Photo: Giles Lansard
The Ultimate Guide to Morzine
Issue 30 / 11 February 2020
The Ultimate Guide to Morzine

Looking to travel to Morzine for a winter break? Take a look at how to get the best from your stay in our ultimate guide.

Alicia Bryan

About Morzine

Located just over an hour’s drive from Geneva airport, Morzine is a long-established year-round resort in one of the most extensive ski regions of the Alps, Les Portes du Soleil. With 650 km of ski terrain spanning across France and Switzerland, the Portes du Soleil gives skiers an incredible mixture of terrain to explore.

With a history dating back more than 1000 years, Morzine was once the agriculture centre for the Cistercian Monastery of Saint-Jean-d’Aulps in 1181. Following its time as a Monastic grange, Morzine became a peaceful farming town thriving on mining activity in the 1800s. The mining industry brought great wealth to Morzine which led to the expansion of its tourism industry, and in 1925 the first hotel was built by local businessman Francois Baud. Baud went on to make the first ski slope behind the hotel and in 1934 the Pleney Cable Car was built marking the birth of Morzine the ski resort.

Nestled between the mountains and trees, today Morzine continues to have a strong farming industry offering holidaymakers an array of modern hotels, apartments and luxury chalets in which to stay during their winter and summer holidays.

Top Events in Morzine

Morzine has a busy calendar year with events including the Women’s European Alpine Cup in January. This exciting competition welcomes some of the world’s best women skiers who take on giant slalom on the Pléney piste.

Towards the end of the season, Morzine is all about the music with the Rock the Piste festival arriving across the slopes of the Portes du Soleil. What’s more, it's totally free with a lift pass so you can enjoy up to five live concerts on the slopes and over 30 apres-ski performances across the ski area. Snowboxx is another popular festival in March which takes place in the nearby resort of Avoriaz. Past performers have included Craig David, Fatboy Slim and Stormzy.

Where to Eat & Drink in Morzine

Morzine is well-equipped with bars and restaurants both on and off the mountain. With a focus on Savoyarde dishes such as cheese fondue and pierrade, La Grange has a traditional Alpine feel with log burners and wooden decor. Another authentic restaurant in the Nyon/Chamossiere sector is Chez Nannon, a family-run Savoyard restaurant serving local specialities. Ô Chalet is the place to go for gourmet burgers, whilst L’Atelier found in the Samoyède hotel is the closest thing Morzine has to a Michelin-star, with beautifully presented dishes such as fillet of turbot and fig tart to finish.

With a vibrant après scene, Morzine has plenty of venues offering regular live music and DJs. Visit the Tibetan Cafe where you can order a metre of beer, or enjoy a glass of wine or two in the Coup de Coeur where a team of experienced sommeliers are on hand to help you find that perfect bottle.

If you're looking to extend your evening into the early hours of the morning, visit the L’Opera nightclub where you can dance the night away with international DJs until 5 am.

Where to Stay in Morzine

From vast contemporary chalets to beautifully restored farmhouses, Morzine has a stunning selection of luxury ski chalets and apartments to choose from. Found on the hillside overlooking the resort, The Old Macaroni is a newly renovated farmhouse retaining many of its original features. Able to accommodate 12 adults and six children, this property has a beautifully equipped spa including a hot tub and a glass-fronted barrel sauna.

Chalet Tataali is a beautifully modern property which provides endless entertainment for the family with a game and cinema room as well as a heated 10-metre swimming pool, hammam and sauna.

Combining classic Alpine design with contemporary pieces Chalet M has five beautifully appointed en-suite bedrooms able to accommodate twelve guests. During their stay, guests can relax by the terrace fire pit after a hard day on the slopes and enjoy the stunning panoramic views from this property.

For fans of swimming, Chalet Joux Plane has the most spectacular 23-metre indoor-outdoor swimming pool whilst The Bungo is a great option for smaller groups.

Winter in Morzine

The resort of Morzine is well suited to both beginner and intermediate skiers, with more challenging slopes found in the neighbouring areas of Avoriaz and Les Gets. With 426 km of pistes across France and Switzerland, skiers have 34 green, 119 blue, 101 red and 32 black pistes to explore.

At the base of Le Pléney, beginners can make use of two drag lifts as well as a moving carpet, while the run from Arbis to Chamossière is a popular red run for intermediates. Expert skiers will enjoy the Chevreuil black run down to the centre as well as the incredible snow parks in Avoriaz such as the Burton Stash freestyle park. For some evening entertainment, Tuesday nights see the ESF instructors partake in a flaming torchlit descent on the Pléney slope.

For non-skiers, Morzine offers a variety of alternative winter activities including ice skating and snowmobiling as well as ice climbing and tobogganing. If you would like to try something a little bit different, Morzine also offers ice diving under Lac Montriond where you can experience underwater tranquillity with the help of an experienced instructor.

Summer in Morzine

When summer rolls around, Morzine offers endless possibilities, from hiking and mountain biking to paragliding and whitewater rafting. Enjoy the sun on Lac Montriond as you paddleboard across the water or head to the Parc des Dérêches equestrian centre for a spot of horseriding.

Rock climbing is another popular activity along with Morzine’s high ropes adventure park which offers challenging courses through the treetops for young and old. For further excitement, hydrospeeding is permitted in the rivers around the resort and canyoning is possible in the Nyon canyon, just 2 km from the centre of Morzine.

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