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Close to Chamonix- Avoriaz
Member Name: wonderwoman
Date: 24/07/00, updated on 24/07/00 (321 review reads)
Advantages: Awesome, beautiful, clean
Disadvantages: May get bad weather at top of mountain, season is short, expensive for eating out and beer
I echo chamkiong's opinion about how beautiful the french-swiss alps are. The views are stunning and have to be seen to be believed.
I wanted to get to Chamonix on our stay at Avoriaz as a friend had stayed there - but a week is just not long enough and travelling from A to B can take ages-well you don't want to drive off a mountain.
Avoriaz is a small town at the top of a mountain about 1800 feet above sea level. It's a fantastic sight with snow topped mountains peaking all around you. It is a quaint town, like nothing I've ever seen before. All the buildings are wooden, but not your typical swiss chalet type buildings these had some weird geometric shapes. It took a bit of getting used to i must admit. Right opposite our hotel La Duchka was huge mountain with Switzerland over the other side of it. It was fantastic to look out of the window on a morning. Being so high in the clouds, one day the cloud was so low we couldn't see the mountain and it was cold, like fog. We had to go all the way down to the foothills where the sun was shining brilliantly. A fantastic experience.
Avoriaz is completely car free. You leave your car at the entrance and pick it up when you need to go down the mountain. It seemed to be a safe place for children. They had their own schools, hospital, fire dept, supermarkets etc. I still haven't seen anything like it. A little tram -like train ran around if you had difficulty getting around. It had all its own nightlife but beer was very expensive. It is a ski resort in the winter- but I don't think you'd get me up those roads for love or money.
At the foot of the mountain is a lovely swiss chalet town called Morzine and a cable car runs up to Avoriaz. It is so beautiful and so clean. There are restaurants, lots of boutiques and ski shops. Don't try to get a meal after 2pm-everywhere shuts down.
From Avoriaz you can travel to a lovely goat village (there'
s only 2 roads down the mountain 1 to Morzine and 1 to this village that isn't even signposted on most maps). I can't remember it's name but it is like rubbing your eyes and waking up in 'Heidi'. It's magic. The goats just wander all over the tiny twisty road half way up this mountain jostling one another to greed food off the tourists who are eay pickings-and yes they will eat everything. You do get used to goat smell after a while but I couldn't eat anything in the outdoor restaurants (fenced off from the goats.)
From Avoriaz you can visit Evian, Les Gets, Thonon and Montreux in Switzerland but don't go home without a vist to Yvoire on Lake Geneva. It's an old historic city, car free but hilly, very floral and very beautiful.
It is 8 years since we were there but it made such an impression it feels like yesterday.
If you are wondering where to book up Pierre and Vacances do holidays there and their summer prices are unbelievably reasonable
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