If you're looking for a traditional French resort with access to an extensive ski area, a ski holiday in Morzine could be for you. It's part of the huge Portes du Soleil ski area where you can ski two countries (France and Switzerland), 12 ski resorts and 650km of pistes. And as it’s only located about an hour and 20 minutes from Geneva airport, Morzine is a great resort for a short ski break.
Originally a small farming community, Morzine has all the charm you would expect from an authentic French resort. Although now a large town rather than a small village, it’s retained much of its character with wood and slate chalets dotted around the valley floor.
The drawback to Morzine is its low altitude so you won’t always be able to ski back to resort. Perhaps one to think twice before booking any late April skiing but with a good snow cannon cover specially up around Avoriaz you’ll always have some great terrain to cover.
Skiing in the resort
Not only are you surrounded by the local slopes of Morzine and Les Gets, Avoriaz and the rest of the Portes du Soleil are within easy reach too. With so much skiing on its doorstep, it’s a great resort for groups of mixed abilities.
Anyone strapping on their skis for the first time have a number of gentle green runs to make those all important first turns, especially around the Pleney area, and the numerous blues make progressing to the next level simple.
Nearly 80% of the Portes du Soleil’s pistes are blue or red, making it an intermediate skier’s heaven. Choose from cruisey slopes like the blue Gentiane down from La Ranfoilly or take on the more challenging red runs around Mont Chéry (on the other side of Les Gets). Alternatively, there are loads of decent blues over in Avoriaz.
The adventurous skiers and boarders have a few potential leg burners with the steep black and reds off the Chamossiere Express and the Pointe de Nyon areas. We’d also recommend taking a guide off-piste, particularly if you’re in search for powder stashes after a heavy snowfall.
Snowboarders will like the long, wide slopes across the whole ski area as well as the boarder cross and terrain parks located throughout Morzine, Les Gets and Avoriaz.
Morzine wouldn’t be quite the same without ending the day with some après ski. Grabbing a drink in one of seemingly endless bars to listen to a little bit of live music and maybe have a dance. One to look out for would be Bar Robinsons or “Robbo’s”, a bit of a local institution and one of the liveliest spots in town despite it only being open from 4 until 8 and only selling one lager – Mutzig.
Most of the bars close around 2am, but the town’s two nightclubs, L’Opera and Le Paradis are both open into the early hours of the morning if your bed isn’t already calling your name.
For a quieter and more sophisticated drink, the Coup de Coeur wine bar with its huge selection of wines, platters of cheese, heated outdoor terrace and comfy seats is a great place to round off a day on the slopes.