Unmissable pistes in the Portes du Soleil
Now we’re not one for bragging, but the Portes du Soleil has some of the best skiing in the world. It’s the largest cross-border ski area in Europe, bringing together the absolute best of French and Swiss Alpine culture, food and, importantly, ski terrain.
Whether you’re a complete beginner looking to find your legs, an intermediate cruiser with a taste for stunning views on wide blues, or a thrill-seeking Swiss Wall veteran; the PDS has an almost endless supply of exciting pistes. We’ve compiled some of our absolute favourites to offer a glimpse into the incredible world of Portes du Soleil skiing. Use this interactive piste map to research them and plan your next mountain adventure!
Proclou, Avoriaz – Green and blue; great for building confidence in all abilities.
Proclou is a very much ‘choose your own adventure’ kind of run. Comprising both green and blue pistes, it’s perfect for beginners and intermediates who want a run long enough to get into the swing of things, but wide enough to take those turns at your own pace. For more advanced skiers and boarders, Proclou is also full of features perfect for playing on and building confidence. From border cross to rollers, a few laps of this and you’ll be ready to hit the Lil’Stash, which is a kid-friendly tree run with tree-houses, suspended walkways, slides, a giant banana swing and several picnic areas.
Mt Chery, Les Gets – Mainly reds; good for intermediates and powder-hounds
Mt Chery is a beautiful little gem nestled in the resort of Les Gets. Its location means the pistes are often quite quiet; and the selection of wide, red runs offer a tranquil, relaxing experience. A popular spot for early morning tourers, the views from the pistes of Mt Chery are truly incredible. If you’re in the mood for an early-morning ascent, you’ll be rewarded with dreamy pastel colours, and breath-taking views of the sun rising over Mont Blanc.
La Linga, Châtel – Blue and red, intermediate
At over 5km long, the La Linga piste is the longest ski run in the Portes du Soleil. It runs from the top of the Les Combes chairlift down into the resort of Chatel, and offers 5km of exhilarating downhill fun. It’s entirely north facing so you’ll be able to enjoy this run well into the spring.
Various descents from the Mosettes lift into Les Crosets Switzerland – Blues and reds; confident beginners, intermediate and advanced
We have a saying here on the French side of the Portes du Soleil: ‘it’s always sunny in Switzerland’. That may not always be the case, but it’s very close! Stunning sunshine, vast sweeping views and wide, south-facing pistes are but a few of the reasons why it’s so worth heading over to Switzerland to ski. It’s generally a lot quieter, so it’s the perfect place to escape the rush during peak periods. The top of the Mosettes lift is accessible from Ardent or Avoriaz via only 2 lifts, where you can find the Cookie Cafe – the highest café in the entire Portes du Soleil. There’s no better place for a burger and a beer than on the top of the world!
The Stash, Avoriaz – Blue; intermediate to advanced
Not for the faint hearted, the Stash is a fun run that snakes through the trees of the Lindarets forest. Within the snow-dusted pines you’ll find a whole host of nature-inspired features designed for mischief – to put it plainly, it’s a hidden world of snowpark paradise! From ramps to rails, half pipes to boxes, the Stash is the ultimate run for shredding and showing off those gnarly park skills.
The Saint Jean d’Aulps circuit, St Jean d’Aulps – mainly blues and reds; intermediate to advanced
If you’re in the mood for some soulful skiing in the middle of nowhere, the Saint Jean d’Aulps loop is the one for you. Located 15 minutes from Morzine, Saint Jean d’Aulps is a resort mainly appreciated by locals, and therefore offers a peaceful, authentic experience of French Alpine skiing. The 20km circuit takes you through forests and breathtaking wide, open scenery; along a variety of blue and red runs.
Les Covagnes (Prolays), Avoriaz – Blue, all levels
Les Covagnes is a firm favourite for adults and kids alike. It runs along the Prolays lift in Avoriaz, so is easily accessible and enjoys snow well into the spring. Full of fun side hits along the piste and nice lines through the trees, this run ends in the Lindarets bowl, making it a great warm up before heading further afield. It also makes a great finale to the end of the day, you can head home from here, but we recommend stopping off at Mamo’s café for a well-earned beer on your ski down.
Bleue d’Arare aka The Arare, Avoriaz – Blue, intermediate
The Arare is the highest point in the Portes du Soleil and being a north facing piste, means it often has the best snow as it is shaded from the sun. At the top, you can enjoy incredible views of the Dents du Midi and the piste itself is really wide with plenty of space to practice your turns. You can descend all the way down into the village of Avoriaz and then continue lapping until it’s time to stop for a coffee!
So here’s our round-up of some of our favourite pistes in the Portes du Soleil. But these lucky seven are but a fraction of the amazing, beautiful and varied skiing available in the area. With 308 runs covering 650km, we’ve barely scratched the surface – so you’ll just have to come and explore it for yourselves! For further information about skiing in the Portes du Soleil, visit our Ski Guide.
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