Overview of Morzine
Morzine is the beating heart of the popular Portes du Soleil ski area – it’s a traditional Alpine town that exudes authentic charm and offers guests of all ages a warm welcome and some of the most diverse skiing anywhere in the world.
Where is Morzine?
Located in the Haut Chablais mountain range, it sits close to the French-Swiss border between Lake Geneva and Mont Blanc together with its main neighbouring resorts, Avoriaz and Les Gets.
At 1000m, the resort’s height is reasonably low, but it’s well-connected to a network of lifts that can whisk you to the higher altitude skiing in Avoriaz at 2100m.
Just an hour and half hour’s drive from Geneva, the resort is blessed by bountiful cruisy blue and red runs, and there are ample black and off-piste opportunities for advanced skiers. Meanwhile, snowboarders have 11 snowparks to keep them occupied and there’s 214km of cross-country skiing in the wider Portes du Soleil ski area.
There are après-ski spots aplenty to keep the action going when the sun goes down, and a wide range of excellent social events throughout the season, including the popular Rock the Pistes week in March when the slopes are buzzing with live bands, while in the summer, crowds flock to renowned mountain biking events Pass’portes du Soleil and Crankworx.
Ski lifts leave both sides of the town centre in Morzine and there are plenty of traditional low-level chalet-style buildings helping the resort’s reputation for charm and character.
As well as skiing, you can try activities like snowshoeing, ice skating and ice climbing, or even dive into the icy depths of Lake Montriond – not for the faint-hearted!
All said, when you want a brilliant blend of traditional Alpine culture, great skiing for all abilities and comfy accommodation, Morzine is a marvellous choice for your next French ski holiday.
Skiing in Morzine
The magnificent slopes of Morzine, France have something special to offer skiers of all ages and abilities – here’s your crucial information on skiing here:
Beginners will feel completely comfortable in the Morzine – Les Gets ski area. There are plenty of novice-friendly green and blue runs, and ski lessons often commence at the Morzine Pléney Telecabine, where a covered ‘magic carpet’ takes starter skiers back up to the top of the slope so that they can focus fully on improving their technique rather than worrying about negotiating ski lifts. Alternatively, the Zore and Tetras runs are usually very quiet and suitable for beginners.
Morzine is renowned for its efforts over the years to enhance its offering for families with young children and there are a number of themed runs which kids absolutely adore. The Little Indian Run in Les Gets at Chavannes is good fun, and the Penguin Park and Magic Forest are located just off Piste B and feature forest animal obstacles and small whoops that gradually build skills while delivering excellent entertainment.
Intermediate skiers can build their confidence at the Rainfolly bowl in Les Gets, where there are plenty of long, wide and cruisy red and blue runs, while the red and black runs of the Chamoissière and Nyon areas in Morzine represent a challenge for anyone ready to up their game.
Advanced skiers should grab a full Portes du Soleil ski pass to access the full monty of tricky pistes in the wider area, including the black runs of Grand Combes, Mont Chéry and the notorious Chavanette (also known as the Swiss Wall).
You might find that the higher chairlifts are closed in high winds, in which case you can still ski in the tree-lined bowls of Les Gets and Morzine, where there’s plenty of shelter. These are also excellent areas to ski when visibility is poor, and if you want a fab fresh powder skiing experience, head to the tree-lined blue runs of the Lindarets bowl in neighbouring Avoriaz.
On the Nyon side of the mountain, red run Arbis features sweeping cambered corners, or alternatively, the Chamos run pops you through an unusual enclosed bridge at the end to bring you back to the centre of the resort.
Looking for off-piste adventures? You’ll often find great snow under the Pléney lift around Piste A and Piste R. Piste R is often one of the last places to get pisted, so if your timing is good you can usually find some fantastic fresh powder here. A friendly note of caution – you should always hire a guide to take you to off-piste areas and also be sure to carry avalanche equipment.
In high season there can be long queues at the Belvédère chairlift from Morzine to Les Gets and the Proclou chairlift which takes you from Morzine to Avoriaz and the rest of the Portes du Soleil area. To beat the crowds, hop on the bus to Les Gets, Prodains or Ardent instead.
Morzine is a great starting and finishing point for a full circuit of the Portes du Soleil ski area. There are various ways to tackle this route, but a classic counter-clockwise route via Mouettes, Crosettes, Morgins, Chatel and Lindarets is recommended.
Don’t let Morzine’s relatively low resort altitude fool you – as you can see, it’s actually perfectly placed to deliver some of the world’s best skiing experiences for enthusiasts of all abilities.
Snowboarding in Morzine
Beginner boarders can find their feet in Morzine and elsewhere in Portes du Soleil, but it’s perhaps slightly better suited to intermediate and advanced enthusiasts. Here’s the lowdown on snowboarding in Morzine:
Mont Chéry is a great spot for advanced riders, the Chamoissière area can offer a few challenges and some sublime scenic views, and the red Combe run and black Aigle Noir ramp up the excitement further.
For some boarders, the off-piste opportunities available in Morzine are even better than Avoriaz – put safety first and take a guide with great local knowledge, but the Nyon or Chamoissière ski lifts will take you right into the untamed areas where adventure awaits.
For intermediates, there are plenty of easy greens and blues around Morzine which are great fun, and Proclou and Seraussix are cool blue runs for honing your skills. If these areas get rather busy, the Chavannes area is usually quieter and still provides quality powder.
There is a small snowpark on the Morzine/Pléney slopes at the Nyon area – it’s often packed with ski schools and isn’t too well shaped, but it does have a small boardercross course which is good fun. However, serious freestylers looking for quality action should head to nearby Avoriaz.
If you go down to the woods in Lindarets, you’re sure of a big surprise – the Burton Stash is a pioneering all-natural snow park which offers three exciting runs through the trees for boarders of different abilities. It was constructed by eco-conscious Morzine locals to blend with the natural terrain and features wonderful wooden obstacles. Meanwhile, the Lil Stash runs adjacent to the Proclou piste and it’s perfect for kids and beginners.
Snowpark d’Arare was France’s first dedicated facility for boarders – established in 1993, it sits above Morzine/Avoriaz and often offers considerable black and red kickers, while you can safely practice jumps on the big air bag. The world-famous Superpipe is a little lower down, just above the Prodains Express – even if you don’t fancy having a go yourself, watching top riders tackle this beast is often one of the best parts of a Morzine snowsports holiday.
Snow Conditions in Morzine
No weather forecast available
A resort height of just 1000m means uninitiated skiers are often concerned about how snow-sure Morzine is. Whilst the consistently superb snow history of neighbouring Avoriaz catches the attention of many skiers, Morzine's geographical location in the midst of Portes Soleil means it benefits from a unique Alpine microclimate. Find out more about snow conditions in Morzine here:
The pistes at Morzine and Les Gets are mostly located in pasture land rather than rock, which means they’re simple to maintain and only require a small amount of snow (10-15cm) on them to open.
Morzine punches above its weight when it comes to average snow depth on its upper slopes – it can actually compete with Val d’Isère on this metric, despite the latter resort being considerably higher.
Morzine also compares favourably with Méribel in terms of snow quality and retention – Méribel has a base altitude of 1450-1700m however Morzine has fewer south-facing slopes, so there’s more chance of finding crisp slopes and less sun exposure.
Morzine’s most recent seasonal snowfall stats reveal a total snowfall of 258cm, a total of 20 snowfall days, largest snowfall of 25m, average base depth of 78cm, maximum base depth of 120cm, average summit depth of 153cm and maximum summit depth of 295cm.
Apres-Ski in Morzine
The après-ski options at Morzine are as diverse as the action on the slopes – here are a few highlights:
Robinsons is known as ‘Robbos’ to locals and it’s a must-visit while you’re in Morzine. The only beer on tap is the super-strong Mutzig brand – because patrons consume it so liberally this bar shuts at 8pm to avoid things becoming a little too merry!
Dixie Bar is close to Robbos at the bottom end of Morzine and it’s another popular spot – there are three separate bars with Spanish, Irish and British themes, large screen TVs showing live sports and plenty of pool tables.
Le Tremplin is at the bottom of the Stade run and Pléney cable car and this is one of the best places to party – there are live DJs on Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays, a lively outdoor bar serving beer and spirits, and another cosy external area with rugs and heating which is a bit more laid-back.
The Tibetan Café is another brilliant bar which is a great place to mix and mingle – to save repeated trips to the bar, order the trademark ‘metre of beer’, which is a tall container with a dinky tap at the bottom for perfect pouring!
L’Opera is the most famous nightclub in Morzine – dance the night away here to everything from cheesy Europop to trance and techno – if you can manage it after the Mutzig! It’s open from just after midnight to 5am, so don’t make any plans for the next day that are too ambitious.
Facilities in Morzine
Morzine is open year round, so there are always plenty of activities on offer and facilities are available for skiers and non-skiers alike – for instance, the Parc des Dérêches is a well-appointed leisure centre with a swimming pool and ice rink. For convenience, free shuttle buses stop serve Morzine centre brilliantly and connect you with Nyon, Ardent and Prodains.
Ski Hire in Morzine
If you’re staying at the Aiglon de Morzine, we can contact the Manager in advance and your Morzine Ski Pass will be waiting for you at reception as soon as you arrive.
Ski Passes in Morzine
Click on our Morzine ski passes page to get more information.
Spa and Pool in Morzine
Many Morzine hotels and apartments have their own spa and pool facilities, but Parc des Dérêches has three saunas and two steam rooms as well as its 25 x 15 m pool.
Shops in Morzine
There are two fairly large supermarkets in Morzine for all your essentials and a selection of shops offering local fare and sports gear.
Facilities for Children in Morzine
Morzine is very well equipped for children – read on to find out what’s on offer.
Ski Schools in Morzine
Club Piou Piou, the children’s club from renowned Morzine ski school ESF, provides excellent instruction for kids aged 3-14 years old.
Entertainment in Morzine
Morzine library regularly runs children’s events and for something a little livelier, there’s night sledding, snowshoe treks, teenage discos, horse-drawn carriage tours and toboggan runs.
Childcare in Morzine
L’Outa nursery cares for children from aged 3 months to six years.
Morzine Mountain Info
Morzine offers a deep and diverse selection of nursery slopes and green, blue, red and black runs, as well as ample off-piste skiing areas.
There are 11 snow parks in the ski domain, one half pipe, five boardercross runs and night skiing is available every Thursday evening.
Portes du Soleil is one of the world’s foremost ski areas and offers amazing on-piste action for skiers of all ages and aptitudes.