The location of Avoriaz is affected by the geography of the area around it - the geological events that carved out the magnificent mountains, the slate in the local mines that allowed the local area to earn the money that gave them a head start when ski lifts began to be built, the woods and the lakes that shape the countryside, even the proximity of Geneva and the airport there, all of these have had some impact.
Perched on the cliffs high above Morzine at an altitude of 1800 metres Avoriaz is somewhat isolated, with thirteen kilometres separating it from Morzine. However, it is still less than two hours drive from Geneva airport (depending on the traffic and road conditions - it is always advisable to check these before travelling if you have a flight to catch!). Geneva is also the largest city around Avoriaz. There are a couple of towns close by with train stations - Thonon-Les-Bains and Cluses. The feature that most surrounds Avoriaz is the mountains themselves - not surprising as it was conceived as a ski in ski out resort in the hearts of the Portes Du Soleil. Therefore it is surrounded by mountain slopes - from the Arare and Fornet ski areas above it to Lindarets and Super Morzine below. The lower slopes are tree lined whilst the higher ones are more barren.
The population of Avoriaz is also affected by the geography of the area, as well as by the fact that it was purpose built with one specific purpose and aimed largely at one specific season of the year. Therefore the year round population is not particularly high but it does rise massively during the winter.
Geopark Du Chablais
The unique geography and geology of the area around Avoriaz provides the stunning location for the Geopark Du Chablais - Stretching from the Joux Plane Pass above Morzine all the way to Lake Geneva, fifty kilometres in total. It tells the unique story of the formation of the surrounding landscape and the way in which man has worked with the environment and learnt to live in harmony with it. It is a part of the UNESCO Geoparks project and features twenty three different sites that all teach a different part of the history of the area. In Avoriaz itself the ski lifts are classed as one of the sites. After all, what better way to see the mountains that have been carved out here than by skiing them?