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Ten reasons why Avoriaz is the family resort to beat!

September 14, 2012 8:47 am
posted by Rebecca

This week we were delighted to learn that the home of Pierre et Vacances’ first residence back in 1978 has been nominated as Best Family Resort! The nomination from 2012 World Snow Awards – from Ski and Snowboard Magazine – will be judged a panel of industry experts with winners announced on Friday November 2, 2012 during the annual Ski and Snowboard Show in Earls Court, London. The event will mark the 25th anniversary of the Ski & Snowboard magazine.

It’s well deserved honour in our view, and for good reason too. Avoriaz has always led innovation in the Alps and this winter season is no exception.

Here are our top 10 reasons why Avoriaz should win!

1. It is 100 per cent snow-sure: Avoriaz is a 100 per cent snow-sure resort located at 1,800m. It has ski in, ski out access from every single residence and hotel to 650km of groomed pistes within the Les Portes du Soleil ski region.

2. Unsurpassed facilities for children: Learn to ski and child care facilities within the village are unsurpassed. It boasts Des Enfants and Ecole des Parents childcare and no less than five ski schools including the Avoriaz Alpine Ski School. With lessons in English by native English speaking instructors and an integrated nursery accepting babies from three months, the Avoriaz Alpine Ski School allows children between aged three and five to combine their nursery stay with Villages des Enfants ski lessons.

Avoriaz’s new Learn to Snowboard program uses a teaching method adapted to young children which is totally unique in Europe: From 15th December in the centre of the resort, at the very heart of the Village des Enfants’ giant learning area, Burton will open “Riglet Park”, a snowy play zone designed to introduce children from 3 years old to snowboarding.

3. Innovative & exhilarating ski area:  The resort ski area is both engaging and innovative with dedicated ‘learning areas’ plus the Avoriaz Snozone encompassing five snowparks and Snowcross areas  –  including the award winning Burton Le Stash, Lil Stash and Burton Kids Parkway, all served by a state of the art lift system with large family-friendly fast chairlifts.

4. Completely car-free sustainable resort: A car free resort where the taxis are horse drawn sleighs and sustainable initiatives are at the heart of every project.

5. Great transport links: Avoriaz offers great rail and air transport links to the UK with quick resort transfer times thanks to its location just 90 minutes from Geneva airport and 45 mins from Cluses train station.

6. Affordable and flexible lift pass options: Lift pass offers in Avoriaz are available in various flexible options including kids’ rates for under 16s, youth passes for 16 – 19 years old, seniors at 65+, a 5 hour pass, park- and stash-only passes and points cards, and 10 per cent off family pass discounts.  These offer significant savings; for instance, a six-day Portes de Soleil pass for two adults and two kids aged 5 – 15 would cost €710 individually or €560 for the family.  In December and April special offer lift passes add access to the Aquariaz water park and free kids passes on selected dates.

7. Accommodation suited to varying budgets and party sizes: Avoriaz boasts a wide range of accommodation options. These range from basic, budget four-person Maeva studios on the one hand, to luxury spacious Pierre & Vacances Premium properties. At the premium end two and thee-bedroom apartments, hotel style service is coupled with spa and indoor leisure facilities.

Over 500 quality spacious new apartments have recently been added, designed to meet growing demand from families and groups who want to go on holiday with grandparents and friends. The new Crozats residence, for example, offers connecting apartments, ideal for groups looking to come together at meal times, while offering privacy at other times during the trip. Further family friendly hotel options are also available.

8. All-season entertainment programme: A lively calendar of in-resort events takes place in Avoriaz throughout each season. From fireworks and visits from Santa for kids at Christmas to the February ‘Carnaval’ with torchlight descents and colourful street art, live music from rock to jazz,  international DJ acts and cabaret, an exhilarating programme is designed to thrill and entertain.

9. A host of ‘alternative’ snow-related activities: Opportunities for non skiers or for those who simply want to try something new in the mountains abound in Avoriaz. Night sledging, a ‘safe sledging’ run, snowshoe walks, dog sledging, skating and even free fall parachuting are among the many options!


10.   The brand new Aquariaz: The first ever ski resort water park!  Designed by the team at Center Parcs, this is a state-of-the-art aquatic paradise with enough to keep all ages happy.  Note this French water park is swim-shorts friendly – but if you want to ‘go French’ and wear Speedos, that’s OK too!


Craving some sun after the British summer wash out? Take advantage of our double holiday discount; with our post-school holiday savings and last-minute booking deals catching some late French or Spanish sun is even more affordable.

We have self-catering accommodation available in France and Spain for as little  as £43 per person per week for autumn sun destinations including the south of France, the Ardèche, Atlantic Coast, Picardy, Brittany and the Costa del Sol in Spain.

And if that’s not enough, paying for your booking in Euros will also save you money with the Euro currently at 1.27 versus the pound*  –  one of the best rates available during the last 18 months!

All of our apartments and Holiday Villages are self-catering and are equipped with cooking hobs, a dishwasher, fridge, microwave oven, coffee machine and full sets of crockery and cutlery. Many apartments also have air conditioning, a dining area and garden furniture on the balcony or terrace. Breakfast, bakery, grocery and delicatessen delivery services are also available for those looking for a part-catered break.

Below are outlined a selection of the top savings on late sun accommodation for holidays taken between September and November:

Cap Esterel swimming pool

Pierre et Vacances Holiday Village Cap Esterel, French Riviera – from £85.50 per person

A sea view studio sleeping up to four people from 15-22 September is discounted to £342 from £488.

Perched on a red rock hillside, Cap Esterel overlooks the magnificent Mediterranean Sea. Its self catering apartments are surrounded by a golf course and gardens, and just 30 minutes away from the white sandy beaches and cosmopolitan night life of Cannes. There are also three large swimming pools with wave machines, horse riding, spa treatments, tennis courts and bicycle hire to enjoy in the Holiday Village.

Fly to Nice Airport from 16 UK departure points, road transfer time approximately 45 minutes.


Moliet’s swimming pool

Pierre et Vacances Holiday Village Moliets, Atlantic Coast of France – from £55.25 per person

A studio sleeping up to four people from 15-22 September is discounted to £221 from £276.

This car-free holiday village is set within a picturesque pine forest and boasts four adult pools, bicycle hire, tennis, local sailing and surfing schools, and is within easy reach of sandy beaches, the buzzing seaside resort of Biarritz and the stunning Landes de Gascogne regional park.

Fly to Biarritz Airport from 3 UK departure points, road transfer time approximately 1 hour 10 minutes.


Torremolinos Stella Polaris’ swimming pool

Pierre & Vacances Residence Torremolinos Stella Polaris, Costa del Sol – from £58.50 per person

A studio apartment sleeping three people from 29 September 6 October is discounted to £234 from £320.

Located in the centre of Torremolinos on Spain’s sandy Costa del Sol, apartments in this recently renovated residence have direct access to the famous Bajondillo beach. As well as two swimming pools, guests can also enjoy authentic Spanish spots and sights in Torremolinos on their doorstep, such as the  ‘La Carihuela’ fisherman’s quarter.

Fly to Malaga International Airport from 20 UK departure points, road transfer time approximately 15 minutes.


Cerillos beach 450m from Roquestas de Mar

Pierre & Vacances Residence Roquetas de Mar, Andalucia – from £43.84 per person

A two bedroom apartment sleeping up to six people from 6-13 October is discounted to £263 from £376.

Located on the Gulf of Almeria, apartments in this newly built residence enjoy views of the sea or the lush greenery of the Playa Serena golf course. Guests can enjoy the residence’s large outdoor pool and solarium, the sandy Cerillos beach just 450m away and the Puntas Entinas-Dabinar nature reserve just 300m away.

Fly to Almeria Airport from 5 UK departure points, road transfer time approximately 40 minutes.

Bookings can be made at / 0870 0267 144

*Exchange rate correct on 22/8/2012.


If your kids have been inspired to get active this summer by watching team GB’s triumphs at the Olympics, you can road-test their enthusiasm for multiple sports at Pierre et Vacances Holiday Villages.

Holidays at Pierre et Vacances car-free resorts open up a world of activities, with many included in your booking price  –  meaning your little ones can sample all manner of sporting fun and find the event or activity they enjoy best, before committing to expensive lessons or equipment.

Tennis – Lessons for children aged 5 up as well as adults are offered on the Pierre & Vacances Holiday Village courts for budding tennis champions. And since sing pong or  ‘whiff whaff’ has come home, according to Mayor Boris Johnson, table tennis is also available for those who enjoy the more diminutive game.

Swimming – Not just pools but water parks galore available for children of all ages from water babies to competitive juniors perfecting their freestyle.

Horse riding –  If equestrian sports appeal to your children, riding is available at selected Pierre & Vacances Holiday Villages including Belle Dune, Normandy Garden and Pont Ro$yal en Provence.

Biking –  Cycling in the French countryside is the perfect way to enjoy the scenery. Your aspiring Bradley Wigginses can stage their very own Tour de France with cycle hire available at all of Pierre & Vacances’ Holiday Villages.

Sailing  – Another activity at which we Brits excel, sailing (plus kayaking and windsurfing) is available at Holiday Villages in coastal regions. If the children are not quite ready to take to the water, they can even try their hand at sand yachting on-site.

Volleyball  –  With beach volleyball teams set to get the nation’s pulses racing this summer, kids can hone their skills at any of the Pierre & Vacances Holiday Villages.  Other available team sports in resorts include football and basketball.

Trapeze & Circus Skills – Not everyone is interested in competitive sports; creative kids can also join in the active fun with flying trapeze lessons, juggling and other circus skills.

Pierre & Vacances’ 15 Holiday Villages are located throughout the most popular beauty spots in France, Spain and the French Antilles. For further information or to book, visit or call 0870 0267 144

There’s still time to snap up the last few apartments in Pierre & Vacances Holiday Villages for Summer 2012.  Deals can be found from just €86 (around £67) per person per week.


Forget Wimbledon, football championships and the ‘O word’ we can’t mention, the highlight of our sporting calendar is the annual Pierre etVacances summer Petanque party.

This hotly anticipated event features wine, cheese and a fiercely fought Petanque contest, which is always guaranteed to bring out the competitive nature in all our lovely travel partners and francophile friends.

Getting into the French spirit: the Pierre & Vacances team

Here, the lovely Elodie from our team gives you a glimpse behind the scenes of organising our summer party, from choosing the wine and cheese in Calais, to hightailing it to a Parisian themed bar when the British weather threatened to spoil our fun! 

‘At 7am the day before the party I took the ferry from Dover with P&O Ferries (thank you to Daniel Acarnley for organising!) and went to Calais to buy all the French food and booze needed for our summer event.

On the ferry!

‘A short hour and a half later we were in Calais and decided to buy the drink first, white and red wine from “Calais à vin”. They had a huge range, so of course we had to try a few – to be sure we made the right decision of course!

What to choose?!

‘The day of the event came and all eyes were firmly glued to the weather forecast. Last year’s event was bathed in glorious sunshine, but sadly this year the weather was not on our side, with heavy rain and strong winds howling down on our little gazebo – not ideal conditions for playing Petanque on the beach!

Fun on Brighton beach

‘However, being the true sport and Petanque enthusiasts that we are, we still managed a small competition with the help of the Brighton Petanque Club Association – with a few people holding our gazebos down…

Le chic Paris House, Brighton

‘After the short competition and a fast “aperitif”, everyone sheltered from the storm in our local chic French bar “The Paris House” to continue the party in drier conditions.

French goodies…

‘Martyn Summers and Ian Burgess won the hotly contested Petanque competition, and to reward their dedication they each received a basket full of French local produce such as the famous Saucisson from Ardèche, a bottle of Sancerre and paté.’

A very happy man

Someone didn’t read the dress code…

Inspired by our Francophile fun? For Love France week we’re giving away two limited edition Pierre & Vacances Petanque sets over on our Facebook page!

Limited edition petanque set!

And thank you to everyone who braved the British weather and came along, the Paris House Brighton for taking us in at the last minute, and to KBC PR & Marketing Team for their contribution to the event.


This week’s blog comes from Pierre et Vacances guest Richard, whose family recently enjoyed a week of sun at Pierre et Vacances Residence Calarossa’s self-catering apartments in north west Sardinia. 

Residence Calarossa in Sardinia

Having been to Sardinia before we knew what a beautiful country it is and how friendly the people are. However our previous trips had been without the kids so we we’re prepared for a slightly different experience this time!

Getting there

The flights from Gatwick to Olbia were amazingly quick, just two hours from boarding to landing, then a one hour simple and scenic drive to the residence itself.

The residence is accessed by a 2km beach road, which isn’t as bad as it sounds as it actually had less potholes than some English roads! I quickly learned that the trick was to keep your speed up and you float over the bumps plus it really helped to send the kids to sleep too. Also, having left suburban, overcast England it was really exciting to cruise along a sunny, dusty road to our holiday apartment.

Pierre & Vacances Residence Calarossa

The self-catering apartments themselves were bright, airy and clean, with a well stocked kitchen, comfy beds and a nice terrace.

The thing we noticed about the resort is how fragrant it is, the flowerbeds are immaculately kept and smell of lavender and rosemary wafted everywhere you went. It was low-season so it was lovely and quiet, but even at high-season you can see the facilities would have no problem accommodating larger numbers without it feeling crowded.

The three pools were really clean and were both child friendly with gentle steps into them, with lots of sun loungers and shades to choose from. The kids’ pool was perfect for our five year old to jump in and out on her own, whilst our 10 month baby could safely crawl around on a rug in the shade.

Fun in the pool

To entertain the kids there are a troop of energetic teens called the Animators that every morning and afternoon performed a short choreographed dance by the pool, which our eldest little girl absolutely adored and learnt the steps to off by heart. In the evenings the same group held a kids’ disco in the bar which was as real treat for all the little ones.

The kids made lots of friends!

We went self catering but the on-site restaurant was really flexible, so occasionally we had breakfast and supper there. When we couldn’t be bothered to leave the apartment after a hard day at the pool we simply ordered takeaway pizzas. All the food was very good but the pizzas were outstanding.


Overall though the most special thing about the resort were the staff, everyone was super friendly and went out of their way to help you. A special mention must go to Antonio the restaurant’s maitre d’ who made us feel so welcome and barman Alessandro who made a great G&T which us grown ups really enjoyed at sunset.

Sunset on the terrace at Calarossa

I couldn’t recommend Calarossa enough, if you have young kids it’s totally catered to making everything as easy and enjoyable as possible for grown ups and children alike.

Our local tips: 

Nearby Marrineda Beach

• Visit the harbour town of Isola Rossa for some great little shops and supermarkets.
• Marrineda beach is a short drive from the resort. It’s really easy to park with lovely warm, clear water for swimming.
• The beach cafe at Marrineda is a great spot for lunch, right on the beach with lots of shade, amazing squid and seafood.
• If the conditions are right there’s incredible surf to be had at Basedsi and Marrineda beach, you can hire boards at the beach.

Prices for Pierre & Vacances Residence Calarossa are from €570 for a week, book online or by calling 0870 0267 145.