France, Portes du Soleil Ski Area
Morzine is the unofficial ‘capital’ and gateway of the enormous Portes du Soleil ski area, which covers 12 resorts in France and Switzerland, with a huge variety of skiing to suit all abilities in the region that has 400km of pistes.
A picture-perfect Savoyard town nestled into the Alps; Morzine is full of traditional chalet buildings and is a bustling centre with plenty of shops, bars, restaurants and more. It is also extremely well connected to the neighbouring towns and ski areas, making it the perfect home base for those who venture out get their ski fix.
Sitting at 1,000ft above the sea level, Morzine is relatively sheltered and rests in the valley, to access the ski area you must ride one of the two main cable cars either up to Avoriaz or towards Les Gets. The terrain that can be found in the higher mountains is world class, with plenty of easy cruising blues and reds for the intermediate skier as well as some brilliant facilities and areas for the more advanced skiers and snowboarders.
Inghams do some fantastic chalets and chalet hotels in Morzine, all of which are conveniently located either near the bus stops (with access to the base of the modern Prodains Express cable car), or near the Super Morzine and Pleney gondolas.
Ski and board rentals
You can arrange to hire your equipment with Inghams and everything will be sorted prior to your arrival in resort. We offer guests the choice of blue (beginner), red (intermediate), and black (brand new equipment for advanced sports people only) grades of equipment to rent. Make sure you check with your insurance policy that you are hiring the right grade of equipment.
The rentals store is called Sport 2000, and is located on Taille du Mas du Pleney.
The ski school gathers at the top/ bottom of the Pleney cable car at either 09:00 or 11:30. Check your documents for what time your lessons were arranged for.
You can pre-book your ski lessons in Morzine with Inghams with our exclusive ‘LEARN TO SKI’ package which includes lessons, equipment rentals and lift pass all for an excellent price!
Morzine for beginners
The nursery slopes in Morzine are based around the bottom of the Pleney cable car, where some very gentle green slopes are serviced by short drag lifts. For those beginners who have mastered the snowplough and are looking to ski longer runs and get some practice, the Super Morzine area (serviced by a succession of chair lifts up towards Avoriaz, beginning with Super Morzine, or get the bus followed by the Prodains Express to ski all the way down) are made up of very easy going green slopes mixed with gentle blues.
Morzine for intermediates
The whole Portes du Soleil is a haven for the intermediate skier! You are truly spoilt for choice. In the immediate Morzine area, head up Pleney cable car towards the Pointe de Nyon and you’ll find some easy cruising blues, and some slightly more challenging red slopes. Avoriaz above Morzine is a sprawling network of blue and red pistes that you can take at an easy pace, leading back down into Morzine at the end of the day.
Morzine for advanced
Advanced skiers and snowboarders who truly love to ‘go for it’ will find the most challenging pistes and off piste power pockets in the high peaks of Les Hauts Forts above Avoriaz, Chamossiere above Morzine and the Le Ranfoilly in nearby Les Gets. You can arrange for a licensed off piste guide with either ESF or New Generation to take you away from the piste boundaries if you feel up for the challenge! If you fancy going off-piste with a guide, have a chat with your Inghams rep in resort.
Freestyle and terrain parks
The Portes du Soleil ski area is fantastic for those skiers and snowboarders who like to tackle the freestyle and terrain park! Snowpark Chappelle sits just above Morzine, near Avoriaz and has a variety of different features to challenge you, including S, M, L and XL. Boardercross lies at the top of the Nyon chairlift, and there is also the Boardercross d’Arare over by Les Hauts Forts which has some XL, XXL and XXXL features.
Childcare and kindergarten
There is a nursery/kindergarten in Morzine called l’Outa, situated on Chemin Couttetaz who will gladly accept babies and small children aged 3 months- 5 years old. If you wish to book child care for your little ones you must be aware that you have to arrange this locally, Inghams do not act as a supplier.
The resort bus in Morzine is free of charge (with a valid lift pass) and runs typically 08:30-21:00 on week days and until 00:00 at weekends (services the Prodains Express cable car that goes to and from Avoriaz and Morzine). Buses in Morzine go along Route de la Plagne and are no more than a 5 min walk from hotels.
Morzine restaurants, food and drink
Thanks to the size of Morzine town, there is a wide variety of restaurants, food, drink and cuisine to be found. The classic cuisine of the area is obviously French, but to be more precise it can be described as ‘Savoyard’. Delicious Alpine cheeses are a local produce, and you can enjoy them in a classic fondue!
Rude Café on Route des Udrezants sits slightly off the beaten track but is run by British owners who do tasty breakfasts (both continental and a classic English fry up!), brunch, lunches, and dinners. Rude Café is also a bar in the evenings and attracts a young and fun crowd with live music in the evenings and other events.
Le Clin D’Oeil on Rue de Bourg is French right to the core with a mouthwatering menu throughout the season. The owners originated from the South West of France so the cuisine can be described as ‘universal’ French, as opposed to Savoyard. Great for those who can’t visit France without having le canard a l’orange, but the restaurant also serves fondues, raclette and has a great value children’s menu to boot.
La Chamade in Morzine sits just behind the tourism office on Route de la Plagne, a prime position for a great restaurant serving traditional French Savoyard food with a contemporary twist. La Chamade is also an excellent wine and cheese bar, and the menu is extremely tasty. They also have a wood-fired pizza oven if you have some pizza lovers amongst you! But as pre-mentioned, the highlight of the bar restaurant is their cheese and aperitifs selection.
Up on the mountain the restaurants vary in cuisine and style. Changabang in Avoriaz is a great après burgers and beer kind of bar and sits in an easily accessible location opposite the summit station for the Prodains Express cable car. La Paika over towards Les Gets (you can find it on the La Turche blue piste) does famous BBQ buffets and you can enjoy your meal on the wide, open sun terrace. However it is advised that you should book in advance for La Paika because it’s so popular!
Morzine après, bars, clubs and nightlife
Morzine attracts a young and fun crowd to its après and nightlife scene but it is far from rowdy. If you are looking to sample a local specialty, then be on the lookout for Green Genapi- a liqueur made from Alpine mountain herbs.
Based at the bottom of the Prodains Express cable car is the hugely popular La Kinkerne bar and restaurant which greets the skiers at the end of the day with a grand welcome. You can catch the free bus back into Morzine. Once again run by British owners, La Kinkerne hosts live music events including their popular Sun:Sets night at the beginning and end of the ski season, with plenty of beers on the taps and wine in the cellar!
Happy Hours Bar sits at the bottom of the Ardents gondola and has a great atmosphere with a multi-level sun terrace that captures the last few rays of the sun at the end of the day. You can either catch the ski bus back into Morzine from Ardents or you can ride the last 17:00 Ardents gondola up and follow it up with Lindarets chair lift to ski back home.
La Caverne bar in Morzine is one of the most popular in town, open from 4pm until 2am with happy hour, live music/ DJs and a great variety of drinks (beers, wine, shooters, etc!) behind the bar.
We wouldn’t be addressing the subject of nightlife in Morzine properly without mentioning Le Paradis. This basement club underwent a huge refurbishment in 2010 but maintained that old discotheque charm with its iconic light up dance floor that made it famous amongst skiers and snowboarders in Morzine for years. Located on Route des Udrezants, Le Paradis has been a long-time favourite amongst the residents and guests of Morzine the Portes du Soleil, who were delighted when it reopened its doors in 2015.
Morzine has one main shopping street called Route de la Plagne which carves a straight line through town and is lined with sports shops, clothing boutiques, fashion, souvenirs, bakeries, delis and more. There is also a pharmacy along this street, and for those staying in self-catered accommodation you will find a Casino mini-supermarket here.
Morzine spas and relaxation
The large Parc des Dérêches sports complex in the centre of Morzine has an indoor/ outdoor swimming pool complex as well as a small spa and wellness area. Two dry heat saunas and two wet heat Turkish baths are open all year around along with the pools.
If you are looking for some serious indulgence then head to the Element Ame Energie Spa in Morzine, located on the Route de la Combe. The spa does a variety of different holistic treatments and alternative therapies including aromatherapy, cupping therapy and ‘Reiki’- a deep mindfulness therapy for a variety of different ailments. The spa makes an ideal place to come and unwind at the end of a day of skiing with massages, sports massages and further therapies for tired and aching muscles.
Inghams Hotel Champs Fleuris has an outstanding spa nestled into its basement including a small swimming pool with a pressure fountain, a sauna, hammam, Jacuzzi, sensoreil pool and a gym. The spa is free of charge for all guests of the hotel.
Morzine arts, culture and events
Morzine sits at the centre of the Portes du Soleil ski area which celebrates the fabulous Rock the Pistes Festival every year in March. With international artists from across the globe coming together in this area, every day for the duration of the festival there is a different music set up in a different area of the extensive ski region. The festival has seen the likes of the British rock band Babyshambles in 2014, amongst other famous international names.
While Rock the Pistes might be the most famous international festival that takes place across the Portes du Soleil, there are other festivals of significance happening in and around Morzine. La Grand Odysee is Europe’s largest husky dog race that takes across the Portes du Soleil and is worth going along to watch if you are in the area at the time!
Christmas in Morzine is definitely a special occasion. With the town lights being turned on at the beginning of the festive period, Inghams are offering Christmas deals in our numerous chalets and chalet hotels in and around Morzine to give you a Christmas you’ll never forget. The festivities continue right into the New Year as well, Morzine comes to life on New Year’s Eve and many hotels, chalets and chalet hotels offer gala parties, drinks and their own festivities.
Parc des Dérêches
The Parc des Dérêches sits in the centre of Morzine and is a large complex of sports facilities including a leisure centre, tennis courts, a skateboarding park and more (many outdoor features are often closed during the peak ski season however, reopening when the snow thaws at Morzine level in the early spring). There is an ice skating rink, an indoor ice skating rink, indoor swimming pools, a spa, as well as a gym and fitness classes being held. Pay locally for entry and access to the facilities.
Situated on the piste underneath the Pleney cable car, there is night skiing available for those with a lift pass. The pistes are flood lit at night.
A great outing for the adrenaline junkies out there! Heli-skiing is a fantastic way of accessing the untouched off-piste and backcountry snow that isn’t easily accessed from the main pistes. Speak to your Inghams rep in resort if you wish to arrange a helicopter ski excursion, and be aware that the trip will take you over the border to Switzerland.
Snowmobiling is an exciting new way to experience the snowy landscape around you! Either drive alone, or take a passenger with you, this activity can be booked locally via the tourism office.
Paragliding and speedriding
Discover a whole new way of experiencing the mountains, and change your perception of skiing forever! If you are brave enough, paragliding is a relaxed and open way of experiencing the beautiful Portes du Soleil from above. Whereas speedriding, a new activity that mixes parachuting, paragliding and skiing is an activity for the most adventurous of folk. All activites can be booked locally either through the tourism office or through Indiana Adventure.
There are plenty of trails and routes across the Portes du Soleil ski area for snowshoers to explore, dipping and diving through woods and across rivers into areas where no skier or snowboarder can access. Inghams are more than happy to arrange snowshoeing excursions with ESF for you upon your arrival in resort which includes the hire of snowshoes and the guided excursion.
For a bit of family fun, whatever your age, you can find some excellent toboggan runs in the immediate area of Morzine. Within reason, most areas are open to people who wish to go tobogganing but the skiers code of conduct must be acknowledged at all times. You can rent your sled or buy one. Tobogganing excursions are available through the tourism office if you book locally.
There is a cinema in the centre of Morzine that plays all of the major international films, and sometimes they are in English! Most will be in French, however. You can arrange this activity locally.
Morzine offers 5 different cross-country skiing areas: The Manche Valley area, Le Pleney/Chavannes, Super Morzine/ Avoriaz, Montriond Lake. Access to the cross-country routes is free throughout Morzine-Avoriaz unless you plan to use the ski lifts, then you will need a lift pass. Suitable equipment for these activities can be hired and you can arrange an excursion with an ESF instructor through Inghams.
Please note: check with your insurance policy that these kinds of activities are permitted.
LEARN TO SKI
6 days local lift pass, 6 days 'Blue' ski & boot hire, 6 days tuition
Adult £302 Child £236
All Learn to Ski Packs must be pre-booked in the UK and are not bookable locally. High and Low season dates as lift passes.
|Child 5-15yrs||Child 0-4yrs|
|Portes du Soleil Area Pass|
|Local Area Pass (Morzine & Les Gets)|
Passes include non-refundable deposit of €3 for hands free card. L (31 Mar-14 Apr), H (16 Dec-30 Mar).
|Skis & Boots||£112||£131||£147|
|Snowboard & boots||-||£131||£147|
|Child (6-12yrs)*||Skis & Boots||-||£61||-|
|Snowboard & boots||-||£61||-|
Equipment Hire (6 days) – Please see here for description of hire categories.
*Child snowboard & boots from 8yrs. White category skis & boots available for children 3-5yrs: £46.
|Tuition||Ski & Snowboard tuition available to pre-book - 3 half days from £89|
Book by 30 June - SAVE 3%
Prices and supplements are correct at time of publishing but may vary up or down; correct prices will be advised at the time of booking.
Resort Code: FRMR
Languages spoken: French
Time difference: GMT+1
Flights depart Saturday
Isle of Man
Transfer by coach 1½ hours
Flight supplements may apply.
*Only private transfers at a supplement available on these flights
Private transfers and Self drive are available.
Car hire available: No
Evening resort bus service: No
Parking available: No
Resort Ski bus available: Yes
Ski bus info: Free