Why Morzine France should be your next Ski destination
When asked what my favourite ski resorts are around the world, Morzine France is always in my top 5. It is a resort that suits all types of groups from family ski holidays to a bunch of friends flying in for a weekend. It offers a wide range of activities on and off the slopes and also has a large selection of restaurants and pubs to cater for your needs. Not to mention it is part of one the biggest ski areas in the world, Portes de Soleil, with over 650kms of runs and is only around an hour and a half from Geneva airport. Because of this, it is fast becoming incredibly popular with British skiers/snowboarders.
Out of the 12 resorts that make up the Portes du Soleil ski area, Morzine is the largest and probably the most convenient in regards to resort hopping. It is one of the reasons why I have been here on several occasions during the ski season. It is also the only resort, where I have ever experienced extreme weather conditions from -26 with arctic winds to thunder and lighting while skiing.
With a large range of green and blue runs that are nice and wide so you can practice your turns, Morzine is ideal for beginners and families. The ski school is at the top of the slopes just outside the Pleney cable car, which is great for the more nervous beginner and near the nursery area. For the more advanced skier, you have a nice selection of both red and black runs to keep you entertained especially over in the Nyon plateau area. If you decide that you want to mix it up, you can ski in Les Gets or catch the super Morzine and head over to Avoriaz.
Ski Runs & Area
Like I said in my Les Gets post, your ski passes are really flexible and you can get a lift pass for the Morzine /Les Gets area or the whole Portes du Soleil, depending on your experience, comfort and budget. However, the Morzine/Les Gets Ski Pass does not include the Super Morzine & Ardent lifts, which are part of the Avoriaz Resort lift system.
A quick overview of the Morzine Ski Area:
- 125 Open trails
- 83 Ski lifts
- Plenty of on and off piste skiing, especially through the forest after a fresh dump of snow
- 1 Snowpark called ‘The Nyon’
- Kids Area Penguin Park, mini slaloms, tunnels and jumps
Skiing with the Ski Patrol
I was lucky enough to be given the chance while in Morzine to go Skiing with the Ski patrol and learning how they prepare the slopes for your safety. It was one of the activities I was looking forward to doing the most, especially as it is only offered twice a year during Morzine Loves Women.
I was up at the crack of dawn packing (I was transferring to Chatel in the afternoon), as I had an 8 am start at the bottom of the Pleney cable car. We could not have asked for better ski conditions for our activity. There was plenty of fresh snow, the sky was clear and the temperature was just right.
We set off behind the Ski patroller following him like a bunch of school kids to mark the unsafe areas. We watched him put up the flags and poles, while at the same time listening to him explaining the reason for their placement. It was really interesting and I never really thought about how much work goes into preparing the slopes. Once we were finished, he radioed in to confirm that skiers were now allowed to use the run.
A horse ride through the villages
Horse-drawn carriage rides exploring the village and its surrounding areas are one of the many activities that are offered during the winter season. Prices and times vary depending on the route you wanted to take from 10€ per person for a petit tour to a 90€ for circuit tour to Montriond. It leaves from near the Tourist Office, in the central part of Morzine and the carriage can fit up to 5 people (6 including the driver).
I went on the circuit tour around Morzine village and to the town of Montriond, which went for around 90 minutes. We explored all the village and then we stopped at a gallery owned by a lovely local couple. To be honest, I think 90mintues was a bit too long but anything between 30-60 would have been perfect. This is definitely something that is great to do as a family or a small group.
A VIP at the Ice-Hockey
I love trying different things and when I was invited to be one of the VIP guests at the indoor ice hockey, I thought this will be a lot of fun. Not only because of the atmosphere but it would be a good way to spend some time with the locals. Unfortunately, the local team lost 3-1 and it was their last game of the season but everyone still had a great time and I made some new friends.
Morzine has two ice rinks that you can use during the winter season, an outdoor and an indoor ice rink and the public can use both. The outdoor ice rink is opposite the tourist office and next to the children’s carousel. The indoor ice rink is at the Sports Hall and they host hockey matches, ice skating competitions and ice dancing performances.
The closest international airport is Geneva, which is roughly an hour and a half away from Morzine. Making it super easy to get to and great if you want to go for a weekend trip. Due to this there are numerous ways of getting to Morzine, buses, trains, private transfer, shared transfer all vary in price depending on what you can afford.
Alternatively, you can catch a train to Cluses or Thonon-Les-Bains and then catch a bus. Both of these are around 30 minutes (30 km) and there is a regular service from the stations.
I have been to the resort a few times and I had previously used the following companies, Skiidygonzales and alpybus. You can also check out the ‘Getting Here’ on the tourism website which has great information.
Morzine being the largest of the 12 resorts, you definitely have more than your fair share of options when it comes to accommodation. From luxury 5 star chalets to hotels and apartments, there is definitely something for everyone with any type of budget. And if you can’t find anything, Morzine has a dedicated team all year around who can find something.
I stayed at the Le Cottage which is centrally located and only 2 minutes away from the main gondola TC DU Pleney. It was a comfortable hotel with a bar and outdoor area that had a live band perform after skiing. The staff were really lovely and I found the atmosphere to be relaxing, especially in the main area around the open fire. I had a cosy room on the 2nd floor that could have done with a bit of a facelift but I had a lovely view of the mountain, good FREE WIFI in my room and the 3-course dinner was really yummy.
Food Heaven on the Mountain
I never got a chance this time to have dinner in Morzine Village , as I was on half board and ate at the hotel but I did get to try out a few places for lunch on the mountain.
Le Vaffieu a cute little hut restaurant on the slopes between Les Gets and Morzine, opposite the Folliets chair lift. It is one of those places that you could sit there enjoying a glass of wine and then realised that you have been there for several hours. The staff are friendly and they cook traditional mountain food like pasta and fondue. It is very popular, so it is highly recommended that you make a reservation for lunch.
I would have never ventured to this place if I wasn’t with the tourism board as I didn’t know it existed. I am so glad they did because Chez Nannon is definitely my type of place where you can have cheese overload. Located on the Nyon plateau in the middle of the ski fields the only way to get there is by skiing or Skidoo. It makes very traditional food and has some nice selections of wine to wash all the food down. I suggest you try one of the specialities like the ‘Potatoes with melted Reblochon cheese’ with a salad and a Selection of cold meats (min 2 pers).
Tip: It is highly recommended to book in advance, as it is not a very big place and it gets very busy. I don’t want you to miss out on this amazing cheese.
La Dez ‘Alp
Centrally located in the Morzine village, La Dez ‘Alp is the only restaurant out of the 3 that is not directly on the ski slopes and is open for either Lunch or Dinner. Decorated in a traditional yet modern Savoyard style, this restaurant has all your favourite cheese dishes and a large selection of wines. It also has some beautiful views overlooking Morzine village that you can enjoy, while having your meal.
Tip: I suggest asking the restaurant when you arrive or when you book if you can have a table near the window, to appreciate the views.
We all need WIFI and if you can’t find any, you can go to the tourism office and use the wireless access for FREE.
Try ski joering which is being pulled on skis, holding onto a frame, behind a horse. Unfortunately, I was unable to try this due to bad weather.
Visit the other resorts Avoriaz and Chatel if you have the time
You can buy your lift pass online to miss the queue and pick it up from the ski office or they can send it to you. You can also recharge it online too.
Children under the age of 5 can ski for FREE
Morzine is a great place and I would definitely go back in a heartbeat, the atmosphere was relaxed, the skiing was great, there were plenty things to do and lots of places to eat. It is also super easy to get around and it is good for both families and groups. Also with it being only around an hour and a half from Geneva airport, it is a great place to go for a weekend.
With Morzine being at a low altitude, you can’t always ski all the way back to the village. Snow is not always guaranteed early or late in the season, but even knowing all of this, I still would not hesitate to go back and ski again
For more information, please visit the Morzine website or you can email me directly.
Please feel free to share your experience in the comments below.
Disclaimer: Even though I was invited by the Morzine Tourism office. All views are my own and based on my own experience.