Portes du Soleil or ‘gates of the sun' is an unfathomably giant ski area covering the Swiss-French border and encompassing more than 14 resorts. Portes du Soleil is the largest interconnected ski region in the world!
Less well known than the massively popular Three Valleys area, Portes du Soleil is a fabulous alternative. With 650 km of pistes, 230 lift, 14 valleys and more than five snowparks, the opportunities are endless. If you pushed it hard, you could find yourself skiing in six different resorts and two countries in one day.
The best known resorts are Avoriaz, Morzine and Les Gets. Avoriaz is a purpose built resort renowned for its snow sports and futuristic architecture, while Morzine is an old mining and farming village that has kept its traditional feel but upped its facilities so it now boasts fantastic shopping, activities and a sizzling après-ski scene. Many families love the region because each resort has the option of good facilities and learner's slopes close by, as well as a staggering amount of piste for those that want to try it.
The big attraction here really is the variety of terrain. As well as the good beginner slopes, there's dozens of long, beautiful tree-lined blue and red runs snaking down the valleys, and some seriously expert-only zones on and off piste. One of the most loved is the notorious The Wall run down into Switzerland. Found in between Lake Geneva and Mont-Blanc, Portes du Soleil provides sensational views of craggy peaks, and partially because of the lake has a micro climate that produces a winning formula of heavy snowfall and a good helping of sunshine.
Click below to find out more about getting to Portes du Soleil:
Because Portes du Soleil if fairly close to Geneva Airport (around 55 to 80 km depending where you stay) it is a good candidate for a short break. The next closest airports are Annecy (70 to100 km) and Lyon-Satolas (170 - 200 km). Also possibilities are Turin and Chambery. Skiing Holidays can arrange bespoke flight + accommodation deals, with transfers or hire car included.
Catching the train
You can get the TGV fast train to one of several stations close by, again depending on where you choose to stay. For Les Gets, head to Cluses station, for Avoriaz try Thonon-les-Bains and Cluses, and for Morzine the closest is St Gervais les Bains/Le Fayet.
Access from all French and European towns is via Dijon when coming from the north, via Lyon when coming from the centre and the west, via Valence when coming from the south, and via Switzerland when coming from the north-west. Head in the direction of Chamonix on the A41 motorway. Exit at 18 Cluses, in the direction of Taninges on the D902, then head for your chosen resort.