After a short flight from just about anywhere in Europe you arrive at Geneva Airport in Switzerland, the closest airport. From there, it's little over a hour drive towards Morzine, or other Alpine destinations in the Portes du Soleil area. There are multiple transfer agencies that you can book to bring you to your accomodation in Morzine. We used “skiidygonzales”, an english transfer company that has over 10 vans going back and forth to Morzine. For 4 people it will costs you about 140,- Euro to bring you to Morzine.
Arriving in Morzine, we were pleasantly surprised by the mountain village's look and atmosphere. Morzine is situated at about 900 meters altitude and is unlike lots of other French ski resorts, no tall flats, concrete buildings, but authentic wooden chalets and a cozy village with bakeries, ski rentals, restaurants and horse and carriages.
The village center has some nice streets full of restaurants, cafes and shops. Many of the shops are selling locally produced cheeses, honey, wine and other food.
Our hotel, L'Equipe, was opposite the Le Pleynet ski gondola that takes you to the ski area of Morzine. This is one of no fewer than 40 hotels in Morzine. Most hotels have 2 or 3 stars. The only hotel that comes close to 4 stars, and they probably will receive them soon, is the hotel Le Fleuris which is also close to the downhill slopes of Morzine. But our hotel with 2 stars and EUR 100 per night for a quad room was comfortable. Apart from the famous French small and hard beds, you can relax between the wooden doors and a real chalet style atmosphere. Here is a list of hotels, apartments and chalets in Morzine.
Morzine is part of the huge Portes du Soleil ski area. The entire ski area boasts 650 km of slopes! This vast ski area is two sides of the village can be reached via a gondola. In various places in the village, you can step into an open train; you can take the gondola towards the huge ski area of Portes du Soleil which brings you to the side of Avoriaz. For the 110 km ski runs near Morzine you can buy a single ski pass.
The ski resort of Les Gets Mozine-is ideal for families with children. It has lots of flat, wide slopes and lots of nice forest trails and safe off-piste runs through the trees. But the advanced skier or boarder is in Morzine enjoying themselves greatly on the red, black and Buckel slopes. In the middle of the area there are several chair lifts. This is an ideal place for friends or family to meet again if you've taken different runs. You meet and make sure the others didn’t get lost and then you can catch the slope you want, depending on your skills level. There are beautiful views of several mountain peaks including Mont Blanc through the entire Portes du Soleil, but especially in the ski resort of Morzine.
If you go skiing for a day in the direction of Avoriaz, the slopes towards Les Crosets, Champéry and Châtel are a possible route. Of course you can spend an entire day here without going down the same slope even once!
Avoriaz is a famous village in Portes du Soleil, France. This car-free village high in the mountains was specially built for the winter of 1964. One of the founders of this village is the Olympic medalist, Juan Vernet. They chose to build condominiums with more stories, but with a wood structure so the buildings are in harmony with the natural environment. Some of these apartments were built on the edge of a high lath covered with slate. This gives a spectacular view and enables you to see the village of Morzine from your apartment in Avoriaz.
A great thing in Avoriaz is that there are no cars. You have to park outside the village so that children can play safely and you go around from all apartment buildings on skis so you can step into an elevator and slide. In Avoriaz there are only apartments, so no hotels. These are pretty small, like in most of the ski areas of France. However new apartment buildings, twice as large as the old ones are being built and soon will be available for everyone. Most of the Avoriaz ski area extends over both France and Switzerland. If you like to make long trips, this is “the” area par excellence.
There are plenty of fun parks for snowboarders and skiers to enjoy their time here, half pipe and a huge variety of off-piste possibilities. Especially the fun park, "The Stash" in Avoriaz is interesting because it only has naturally shaped elements. For the less experienced freestylers, there are nice pieces between trees and they can make small jumps.
During and after skiing or boarding you obviously want something delicious to eat. There are several good French traditional restaurants in Morzine, in the village and some on the slopes. Think fondue, tartiflette, raw meat, tasty salads, fish and meat dishes. Many dishes are done with products from the region, including of course many varieties of cheese, but also mushrooms and Foix gras. Highly recommended for a special home and evening dinner with a magnificent view over the mountains and valley, the restaurant Auberge Le Vanant This small guesthouse has only 5 rooms and a number of dining tables. It is run by a couple who do everything themselves, including the cooking of traditional dishes from the region. It is just outside Morzine, in the Vallee de la Manche, but with the car it’s a 15 minutes drive. Be surprised by the cook and pamper yourself with a glass of French / Swiss dessert wine and excellent homemade raspberry pie. During the day you can make a nice walk through the valley to visit this restaurant and sit in the sunshine on the terrace, enjoying the beautiful view.
Very different to many Austrian ski resorts are not much eaten schnitzel with fries and more people take the time to extensive lunch and dinner. Here you pay a little more, but the price / quality ratio is good. During our ski tours in the area of Portes du Soleil, we had lunch near the village of Chatel on the track at a very attractive restaurant Chez Crépy, in a wooden house with an extensive menu with several dishes from fondue to pasta and pizza.
Another good restaurant where you can have lunch located in the ski resort of Morzine is called le Vafieux.
We chose a tartiflette (Potato from the oven with cheese and bacon) and the ‘Assiette de Jean’, a kind of a package of puff pastry filled with mushrooms, cheese and dried veal. For desert, we opted for a delicious raspberry cake with cream! Both restaurants exude a cozy atmosphere, in a wooden chalet with checkered tablecloths and candles.
Do you want to ski, after finally treat yourself with a relaxing massage in Morzine in several places? We left our muscles relax at Massage du Monde. A delicious steam massage and full body massage will bring you into a totally relaxed state. Of course there are many bars in Morzine, from luxurious wine bar to a simple cafe where you can drink a beer. If your French is not optimal, everyone speaks English well in Morzine, because of the relatively large number of English that come here. As a result there are some real English pubs.
All in all, we can conclude that Morzine is a charming village with a great atmosphere and excellent opportunities for skiing and snowboarding, both in terms of Morzine and the Portes du Soleil. Morzine is both by car and by plane within easy reach.