The traditional ski resort of Morzin is located an hour’s drive from Geneva, at an altitude of 1000 meters above sea level and is very close to the highest spire of Western Europe – Montblanc (4808 m). The resort is French, the Alps are Swiss, the nearest border is Italian – everything is European, therefore, the resort can be called international with full rights. Morzin is rarely mentioned as a standalone resort, most often talking about a duet – the traditional Morzine plus more modern Avoriaz, which combines the best features of the world famous ski resorts and the Alpine atmosphere in addition. This pair of resorts is a decent part of the riding zone of the large ski region Portes du Soleil.
The convenient location in relation to the airport and railway station affects the choice of ski lovers. Most foreign skiers arrive in Geneva (80 km from the resort) or Annecy (96 km) and get to Morzine by bus or taxi from there. French themselves and Germans prefer TGV high-speed trains – the nearest railway station Besz (FR. Cluses) is just 28 kilometers away from the resort. Also it is easy to get there by car from any French city as well as from cities of Western Europe – through Dijon, Lyon or through Switzerland.
Keep skiing in Morzine
There are 14 resorts in Portes du Soleil – 8 French and 6 Swiss. There are only 286 pistes. In general, the length of all pistes is 630 kilometers, where 90 km are complex for passage and 170 km are light and quite easy for beginners.
Almost a quarter of these pistes are in Morzine-Les Gets – 66, which allows to call the resort one of the largest in the region:
9 black – high level of complexity;
27 red – average complexity;
32 blue – low difficulty;
4 green – lung slopes for beginners.
Experienced ski masters prefer the steep descent of Pointe de Nyon which is slightly more than two kilometers long, but even extreme lovers ride more often in the neighboring Avoriaz, where the slopes are more complex. In Morzin, the pistes are preferably for confident skiers, sharpening their skills and not needing an abundance of adrenaline.
Sloping and wide pistes for beginners are located on the nearest to the resort mountain called Pleney, which is one and a half thousand meters tall and has a lift, which was opened almost a century ago. At the foot of this mountain there is a slalom stadium which is accessible to everyone. In addition to traditional skiing, various shows and performances are held there with the participation of well-known athletes.
On the one side of Morzine, there is Les Gets area with a new slope for snowboard cross, a Jib park and a freestyle area. On the other – the temptations of the Avoriaz Snowzone with two snowboard parks, an extreme piste for snowboard cross and a Superpipe. So the choice is large enough even for sophisticated skiers.
Lovers of cross-country skiing were not ignored at the resort: there are almost 100 kilometers of illuminated pistes for cross-country skiing and skating around Morzine. It is the largest network in the ski region that includes the longest piste L’Erigne im Vallée de la Marche, which is 25 kilometers long, and the high-altitude Piste des Crêtes, which is ten-kilometer long.
Morzine has a single ski-pass for the Portes du Soleil ski region. Having one allows you to ski in any of the 14 zones – in France or even in Switzerland.
The cost of a one-day ski pass is about 50 EUR for an adult and a quarter less for a child. A ski-pass for 6 days for an adult will cost 250 Euros. The period, which can be called preferential, lasts from the end of October to the beginning of December. At that time, the snow cover is not yet stable and ski-passes can be bought with a discount from 5% to 15%.
Relax in Morzine
In addition to a large and varied selection of slopes, Morzine has another indisputable advantage: most of the slopes lead to the hotels themselves, which is extremely convenient: put on the skis at the door and you are already on the slope.
For accommodation, skiers are offered rooms in standard alpine mini-hotels, chalets, residences and campgrounds. Most hotels have only a few rooms, which is favorable for recreation, and the level of the European service is high enough. The rooms are small, but for skiers, who spend most of the day on the piste, the scale is irrelevant. The “three-star” hotels predominate in Morzine, according to the standard hotel classification.
Entertainment, attractions and vacation with the whole family
Morzine is loved traditionally by many generations of French people who consider it as their family resort – Famille Plus Montagne. All conditions have been created here so that both children and adults feel as comfortable as possible. There is a kindergarten where you can leave even a three-month-old baby under reliable supervision. For older children – up to 14 years old, there is a mini-club at the ski school. Children like the abundance of attractions, a playground equipped with sports equipment, the Nyon children’s snow park is also a popular place. To the services of young lovers of winter entertainment there are tobogganing and sledding, various craft master classes and festive entertainment shows.
In addition to skiing, adults are also offered winter activities, such as:
– dog sledding;
– skijoring – skiing with a horse;
– rock climbing – you can climb a mountain along a frozen waterfall;
– ice diving at Adventure park.
There are fitness centers, physiotherapy and massage centers. The SPA center “Сocon au Pays des Flocons” is a popular place too.
Also, there are local attractions in the resort. For example, the medieval Lang tower in the town of Thonon-les-Bains. A funicular, which is more than two hundred years old, takes you to the tower. There are the medieval church of St. Hippolytus and the Chablais Museum nearby, which is located in the castle that was erected 6 centuries ago by the order of Mary Burgundy, the wife of the Duke Savoy.
Foodies can visit the Nants dairy farm for a tour of the cheese cellars. And flora lovers will find an arboretum spread over 53 hectares of former hunting grounds. The arboretum is home to about sixty species of trees collected from all over the world. The entrance to the arboretum is paid, a ticket for an adult costs about 10 Euros.
You can continue your vacation in the restaurant, there are several dozen of them on the territory of the resort, each with its own specifics – French, Savoyard, Italian cuisines are represented adequately.
There are restaurants located in the mountains – you can dine while admiring the mountain views in the open Snack du Pléney or in Les Mouilles with a large terrace. But the most diverse are those located in the center of the resort – there are gourmet restaurants, homemade ones and with live music, and with a fireplace, and with a bowling alley.
If you are planning a holiday in January, you can take part in the traditional International Dog Sled Race – La Grande Odyssée. And in February you will be invited to the Chavanette Session – the cross-country skiing on a steep slope, the so-called “Swiss Wall”.
Slopes are overloaded in February and on Christmas days, there are problems with snow cover due to the low altitude of the terrain and shopping opportunities are also limited, but … There are more and more people who want to enjoy a ski holiday in Morzine and, according to statistics, 70% of those who have been here once will definitely return.