Morzine may look like a sleepy ski resort village, but there’s plenty going on under the surface. Morzine is a truly residential ski resort, and its several chalets and restaurants are often family-owned and fittingly intimate as a result. Families favor Morzine for numerous reasons: its ease of access from Geneva means no patience-testing transfers are to be endured, while skiing beginners are well served by a large number of less dramatic pistes and there are excellent children’s daycare facilities to keep little ones pampered. For some looking for action, a lot of late night bars line streets in the center.
Morzine suffers from being set back from the circuit of ski resorts that make up the Portes du Soleil area. A great system of free shuttle buses carry riders to and from the gondolas that serve the region – not to mention the cable car to Le Pleney and the gondola to Super Morzine – but a couple of of these (the direct link from outlying Les Prodains : or Avoriaz, most notably) can be quite a trek, and not fun after a hard day’s skiing. A better choice is to have a car and drive to and from the lifts: over-crowding has been alleviated by the installation of a new car park near Le Pleney, and nearby Flaine is also an readily accessible alternative when the local snow is poor – which usually is. Morzine’s quite low altitude often ends in bald patches, or even worse, rain.
Again, Morzine’s setting isn’t best suited to using the wide-ranging terrain of the Portes du Soleil. A lot of riders prefer to head first to Avoriaz, either through the cable-car from Les Prodains – a short drive or bus journey from the village – or a really close chairlift accessing the network of slopes over it: from here the Combe du Machon chairlift offers a network of challenging black runs on the Hauts Forts face guiding more advanced riders back to Les Prodains. The Super Morzine gondola, which connects central Morzine to different blue runs going to Avoriaz, with a new six-man chairlift making this a faster, more enjoyable option to the buses.