An Insider’s Guide to Morzine
Situated in the popular Portes du Soleil region, the traditional but bustling town of Morzine is fast becoming the go-to resort for those in search of the ultimate snow retreat.
In this article – Director of Aiglon Morzine Ltd, Steve Warner – reveals his top tips for anyone planning on visiting Morzine this winter.
Morzine has an excellent snow record, due to its proximity to Lake Geneva and Mont Blanc, and so anytime from December to April is good. However, many people overlook just how good April can be, no matter how much we talk about it! It’s warmer, quieter, cheaper (lift passes cost less in April), but the snow conditions are generally great.
Ski and snowboard hire
There’s no shortage of hire companies in Morzine, but we recommend Alpine Sports (www.alpine-sports.eu) to our guests – not only is it closest to Aiglon, but they’re a friendly and helpful bunch, and have retail-quality equipment, not the usual heavy rental gear.
Best lunch stop
There are a number of great choices when you’re out on the pistes. If you make it over to the Lindarets bowl, then we can recommend La Pomme de Pin. The Yeti bar is a favourite stop-off in the Avoriaz area, while over on the Morzine/Les Gets side, the views from the restaurant on La Rosta are excellent.
Le Tremplin, situated at the bottom of Pleney, is arguably the most popular Apres Ski bar, with a DJ, live music and table service. Bar Robinson is another favourite, but go easy on the Mutzig if you’re planning an early start the next day!
Where to eat
You can usually tell if a restaurant is good based on whether or not the locals eat there, and the following definitely tick that box. La Chaudanne is a great choice, and popular with our guests due its convenient central location – it may not be the cheapest, but the food is second to none. For something a little friendlier on the wallet, I’d recommend Le Tyrolien, which offers a great range of pizzas.
The best thing about Morzine is that you have access to so much terrain – the Portes du Soleil area covers over 650km of pistes, so there’s something to suit everyone. In the Morzine/Les Gets sector, the Tulipe (red) from Le Ranfoilly is excellent (and has a great bar half way down too!) In the Avoriaz sector, there’s almost too many to list – all runs from Pointe de Mossette, Pointe de Vorlaz and Fornet are superb, but it can get quite exposed on the ridge when it’s windy. For a cruising blue, the Prolays run from Avoriaz to Lindarets is good, but can get quite busy at peak times.
Avoiding lift queues
To keep queuing to a minimum it’s best to avoid the main lifts (Super Morzine, Prodains or Pleney) at the very end of the day or around 9am – that’s when they get most busy. For the return to Morzine from Pleney area, there’s plenty of runs back to town, so make sure you save some energy for that last run.
Tips for saving money
As French ski resorts go, Morzine is quite reasonably priced, being a town rather than purpose-built resort. Prices on the mountains are always going to be higher than in the town, so consider buying from the supermarket and carrying lunch, drinks and snacks in a backpack. You don’t need to spend a lot of money to enjoy a decent lunch with a view.
Final words of advice
Providing you have the time, make sure you explore both Avoriaz and Morzine/Les Gets – they are very different areas in character. Morzine is more tree-lined and lower in altitude, so can be a good choice in poor visibility. Later in the season, head for Avoriaz, as it’s higher and the runs stay in better shape. And, as mentioned above, we strongly recommend you consider a late-season visit – you won’t regret it!
For more information about Morzine, and to book your stay visit www.aiglonmorzine.com.