Morzine, named after the German word ‘morgan' meaning ‘rising sun', is a gateway to the mammoth Portes du Soleil ski area (650 km of pistes). It's a traditional Savoyard resort with all the modern trappings - and it's fast becoming a popular alternative to the Three Valleys resorts. Mid-way between Mont-Blanc and Lake Geneva and placed smack in the middle of Portes du Soleil, it's easy to explore this massive winter playground and all its big bowls, winding runs, steep chutes and gentle valleys.
The village itself manages to turn on the authentic charm whist remaining a bustling modern resort. The Portes du Soleil ski area has mile after mile of amazing ski area for every level, with 20 resorts spanning the border of two countries, France and Switzerland. But if you're only here for a short time, you can grab the Morzine - Les Gets ski pass, which links Pleney, Morzine, Nyon, Chevannes and Mont Chery, and gives you 107 km of ski runs. The après-ski at Morzine is well thought out and very lively.
Grab a cold beer on the sun terrace at the Caverne bar, or get dancing in your ski boots at Crépuscule. There's some good mixed level skiing to be found here, like the Nyon plateau for beginners, long weaving blues from the summit to the village for intermediates and the zigzagging L'Aigle at Nyon-Chamossiere for experts. But for intermediates with a bit of confidence and expert skiers - you'll be itching to spread your wings and explore the delights of the wider Portes du Soleil area.
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Morzine for Different Ski Abilities
There are some good places to start out here, try the main nursery areas at the summit of Pleney and the Nyon Plateau. You can get there and back by telecabine so you don't have to ski down at the end of your lesson. When you get a little better, the Nyon Plateau has a number of wide open blues from the TK du Lavouet which graduate to slightly more demanding blues; Lievre and Paquerages.
For a not-so-confident intermediate, try the blue runs Piste B, Piste C, Piste N which pick an easier route down face of the Pléney. If you want to crank it up a notch, the red Piste R, Piste F and Piste A runs above Morzine town are steep but generally wide. When you get to this level you can pretty much ski the whole mountain, with the exception of a few black runs. Get out there and cover as much as you can!
Check out Creux, an un-pisted steep mougly drop under the TS Chamossiere lift. Arbis is a steep red that widens out for great carving. Once you've conquered the piste and off piste here, get lost in the crazily long, steep and testing runs dotted throughout the Portes du Soliel area.
Morzine Ski Schools
From beginners through to those wishing to perfect their technique or discover the ski area, choose a qualified instructor.
All Mountain Snowsports
All Mountain Snowsports is a British ski school in the French side of the Portes du Soleil. They provide fun ski lessons with friendly instructors that will change your skiing and leave you smiling. All instructors hold the highest international qualification from the British Association of Snowsport Instructors (BASI Level 4 ISTD) as well as the French equivalent and many years’ experience teaching skiing around the world. They offer the highest levels of service and tuition available and have a deep history of happy clients whose expectations have been surpassed.
Ski Beyond - Ski & Snowboarding School
Would you like ski sessions that take you beyond your expectations? Feel comfortably controlled, efficient and confident? Whatever your dreams/desires, Ski Beyond will help you achieve it and transform your skiing. From first turns to deep powder, conquering ice or preparing you to master moguls. They have an experienced team of fully qualified British instructors who have been based in the area for over ten years. Ski Beyond believe the ski mind is as important as the ski body, and are passionate about unlocking your full potential. They offer private or group lessons for adults and children.
Evolution 2 Avoriaz – Morzine is an award winning ski and adventure school that in its 25 year history has become one of the most respected organisations in the French Alps. They offer a personal approach to learning and their principals are simple: very small groups, English speaking instructors, specialists in their field, and most importantly, the emphasis is on real progression and FUN. Evolution 2 understand that whatever activity you embark on with them will shape your experience in Avoriaz and Morzine.
British Ski School Morzine
BASS Morzine has a reputation for excellence due to its exceptional delivery of their products and services. They offer maximum group lessons of 6 to give you individual attention for beginners to pros. They will meet all your needs and give you ample time to practise. All their expert instructors are handpicked, fully qualified and certified to ISTD Level 4 with full French equivalence offering state of the art teaching techniques. Lessons for all levels are provided in your native language with coaching tailored to your individual needs.
Torico Performance Skiing
Torico Performance Skiing is a British ski school in Morzine, Les Gets and Avoriaz. It is run by Tim and Lisa Jackson, who have been teaching in the Portes Du Soleil since 2000. Tim and Lisa both hold the top qualification within BASI (British association of Snowsports Instructors) with full French equivalence and have many years’ experience skiing, teaching and coaching across Europe. Torico promises to show you great skiing terrain (whatever your level), help you develop and understand your skiing more and have great fun and enjoyment along the way!
Alpine Learning Curves
Alpine Learning Curves is a small British Ski School which has been operating in the Les Gets/Morzine region since 2003. All their highly experienced and friendly instructors have the top British qualification in Ski Instruction (BASI Level 4 ISTD), speak English as their first language and between them teach skiing, telemarking & snowboarding. They We provide both small group and private lessons.
The Snow Institute
Founded in 2006, TSI is directed by Maurice Duffy and Sally Lee-Duffy. Both are passionate about skiing and teaching. They feel privileged to be able to do so in the spectacular French Alps. Between them they have taught for over 30 winter seasons. They offer tailor-made lessons that suit you and your family's needs to get the most from your holiday and time on the slopes.
Après Ski and Off the Mountain Activities
Moraine's nightlife is buzzing and action packed! There's a massive range of bars, restaurants and cafes as well as good clubs to party on through the night in. Try Le Crepu which gets pumping early, or chill out at Buddha Bar. Hit one of the nightclubs The Opera or The Paradis, and it may be a late start on the slopes the next day. There are some delicious restaurants in Morzine, serving both international and traditional cuisine. Specialties include fondue, raclette, tartiflette and local trout. There are cheap bistros and pizzerias, as well as sophisticated cuisine. Try Le Flamme or Le Clin D'Oeil, local favourites.
off the mountain
Morzine has all the usual activities to try when not skiing hard, plus a whole lot more. For something a little different, try a tour of the stable and dairy, where you'll learn about making mountain cheese - from milking to cheese moulding. You can also visit a slate workshop, where a local slate-miner explains the history of slate-mining in Morzine that dates back two centuries, and the various techniques used. Pays de Savoie heritage guides will take you on a discovery trip of the old quarters, to find out how the village has evolved over the centuries. Dwellings, traditions and history are all part of the tour. There's a cute weekly market that's worth checking out, selling local produce, fruit and vegetables, fish, meat, gifts and clothes. The main shops are blend of traditional shops selling Savoyard fare, gifts, traditional pottery, wood and slate sculptures and fashionable sports shops, luxurious boutiques, perfumeries, jewellers etc. Also on offer: Ice skating, tobogganing, snowshoeing, paragliding, scuba diving under ice, hot air ballooning, helicopter rides, paintball, ice climbing, valley hikes, a gym, sauna, massage, sleigh rides, festivals and carnivals, art exhibitions, and day trips to Thonon, Annecy, Chamonix and Geneva.
How to get to Morzine
Geneva airport in Switzerland is the closest airport (just over an hour away). Alternatives include Turin (1 hr 30), Lyon - Satolas (2hr 30) and Chambery (1hr 15). You can also fly into St. Etienne and Grenoble airports - but they're further away, with fewer options for easy transfer.
The nearest mainline station is St Gervais les Bains/Le Fayet and from there you can take the valley train up to resort.
Morzine is a 9 hour drive from the channel ports and 1000 km from London , 600km from Paris and 1050 km from Amsterdam . The resort can be reached from Paris via highway A6 to Macon , then the A40 to Cluses; take the exit to Cluses or Bonneville direction Morzine-Avoriaz, 35kms away. If driving from the south, take the Swiss motorway A7 to Valence , then the A49 to Grenoble , and then the A41 to Cluses; follow signs for Morzine.
If you're after some time on the slopes to yoursleves, there are an array of brilliant childcare and nanny options available.
Happy Feet Morzine & Les Gets Childcare
Happy Feet is a fresh and exciting company dedicated to providing safe and stimulating indoor and outdoor experiences for your children on holiday. Their childcare packages are led and developed by a qualified primary school teacher who creates wonderful, bespoke holidays for your children. Happy Feet staff will come to your holiday chalet with plenty of crafts, toys and resources to provide flexible care around you and your family's needs. They offer full, half days or evening babysitting. Prices start from £85 for a half day and £120 for a whole day with discounts offered for multiple days booked. All staff fully first aid trained and CRB checked. www.morzinechildcare.co.uk E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Baby-Cham is Chamonix and Morzine’s premiere babysitting agency since 2006 offering totally bespoke, professional and creative childcare. They have set the trend in quality childcare across the Alps, ensuring all babysitters have relevant qualifications, experience and checks. Their babysitters will arrive with a selection of toys, arts and crafts to make sure that your children have as much fun in Chamonix as you do! All their babysitters are personally picked after a thorough face to face interview and strict reference check. They have primary school teachers, nurses, qualified nannies and other child minding experienced personnel. nlike other agencies, they livelocally all year round and know the areas intricately and are always on hand to give you that more personal touch during your well-deserved break.
Deborah Porter - Private Childcare in Morzine & Les Gets
Deborah Porter is a mature, qualified, experienced nanny with a paediatric first aid and a CRB. As a mature nanny who has worked in childcare for over seven years, Deborah enjoys working with all ages from 3 month old babies up to early teenagers. Deborah is flexible and happy to discuss what your childcare needs are with full days and half days available. She can also babysit if you fancy a night out on chalet staff day off! Living in Morzine full time and in her fifth season, DEborah knows how it all works from ski school, chalets or buses and has the inside info on all the areas to sledge and where the best hot chocolates are in town for treats! It's just Deborah so you will know exactly who will be caring for your children.
Morzine Kids offers personal, flexible, fun and professional childcare. Set up by Helen Barnett, a UK registered and qualified paediatric nurse with experience of caring for new-born babies to teenagers and children with special needs. Helen’s enthusiasm and passion for providing excellent childcare and her love for the mountains and snow, is the perfect combination to ensure your children have the best winter holiday and go home with some magical memories. A range of indoor and outdoor activities arranged by Morzine Kids, ensures your children are constantly entertained and busy. Morzine dates and has both English and French CRB checks. Full and half day childcare and evening babysitting service available.
Cheeky Monkeys Childcare
Cheeky Monkeys childcare provides a quality childcare service in France to families on holiday throughout the Alps. Their aim is to provide a childcare service suitable to you and your children’s needs. Cheeky Monkeys can care for your children in your holiday chalet or provide a pick up and drop off service for children in ski school which allows yourselves to make the most of your skiing during the day. All their nannies are English, qualified child carers and are experienced. Your nanny will have a selection of activities arranged for your children during the week from cooking, arts & crafts, face painting to sledge rides and snowman building – all adapted according to the children’s ages and the weather.
Jack Frosts Childcare
Jack Frost’s has been providing childcare in the Portes du Soleil since 1997. To help you make the most of your skiing holiday, they care for your children in a safe, fun filled environment. Their nannies will come to your holiday residence fully equipped with toys and games and will provide a great activity programme so that all the family can enjoy their holiday. Jack Frosts provides care for a day or a full week, half days, and afternoons (they can meet from ski school) - and evening babysitting too! Jack Frosts was established by Gill McNeice, a qualified paediatric nurse, and she was joined in 2004 by Suzanne Light, a qualified nursery/maternity nurse. They are both closely involved in leading and supporting the staff who are chosen for their experience and professionalism.
Snow Angel Nannies
Snow Angel Nannies is the perfect childcare solution for your skiing holiday in the French Alps. The nannies all hold relevant childcare qualifications, CRB/DBS checks and first aid qualifications. They are all carefully selected for their kind, caring and fun loving nature as well as their childcare skills. You will have your nannies contact details so you can amend plans during the day and the Snow Angel Nanny ensures a fun activity packed day for the children. The nannies also do ski school pick up and drop off and can take the children to meet you for lunch if required to keep the family holiday aspect. A Snow Angel Nanny will give you peace of mind to enjoy your day on the slopes knowing your little ones are having the time of their lives.