When your family and friends want to go skiing, but it really isn't your cup of tea, don't panic. You don't have to ski or snowboard to enjoy a memorable holiday in a ski resort.
Whilst Morzine is a great place to come skiing, there are many activities here to suit a non-skier of all ages and tastes.
Here are some great ideas for you:
- Buy a pedestrian pass and jump on a lift
- Go to après-ski along with everyone else
- Ride a skidoo, horse or husky sled
- Book a tandem flight
- Go snowshoeing or ski-touring
- Go to the sports centre
- Visit a spa for some relaxation
- Book a restaurant for lunch
- Visit a museum or see a film
- Learn nordic skiing - you might just like it!
Snow fun without the skis
Buy a pedestrian pass
Enjoy the mountains as a non-skier by buying a pedestrian lift pass. It provides access to the main Morzine lifts and the two cable cars in Les Gets. Many mountain restaurants can be reached on foot by ski lift, so it's entirely possible to meet up with your family and friends for some fine dining.
There are some fantastic opportunities for winter hiking with over 100km of sign-posted trails that can be enjoyed by all ages and fitness levels. Easy routes are possible in sturdy hiking boots or snowshoes after a heavy snowfall. You can pick up a guide from the tourist office and enjoy amazing views, alpine lakes and meadows, and escape into the wilderness for a few hours or the whole day. Always dress for the weather - layers are the key, sunglasses and sun cream are vital even on a cloudy day. Stick to the trails, respect the environment and be aware of changing conditions.
Après-ski with everyone else
You don't have to ski to enjoy "après-ski". Meet up with the rest of your group in a local bar and share stories from your day over a beer. Going to party at Folie Douce in Avoriaz is a great way to spend the afternoon watching the amazing cabaret, then dance to the live, dynamic house band. Or head to the local ice skating rink for a fun evening set beneath the snow-clad Alps. Situated in the heart of Morzine, there is music, lights, and sometimes ice shows to entertain the crowds. Alternatively, grab a sled and head to The Aubergade Hotel at the base of the Pléney piste for some fast family fun, and once the slopes close for the evening you can head up the cable car and enjoy some night time sledging with guides to show you the way - just don't forget your headtorch.
Drive a dog sled or skidoo, or ride a horse
Whether on a sledge pulled by huskies, riding your own skidoo, or hacking through the trails on a horse, there is an excursion choice to suit all levels of adrenaline. The husky sledding is based in nearby Avoriaz, we recommend booking in advance as this is a very popular activity. The skidoo experience will take you on a super-charged ride through the Super Morzine forest - remember to wrap up warm and bring goggles if there is fresh snow. And if you love the idea of discovering the valley on horseback, The Equestrian Centre offers discovery hikes through the snowy forests and trails along the Dranse river, or more sporting ventures for those with experience.
Book a tandem flight
Take to the skies for a bird's eye view of the mountains with a tandem paragliding flight, or book yourself onto a helicopter tour.
Snowshoeing and ski-touring
You can really get away from it all and disappear into nature on some snowshoes (raquettes). Grab a printed guide from the tourist office or book yourself on a snowshoe excursion with an activity company to see a side of the mountains that most skiers will never see. Full-day, half-day and night-time options are available to take you into the heart of the mountains – from the highest peaks to the wildest valleys. Equipment and transport are usually included, check when you book.
If you've decided the days of skiing up the mountain all-day, every-day, are well behind you, those with previous skiing / snowboarding experience could try ski touring. There are many famous ski touring routes in Morzine, and it's a great way to work up a sweat, earning your burger whilst the rest of the world takes the lifts. Hire a guide and pull on some skins for an adventure away from the madding crowd.
Not just a ski resort
Morzine is so much more than a ski resort. In fact, you can really have a great time here without setting foot on a lift.
Go for a swim
In Morzine head to Parc des Dereches where you can enjoy two indoor heated pools, plus fitness and yoga classes. They have a large spa area with saunas and Turkish baths, as well as a relaxation area with loungers. There is a gym in the L'Aiglon de Morzine residence that is open to the public with cardio and weights machines, treatment rooms and a dedicated pilates room. There’s also a fantastic pool in Avoriaz. This is more geared to families and isn’t really for serious swimming. Aquariaz has rapids, a hot tub overlooking the mountains and a very popular slide. This is open most afternoons throughout the season and has loads for the children to do. So don't forget to pack your gym kit and a swimsuit (speedo-style only boys).
Book a treatment at the spa
Or if all of that sounds far too active and you really just want to pamper yourself and read your book, or stare at the view, there are numerous spas and treatment rooms you can enjoy. Many hotels have luxury spas which are open to non-guests, and mobile massage companies will arrange to visit you at your chalet or apartment.
Book a table
And when you feel hungry, enjoy some slap up French cuisine with a glass of fine local wine - you deserve it. Many local restaurants have well priced lunchtime set menus offering the same cuisine as their main menus, but often with considerable discounts. Some offer wine tasting sessions also.
Visit a museum or go see a film
Morzine has a couple of museums, if you'd like to learn something about the area in which you're staying, or drop into the local Rex cinema, grab a box of popcorn and catch up on the latest releases - look for VOST or VO (version originale) for English language films.
Skiing, but not skiing
Still looking for something to occupy your time? There's always cross-country skiing to try. An extremely popular mountain sport, known as 'ski de fond' in France, there are numerous tracks available across the Portes de Soleil area. Avoriaz / Super-Morzine is a high altitude sector with lots of sunny, easy tracks with wonderful viewpoints. The Manche Valley is pure back country with no lifts for miles, simply long, well-maintained tracks from Nyon to the Mines d'Or lake, and it's possible to reach l'Érigné from Morzine by the free shuttle E. You'll find inviting guest houses open to passers-by for a welcome break, where you can enjoy a refreshing drink and a restorative meal. This very accessible sport is relatively low cost, you can hire equipment and arrange lessons / guiding locally, and the views are to die for!