The Portes du Soleil ski area offers something for every level of skier and snowboarder, from gentle beginner pistes to more challenging descents, it's definitely somewhere you can make the most of with the right lift pass.
And as we all know, when it comes to planning a ski trip, buying a lift pass is one of the bigger investments. So, before you take the plunge, take a look at our guide full of tips and tricks of what to buy, when to buy it and what to do with it once you've got it.
Here's a quick run down of our best insights:
- Buy ski-passes online, saving time and money in resort
- Look out for web-only ski-pass deals
- Ski early or late season, for more money off
- Get up early and ski the whole area till your legs fall off (maybe do some fitness training before coming)
- Avoid faffing in lift-queues, spend more time skiing
- Play in the fun zones and piste-side extras
- Ski in the dark (we mean there's floodlit skiing on some evenings of the week)
- Ski in the other resorts included in your pass
Whilst it's possible to buy your lift passes when you get to resort, instead of spending your first morning standing in a long lift pass queue in the cold, buying in advance means you're straight up the mountain on day one. Buying online couldn't be easier, and the pass card itself can be reloaded / recharged if you visit resort again.
Top Tip: Rather than opt for them to be mailed to your home address, simply pick them up in resort - it's just one less thing to remember to pack.
As with many things these days, the deals tend to be online, and that's no different when it comes to lift passes, especially if you buy well in advance taking advantage of any 'early bird' specials. These type of offers typically run until the end of October each year.
Web exclusive deals offer fantastic value for families and groups on the six-days plus passes especially, these are only available if you buy online (even though you can opt to pick them up in resort). There is the option to post the passes to you, or to top up existing passes (card reference numbers required). The online group packages offer fantastic discounts on the full price whether for a family (two adults + at least two children) or a group of friends - take a look at the web exclusive 'Group' package for savings galore.
Ski early or late season
They say the early bird catches the worm (don't they?). If you can sneak in a trip to the mountains pre-Christmas there are great ticket reductions on offer, with similar discounts offered on passes at the end of season. Just think of all those empty pistes and keep your fingers crossed for snow. In spring, towards the end of the season, there are some great online deals.
Top Tip: Just bear in mind, most passes are non-refundable and non-transferable, bar any Covid travel-restriction exceptions that may still in place.
Make the most of the pistes
Top Tip: The easiest way to make the most of your lift pass is to set yourself the goal of experiencing the whole area. The Morzine ski area has:
- 69 piste-basher prepared slopes for you
- 120km of skiable distance on those slopes
- 2,019m highest peak
- For the advanced skiers and snowboarders there's the Pleney home run or piste from the top of the Plateau - a pure leg burner
- Fun zones
- Snow parks
Get up early and avoid rush hour
To make the most of your lift pass, catch the first and last lifts every day for six days in a row and ski it all. Then start on the off-piste. This way, you'll be maximising your piste-to-buck ratio.
More realistically, take your time, enjoy it, and like us, take a long leisurely lunch after three pistes.
Avoid faffing around in lift queues
The lift-barriers check hands-free passes on the LEFT SIDE, remember to:
- Put your lift pass in a pocket on the left side of your ski jacket or trousers and you'll whizz through the turnstiles. Often ski jackets come with a small pocket on the left sleeve exactly for this purpose.
- Don't put any credit cards or phones in the same pocket as your pass, you'll simply confuse the machines.
- Kids trouser pockets are often lower than the sensors - use their sleeve pockets.
There are often single person lift queues to fill spaces on the chairlifts, don't neglect to use these and make some new friends on the way up.
And in all seriousness, take-off rucksacks and hold them in front of you. The straps can get caught on the lifts if they're still on your back, or you can be pushed to the front of the seat with the extra depth, and this is dangerous.
There is so much to do in the resort's fun zones and snow parks. Portes de Soleil has around 30 snow parks, and as one of the first areas to welcome snowboarders their freestyle scene is still strong here. There is a permanent half-pipe and the Burton Stash in neighbouring Avoriaz, and closer to home you'll find snow parks in Nyon and Les Gets suitable for beginners and intermediates.
Ski in the dark after everyone else has gone home
Your ski pass gives you access to the Pleney piste, which once a week turns on the floodlights and allows you to ski under the stars.
Ski in other resorts too
Personally, we're not convinced about this one during a week-long stay. But if the above is not enough for you, the Portes de Soleil lift pass gives you access to 650km of pistes across 12 linked resorts in France and Switzerland: Morzine, Les Gets, Avoriaz, Montriond, Abondance, La Chapelle-d'Abondance, St Jean d'Aulps, and Châtel in France, and Champéry, Val-d-Illiex les Crosets Champoussin, Morgins and Torgon in Switzerland. However, in our opinion the Morzine-Les Gets pass is sufficient for a week long stay in the area.
World famous après-ski
If you're not already exhausted by the prospect of all that skiing, and you think you'll still have some energy for dancing in your ski gear, you're in luck. The famous Folie Douce Morzine-Avoriaz is open every day for fun and frolics, with DJs, live performers, loud music and an unforgettable après-ski experience.
Top Tip: Make sure you leave enough time to get to the last lift down to resort, a last minute helicopter taxi home isn't going to be cheap!
All of these tips will help you get the most out of your ski pass. Now, all you need to do is get out here and see for yourself. Read our resort guide for all you need to know, and we look forward to seeing you on the slopes.