France - Morzine
Morzine is a beautiful Haute-Savoyard village 45 mile south east of
Geneva in the heart of the largest International Ski Area in The World - The
Portes du Soleil. Morzine began to establish its self as a winter sports
resort back in the 1920s. It was in 1934 that the Pleney Cable Car was
built. Avoriaz as a resort was developed in the 1960's and this led to the
linking up of Champery and Les Crosets in Switzerland. With Chatel and
Morgin linking into the system the Portes du Soleil was firmly established
as The Worlds Largest International Ski Area in the 1970s. Now there are
over 240 modern ski lifts and 650kms of marked piste with acres of off
piste, much or which remains un tracked days after snowfall.
Even though Morzine has expanded considerably over the last 30 years, the village still retains its Haute Savoyard charm - pretty stone and wood clad slate roofed chalets situated against forested mountainsides with stunning views over the surrounding Chablais mountains.
Today Morzine is a vibrant Alpine resort; there are plenty of restaurants, bars, shops to keep the non-skiers of the party happy. Other 'activities' going on in the village include horse drawn sleighs, ten pin bowling, ice skating, fitness centre, cinemas, tradional markets (Wednesdays), excursions to Thonon, Geneva and local buses to Les Gets. Non skiers can take advantage of the Pedestrian lift pass to access the ski area and meet up for lunch in above Morzine, les Gets and around Avoriaz.
Apres ski in Morzine is as long and hard as you want it to be. The Dixie Bar is one of the main focal points in the old town, while just up the road in the newer part of Morzine, Boudha is popular, while the Crep Schul tests your balance in ski boots dancing on tables! But for late night revelling try Paradise or the Opera night clubs which open at 11pm and go right through to 6am.
Morzine Ski Bus
Morzine is quite a large resort; the north side has ski lifts that link
in to the Les Gets area, while the south side has the lifts that link into
the Avoriaz and the rest of The Portes Du Soleil Ski area. There is a very
good and efficient free ski bus service that connects most parts of Morzine
with the lift system:
A Bus - the A bus runs from The Pleney Lifts, via the Tourist Office, Past Chalet Chantelle to the Prodains Cable Car to Avoriaz
M Bus - the M bus goes from the Town Hall (300m from Chalet Chantelle) to Ardent via Montriond - this is a great way in to the Portes du Soleil network.
N Bus - The N bus connects Pleney, The Touris Office, past Chalet Namaste, to the Nyon cable car.
In Morzine the Petit Train connects The Pleney lifts with the Super Morzine lift which connects into Avoriaz.
Ski Mobile is a unique ski hire solution for our guests staying in Morzine.
Ski Mobile provides a unique and personal rental service - they are the only mobile ski hire company in Morzine who actually bring a mobile shop to Chalet Chantelle or your hotel.
If the equipment you ordered doesn't fit, then they always have a selection for you to try.
Book online at booking.ski-mobile.com and save 20%!
There are a number of ski schools in Morzine. By far the best
though is The Avoriaz Alpine Ski School. Run by Ian McKellar an ex British
Ski Team freestyle skier, the Avoriaz Alpine Ski School offers group courses
for skiing and snowboarding children through to adults, beginners through to
advanced. In small groups of no more that 8 they will coach you through the
series of skills enabling you to ski and/or board the whole mountain. They
are slightly more expensive but the small groups guarantee that you progress
Advanced skiers must try an All Terrain clinic. Expert snowboarders should try the Park and Pipe clinic. Backcountry clinics will take you safely off piste with the option of a helicopter out. Do not miss this one!
Beginner, improver and intermediate packages including hire and lift pass can be booked via Absolutely Snow or direct with The Avoriaz Alpine Ski School. All other courses, private lessons and clinics should be booked direct with the school - www.avoriazalpineskischool.com or telephone 01237 451099.
The Portes du Soleil is a fabulous ski and snowboard area, not only it is
just under 1 hour from Geneva airport it is also the World's Largest
International Ski Area with over 230 fast efficient ski lifts, 650 kms of
marked ski runs connecting a series of 13 villages which straddle the French
We recommend that all beginners head up to Avoriaz and the Avvoriaz Alpine Ski School. Under the careful instruction from Ian McKellar and his professional team of English speaking instructors, beginners will soon progress off the nursery plateau on to the greens runs of Super Morzine - Proclou is a long 4km wide green run serviced by a detachable high speed quad chair lift. Moving on the blue runs down to Les Lindarets offer a real sense of achievement. Later on in the week once the snowplough turns and stops have been mastered beginners can head over to Morzine and ski the beautiful tree lined runs between Morzine and Les Gets.
The Portes du Soleil is an intermediates paradise; the only hard thing to do is to decide which way to go each day! Take a day to explore Morzine and Les Gets - perhaps tick off a black run in Ranfolly. Mont Chery offers wide open skiing on quiet slopes but accessing the area does involve a 5 minute trek (or wait for the road ski train) across Les Gets.
Avoriaz offers high altitude open runs and access to the rest of the Portes du Soleil - head over the Switzerland and ski down the long Grand Paradise to Champery - beautiful views, chocolate box chalets and Chamois (the legendary mountain goats) to spot. Chatel offers long wide runs and you must take a day to ski the full Portes du Soleil circuit.
Advanced skiers and borders will never get bored in the Portes du Soleil. Mont Chery in Les Gets offers one of the steepest black runs in the area, you could spend all day on Chamossiere alternating between a red, black and off piste. Avoriaz has an area known as les Hauts Forts - a series of black runs with a vertical of well over 1000m. Of course every skier wants to tackle the Wall - a legendary black run between France and Switzerland. Chatel offers long carving runs, ski the circuit clockwise and anti clockwise. Head over to Torgon for Swiss Blacks runs at their best. If you are looking for off piste, then look out for Happy Valley, Hidden Valley, The Mossette Couloir, the Swiss Couloirs as well as the fabulous Vallee de la Manche.
To see ski hire prices, click here.