Snowboarding in Morzine

Morzine is somewhat of an anomaly among French ski resorts in that, rather than being an ugly concrete jungle thrown up in the 1960s when such developments were considered feats of architectural genius, it is a pretty little alpine town consisting of a cluster of traditional wooden chalet style buildings, and not a high rise in sight! That in itself holds great appeal for its large numbers of visitors, but its close proximity to Geneva, links into the massive Portes du Soleil ski area and lively nightlife make it an even more attractive destination, particularly the hoards of Brits who flock there every year.

Located only 40 miles from Geneva, Morzine provides the perfect base for accessing the 12 resorts that make up the Portes du Soleil ski area and many visitors choose to stay in Morzine over its less attractive and less vibrant neighbours further up the valley.

Although Morzine sits at the relatively low altitude of 1000m, it’s easy to access the higher slopes in Avoriaz and the rest of the Portes du Soleil which reach as high as 2460m. Spanning 400 square miles, 14 valleys and both France and Switzerland, the Portes du Soleil is the second largest ski area in the world (just behind the Three Valleys) and there’s a wealth of varied terrain to suit all levels of boarder. The slopes around Morzine itself are best suited to beginners and intermediates but there’s plenty of more advanced terrain to be found by just venturing a little further into the Portes du Soleil. If it’s trees you’re after though, stay in Morzine as it has some of the best tree skiing in the area.

While Morzine does have a park, the area’s best freestyle facilities are to be found in Avoriaz which as two excellent parks, a halfpipe and an awesome area called The Stash which is an expansive freestyle area containing a wide variety of natural features to suit all abilities.

Morzine is also renowned for its lively atmosphere and nightlife. Popular bars which attract a mainly British clientele are The Dixie Bar and The Cavern which are both centrally located and have live music most nights. They both stay open until 2am but if you fancy staying out a bit later then head to Le Paradis or L’Opera which are both open until around 4am. A popular spot for après is Bar Robinsons, which serves the ridiculously strong Mutzig beer on tap – guaranteed to get the party started (and possibly finished) early! If you haven’t got the guts (quite literally) for that, Le Crépu is another lively little bar for a few après drinks.

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