment has a DVD player and a microwave for the popcorn.
Choose How You Want to Travel
Train – Travelling by rail is a good, environmentally friendly, option but will require change overs. If you haven’t experienced the Eurostar yet then you can think of this as an opportune moment because it is the quickest transportation by rail into France. This does only stop at an exclusive list of stations so check if there is one near you prior to booking. Don’t worry about weather delays though as France are equipped with snow trains to help transfer you as close to your resort as possible.
Fly - Flying is a very quick method of transportation which is easily accessible throughout Europe, and is advisable for short stays so you can maximise your holiday time. You can often save money by opting to pay for your accommodation and transport method separately, as you may be able to find some cheaper flights with the airlines direct. Before booking any flights it would be worth checking with your resort the distance between them and your preferred airport so you can determine your transfer method and the best times to fly.
Ferry – If flying isn’t for you and you have the time for leisurely transportation then going by sea could be a good option. This option is great for socialising if you are in a group. You can take your car, with all your ski gear, toys, buggies and children’s essentials packed in the boot so you don’t have to worry about lugging it around. Your holiday can start as soon as you board, just remember if you do take the car that Avoriaz is a car free resort but don’t worry, there is a central car park in the Falaise district of Avoriaz where you can get transfers to your apartment.*
Coach – Travelling by coach is the longest method of transport but you can sometimes strike lucky with cheap tickets and once you are on board you can sit back and relax until you reach Avoriaz.
Transport to Your Resort
Bus – The cheapest transfer method, but not great if you have small children as well as luggage. Taxi – You may want to arrange for the travel agent or airline to book you a taxi in advance or check the standard cost but, usually there will be taxis lined up at the airport. Car Hire – This will definitely need to be pre-arranged and a deposit will need to be paid before you depart. It may be obvious but you will need your driver’s license and don’t forget Avoriaz is a car free resort, once you get there.
Minibus Hire - The most common way to get to your resort is with Avoriaz minibus hire, a great option if you are a big family or are travelling with another family so you can all chip in and share the cost. *Once you arrive in Avoriaz the vehicle parking sector is really easy to find – there’s usually lots of resort staff around to guide you. There are 900 outdoor parking spaces at the entrance to Avoriaz, the charge for which is 10 Euros per day or 65 for a week. The outdoor car park has 24 hour security and is located just 300m from the entrance to the resort. The undercover car park is 14 Euros per day or 85 for the week. There are 1697 covered parking spaces at the entrance to the resort and again the car parks are guarded 24 hours a day. Yodel recommends booking your Avoriaz parking spaces in advance, especially during the busy weeks or call +33 (0)4 50 74 14 54 for the outdoor parking and +33 (0)4 50 74 07 76 for the indoor parking. View transportation and transfer methods online
Choose Your Holiday Package Think about what it is exactly that you want from your holiday. When travelling as a family it doesn’t mean that you all want to be together all of the time so look at whether there are any children’s clubs available and whether you really want to cook and do the shopping for the whole of your holiday.
Full self-catering or half board –
Some of our luxury Avoriaz apartments are available with the option to be half board where you can enjoy breakfast in one of our onsite restaurants, or even better, have fresh pastries delivered straight to your door. So even if you want to self-cater you can allow yourself a little relaxation and lazy mornings by letting us help get you started for the day.
Food Shopping: Stocking Up – If you
haven’t been to Avoriaz before on a selfcatering ski holiday then you may want to check with us before departing where the local shops are, if you want to save some pennies by shopping off site, although there are shops in a close proximity to the resort. Remember it is a pedestrian only resort so you will not be able to unload your shopping from your car outside your apartment. However, to make things a little easier we do offer to order your shopping for you and have it delivered. A little like online food shopping! Just contact us to put together your order in advance and we can try and arrange for this to be delivered upon your arrival (one less thing to worry about) especially if you have hungry children in tow.
Child care/ Crèche Services – We do have professional child care services onsite so if you have children that are too young to ski or you would like an evening out, your children can still be cared for by our expert staff. Some of our holiday packages also provide inclusive activities clubs for children aged between 3-12 years in addition to our children’s village with over 100 ski instructors and activities co-ordinators available to entertain your kids.
Swimming/ Spa – Swimming is inclusive
in our holiday packages and is something the whole family can participate in. Adventurous children will enjoy the Aquariaz water park which is full of whirl pools and waterslides creating hours of fun. We do also have a luxury Spa available at the resort but this is an additional activity and all treatments will need to be paid for separately.
Inclusive evening entertainment –
We have a variety of evening entertainment available at the resort, including live music, if you are not planning on staying in at your apartment. This is by no means adults only, Pierre et Vacances welcome families and host a party catered to children between 5-7pm which usually leaves enough time for you to pop home after to have dinner before the rest of the evening entertainment begins or to visit a local restaurant.
Benefits of buying equipment
Benefits of renting equipment
If you ski or plan to ski regularly then purchasing your own ski equipment can save you money in the long term as you won’t have to regularly pay the cost of hiring fees.
You don’t need to worry about transporting your equipment to your resort as it will already be there (or close to it).
Your equipment can be custom fit to your body and weight from your ski’s or snowboards to your coat, salopettes or ski pants, goggles, boots etc… Which you may find supports your confidence and skills as a skier or snowboarder. Having your own ski equipment also means that you can just head straight to the slopes on arrival in Avoriaz. If you are going to buy your own ski equipment we would recommend you check with the airline you are flying with (if you are flying) how best to transport your equipment and whether there will be any additional costs involved.
This is a cheaper method if this is your first ski/ snowboarding holiday or an activity you won’t participate in that frequently. Often you can rent everything that you need in one place so you don’t need to worry about researching the best brands or what size you will need, let the experts take care of all of that for you. Although you can hire the majority of your equipment there may be some items that you would prefer to own such as goggles, sunglasses, hats and gloves. NOTE: You will be required to pay a deposit prior to renting. Some rental places take a financial deposit but some may also exchange your shoes for your ski boots, like you do at bowling, so be sure to check this before you depart (and perhaps pack an extra pair of walking boots). 8
Things to Book Before You Depart. Going on holiday should be a break from everyday life and certainly shouldnâ€™t be any more stressful than necessary (once you get there). So whilst itâ€™s not essential to do this you may want to consider pre-booking some of these before you get to Avoriaz, so you can cross them off the long list of holiday preparations and have peace of mind when you get there. Renting of ski or snowboarding equipment For ski or snowboarding equipment, you can book what you will need in advance to ensure that you have secured the necessary equipment required for your holiday. The company will need to know the dates and times of your arrival and departure, and will fit all of your equipment and clothing to you once you arrive. Ski and snowboarding lessons - If you will require the aid of a ski or snowboarding Instructor be this within a social group or for a private tuition, it can be a good idea to book this prior to your departure, for all members wishing to participate including children. This will probably require an additional payment up front and you will be allotted specific times of the day with a professional instructor. We usually advise to allow at least 5-7 days for a ski holiday if you will require tuition.
Like to Spa? - To avoid disappointment it is recommended that you book all of your treatments in advance before arriving at the resort, as our luxury Spa is a very popular break from the slopes. Our spa is the perfect way to unwind after an exhilarating day on the ski slopes and helps to balance some relaxation into your ski holiday. We have a variety of treatments available performed by a friendly team of professional therapists who will be able to help you select a personalised treatment for you if you are unsure of what to indulge in or have not been to a Spa before. Feel free to request a brochure prior to your departure date.
Ski Passes - It is advisable to book your ski passes prior to departing as regardless as to whether you have booked and paid for ski tuition, you will not be permitted entry onto the ski slopes resort without your pass as security at the resort is very strict, so that you can enjoy a safe holiday.
Excursions – What Else Would You Like to Do? Avoriaz has a lot more to offer close to our apartments if you feel like taking a break from skiing and snowboarding:
For the Family Horse Drawn Sleigh Ride - If you want to give your children a fairy tale holiday then you can all enjoy a horse drawn sleigh ride around Avoriaz to really admire the view of the resort. You can also use this as a method of transportation as the resort is pedestrian only, another idea for transportation around the resort would be to hire or purchase a snowboogie
Ice-Skating - It wouldn’t be a winter holiday without a little ice-skating! Avoriaz has an open air ice rink and holders of the Multiactivity Pass or Family Card can gain entry for free Arcades/Bowling – A little competitive evening entertainment! Head to the games arcade or bowling alley and see if you can win some spending money or strikes
For the Kids Village des Enfants – The children’s village offers so much entertainment there is no need to go anywhere else (other than the Aqua Centre). The village offers ski and snowboard lessons and general entertainment from 9am5.30pm for children aged 3 and older
For the Adults Paragliding – If you have ever wanted to know what it feels like to fly then paragliding is the excursion for you and what a breath taking view to experience than the view of the snowy slopes and mountains in Avoriaz Nordic Walking – For anyone that enjoys hiking or doesn’t fancy skiing, this excursion lends an opportunity to still experience the fresh mountain air and views www.pv-holidays.com
Special Events - The Avoriaz resort offers some astounding events for free that may be held in the village or requires you to make use of your new skiing skills. From the ‘Feerie des Lumieres’ light extravaganza with a torch lit procession and releasing of sky lanterns to the ‘Rock the Pistes’ music festival and Jazz concerts there is sure to be some evening entertainment to capture your interest.
Other Helpful Tips to Consider What to Pack
Sun cream – Easy to forget about when you are surrounded by snow but your face will need a good sun cream as the rays are reflected by the snow and you may find yourself a little pink if you forget. You will want at least SPF30 if possible and ladies, if you want to avoid extra packing you can purchase an SPF moisturiser to keep your skin soft and protected.
Research the best currency exchange rate – look for agencies that allow you to exchange your euro’s back into sterling.
Lip Balm – To stop those luscious lips of yours chapping from the wind. If possible it would be good to purchase one with some SPF protection as an extra precaution.
For travel – This is essential as it will provide medical insurance for you whilst you are away (and accidents can happen).
Clothing and Footwear – Just because there is snow everywhere does not mean you need to pack the thickest jumpers you own as you actually get quite hot skiing. For a week’s holiday we recommend perhaps 3 fitted jumpers and leggings (or trousers) to wear under you salopettes with some thermal draft tops. Even in the evening you’ll most likely stick to your ski clothing.
Don’t change your currency at the airport as their exchange fee is quite expensive. Holiday Insurance – To Help Save You Money
For equipment – We do offer private ski equipment lockers but you may want to safe guard any equipment you are hiring or have purchased from theft or breakage. For cancellation - Because the unexpected can happen and sometimes unfortunately, we have to cancel our holidays.
A Quick Checklist Are you ready for your family ski holiday to your luxury Avoriaz Apartment? Are you really sure? Why don’t you check…
I’m on it…
What do you take me for?!
The shops are still open…
…Checked your passport is valid and packed it in your hand luggage? …Booked your accommodation and checked what’s available in it? …Booked your transport to France and transfers to the Avoriaz resort? …Hired your ski or snowboarding equipment before departing? …Purchased any additional clothing you cannot hire? …Booked your ski or snowboarding lessons? …Purchased your ski passes? …Changed your currency (spending money)? …Got EHIC cards for everyone, for free emergency health care? …Booked your excursions such as your Spa treatments? …Checked where to purchase your food from or arranged a food delivery?
Have You Packed... …Sun cream and lip balm (SPF30) …European converter plugs …Light jumpers and any additional clothing purchased you cannot hire …Your driver’s license if you are planning on hiring a vehicle (best kept in hand luggage) …Your travel tickets (best kept in hand luggage) …Some movies or evening entertainment eg: Playing cards for nights in
Have a great family ski holiday!
Visit: www.pv-holidays.com | Call: 0870 0267 145 | Find us on:
Published on Dec 7, 2012
A great guide on top things to consider and do when going on a family ski holiday in Avoriaz in the French Alps