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When thinking about winter holidays in the mountains, you might naturally assume that skiing is the only real activity to enjoy. Afterall, the whole point of coming to the mountains is to ski down them, right? Wrong. Not only are the mountains a vast, beautiful landscape which can – and should – be enjoyed in many different ways, Morzine in the winter offers a huge range of non-skiing activities to enjoy. From a vibrant foodie scene to boutique shops, music festivals to snowshoeing; it’s the perfect winter holiday destination for those people who either don’t ski, or those who do but might want to indulge other interests.
We’ve written a guide to some of the best reasons to come to Morzine in the winter as a non-skier, and there’s not a ski boot in sight!
One of the first things you’ll notice about Morzine is how beautiful it is. The traditional architecture, charming shops and eateries, and ever-present silhouettes of snow-covered mountains is a far cry from the bustle of city streets.The town is easy to navigate by bus or on foot, and connects to some beautiful walks along the Dereche river, or up to the Nyon waterfall – all from the centre of town! It’s lovely to just head out for a wander through the streets, and soak up some authentic Alpine culture.
The Morzine tourist office also does a fantastic job at organising events and festivals throughout the winter season. For families, the Morzine Enchanted Village is a delightful celebration of all things winter wonderland, whilst the Rock the Pistes festival showcases great music and good vibes, in a unique setting.
Choosing not to ski doesn’t mean that you should miss out on mountain meals with your squad. And here in Morzine you definitely don’t have you. It’s super easy to buy a pedestrian pass for the gondolas which will take you up to key meeting spots, where you can reunite with your crowd for lunch or a beer. If you fancy some quiet time, we’d thoroughly recommend heading up with a book and having a coffee at one of the many lovely bars. Sit and read, or just watch the world go by. You’re not in a hurry, so make the most of it!
Morzine’s foodie scene just keeps getting better with more and more delightful places to dine added into the mix each year. From traditional Alpine cuisine to trendy pan-Asian fusion; coffee shops to nightclubs, there really is something (lots of things actually!) for everyone. And despite common assumptions about French resorts, Vegetarians and vegans are also looked after on many restaurant menus. On top of this, Morzine has a delightful array of boulangeries, delis and shops dedicated to hand-crafted artisanal fare. The easy part is finding something you like – the real challenge is deciding how to fit it all in!
As we’ve already mentioned, Morzine is a fantastic spot for a bit of retail therapy. Stock up on handmade chocolates, local honey or some classic saucisson in the many artisanal food shops. Or get some inspiration for your next home makeover from the various homeware and interior design boutiques. Clothes shops range from trendy mountain gear to chic fashion, and there are several toy shops to keep the kids entertained. The weekly market runs every Wednesday morning, at which you’ll find handmade bread, local cheeses, fresh fruit and veg, and everything else you need to become a fully-fledged mountain dweller!
Over the last few years, Morzine has enjoyed a growing wellness movement; centred around the beauty and grounding nature of the mountains. Alongside stunning spas, beauty treatments and massages, why not try a yoga session at the beautiful Morzine Yoga studio, or immerse yourself in the profound tranquillity of a sound bath session. There are also several gyms in Morzine if you’re missing your weekly workout, or just put on your shoes and head out the front door. There’s nothing quite like a run in the crisp cold air of a mountain morning.
There are so many areas of natural beauty to explore in the Morzine area. From Morzine centre, you can head in either direction for a peaceful walk along the Dereche. For more mountainous adventures, Valle de la Manche is a stunning area which is accessible by car but lies right in the heart of the mountains. Surrounded by pine forest, this area is exciting to explore, with a fantastic area for sledging, and a couple of charming restaurants. One very friendly, traditional Savoyard restaurant near the parking, and a further second option – La Crapahute – is a favourite amongst locals and sits in a stunning location a 30 minute walk into the mountains.
Lac Montriond is also a must for your wild wanderings. Located close to the Ardent ski lift, the walk around it is a mile of peace and beauty, offering incredible views from literally every angle.
It’s easy to think that by not skiing you’re missing out on the most beautiful parts of the mountains. But this just isn’t true. Sometimes you can miss a lot when your only focus is which run you’re going to hit next. Choosing to slow things down and take your time often makes you more aware of where you are, and how truly epic it is.
Snowshoeing is a great way to do this, as it gives you all the benefits of being in the mountains without the pressure and pace of skiing. You can also try cross country skiing if you like the idea of skiing, but in a calmer, less downhill kind of setting. There are also loads of fantastic mountain-based activities you can enjoy such as night snowmobiling and Husky sledding – take a look at our page about non-skiing activities in the winter for full details .
Here at AliKats, we believe that where you base yourself is just as important as how you spend your days. Our luxury chalets offer everything you need, and more. So much more, you might find you don’t want to leave! Why not spend the day soaking in the hot tub, detoxing in the sauna or just reading a book on the balcony, overlooking breathtaking views? With five star food, quality wines and an attentive team of hosts to look after you, it’s worth giving yourself the time to slow it down and savour every moment. Visit our website to see our full range of catered chalets available this winter.
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