Morzine Avoriaz Les Gets Print
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Friday, 06 May 2011 19:39


Set in the Dranse valley and surrounded by Avoriaz’s snowy peaks is the lively alpine village of Morzine. It emerged as a winter sports hub in the early 1900s and witnessed one of France’s first ever ski lifts, built on the Pleney slopes in 1934.


While retaining its Savoyard charm, the village of Morzine has developed into a bustling international ski resort packed with great value accommodation, buzzing après-ski bars, cosy mountain restaurants and traditional arts and crafts. Morzine is a traditional ski resort in the French Alps, with a cultural heritage that's hard to find elsewhere, in the heart of one of the most vast ski networks: the Portes du Soleil. You can be sure of a warm welcome, fine food, great snow and amazing skiing in the Alps!


Morzine 1000 and its partner Avoriaz 1800 are two of the twelve resorts in the Portes du Soleil linked ski area which offers 650Kms in both France and Switzerland. Its northerly location between the Mont-Blanc Massif and Lake Geneva result in heavy snow-falls, enabling the Avoriaz slopes to open from mid December to late April. The Portes du Soleil area caters for all abilities and has over 266 groomed pistes. ESF are always available for lessons done with the real pros!!


Both resorts have grown to international significance, and to relatively large dimensions, with about 20,000 tourist beds each. However, they are very different in style and heritage. Morzine is one of the original ski resorts in the Alps, with skiers coming here for more than 80 years. It is located at quite a low altitude but built in a traditional chalet style.


Avoriaz, stylishly purpose-built in the late 1960s, stands 800 vertical metres (2,625ft) above Morzine. It was purpose built to a futuristic design although using traditional wood and sloping roofs in order to blend into the surrounding environment. Avoriaz is also France's first and only car-free resort and has recently been emphasising its environmental credentials.


The main lift between the two resorts has been upgraded for the 2010-11 season, greatly improving the speed and capacity of the connection, and Avoriaz has embarked on a two year project to add new districts to its accommodation base and a large thermal swimming and leisure complex at the base of the slopes.


There is a fantastic range from the nursery greens and the cruisey blues of the wooded Linderet valley to some challenging reds and blacks. These include the Swiss Wall – an infamously steep 1km knee shaker of a mogul field and the epic Coupe de Monde which hosted the ladies World Cup downhill in the late 80s.


The beautiful tree-lined backcountry offered by the Crozat bowl in Avoriaz and La Pointe de Chamoissière in Morzine present an off-piste paradise. The gnarly cliff drops, wide open powder fields, gladey tree runs and natural hits can all be easily explored with a local guide.


Morzine-Avoriaz is the birthplace of European snowboarding and is making a name for itself in the progressive world of freestyle skiing. The Portes du Soleil as a whole has seven snowboard parks, a super pipe, a half pipe, four snow-crosses and The Stash – Burton’s epic jib-tastic eco park which takes advantage of the natural terrain to produce a wooded trail which will test your freestyle skills to the max.


Easy Access from Morzine is the charming traditional village of Les Gets which is smaller and quiter than Morzine Avoriaz. It is a popular French resort especially for a family skiing holiday, due to its good children’s facilities and reasonable price. Tucked away in the French Alps, ski holidays in les Gets offer a typical French ambience with a few bars and restaurants. Les Gets has more pistes than any of the other resorts in the Portes du Soleil circuit, with a local ski pass covering les Gets, Nyon and Le Pleney.  


Les Gets is compact and charming with most activities happening along the two streets running up to the pretty church. Nearly all ski accommodation is convenient for the skiing. At the end of the day the shops, bars and tea rooms are packed but night life is more subdued. It’s a resort where people return again and again for its calm family atmosphere and many slopes.


Last Updated on Thursday, 02 June 2011 09:54