The Morzine ski area offers visitors exceptional skiing within easy reach of Geneva airport. Morzine occupies a privileged position in the centre of the Portes du Soleil providing easy access to both the French and Swiss Alps. The Portes du Soleil itself is vast, offering a huge 650km of piste and all types of terrain. From gentle runs in Morzine and Les Gets to challenging steeps such as the Swiss wall into Le Crosets, there is something for everyone. If you really want to explore the full area, why not try the Portes du Soleil circuit? This loop will take you through several villages in both France and Switzerland covering over 60km of piste. Alternatively, why not take a more leisurely approach and enjoy some cruising pistes, superb views and great mountain restaurants?
Morzine – Les Gets
The linked ski area of Morzine and Les Gets enjoys some superb tree-lined runs. The gentle slopes round the top of the Pleney are ideal for learning whilst on the Les Gets side, the wonderful wide runs of the Chavannes area are famous the Alps over and ideal for intermediates. The Turche area also has a couple of fantastic runs particularly the red accessible from the Perrieres chairlift which has a fun series of rollers. Those looking for steeper terrain will find the black runs from the Chamosierre and La Rosta lifts ready to challenge them. Mont Chery is a bit of a hidden gem and enjoys a variety of cruising pistes as well as a black off to the back of the Chery Nord lift. Best of all, it is almost always quiet here even in peak season!
Avoriaz is not just famous for its snowparks but also for its many fantastic runs. If you are beginner, there is a great slope right next to the Chapelle park near the centre of Avoriaz and a variety of gentle runs to help you to progress throughout your holiday. There are also some excellent intermediate pistes particularly from the lifts going up the Arare and around the Lindarets bowl. A favourite is the Combe a Floret winding down through the trees to the Ardent telecabine nicknamed ‘Star Wars’ by locals. For advanced skiers and snowboarders, there are several long black runs to be found on skiers left of the ‘Arare’ leading all the way down to the bottom of Les Prodains.
Le Crosets, Champoussin and Morgins
Those with a full Portes du Soleil lift pass will be able to venture over the border into Switzerland to enjoy a network of cruising runs with a few steeps thrown in. The lift system has benefitted from some updating in recent years with new high-speed chairs at the Grand-Conche, Ail and Bochasses. There are a series of blue and red runs leading over to the Foilleuse lift above Morgins from where a couple of nice tree-lined reds head down into the town. In the other direction, skiers and snowboarders can take the Crosets chairlift and Ripalle drag and then head either towards Champery or the Chavanette lift which goes over the mighty Swiss Wall. The moguls here are enough to test even the most advanced skiers and riders.
The Plaine Dranse area is located just over the Chaux Fleurie lift from Lindarets and is therefore quick to access from Avoriaz. This is a great place to find powder after recent snowfall and a series of fun cruising blues and reds. The run down to Pre la Joux has a slightly steeper blue top-section then opens in to a brilliant wide green that is perfect for getting those turns nailed if you’re a beginner or playing around if you’re a more established skier or rider.
Slightly further afield, take the TS des Combes lift to reach the Tete de Linga. From here there is a long red run all the way into Chatel, which offers some steep sections perfect for getting up some speed. The total descent to the bottom of Linga takes about 10 to 15 minutes for advanced skiers or snowboarders. For those a little less inclined to super steep reds then there is a blue cat track to the edge of the steeper sections of the red run and the ‘La Leiche’ blue run continuing into the valley from the two thirds point.
Super-Chatel, accessible by a short bus ride across town from Linga is not only the gateway to Torgon and Chapelle d’Abondance but also offers some nice wide cruising pistes. The home run back to the bottom of the telecabine is a firm favourite.
Torgon, due to its distance from Morzine is often missed off visitors’ lists. However, strong skiers and riders will find that it is possible to get here in just over a couple of hours. There are some quiet pistes and beautiful views in this corner of the Portes du Soleil so it is well worth the trip. The run down from the top of the Barbossine chairlift to the Plan de Croix is really fun with rollers galore.
St Jean d’Aulps Ski Area
The St Jean D’Aulps ski area may be a little out of the way, however it is a really fun area included in the Portes du Soleil liftpass. The Roc d’Enfer circuit here takes about an hour to complete taking you down some blues and reds in this peaceful and scenic area. For guests wishing to explore this area, Riders Refuge is happy to help organise transport.