The stunning location of Avoriaz, nestled in the mountains between the expanse of Lake Geneva and the towering Mont Blanc has led to it becoming part of the UNESCO Global Geoparks programme.
The Geopark Project
UNESCO began working with Geoparks in 2001. In 2004, at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, representatives of 8 Chinese and 17 European Geoparks held a conference to form the Global Geoparks Network (GGN). The aim was for national programmes to cooperate together and share ideas.
In November 2015 the 195 member states of UNESCO agreed upon a new label - the UNESCO Global Geoparks, signifying governmental acknowledgement of the significance of the programme.
What is a Geopark?
A Geopark is an area of geological importance that is managed with a respect for the traditions of the area. It is not solely about geology bit also about manís relationship with the area throughout history, how man and the environment have worked together and how the geography and geology of the area have shaped the human history therein.
Geopark Du Chablais
The Geopark Du Chablais is bordered at either end by some of the most impressive geological features in the Haute Savoie. From the shores of Lake Geneva to the peaks of Morzine and Avoriaz it encompasses all that nature has to offer in the area. It showcases the traditional mountain life that has flourished through its understanding of the nature of the area an the importance of working and living in harmony with it.
It became a part of the UNESCO Global Geoparks Network in 2012 and is one of five French Geoparks.
The mission of the Geopark Du Chablais has five parts:
Protection and Preservation
Education, training and awareness
In the fifty kilometres that separates Lake Geneva and the Joux Plane pass the history of the Alps can be seen at twenty three different locations.
From prehistory, when the Alpine Ocean existed, sediments were laid down in this ocean that went on to become the rocks that formed the Chablais. The final evidence of this can be seen in the mineral water of the area and the number of lakes in the region.
Some of the local sites to visit include a photo exhibition of the slate mines, the Lac Mine D'Or lake, the Montriond Lake, The Col Du Bassachaux in Chatel, The Devils Bridge Gorge in La Vernaz and the Avoriaz ski lifts themselves are classed as a part of the Georoute!