The village of Morzine is found in the French Alpes at 900m of altitude. Situated between Mont Blanc and Lake Geneva, this traditional Haute Savoie village has not lost its charm with the advances of technology over the decades.
The development of the village has been well thought out. Even the major concrete upsets of the 1970's missed the village, leaving Morzine at peace with nature, just wooden chalets and a bit of concrete!
The village is spread out through the valley floor. The centre of the village follows the River Dranse as it makes its way south. The upper reaches of the village found on the south facing side of the valley; Super- Morzine, with its stunning views of the Pleney and the surrounding mountains.
Out and About in Morzine: The resort has a huge collection of bars and restaurants .. Cavern Bar, Tibetan Cafe, Cafe Chaud, Crepuscule, Dixie Bar, Garage, Irish Coffee, Robinson, Sherpa, Le Clin D'oeil, Combe Zorro, L'Etale and La Flamme You'll find some great places to unwind after a days skiing out on the slopes. Lively, great music .. "you can dance if you want to.." With good clubs including Laurys Bar and the Opera Night Club
Valley de La Manche: Drive up the Valley de La Manche and you will find undeveloped pastures, the river flowing between rock pools and alpine chalets hiding among the trees.
Portes de Soleil: Follow the road to Prodnats, with the road weaving its way between the buttresses which tower above you, took up and you will see the resort of Avoriaz 500m above you. The dominating rock is limestone. The sedimentary layers can be seen as you make your way into the resort, the natural forces have been at work uplifting and shifting to turn the Portes de Soleil into one of the biggest ski areas in the world well before our time.
With 290 km of piste (Morzine, Avoriaz and Les Gets) you have a ski and snowboard area which will keep you happy for weeks. Add the "full" Portes du Soleil ski pass and you have enough to keep you going for years with the 13 villages and over 700km of marked piste and 360 lifts.
How to get to Morzine: Morzine is one of the easiest and fastest mountain resorts to get to in France from the UK. Its proximity to a major airport has made it a favourite with the weekend warriors. You can drink a half in Gatwick Airport and four hours later a demi in Morzine.
By Car: Using the Autoroute Blanche you can reach Morzine by leaving the motorway at Bonnveille or Cluses and then its a straight drive up the hill for 30 km, passing through Les Gets before arriving in the station after a few adventures corners. You will need chains if there is snow on the road, so go prepared.
By Plane: The arrival of cheap flights from the UK to Geneva makes this the ideal option. You only have 75km of road to the centre of Morzine. If you are short for time there is a helicopter transfer.
By Train: You can catch the snow train which will stop in Cluses, from here you will be able to find a taxi or bus to transfer you to the slopes.
By Taxi: You can book taxis in advance to pick you up from either the airport or train station.
A free bus service is designed to get you around the resort of Morzine with the minimum of fuss. If you are lucky you may get a ride on the little train.
Free Ride and Powder: The Portes du Soleil ski zone is ideal free riding. A variable terrain including steep gullies, trees and wide open powder fields will keep you on your toes ( or heals ) for days. With the complex coverage of lifts you can easily get into untracked areas with a little local knowledge.
Careful when off piste as there is always the chance of the "hidden". Watch out...you are in the mountains, don't go following tracks if you do not know where you are going. Two snowboarders followed the wrong tracks one winter; jumped a cliff 200ft into a lake, they have not found their boards yet.. Get the right conditions and you have a fun play ground where you can have a go at either the off piste runs of"Pepsi Max", "Swiss Cross" or the "Valley de La Manche" TAKE A GUIDE!
The Morzine / Avoriaz ski zone has two main snowboard parks. If you are just starting out try the park in Les Gets, there is a good mix of tables and spines. The Avoriaz park is serious, with half pipe and a good combination of ramps and landings. The park of the season goes to Chatel in Swiss due to the size of its table.written : 2002 updated : 2020 (merci Archie for some of the photos)