Morzine Ski Area Guide

 

A guide to help skiers staying in Morzine find their way around The Portes du Soleil ski area.

 

Overview

 

The immense Portes du Soleil domain encompasses 12 interlinked resorts across the French and Swiss Alps, and has a huge variety of terrain for beginners, intermediates and advanced skiers. Morzine, a bustling resort with bags of charm and excellent facilities, sits right in the heart of all the action, and is an excellent base for accessing the slopes of the Portes du Soleil.

To give you an idea of the breadth of the resort, the Portes du Soleil ski pass opens up a massive 308 pistes: 33 blacks, 105 reds, 131 blues and 39 greens, plus 30 snowparks, boardercross and ski-cross areas.

With so much to explore and several lift options for where to start your day, it can help to get a grasp on the geography of the resort before you set off. Here we give some useful tips for ability levels and an overview of the key ski areas which can be accessed by the main lifts from Morzine and Montriond. You’ll also find piste maps at all ticket offices or download one here.

Access Ski lifts

 

Find your way up the mountain fast

 

Morzine Centre

If you are staying in Morzine town centre you have two lifts to choose from: the Pleney ski lift takes skiers from the main front de neige (snow area where the slopes meet the town) towards the Pleney, Nyon and Les Gets ski area, whilst on the opposite side of town, the Super Morzine lift takes skiers towards the great height of Avoriaz, beyond which lies Les Lindarets, Chatel and the Swiss resorts.

A short drive away (parking available) or bus ride on Morzine’s efficient bus service is the Prodain Express, a super fast 35 person lift whisking skiers up to Avoriaz. During busy times this is a great option to avoid queues.

 

Montriond

Montriond (the ski village neighbouring Morzine) is a great place to stay, with its own gondola for direct access into  Les Lindarets bowl, from which you have several options for venturing up to Avoriaz or over to Chatel, with miles and miles of French and Swiss terrain to ski.

If you are staying in Montriond (where AliKats’ catered chalets are situated), you’ll benefit from our private chauffeur service which will take you to the Ardent lift in just 7 minutes.

AliKats’ self-catered guests can also book return lifts to the resorts main access lifts (Pleney, Ardent and Prodains) through our ‘slope run’ service. The efficient bus service will also take you to the main access lifts and back to Morzine/Montriond throughout the day.

Summary of Ski Areas

 

Pleney, Les Gets and Nyon

 

Excellent skiing for all ability levels, brilliant beginner areas, patrolled freeride area, stunning panoramas and varied skiing across open and forested terrain

Families & beginners

Morzine is known for it’s fantastic beginner and family ski areas, and continues to invest great amounts each year to ensure these areas remain among the best in Europe.

At the top of Pleney you’ll find a magic carpet and green nursery slopes. Once kids have progressed a little, the Penguin Park is great fun for little ones to ski through. Young skiers can look out for totem poles, arches and a giant xylophone. Then over on the Chemin des ZouZous statues of mountain animals (plus a life-size token unicorn) will spark imagination about the creatures which can be found in the mountains and forest.

Kids that can manage blue runs and have the stamina to ski further afield can also head over to Les Gets’ kids ski areas, which include The Grand Cry, a North-American-themed ski park comprising of green runs, with fun small, safe tracks at the sides of the piste which dip in and out of the trees so children can explore safely; and The Milka run, an easy blue with endless tracks into the trees off to the sides.

If you have ski lessons booked you will usually meet your instructor at the top of the Pleney lift (there’s a ski school meeting point after the restaurant on your right as you exit the télécabine). Club Piou Piou, however, sits a short walk from the bottom of the télécabine and has it’s own fenced off area on the front de neige, opposite the ESF office on Avenue de Joux Plane.

Mixed ability groups & intermediates

Le Pléney has a compact network of pistes that are ideal for groups with mixed abilities, you’ll find tree-lined blue pistes, as well as more steep and challenging red runs. For an easy cruise down to the valley take Piste B.

For amazing panoramas, head to Le Ranfoilly viewpoint, you’ll find views of Mont Blanc and the Portes du Soleil’s smaller neighbour, ‘Le Grand Massif’ mountain range. There’s a few cruisy reds in this area or ski down on pleasant blues.

The south facing slopes down to Les Gets from Le Pléney are unchallenging when conditions are good, and it’s definitely a must-ski area to check out on your holiday. You’ll find it easy to grow confidence on wide runs and open bowls, all whilst skiing against a stunning backdrop. Those looking for excitement will find plenty from the Chavannes Express, then there’s more runs over in the Chavannes Bowl, which is serviced by five lifts with multiple blues, reds and blacks.

 

More advanced skiers

The Nyon and Chammosière areas are excellent exploration and progression grounds for intermediate and more advanced skiers.  From the Chammosière lift you can access a long red run, a steep unpisted black and a freeride off-piste area which is a must on powder days.

From the Pointe de Nyon the red Aigle Rouge is a switchback run which starts off steeply and leads to the bumpy Aigle Noir or the wide and fast Combe red. The Chamois red and Lievre blue will take you all the way to the bottom of the télépherique de Nyon.

Mont Chery (accessed from Les Gets town centre) is a whole new mountain to explore, with some challenging black runs and fun powder areas when the conditions are right. Mixed ability groups will also find appealing blue runs with stunning views down both sides of the mountain.

Les Linderets, Avoriaz & the Swiss resorts

 

Snow sure ski area spanning French and Swiss resorts, world-renowned freeride and park areas, plus endless options for all ability levels from little shredders to expert skiers

Families & beginners

Avoriaz sits 800m above Morzine on the cliffs above the valley Ardoisières, and offers high altitude skiing right from beginner level. The resort has its own children’s club in the centre, a beginner’s slope next to Le Chapelle Park, 4 green pistes and 25 blue pistes.

Next, there is plenty to progress to with 34 green runs in the wider Portes du Soleil ski area and even more blues to help you build your confidence. Several of these runs are accessed via the Proclou, Seraussaix and Baron chairlifts.

Avoriaz also boasts snow parks especially designed for little shredders: the Kid’s Parkway and Lil’Stash. The latter is a play area in the forest with ropes, sculptures, a slide and a resident snowboarding yeti, called ‘Shreddie’.

The Stash, which can be reached via the 6-seater Prolays chairlift from Les Linderets, is a snow park built with all natural material and scattered with wooden sculptures, modules and secret runs that will keep teenagers busy for hours on end.

 

Mixed ability groups & intermediates

The Portes du Soleil is an amazing resort for intermediate skiers and those looking to progress steadily from gentle blues to reds and more challenging terrain. The Ardent lift takes you from the bottom of the mountain up to Les Lindarets, a bowl where four chairlifts will take you to a variety of different blue runs coming back to Les Lindarets, on to Avoriaz or further afield to the Swiss resorts. There really is so much choice, with no need to ski the same run twice in a week!

On the Avoriaz/Super Morzine side there are plenty of red and blue runs located around the Chavanette. Then taking the Express Choucas and Fornet Express gives access to a bunch of fun reds: Alpages, Blanchot, Cubore, Patenaille and Lanches.

 

More advanced skiers

There are black runs to explore in most corners of the Portes du Soleil. Try the Hauts Forts secteur for extreme steep blacks, or the famous Swiss Wall – one of the top ten most challenging runs in the world, which starts with an incline of 76% before continuing to test you with moguls the size of small cars.

In Chatel, Secteur Linga offers a couple of very steep reds. Try the run from the top of Les Combes, a fun piste running all the way into Chatel. For moguls, test your skills on the wide and often steep, Le Renards.

The high-altitude area of Avoriaz offers one of the biggest areas for easy to access off-piste. To really explore the area and discover untracked powder safely, we can recommend some excellent guides.

 

 

Restaurants

From speedy self service restaurants and burger bars, to cosy Savoyard chalets and stylish Michelin listed venues, the Portes du Soleil ski resort has some excellent restaurants. It’s always good to know where you are heading and book ahead. Why not whet your appetite with our restaurant guide and reserve your table before you turn up.

 

Where to stay

Ready to ski the Portes du Soleil? If you’ve not already booked accommodation for your Morzine skiing holiday, now is a great time to find a ski chalet that promises to put you in the heart of all the action.  With AliKats you can stay in a stylish central Morzine self-catered chalet, or find your perfect catered chalet in the neighbouring, pretty village of Montriond; wherever you choose, with our private chauffeur service, we guarantee getting to the ski lifts is never a problem.

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