Green spirit Pedestrian Resort
Avoriaz 1800 was designed with pedestrians in mind. The « no cars » concept marked the beginnings of this resort which continues to innovate in favour of the environment.
There’s no need for pavements here, just enjoy your holiday with both feet firmly on the snow-covered streets that skiers share with pedestrians and horse-drawn sleighs. A children’s paradise that bathes in a unique and magical atmosphere, far from the daily grind.
Nowadays, many towns are discouraging vehicles, leaving pedestrians to enjoy all the space they need, explore on foot and boost their wellbeing. But back in the 60s, at the time of the almighty automobile, just imagine what an aberration it was to ban vehicles from a resort. It was madness. It was ingenious.
The masterplan placed Avoriaz 1800 on a gentle slope and ensured it was an entirely ski-in/ski-out resort. There’s no need to check whether your accommodation is ski-to-door because, in Avoriaz 1800, you never have to take off your skis. You can even ski to the bakery!
When you’re in a hurry, the shortcuts and public lifts allow you to get from one end of the resort to the other on foot in less than 15 minutes. Avoriaz 1800 is still adding to this pioneering plan in which every new building is located within 10 minutes of the centre.
You’ll soon forget those city habits. This is a real change of scenery. May the holidays begin.
All those so-called experienced, competent people kept telling me it was madness to even think of building a vehicle-free resort.
Sleighs drawn by reindeer
When the resort opened, some reindeer from Lapland were brought to Avoriaz 1800 to tow the sleighs, the only means of transport here. After a presentation tour of the main cities of the regions, which included parading down the Champs-Elysées, the reindeer finally arrived.
They adapted perfectly to their new home and even reproduced. But the sloped streets meant they had to be replaced by the robust Jura horses which are still helping holidaymakers to get around the resort today.
There are now 20 sleigh drivers and 100 horses providing the daytime taxi service. The independent sleigh drivers are all members of an association. Each owns 5 horses and, in the interest of the animals’ wellbeing, no horse works for more than 2 hours at a time.
Avoriaz 1800, the wild gamble of 3 men who, at less than 30 years of age, defied every pre-conceived idea to create this unique and sustainable resort.
The architecture mimics the surrounding landscape and blends into the environment, offering an example of the perfect marriage between modernity and nature. The resort's unique lines have officially made Avoriaz one of the great architectural achievements of the 20th century.