- Accommodation & Hotels
- Ski Area
- Ski Lifts & Pass
- Activities & Things to do
- Restaurants & Nightlife
- Festivals & Events
Morzine is a beautiful, traditional Alpine ski resort set in the heart of the vast Portes Du Soleil ski area. Morzine is situated only 1 hour 15 minutes from Geneva making it an ideal ski resort for a skiing short break or a ski weekend.
If the vast, low-lying Portes du Soleil ski area has a soul, it’s Morzine. With an attractive old village at its core, lively nightlife and ski lifts dotted around, it’s a good value, easy to reach, year-round resort.
From the building of the "Grand Hotel" by Francois Baud in the 1920's, Morzine changed from a small Savoyarde village subsisting on farming and slate mining into a large international mountain resort. Its easy transfer from Geneva makes it perfect for short breaks, but in good snow conditions there’s enough skiing for a full week or more.
The town itself is large and sprawling with several satellite villages, but has an attractive core. There is a good variety of places to stay, including chalets, apartments, and hotels (including 1 and 2 star options) and plenty of restaurants and bars.
Morzine’s own ski area is shared with Les Gets.This is covered by the Portes du Soleil pass but is not a part of the main circuit. It’s accessed from the Pleney and Crusaz lifts along the South West side of town, or from the Telecabine at Nyon, on its far southern edge. The runs are mostly short blues and reds but there are some challenges for experts.
On its other side, Morzine connects into the main Portes Du Soleil circuit linking Avoriaz and Champery to Morgins and Chatel. Access is either from the centre of town via the Super Morzine lift, or from the outlying (but bus-connected) villages at Ardent and Les Prodains, which have their own lifts.
And that is all the skiing most visitors could possibly want. But for determined explorers there are further small isolated outposts of the Portes Du Soleil at La Grande Terche above St Jean d’Aulps, and at Abondance which are both within range, particularly if you’re staying in Morzine’s satellite villages at Montriond and Essert Romand, or have a car. On the map, Samoens (linked to Flaine) is also tantalising close, but because the Col de Joux Plane is closed in winter, you have to take an hour long detour via Les Gets and Tanniges.
So there’s no shortage of runs to choose from, provided there is snow. And that’s the rub, because almost all the skiing is below 2000m. On a bitterly cold day or in a blizzard, Morzine’s short, tree-lined runs are a much nicer place to be than the bleak, exposed bowls surrounding high altitude resorts. But in a warm Spring, or a mild December, good snow may be in short supply, and then you're dependent on Morzine living up to it's promose of being a genuine year-round resort with plenty of things to do besides skiing.
For those who don’t ski or snow board there is plenty on offer in resort: ice-skating; snowshoeing; massage and jacuzzi, visiting the local fruiterie where they show you how they make the local cheeses, the weekly local market or on the mountain: walks around the beautiful Lake at Montriond snowshoeing with a local guide; paragliding and skidooing for the adventurous. Further afield Geneva, Chamonix and Annecy are all within an hour and a half drive away.
Very popular with the French during school holidays, Morzine is a favourite with Brits, the Dutch and Belgians.
Morzine sprawls across the head of the Vallee D'Aulps with Avoriaz dominating the Hauts Forts peaks to the East. A far cry from the sleepy Savoyard village that began to waken when Francois Baud built the original Grand Hotel, it's now a proper Alpine town whose main industry is tourism; both winter and summer.
It's history results in a mélange of old and new, with some odd French 60s architecture in between. It's not as well controlled as some other resorts so there are some odd apartment blocks in between the traditional chalets and barns.
Very popular with the French during school holidays, it's a favourite with Brits, the Dutch and Belgians. As expected in a town of this size this means a profusion of bars, restaurants, accommodation and facilities of all types (and budgets).
Morzine Ski Resort
While the charming alpine atmosphere will make you feel like you've stepped into a traditional winter wonderland, you'll find that Morzine is a contemporary resort with all mod-cons. The huge range of shops, restaurants, pubs, clubs and off-slope activities pretty much have everything for everyone and contribute to the friendly, buzzing village life. There's more to do on and off the slope than you can shake a ski pole at, including loads of activities for non-skiers, and après ski is lively and varied.
Highly acclaimed as a family ski resort, the town has been stamped with the prestigious Famille Plus label by the French Ministry of Tourism. Kids are welcomed enthusiastically with child-friendly establishments and a great range of free activities including children's entertainment and snow fun for all the family. Childcare services are fantastic, ski schools are known for their excellent children's lessons and for a charming finishing touch, there's a merry-go-round.
Another family friendly aspect to the resort is the convenience of its location - only a 75 minute drive from Geneva makles it perfect for those who want to avoid a lengthy transfer. Morzine's attractive positioning doesn't stop here: the area lies in the very centre of the Portes du Soleil's 12 interconnected resorts which cover both the French and Swiss Alps. You can either ski with the local pass which gives access to 120km pistes in the Morzine-Les Gets area or get a Portes du Soleil lift pass and discover 650km of vast and varied terrain including 7 snow parks. This covers 12 resorts: Morzine, Les Gets, Avoriaz, Abondance, la Chapelle d'Abondance, Châtel, Montriond and St Jean d'Aulps in France and Champéry, Torgon, Morgins and Val d'Illiez-Champoussin-les Crosets in Switzerland.
Skiing in Morzine
The scale of the mountain terrain is impressive and with the Portes du Soleil pass, seemingly endless. All abilities are catered for well and to top it off, you can heli-ski, speed ride and go night skiing on the Pleney.
With excellent ski schools and conveniently located nursery slopes, Morzine is popular for novices. You'll find lots of gentle greens and easy blues for snowploughing including Gernes and Proclo. Beginner boarders are in expert hands too: Mint Snowboarding is a top school specialising in snowboard tuition.
In keeping with its family-friendly reputation, even toddlers can ski in Morzine thanks to Babysnow - a scooter-meets-snowboard contraption which ages 1-3 will love. To inspire the younger generation of freestylers, there's the Nyon Snowpark which has small jumps, tunnels and boxes and a fun penguin themed area with banked turns, slalom and a tunnel.
Much of Morzine's mountain is intermediate friendly; whether you like tree-lined pistes, steeps, powder or a bit of everything you'll find a lot to please. Chamossiere has some great high altitude trails with a stunning 360° panorama of Mont Blanc, the Alps and Lake Geneva. The Arbis red run has a bit of everything: speeds, moguls, steeps and a pretty tree-lined ending. For advanced skiers, La Chavanette, more commonly known as the Swiss Wall, is known as one of the world's most terrifying runs and offers steep moguls for the adventure thirsty. Combe de Machon is a practically vertical black and you'll find loads of moguls, off-piste and cross-country.
As well as extensive freeriding terrain, the Portes du Soleil area has 7 snowparks (including a good one nearby in Avoriaz), 4 boardercross courses and 3 half-pipes that cater for all levels of freestyler.
Beginners have wide nursery slopes down in the village and access to higher runs by the gondola if snow cover is ever a problem at each end of the season.
There’s also a choice of ski schools including a British ski school (unambiguously named the British Alpine Ski School) if you’d like to be taught by your countrymen.
The ubiquitous French Ski School (ESF) is by far the largest operator however. Once turns and stops are mastered this is a good area for progressing with many lovely green and blue ski runs to move on to in the pretty wooded slopes above the village.
A wonderful resort for intermediates with the hundreds of miles of piste opening up on three sides from the village providing the best of all worlds. On the one side you have the long, wide, tree-lined pistes of Pleney between the village and neighbouring Les Gets with the quieter but more challenging slopes of Mont Chery beyond.
Then on another there are the slopes of Nyon and Chamossiere with more runs up above the treeline. Then the third option is to head up to the higher slopes beyond Avoriaz and continue on in to Switzerland and resorts like les Crosets and Champery, all on your lift ticket, for a nice Swiss lunch before heading home.
Runs come in all shapes and sizes with a choice of more than 240 easy to intermediate ski runs in the whole region, the longest 12km (seven miles) long. Wonderful.
Although not renowned as a resort for advanced skiers, the locals can show you plenty of challenging runs on and off the marked piste. Closest to Morzine itself, the Chamossiere/Nyon sector is best known for its steeper terrain and where you’ll find several of the eight local black runs. It’s also one of the best sectors for off piste skiing close to Morzine itself, the local Mountain guides office (+33 (0)6 86 95 43 74; http://www.bureaudesguides.net) or one of the ski schools will be happy to show you more.
The mountain guides also lead ski touring trips. Further afield the opportunities multiply in the Portes du Soleil with steep runs near Avoriaz including the infamous Wall piste. The three kilometre long Creux run is popularly regarded as the toughest in Morzine itself.
Snowboard / Freestyle Skiing
Morzine offers a great deal to snowboarders at all levels, there’s the huge variety of terrain enjoyed by skiers, there’s a small terrain park locally, and then access to bigger parks and much more terrain in the wider Portes du Soleil. One added bonus is that along with the snowboarding divisions of the five ski schools, Morzine also have the Mint snowboarding school, a team of enthusiastic young Brits who concentrate 100% on boarding.
Morzine’s own small snowpark in the Nyon sector may seem a little less than adequate for such a major resort, but there are bigger terrain parks a little further off, including one on Mont Chery on the other side of Les Gets and on the other side, world class facilities at Avoriaz – one of France’s top snowboarding destinations.
Cross country skiing is popular in Morzine where there are 95km of marked and groomed trails in the valley and at altitude above the resort. The terrain divides up to being 60km of relatively easy trails, 20km of moderate difficulty and 15km of challenging terrain.
The French ski school (ESF) have a cross country ski lessons programme for first timers or improvers. The Manche valley is a particularly popular area for cross country skiing.
Morzine Apres Ski
Because it's a great resort for those with children in tow, the high quality of après ski in Morzine is often overlooked. You'll find a lively, friendly atmosphere after hours with a good range of venues to suit everyone (and with fantastic childcare services on offer, even parents can sample the nightlife). In terms of places to drink in Morzine, Le Robinson is a popular vintage bar offering a relaxed atmosphere. Crowds tend to gather at the foot of the slopes to party in Le Tremplin while local beers and cocktails can be enjoyed at Aubergade. To experience Morzine's après ski at its height, book a ski holiday during the Rock the Pistes and Basscamp festivals in March or the End of Season Slushy Social in April.
With 90 slopeside restaurants, Morzine has a range of dining to suit all tastes and budgets including some lovely family-run establishments. Le Clin D'Oeil is a family and group favourite, La Grange is good for a fondue and if it's a fast-food hit you're after, Mamma's does great pizza and fish and chips to take away.
You don't have to be strapped to a plank or two to appreciate Morzine - there are plenty of alternative activities on offer. Have fun on the snow on a yooner, sledge, snowmobile or segway or try snowshoeing, ice-skating, paragliding or ice-diving for an alternative winter experience.
As expected from a top family resort, activities abound for all ages to enjoy some quality family time. Free children's activities are regularly on offer including arts, craft and entertainment. There's a fun sledge run down the Pleney where a tipi-dinner is served at the bottom and teenagers are kept entertained with a disco, ice-rink and 2 cinemas. In the centre of the village, you'll find a state-of-the-art leisure centre with 3 pools, sports courts, a gym and a well being area.
Families in Morzine
This is one of our favourite family resorts and has France’s prestigious Famille Plus label to mark its excellence for family ski holidays. There’s some brilliant family accommodation to choose from, whether you prefer a chalet, hotel or apartment. Enjoy not having to lift a finger in our family-friendly chalets and hotels where all the food is prepared for you or opt for more flexibility in a self-catering apartment. We have everything from budget-friendly rooms to luxurious suites to suit all kinds of ski holiday. If you’re travelling with children who are too young to ski, pick one of our hotels with childcare or if your children are having lessons, book somewhere near the ski school meeting point.
The tourist office put on lots of free activities throughout to keep little ones happy – particularly over Christmas, New Year, half term and Easter. Morzine is an excellent place to take your children to ski for the first time with terrific tuition, convenient nursery slopes and loads of gentle green and easy blues runs. Little ones too young to ski are well looked after with various childcare options available – they can even enjoy their own kind of skiing thanks to ‘babysnow’ (a scooter-cum-snowboard that toddlers will love). The Nyon Snowpark is excellent for more confident children wanting to try some tricks and older children can venture to Avoriaz for a Snowpark at a higher scale.
It’s not just the resort and ski area that cater excellently to families – Morzine’s position in the Alps is ideal for a family getaway. Only a 75 minute transfer from Geneva airport, you won’t have to hear the all-too-familiar ‘are we nearly there yet?’ for long – book a package including accommodation, return flights and transfers for an easy journey to the mountains - they’re 100% ATOL protected. This is also an excellent place to ski if you’re planning to drive, as it’s one of the closest resorts to Calais – check out our self-drive packages including channel crossings. Look out for our accommodation-only deals if you want to prepare your travel independently.
Group Holidays Morzine
Our chalets, hotels and apartments are the best in Morzine and make the perfect base for an amazing week on the snow. Book Chalet La Source if you’re a group of 10 looking for somewhere authentic where you can spend cosy evenings in an alpine home-from-home. All of our chalets are catered so you can really relax while meals are prepared for you. Hotel accommodation works fantastically for groups where everyone can socialise in on-site restaurants and bars. Hotel Le Cret is a large property with only a 6-8 minute walk to town centre and ski lift. For an authentic but cheap group holiday, stay in one of the Chalet Matine Apartments – they sleep up to 7 and have an ideal location on the piste only 1 minute from the town.
Wherever you all decide to stay, you can be sure to have a fantastic time in Morzine. Skiers and boarders of all abilities will find lots to please them in the local area and wider Portes du Soleil, whether you’re looking for somewhere to practice, glide amongst the trees, take challenging steeps or do some freeriding or freestyling. Any non-skiers tagging along for the ride can still enjoy the snow on sledge, snowmobile or snowshoes or stay indoors in a fantastic leisure centre, cinema and plenty of shops. The après ski is lively and friendly from cosy pubs to cocktail lounges, promising quality time together after a day on the snow.
Morzine is only a 75 minute transfer if you’re flying into Geneva - book accommodation, flights and airport transfers in one of our money-saving packages for the best deal. The resort is also well located for self-drive holidays and you can book accommodation with channel crossings in a self-drive package if you’re all planning to drive to the mountains. If it’s proving too difficult to arrange a journey that suits everyone, book your accommodation on its own and let everyone sort out their own travel.
Transportation - Get In
As there is no main rail link to Morzine from Geneva or Paris the most efficient way to travel is by road.
The nearest major airport is at Geneva (GVA ). Many low cost and European airline offer regular well priced flights from most major EU hubs. You can continue either by hire car from Geneva or an airport transfer service.
Airport Transfers: There are quite a few companies based in the area offering regular transfers to Morzine in the winter & summer months.
Alpybus provides a daily service for 25.50 Euros, with transfers departing every 45 minutes.
Car Hire: Many of the larger companies are based in and around Geneva Airport on both the French and Swiss sides. Be aware of Swiss road taxation badges (compulsory for all vehicle travelling on Swiss motorways). The Swiss car hire companies will have these included in the price but the French may not. Check before you reserve.
The nearest train station is in Cluses, a 30min drive away, around 35 km. Cluses Station is served by a TGV line and connections to France, Switzerland, the Eurostar and the rest of Europe are available here. A bus service runs from Cluses train station to Morzine.
There are also trains to Thonon-les-Bains, with bus services to Morzine.
The main access road is the A40 or ‘white motorway’.
Transportation - Get Around
There are free shuttle buses between the major ski-lifts at least in the winter and connections to nearby resorts. See Morznet.com
Morzines area is one of the world’s best mountains biking holiday in Europe, and one of the best in the world. As a center area you can reach a lot of other areas and resorts around it. And either by car or by bike, the trails are easy to ride and some of the resorts are also available by cable car. If you’re biking you can use the cable car specially dedicated for the bikers.
- Morzine-mtb [www] 1100 Route de la Plagne, 74110 Morzine, France, +33 (0) 661 61 29 88. Biking holiday services, offering bike rental, bike accessories, transportation and accommodation in the Morzine resort.
Morzine ski area is divided into three sectors: Pleney above the town to the west, Super Morzine (the main ski-link to Avoriaz) to the east and Nyon-Chamossierre to the south.
Pleney is the main mountain and where the local ski schools hang out. The summit is a broad plateau ideal for beginners and good long blues weave through the trees to the village below. Anyone other than experts can easily enjoy a half day or more here. Challenging skiing is limited although there is the Stade de Slalom down the face of the mountain - ideal for showing off to the spectators on the terrace of the Hotel L'Equipe.
For more testing runs, head across to Nyon-Chamossiere. A couple of routes connect from the Pleney summit and take you to lifts to the Nyon Plateau. From there many blues and reds slope back to Morzine or around to Les Gets but for a tougher test you can head up to the Pointe de Nyon. L'Aigle starts out red zig-zagging from the summit and then ends with optional black bumps - it often has bumpy patches following a line straight down.
From the Plateau you can also ski across to Chamossiere - a single peak with one chairlift but a great bumpy black under the chair and a stiff red on the other side. In good conditions there's a lot of good just-off-piste to the sides of both.
In contrast, Super Morzine is mainly a route to Avoriaz but on sunny days it's a great place for beginners and intermediates to practice their turns on wide, open pistes.
Ski lifts & pass
Morzine and the Portes du Soleil are linked by a variety of different lifts. With such a huge area to ski, 650km of pistes across the whole of the Portes du Soliel it is the largest connected ski area in Europe.
With 197 lifts across the whole of the Portes du Soleil 49 of these are located in Morzine and Les Gets. There are 64 slopes to ski in total (5 green, 23 blues, 27 reds and 9 blacks).
The lifts marked on the piste map using straight black lines are of four types; button tow/drag, chair, telecabine and telepherique. They have the corresponding abbreviations:
- TK - téléski (drag)
- TS - télésiege (chair)
- TC - télécabine (gondola)
- TPH - téléphérique (cable car)
For télécabine think gondola and for téléphérique think cable car. Anything prefixed/suffixed with “Express” means a 6 person modern fast chair lift.
In the summer the lift system is open and you can enjoy the Morzine and Portes du Soleil area. The whole Portes du Soleil region has 24 lifts open throughout the summer season; they are used by mountain bikers, walkers, climbers, paragliders and those who wish to enjoy the fantastic views.
|Morzine/Les Gets & Portes du Soleil Ski Passes 2017/18 (€)|
|6 Day Ski Pass
prices per person
|Junior / Senior
16-19 yrs / 65+ yrs
|Portes du Soleil||€260||€195||€234|
|Morzine/Les Gets & Portes du Soleil Ski Passes 2017/18 (€)|
prices per person
|Junior / Senior
16-19 yrs / 65+ yrs
|End of day
|Cross Country Ski Pass - Morzine 2017/18 (€)|
prices per person
|Ski Season Pass - Morzine/Les Gets & Portes du Soleil 2017/18 (€)|
prices per person
|Junior / Senior
16-19 yrs / 65+ yrs
|Portes du Soleil||940||705||846|
|Pedestrian Pass - Morzine 2017/18 (€)|
prices per person
Activities & Things to do
Modern Winter Biathlon is the combination of cross country skiing and rifle shooting and tests not only fitness but also patience and control. In Morzine you can try your hand at this Olympic Sport. If you like cross country skiing but want to add another challenge then Biathlon is the perfect way to escape in to the natural,quiet surrounding mountains sand then shoot stuff. Bit of a contradiction this one but it's fun all the same.
There is a small underground bowling alley and bar on the main street of Les Gets to keep you entertained on bad weather days, or if you're looking for something to do with a group or non-skiers.
Portes du Soleil boasts 216 km of tranquil cross-country trails. There are 4 cross country areas accessible from Morzine: the Manche Valley with 25 km of challenging circuits, the Morzine-Avoriaz at Parc Naturel des Crêtes de Zorre with up to 47 km for all levels, Lake Montriond with 10 km of Canadian-style runs and the Pléney-Chavannes sector with 18 km of forest runs. You can hire the comfortable boots and lightweight skis and poles fairly inexpensively from most sports shops and book a group or private lesson to learn the basics from most ski schools or private instructors. A number of adventure companies also offer cross-country skiing guiding, tours and lessons too.
Handiski / sit-ski
Enjoying the thrill of being on the pistes need not escape you if you're less mobile or have special physical needs. ESF Morzine and ESF Les Gets have specially trained instructors and a range of sit-ski equipment that enables them to teach anyone who is partially sighted, hard of hearing or has learning difficulties or a physical disability in complete safety. They offer private lessons and equipment hire.
In Morzine, the Pleney gondola and the Nyon gondola are wheelchair accessible. All of the chairlifts are also adapted to take handiskis. All of the chairlifts, gondolas and cable cars in Avoriaz are adapted to take a handiski, making all of the pistes and snowparks available to handiski users. In Les Gets, the lifts that are handiski accessible are all within the Chavannes sector of the resort. This includes the chairlifts of La Croix, Chavannes Express, Perrières Express, Nauchets Express, Grains d'Or Express, Ranfolly.
Horse-drawn sleigh rides
In Morzine, up to 6 people can have a ride in a horse-drawn carriage around the resort starting at 15€ and up to 90€. Starting at the Tourist Office, the ride takes you through the whole village, showing you the old town, the different hamlets around Morzine or even up to lake Montriond. It’s an afternoon activity, usually starting around midday. And it’s first come first served.
For the true mountain enthusiast, why not scale an amazing frozen waterfall or glacier? This is a fantastic sport, not just for experienced mountaineers. The frozen columns of the Gachette, Dame du lac and Brochaux waterfalls are stunning locations to try your hand at ice climbing. The ice climbing season peaks between December and March. You can either go with a guide from an Adventure Company in Morzine or you'll need to know what you are doing and bring your own kit.
Ice-skating / Hockey
Go to the ice-skating rink in Morzine for fun loops with friends and family. With a refreshment bar, music and lighting you can enjoy the indoor ice skating rink at Parc des Dereches all year round. Open during the day and with night sessions from 20:30 to 23:00 once a week (night sessions are sometimes postponed due to hockey matches or special events). In the winter, you can also scoot around on the outdoor ice skating rink situated in the tourist office square, with ice shows on Thursdays. Open every day from 10:30 to 12:30 and 15:00 to 19:00 throughout the winter season.
In Morzine, you can have dinner inside an igloo after a short 30-45 minutes walk. A guide will accompany you and you'll enjoy a delicious cheese fondue surrounded by ice before heading back down. Anyone over 8 years of age can take part.
Museums & Galleries
A visit to a museum is a great idea on a bad weather day or for those in the group who don't ski. In Les Gets, at the Mechanical Music Museum you'll learn about the history and development of this kind of music. The slate workshop and mines in Morzine can also be visited, local master Franck Buet will explain the origins of this 100-year-old trade in Morzine and how the stone is crafted.
Night skiing takes place on the Pleney piste in Morzine every Thursday, weather permitting. You can enjoy floodlit pistes and a well deserved and warming 'vin chaud' afterwards.
Morzine is popular for ski touring, whether it's going up the pistes that most people normally ski down, or tackling more of a backcountry route. A number of ski schools, private instructors and companies can show you around or, if you've got all the necessary equipment, you can head out in your own group. Some of the most famous ski touring routes here include the Vallee de la Manche or Col du Fornet, the Hauts-Forts summit, the Pointe de Vorlaz or the Dents du Midi tour crossing the border over to Switzerland.
Skiing & snowboarding
The main draw for people coming to Morzine in winter is, of course, the skiing and snowboarding. The Portes du Soleil area is vast, with 426km of pistes spread across 13 different ski resorts in France and Switzerland. There are 286 pistes and 30 snowparks all accessed by around 200 ski lifts. The ski resort of Morzine offers beginner skiers lovely wide, tree-lined mostly blue and red pistes. Carvers will love the runs around Le Pleney and powder enthusiasts will revel in the slopes above Nyon. This resort is also good a place for families, groups and intermediate skiers and snowboarders to enjoy. Easily accessed from Morzine, Les Gets is a very pretty ski area. Tree-lined runs in the Ranfoilly bowl and stunning panoramic views from the top of Mont Chery make this one of the best areas for cruising pistes with a backdrop.
Snowmobile / Skidooing
Those who enjoy speed will love riding a powerful snowmobile (like a motorbike with caterpillar tracks) around Morzine. Discover the different dimensions of driving: carving turns, accelerating in a straight line, ascents and descents. Snowmobiles are a great way to explore Morzine especially as you get to ride them when the resort is at its quietest. Disappear into the woods and blast around empty snow fields on your scooter with your own guide. Remember to wrap up warmly especially if you go after dark, and bring goggles if there is powder. This is not a sport for the timid!
Avoriaz and the wider Portes du Soleil is a favourite for freestyle skiers and snowboarders. With a permanent halfpipe, Europe's first Burton Stash and parks in Avoriaz, Les Gets, Crosets, Nyon and Chatel it's no wonder it is so popular. There are around 30 snowparks across the whole of the Portes du Soleil ski area. The small Nyon Snowpark in Morzine boasts kickers and boxes, while the Les Gets Snowpark features kickers and rails for beginners to intermediate as well as an airbag.
Beach volleyball in the heart of the French Alps may sound strange but in Morzine you can hop on the sand and play a game of volleyball with your friends or family. Located in the Parc des Dereches, the beach volleyball court is situated by the outdoor swimming pool, open in July and August.
Morzine is great for cyclists as there are 15 mapped itineraries starting from here as well as 25 mountain passes within 50 km. This resort also boasts an international reputation thanks to it hosting 22 stages of the Tour de France. Although the routes are sometimes short they are often quite steep and in some cases, the longer rides are flatter and easier. To gain the most from your riding in the area you need to have a reasonable level of fitness. The most famous cycling route here is the ascent from Morzine to Avoriaz which is a short 14.5 kilometres with 850 metres of altitude gain and an average 6% ascent with peaks of 11%. You can try and measure yourself against Bernard Hinault's record, 33 minutes in 1979.
There is an 18-hole course in Les Gets. This fairly technical golf course offers panoramic views and great facilities. The clubhouse is a welcoming place to enjoy a drink and the restaurant has a lovely terrace on which to enjoy lunch. Coaching, equipment hire and electric buggies are all available. With stunning mountain views and pleasant summer weather, this is a wonderfully relaxing way to spend the day.
Morzine and the wider Portes du Soleil area was the original, and still remains, the best mountain biking (MTB / VTT) area based in a winter ski resort. Its popularity has increased year on year, aided and abetted by the stunning alpine scenery and more than 80 kilometres of world-class enduro trails and 50 kilometres of downhill slopes. The variety of terrain ensures that everyone from beginners to expert and pro-level downhill and freeride riders, can get many days riding on trials suited to their preferences and ability level. Morzine's central position means you can freewheel down to the village from most of the Portes du Soleil ski lifts.
Tree-top / Forest adventures
Adventure parks are designed for children and adults to play, explore, exercise and have fun in the natural mountain surroundings. The ropes, swings, tunnels, trees and activities will be a great day for children and adults alike. Qualified guides will be around the course throughout to make sure you are safe and having as much fun as possible. There are treetop adventure routes in Morzine, you can find them near the Nyon waterfall, at the Parc des Dereches and behind the sports centre.
Regarding zip wires, the Fantasticable in the Portes du Soleil is the only one of its kind in the Alps. Located in Chatel at the top of the Chaux Fleurie lift, this zip wire covers over three kilometres in two stages and reaches speeds of up to 100km/h. Strapped into a harness you fly face first across the valley, taking in the views in unique style. All safety equipment is provided - Superman outfit optional...
Restaurants & Nightlife
Morzine Bars & Restaurants
Morzine is a busy little town with more bars and restaurants than you’ll need.
Morzine is a busy little town with more bars and restaurants than you'll need. It's difficult to miss restaurants offering typical mountain food and Savoyard specials - for great fondue at a good price head to La Barrique while Le Café Chaud has the ski resort's cheapest Savoyard menu. For pizzas L'Etale and Le Clin d'Oeil are popular with English holidaymakers. For a more 'local' experience, head to Le Pique-Feu: a food shop by day, by night it serves the same produce in a charming cosy dining room behind the shop.
Finding a higher level of cuisine is harder but Le Chamade is a true gourmet experience. Home to the top local celebrity chef Thierry Thorens, he uses local produce to create traditional recipes with a gastronomic twist. Most of the good hotel restaurants serve a varied menu - the three course menu in L'Atelier is highly recommended. Le Restaurant du Chalet Philibert, on the Prodains road, is known for its excellent haute cuisine food and beautifully designed dining room. The Rhodos hotel has a younger feel to it and, for a quick snack, serves excellent hand-made sandwiches. Home made aperitifs are the speciality at the cosy traditional restaurant of La Grange, while the reasonably priced menu in La Flamme is also very popular. If your taste-buds are crying out for something hot and spicy Le Maharaja does a decent curry. If you're prepared for a trip out of town, La Chalande at Ardent is excellent and L'Amandier in St Jean D'Aulps is worth the journey.
There are various fast food shacks around the ski resort. Le Main à la Pate on the Place de la Crusaz is open until 10pm serving pizzas, crêpes, and ice-creams, while the Burger Place at the Pléney end of the Taille is the only place for burgers and also does a mean full English breakfast. For afternoon tea Café Tyrolia is the ski resort's original tea-shop with an extensive menu of coffees, teas and cake.
The town is equally populated with bars. The Dixie Bar is Morzine's Irish pub and the first port of call for many: football is regularly shown on the big screens and there's live music most evenings. Seasonnaires gather at the famous band nights at the English run Garage Bar on the route towards Prodains and Avoriaz. Back in town most of the action takes place on Taille de Mas du Pléney or 'Bar Street', a noisy strip of restaurants, bars and cafés running between the Pléney lift and Morzine's Tourist Office. Down the same staircase are the Coyote Bar, Le Boudha Café and the Cavern, with L'Opera nightclub next door. The Coyote Bar kicks off later on and has pool tables and arcade games for evening entertainment. Le Boudha Café has a more relaxed, cosy atmosphere with comfy sofas if you get there early. The English-run Cavern is a lively sports bar where football fans can watch matches on the big screen. Seasonnaires enjoy the fancy dress nights on a Tuesday, the two hour early evening 'happy hour' and the lethal shooters bar. The nearby Le Crépuscule was refurbished recently and attracts a young crowd - on a busy night there is dancing room on the bar only.
Away from the Taille Le Café Chaud is a local hangout with a tropical theme and a vibrant atmosphere, while at the other end of town on the road towards Montriond the bar in the Hotel Ridge is a sleek addition to the evening scene.
There's never a problem in finding somewhere suitable to kick back in your ski boots in Morzine.
There's never a problem in finding somewhere suitable to kick back in your ski boots and tell tall tales of demonic black runs. On the whole après ski in Morzine is resort-based, and it is almost as important as the skiing itself. Le Dixie Bar on Rue du Bourg is popular with Brits with pool tables, games, live rugby and football on the big screens and usually has live music for early evening après-ski entertainment. Classier is Le Boudha Café, where you can also buy the Asian furniture if you like it. For an après ski knees-up you can try and get in at Crépuscule. It's small, busy, full of Dutch and Swedes and there's a risk that you might not get round to taking off your boots until bedtime.
Le Rhodos is for more chilled out après ski with relaxing music, free newspapers and comfy sofas - and betting at the PMU counter. Cheap, strong beer pulls in the crowds early on to the Bar Robinson; another popular venue with the English. Surf the web with your après-ski at the Action Sports Café which as well as internet terminals has a comfortable decking area and outside bar for those sunnier days, plus a Playstation for nippier nights. A more French alternative to the après-ski can be found in La Théière du Berger with its beautiful selection of warm teas and hand-made cakes.
If you're determined to make a big night out of it the ski resort has two nightclubs, L'Opera and Le Paradis du Laury's, and both are open until the early hours.
Morzine Mountain Restaurants
The mountain eating near Morzine generally lives up to the gastronomic reputation of the area.
The mountain eating near Morzine generally lives up to the gastronomic reputation of the area - it is, however, difficult to completely escape the traditional ham and cheese laden dishes beloved of the Savoyard.
But, when it's howling a snowy gale and you're tucking into a perfect "Patates au reblochon" (literally, potatoes and cheese) in the "inner sanctum" of Francois' kitchen at Chez Nannon on the Nyon Plateau, you might not want to escape. It's a perfect way to enjoy bad weather although when its sunny the service on the terrace can be slow and chaotic. In any case booking is necessary.
Alternatively, there are a handful of restaurants at the bottom of the Choucas chair on the way to Les Gets, a big self service on the Plateau itself and a couple of restaurants on the Pleney plateau.
Festivals & Events
La Grande Odysee
Europe's largest husky dog race is an epic event that sets teams of dogs and mushers against each other as they attempt to cross fourteen resorts across the Savoie region including Les Gets, Morillion, Megeve and Samoens. The race runs for ten days from around 10 days in January.
Rock the Pistes Music Festival, Morzine
The best of French & International rock and pop music is featured in this week long event high up on the pistes of the Portes du Soleil ski area. And it's all included in the price of your lift pass!
The Basscamp Sessions is Morzine's first electronic music and snowsports festival, with international DJ's, mountain fun, parties and dancing til dawn. Events will be held throughout the Portes du Soleil ski area, but the main focus of the action will be in Morzine, with a huge party scheduled to take place on the last night in the town square.
Crankworx, Les Gets
This is a huge International Mountain biking event, bringing together the best freestyle, freeride and downhill riders from around the world. It's part of a 3 stage world tour that starts in Rotorua in New Zealand, then heads to Les Gets and finishes up in Whistler, Canada. Come and check out the pros competing in the European Whip Off Championships, GT Dual Speed & Style, Rockshox Pump track night challenge, FMB Diamond Slopestyle, the Polygon Air Downhill & the IXS Cup. There's so much riding to be had in Les Gets for beginners to experts, or just come along and watch the pro's do their thing!
Pass'Portes du Soleil MTB Event
The Pass'Portes du Soleil event sets the start of the summer season - 3 days of mountain biking across the Portes du Soleil. The classic circuit is 80km long, it includes 7000m of downhill and 1000m of uphill. 15 lifts give you access to 9 different resorts, with some great riding along the way. The trails range in altitude from 2250m – 1000m and take riders through both France and Switzerland. All routes use the areas comprehensive lift network meaning that much of the uphill work is done from the comfort of a chairlift and all you have to do is enjoy the downhill. Riders tackling the full 80km circuit are rewarded with a whopping 6500m of descent! However, if you prefer to earn your descents with a bit of uphill pedalling, then each route has an alternate section enabling you to get your head down and get a bit of a sweat on. Likewise, for hardcore downhillers, options are available to deviate off the main drag onto some steeper, more technical sections where you can really put those downhill bikes through their paces.
Fete de la Musique
The Fête de la Musique is the celebration that takes place every summer solstice on 21st June in cities, towns and villages across France. More than a music festival, the Morzine Fête de la Musique is a free event that spills out from the bars and restaurants onto the streets and encompasses every type of music imaginable, from local amateur teen bands to professional classical musicians, from club DJ’s to traditional folk bands.
Celebrated across the whole of France with a bang...well, several in fact, fireworks always feature heavily. And the residents of Morzine celebrate this national holiday with as much enthusiasm as the rest of the country. Various activities are held across the city on the 14th, in memory of the storming of the Bastille on the same date in 1789. Traditionally the fireworks display normally starts off between 10-11pm.
Tour de France
The Alps have played a large part in the race over the years with the gruelling mountain climbs providing some of the most exciting spectacles of the event. The route changes slightly each year, taking in different towns, villages and cols along the way. Even if the race doesn't pass near to where you are this summer you can guarantee that it will still be avidly watched in bars and cafés around the country with everyone joining in to cheer on the famous yellow jersey!
Le Monde de Morzna
This event was created to provide some fantastic children's entertainment and as an opportunity for families to spend time together. For three days the Place de l'Office de Tourisme becomes an imaginary village where children can meet elves, fairies, wizards and witches!
Mont Blanc Motor Rally
For petrol heads in the Alps the Mont Blanc Rally is one of the big events of the summer. First held in 1947 it was originally organised as part of the Fete d’Evian and was known as the “Rally Paris-Evian”.Over the years the rally’s course and focus shifted and it became the “Rally Evian – Mont-Blanc” and then in its tenth year, the “Rally Mont-Blanc Iseran”. It was not until 1961 that it finally became the “Rally Mont-Blanc”.
Trail des Hauts Forts
Morzine mountain trail race held in August. It is an all natural trail runners race with a short (23km) and a long (43km) version of the Trail des Hauts Forts. The route takes you through three mountain passes around the Hauts-Forts peaks and through some of the most beautiful landscapes in the Portes du Soleil area.
Jazz Up Festival Avoriaz
Get the apres ski going with a week devoted to jazz. The main concerts are held in Festival Hall and there is live music in the bars, cafes and restaurants - jazz concerts, aperitif sessions, dinner dances and gala concerts are on the agenda.
Rock on Snowboard Tour
To kick off winter in some serious style - you'll be able to test all the latest equipment on the slopes for free, get advice on the right gear for your chosen discipline, and take part in events, contests and the have-a-go stand. All the brands will be here... There will also be free concerts and parties throughout the weekend.
The festive season in the snowy Alps is always magical and every year there is some sort of celebration in resort to mark the occasion. Christmas in Morzine officially starts at the beginning of December when the Christmas lights are switched on. The night is marked with vin chaud, hot chocolate and music. From then on you can enjoy Christmas concerts, festive markets and live music throughout town as the resort gears up for Christmas and New Year.
New Years Eve
Come midnight the hoards of merry revellers head the centre of town for the big countdown – not an official event as such, more of a long-held tradition. On the stroke of midnight you are advised to duck as champagne corks and fireworks are unleashed in celebration! Likewise, planning ahead is advised if you have your heart set on ringing in the New Year in a particular bar or club – some of them are ticket-only, so enquire in advance to avoid disappointment!