One thing is for certain in the Portes du Soleil ski area... there is plenty of skiing to be had! In fact- over 400km of it! Encompassing over 14 different resorts on both French and Swiss sides of the border, the ‘Gateway to the Sun’ has a variety of different terrain for a variety of different abilities.
Trips to the Portes du Soleil with Inghams will go to either the picture-perfect Savoyard town of Morzine, or the 1960s retro-futuristic pop art style Avoriaz. Both towns offer something unique and sit within close proximity to the slopes and skiing.
Avoriaz sits much higher up in the region and can be accessed by the Prodains Express cable car (and by road during the day), and upon your arrival you will find the quirky town completely free of cars and vehicles. The best methods of getting from A to B in the town are either by horse-drawn sleigh or snowcat, or by simply walking! Avoriaz is small and compact, with all useful amenities grouped around the centre of town, and high-rising apartment blocks making the most of the stunning views over the mountains. The skiing area sits very literally on the doorstep of Avoriaz and at the end of the day you can ski all the way down into Morzine.
Morzine is a hustling and bustling ‘centre’ of the Portes du Soleil and houses many shops, bars, cafes and restaurants, as well as being the home to some of Inghams’ fabulous chalets and chalet hotels. A classical Savoyard town with chalet-style buildings, you can really get stuck into the après ski culture in Morzine with its wonderful array of activities off the slopes.
The rest of the expansive Portes du Soleil ski region is made up of a mixture of French and Swiss resorts that lie between Mont Blanc and Lake Geneva, Châtel, Morgins, Champery, Montriond, La Chapelle-d'Abondance, Saint-Jean-d'Aulps, Les Gets, Val d'Illiez, Champoussin, Les Crosets, Torgon and Abondance.
The skiing in the Portes du Soleil is world class, as we have already said, there are over 400km pistes to be enjoyed and a majority of these can be classed as easy cruising blues and reds, with some fun and particularly challenging spots to be hunted down by the keen skiers and snowboarders out there. Beginners are well covered too with the brilliant ESF on hand with lessons and coaching, there are designated nursery slopes and practising areas that are out of the way from the main through traffic in the resort.
Morzine is the unofficial ‘capital’ and gateway to the massive ‘Portes du Soleil’ ski region, which covers 12 resorts in France and Switzerland, with a huge variety of skiing to suit all abilities in an enormous region totalling 400km of pistes.More information
Although it was purpose-built in the 1960s, Avoriaz still has an exciting space-age feel. The highest, and – with neighbouring Morzine - the most high-profile ski station in the huge Portes du Soleil region, the world’s largest international linked ski area, it has an excellent snow record.More information
Portes du Soleil skiing and snowboarding
Portes du Soleil for beginners
Portes du Soleil for intermediates
Intermediate skiers are the luckiest, with plenty of easy cruising blue and red slopes that seem to stretch for miles with stunning vistas of the mountains along the way, no matter what direction you head in for the day, you will find plenty of exciting skiing areas.
Portes du Soleil for advanced
Advanced skiers and snowboarders can enjoy the benefit of designated off piste areas with plenty of challenging areas and further up the mountain there are some hidden areas of powder. Areas such as Les Hauts Forts above Avoriaz and Chamossiere above Morzine, there are some great black pistes that you’ll want to ride again and again.
Portes du Soleil freestyle and terrain parks
There are a total of 7 freestyle parks across the Portes du Soleil ski area for freestylers and daredevils to try out. A range of kickers, boxes, rails and jumps are at your disposal, but don’t forget to try out the Stash in the Les Lindarets area of the mountain- a unique freestyle run with obstacles made from natural materials and blended into the woods.
Portes du Soleil things to do
Portes du Soleil restaurants, food and drink
Whether you’re looking for a quick burger on the mountain (head to Changabang in Avoriaz), a hearty full English breakfast (Rude Café in Morzine), or a fine dining experience with Savoyard cuisine (La Cabane in Avoriaz goes above and beyond) there is no shortage of places to grab a delicious bite to eat.
Portes du Soleil après, bars, clubs and nightlife
Avoriaz and Morzine really come to life in the evening with a loud, fun and vibrant après ski scene. Plenty of bars in the area, not to mention the fantastic in-chalet and hotel bars offer up beverages after a hard day of skiing, and all are within a very easy walking distance from the centre of town.
Some of our favourite après ski bars include Happy Hours Bar at the base of the Ardent gondola which has a wonderful terrace that soaks up the last of the rays of sun, and La Kinkerne welcomes the last of skiers who descend from Avoriaz to the base of the Prodains Express with big pints of beer. Avoriaz is a real party town at night with Shooters and Le Yak Club staying open late, whereas in Morzine there is the old discotheque Le Paradis club that has been a firm favourite in the resort for years, earning itself something of an iconic status amongst fond residents of the town.
Portes du Soleil shopping
If you are looking for a spot of shopping, head to Morzine. Here, along the Route de la Plagne which carves a straight line through the centre of the town you will find plenty of shops selling a variety of goods (sporting goods, gifts, fashion, accessories, pharmacy, and more), and cafes, bars and restaurants thrown into the mix.
Portes du Soleil spas and relaxation
In Avoriaz and Morzine there are a variety of different spas and wellness centres to enjoy. Morzine has the wonderful Parc des Dérêches sports and health complex, located conveniently in the centre of town and accessible with a local fee. The centre includes an indoor/outdoor swimming pool (dependent on weather and time of year), and a small spa and wellness area with 2 dry heat saunas and 2 wet heat Turkish baths that are open all year around.
Guests staying in Avoriaz have access to Aquariaz, an indoor tropical swimming pool complex with an open air spa heated to 34°c, water massage benches, and a water playhouse to keep the little ones occupied.
Inside hotels there are even further luxurious spas to be discovered. The Hotel les Dromonts in Avoriaz is home to the stunning and newly renovated Pure Altitude Spa which embraces the hotels original 1960s roots and makes the spa a retro-futuristic blast from the past.
Portes du Soleil arts, culture and events
Music and snow sport go hand-in-hand in the Portes du Soleil ski region! Over the years, thousands of people have flocked to the area for Rock the Pistes festival which takes place in March, and as of 2016, Snowboxx Festival made its new home in Avoriaz. You can find plenty of live bands playing in and around après bars across the resorts throughout the winter season. Beyond the music, there are weekly markets held in Morzine and plenty of fantastic sights and cultural attractions to see.
All of the following activities are available in resort, and bookable locally. Our knowledgeable in resort reps are more than happy to help you book via the local tourism office or with a specified and licensed company operating in the area.
Please double check your insurance policy to see if these activities are covered before you arrange.