Morzine is a lively alpine town which has managed to retain its Savoyard charm and a distinctly French ambience. There is a large seasonaire community who like to party but are primarily here to take advantage of the Portes du Soleil’s epic 650km of pistes which range from easy greens and cruisey blues to challenging reds and blacks. The awesome tree-lined backcountry presents a freeriders’ paradise and the snow parks, which are some of the best in Europe and include the infamous Burton Stash, provide a training playground for both novices and pros alike.
15 minutes of fame In the late 60s the Resort of Avoriaz became known as the “St Tropez of the snow" and was the preferred destination for Brigitte Bardot and other French stars. Although recently it is not that big with the celebs Kate Moss was spotted eating a cheese fondue in “La Matafan" restaurant in Morzine town and Peter Jones holidays here with his family. Avoriaz was the first place in Europe to have a Burton Stash Eco park.
Uppers Fantastic late season snow, really good snowparks, friendly seasonaire community,
Downers Lots of children at half term, lots of drag lifts and T-bars on the Swiss side, no live music festival in resort as yet
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Rest my weary head Budget - Rude Chalets have self catered rudeapartments including FREE snowboard hire from £85 per person per week. Mid range - Rude Chalets have fully catered rudechalets including FREE return airport transfers from Geneva, ensuite, half board, unlimited wine and mountain hosting from £329 per person per week. All bedrooms have XBOX 360s and there is an on-site Burton Snowboard Test Centre which is fully stocked with a brand new boards.
Feed me Budget: Changabangs – on the mountain at the top of the Prodains lift in Avoriaz: good selection of Sandwiches, wraps and Burgers from 4 – 10 Euros; The Burger Place – at the bottom of the Pleney lift in Morzine does amazing burgers and Swedish style sandwiches from 5 Euros Mid-range: Marmottes – on the mountain in Linderets – do really good pizzas, omelettes, gourmet salads and a hearty “Plat du Jour" from 8 Euros per dish; L’Etale – in the centre of Morzine has a fantastic menu with a whole range of options from traditional cheese and potato based Savoiyade dishes to pizzas, steaks, locally caught fish and pastas – from 12 Euros per dish.
Driiiiink myself stupid Apres ski – it has to be Bar Robinsons – an après ski instition which serves “Mutzig"- a scarily tasty super-strength beer which guaranteed to get the party started! Cheesy Disco – The Cavern is a great little evening disco pub – serving beer, wine, cocktails, shots and Jaega bombs! Tuesday is seasonaire night which often involves a dressing up theme and music ranges from old skool disco classics, to trashy Euro pop, big rock anthems and a few dance tunes.
Locals listen to Everything from MGMT to Rage Against the Machine
Where to hit on a powder day The tree runs into Linderet are easily accessible, relatively safe and loads of fun. If you are venturing a bit further a field you can hit “Happy Valley" – a powder play ground with rock drops, natural kickers, wind lips and open powder.
Where to hit when it hasn’t snowed for weeks The whole of the Morzine-Avoriaz ski area holds the snow really well but the best place to head is Mossettes as its one of the highest points in the area and the Coupe de Monde down hill black run which is always perfectly groomed in the morning.
Where to hit on a whiteout The “star wars" run down to Ardent is a 4km tree-lined run with loads of hits and jibbing opportunities at the side. The Burton Stash – which is an eco-park with wooden rails, boxes, huts and walls, set amoungst the trees underneath the Prolays lift provides hours of amusement on a white out day.
Price of beer Happy Hour: 3 Euros / pint; normally 5 – 6 Euros / pint
Price of 6 day lift pass 144 Euros for a local area pass; 200 Euros for a full Portes du Soleil pass
How to get there Fly to Geneva airport and then the transfer time is 90 Minutes; Drive from Calais = 9 hours.