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Best Ski Areas in Morzine

Discover the best of the Morzine ski area

Updated

The legendary resort of Morzine is part of one of the largest linked ski areas in the world, the Portes du Soleil which offers a wide variety of ski runs for all ages and abilities, from complete beginners to freeride experts, all accessible with the same ski pass.

This giant mountain playground is located just over an hour away from the Geneva international airport, making it one of the most convenient Alpine ski areas to come to.

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What is skiing & snowboarding like in Morzine?

Morzine is one of the most popular ski areas in the French Alps. Together with the local linked area of Les Gets, it boasts 120 kilometres of pistes divided into 69 runs (3 green, 29 blue, 28 red and 9 black) served by 48 modern lifts, all accessible using the same ski pass. All of Morzine's runs are accessed by Le Pléney gondola, which runs from the centre of town, just a five-minute walk from the tourist office. There are two main piste sectors here, one on each of the opposite mountain faces of the valley, with lifts running from the town centre up to the surrounding peaks.

The south-facing slopes, leading off the Pléney gondola, are famous for their sun-drenched, wide, tree-lined blue and red runs, very popular among carvers and perfect for beginner and intermediate skiers. Lifts here also connect to the linked ski area of Les Gets. The north-facing slopes lead up to the steeper and more challenging pistes of Nyon and Chamossière, the highest peaks in the Morzine-Les Gets ski area at 2019m and 2002m respectively. There are also some gentle blue runs here but this sector is generally favoured by powder enthusiasts who revel on the steep and deep untracked slopes. This side of the valley is where the Super Morzine gondola is located, linking Morzine with Avoriaz and the rest of the Portes du Soleil.

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Where is the Morzine ski area?

Morzine (pronounced 'More-zeen') is situated in the Haute-Savoie department of France, in the  Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, near Lake Léman and the border with Switzerland. The town is located at a height of 1001m, while the Pléney gondola reaches up to 1550m and the highest point in the ski area is Pointe de Nyon (2019m).

The Morzine ski area has been welcoming skiers for almost a century. Currently owned by SA Téléphérique du Pléney, the first ski run was built here in 1925 behind the Grand Hotel, which had just opened its doors. However, it was in 1934 when Morzine became a true ski town as its main lift, the Pléney cable car, was inaugurated making it the second ever to be erected in France. But Morzine town is much older, its origins dating back to the Middle Ages – learn more on our History of Morzine page.

Regions & Heritage of Morzine

When to come skiing & snowboarding in Morzine?

The Morzine ski season usually takes place from mid-December to mid-April, with some early lift openings depending on snow conditions – see our Ski Lift Opening Dates guide for this winter's schedule. The best time to come skiing and snowboarding in Morzine really depends on what you want your ski holiday to be. Are you looking forward to sunny pistes and a glass of wine on a piste-side terrace? Then you should come in March-April. Is your idea of the perfect ski break more about quiet slopes and lots of fresh snow? Then perhaps January is the time to come. Do you want to take advantage of the many activities organised for children during the school holidays? February is your month!

Whenever you come, as long as the lifts are open, the local pisteurs will make the best of the snow they have (or even make some artificial flakes) and groom the pistes to perfection, so that you get the best possible conditions.

Morzine Snow Report & Forecast

The Morzine ski area – The south-facing slopes of Le Pléney

On the Pléney side of the valley, the runs are an even mix of blues and reds, the latter spanning the intermediate ability levels whereby some would maybe constitute black status if they were not running directly into resort. The red Renard, Fouine and Abeille runs above Morzine town are steep but generally wide and are perfect for the advancing intermediate skier and snowboarder. All can be repeated multiple times using the Atray chairlift after initially reaching the Pléney plateau via the gondola. Olympique is a black run gaining its status as a function of dropping steeply down the mountain adjacent to the lift line. Piste Hermine does likewise but is more frequently groomed – it runs into the Le Stade floodlit red and onwards directly into Morzine at the foot of the Pleney gondola.

For less experienced skiers and snowboarders, the better options are the blue runs. Piste B, Corbeau and Grizzly wind down a less vertiginous route down the face of the Pléney, ultimately emerging at the lift of the same name. Although an easier grade, these runs still offer entertainment for the more accomplished skier with ample opportunity to carve big fast turns and straight-line the flatter sections in a racer tuck.

The Morzine ski area – The north-facing slopes of Nyon & Chamossière

A little further afield are the large ski areas under the Pointe de Nyon and Chamossière, the former being the highpoint of the Morzine ski domain at 2019 metres. On a clear day, this peak offers views over to the Hauts Forts, the Col du Cou and the ridgeline marking the border with Switzerland while Chamossière (2002m) shows off Mont Blanc and the Aiguilles in Chamonix for a truly spectacular view. From Morzine, access this area via the Pléney gondola and Granges blue run or park at the bottom of the Nyon cable car, where there is always ample space.

Nyon
Dropping from the Pointe de Nyon, the red Aigle Rouge is initially a steep switchback run reminiscent of an Alpine mountain pass. For the more experienced, there is opportunity to shortcut the switchbacks via steep off-piste drops rejoining the piste and your less experienced friends. This run gives way to the bumpy Aigle Noir to the skier’s right converging at the bottom of the La Pointe chairlift with the wide and fast La Combe red run. Alternatively, continue on the Chamois red into the trees joining the Lièvre blue and follow all the way to the Nyon cable car. For beginners, the Nyon Plateau has a number of wide-open blues, Lièvre and Pâquérages, which start from the Lavouet drag lift and graduate to slightly narrower blues leading to the Troncs chairlift.

Chamossière
Chamossière is a smaller area but has a couple of top-quality runs from the summit: the black Les Creux and the red Arbis. The former is an un-pisted, bump-strewn steep drop under the Chamossière chairlift line. The latter, a slightly less demanding red run, super steep and a little narrow at the top, giving way to wider less steep gradients perfect for big super G carves lower down the slope – a little bit of everything in one ski run.

The Les Gets ski area

Easily accessed from Morzine, Les Gets is a very pretty ski area – tree-lined runs in the Ranfoilly bowl and stunning panoramic views from the top of Mont Chery make this one of the best areas for cruising pistes with a backdrop. Read more in our guide to the Les Gets Ski Area.

The rest of the Portes du Soleil ski area

Literally called the 'Doors of the Sun', taking its name from a mountain pass that connects Morgins and Les Crosets, the Portes du Soleil area is vast, with 600km of pistes spread across 12 different ski resorts in France and Switzerland. There are 306 pistes and 30 snowparks – including boarder and ski cross tracks as well as fun slopes – all accessed by 195 ski lifts. In the whole ski area there are 38 greens, 131 blues, 105 reds and 32 blacks.

Avoriaz
Perched 600m above Morzine the snow-sure resort of Avoriaz has some of the best snowparks in the Alps and is home to Europe's first Burton Stash freestyle park. Powder hounds will love the Hauts Forts sector and the powder fields in Lindarets and Chatel. It's also a great area for beginners and young families. Read more in our guide to the Avoriaz Ski Area.

Châtel
This sector of the Porte du Soleil ski area include a good mixture of piste skiing for most levels, although no black runs, as well as some gently sloping powder fields for the off-piste lovers. Read more in our guide to the Chatel, Pre la Joux and Linga Ski Area.

Saint Jean d'Aulps
Although the St Jean d’Aulps ski area is part of the Portes du Soleil it is not connected by pistes or lifts to the rest of the resort but it is well worth a look particularly as a full area ski pass is valid here. Read more in our guide to the St Jean d'Aulps Ski Area.

The Swiss resorts – Morgins, Les Crosets & Champery
The Swiss side of the Portes du Soleil ski area includes six separate resorts which can all be reached relatively easily from Avoriaz but might require a little more planning and time of you're heading over from Les Gets. You'll find more snowparks, some steeper red pistes as well as the infamous Swiss Wall, the most demanding run in the whole ski area. Read more in our guide to the Swiss side of the Portes du Soleil Ski Area.

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Maps of Morzine

More inspiration...

The Morzine/Les Gets and Portes du Soleil ski areas are so vast, that we've created a few dedicated guides to help you navigate the pistes and, for those keen on venturing off the resort's bounds, also the off-piste. Don't forget to take a look at this year's Ski Pass Prices for more information and find your way around with Piste Maps for Morzine.