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Morzine is a ski resort in the French Alps nearby the border of Switzerland. It’s also a part of the ski area ‘Portes du Soleil’ which translates as ‘doors to the sun’ in English. The Portes du Soleil area is one of the largest ski areas in the world.
Portes du Soleil is a ski paradise, the ski area is so big that you will never get bored. From Morzine you can easily go to different ski areas.
You can buy the Portes du Soleil pass, which is relatively expensive, but you have access to all the 12 ski resorts. This blog only explains the closest and easiest ski areas near Morzine. There are many more ski area in Portes du Soleil like Saint Jean d’Aulps.
Another way is to buy a cheaper pass (the Morzine pass if you’re staying in Morzine) and just buy a day pass for Portes du Soleil if you want to do the loop or buy a day pass for another area.
All the information and prices can be found on the website.
Tip: make sure you have a ski lock so you can lock your skis when you leave them somewhere. It happens that skis get stolen. You can easily buy a small ski lock to lock up your gear, buy it on Amazon or in Intersport in Morzine.
Morzine – Les Gets ski area
From Morzine you can easily go skiing in the Morzine – Les Gets ski area. This ski area is perfect when there is fresh, new snow. When the days are getting hotter and when the snow is melting, I would recommend going to Avoriaz because it’s higher than the Morzine – Les Gets area.
To get to this ski area you need to take the Pleney cable car up to 1,505 meters high. In this ski area there are four viewpoints that are amazing to see:
- Pointe de Nyon (2,019m): only a red slope down
- Chamossière (2,002m): red slope, black slope or free ride zone down
- La Rosta (1,665m): blue, red or black slope down
- Ranfoilly (1,826m): blue or red slope down
You can find the best views over the Mont Blanc at Ranfoilly and La Rosta viewpoint.
If you think it’s too crowded and you’re a good skier then you can go to Les Gets, cross over the village and go to Mont Chéry. There’s a free train that can take you there if you don’t like to walk in gear. It’s way less crowded but all the slopes are red and black except for one blue. You should only go there if you’re an experienced skier.
From Mont Chéry (1,826m) you also have a stunning view over the Mont Blanc.
Tip: you can go by car to Les Gets, there are free parking spaces close by the Mont Chéry cable car.
Avoriaz ski area
Avoriaz is an amazing village and ski area. It lies at 1,800m-2,466m high in the mountains which means it’s perfect for skiing and snowboarding. The nice thing about Avoriaz is that there are no cars allowed. From Morzine there are three ways to reach this ski resort.
- You can take the cable car called Super Morzine, then you take the chairlift Zore. You take the green slope to Proclou and take the chairlift Proclou. You will then arrive in Avoriaz. The last cable car is around 5 pm depending on the day and time of the season. Check the time when you arrive so that there’ll be no surprises going back!
- Another way is to take the free A bus to Avoriaz. When you reach the last stop, Les Prodains, you take the big cable car Prodains Express, and you will reach Avoriaz. The last cable car is around 9 pm depending on the day.
- The last way to reach Avoriaz is to park your car near the top of Super Morzine (free of charge but not always available and chains might be necessary) or near Avoriaz (paying parking). There are many parking spaces to park your car. If you don’t mind paying you can park the car at the parking des Prodains. You only need to take the cable car up and you arrive at Avoriaz. You can find some other parking spots when you drive up the Route d’Avoriaz. You will see many free parking spots along the way like at the top of the Super Morzine cable car that you find here. If you drive more up the road in the end you will find a paying parking near Avoriaz.
In this area there is much to discover. There are some jump parks like the snowpark de la Chapelle and the Stash. For the little ones (or less daring ones) there is also ‘Lil Stash’.
Some other places which have the best views are going up the chairlift Cases and the chairlift Le Fornet.
Montriond ski area
This is the ski area at Ardent, so you need to take the Ardent cable car. From Morzine you can easily get a free bus, the M bus. There is an awesome bar here called Happy Hour which is amazing for après ski, on Wednesday it gets really crowded.
Skiing in this area is nice. You can first take the chairlift Léchère up and then take chairlift Cases to have the best views over the Swiss mountains. It’s also really easy to go to the Châtel ski area where it’s a bit less crowded. Another nice place to pass by is Les Lindarets which is a goat village. During the summer there are a lot of free-roaming goats here but in the winter you can just ski through the village.
Tip: you can go by car to Ardent, there is a free parking over there, with a lot of parking spaces. During high season it’s advised to go early to avoid driving in circles to find a spot.
A loop around the Portes du Soleil
If you take the Portes du Soleil pass you can ski and snowboard in the whole Portes du Soleil ski area, which includes 12 ski resorts. A must do if you’re a good skier is a loop around in the Portes du Soleil area. It’s a whole day that you’ll ski starting from Avoriaz and go around in a loop.
Must know before you go:
- Do this loop when the weather is good
- You need to be a good skier or snowboarder
- There are many red slopes that you need to take
- There are several drag lifts that you need to take (good to know if you’re a boarder)
- Start the loop early in the morning with the first cable car
- If you get stuck, because the lifts close in the evening, an expensive taxi might be the only way back
- Bring a backpack with water, snacks and sun protection
- There are many restaurants and even a shop (in Switzerland) on the loop
You can start wherever you want, but I recommend starting in Ardent or Avoriaz. I suggest you get a free map of the Portes du Soleil ski area, and you draw on the map how you need to go, and which lifts you need to take. The loop will be explained with every chairlift you need to take.
When you are at the top of the Ardent cable car (also known as the Lindaret Bowl) that’s where you start the loop. The chairlifts, and draglifts you need to take are the following:
Chaux Fleurie → Les Combes → Gabelou → Portes du Soleil → Coqs 1&2 (draglift) → Morclan → Pré la Vieille (draglift) → Neuf 1&2 (draglift) → Ecotis (draglift) → Le Corbeau → La Foilleuse → Bochasses → Aiguille des Champeys → Pointe de l’Au → Grand Conche → ski all the way down back to Ardent.
So, you need to ski from lift to lift. In total you take 12 chairlifts, 4 drag lifts and 1 cable car Ardent. During this loop you’ll see signs everywhere which makes it a bit easier to find your way.
We definitely recommend you to do this loop, it’s really fun to do and you’ll have the best views over Portes du Soleil.
Another amazing adventurous thing you can do is go ski touring. It’s hiking with skies up the mountain and ski down. Nowadays you can also do it with a split board, for snowboarders. You can always book a guide on this website.
Besides skiing and snowboarding there is a lot more to do during the winter in Morzine. You can read about other winter activities in the blog Winter activities in Morzine.