The vast skiing area around Morzine splits neatly into two main sectors, each with its own appeal :
The traditional, original ski area accessed from Morzine by the Telecabine du Pleney.
Style: This ski area has some easy greens, plenty of blues and reds plus a couple of blacks on the Nyon side. It is large and offers plenty of scope for a full and entertaining week of skiing. Once you have explored the three major areas of Pleney, Nyon and Les Chavannes you can try out the runs on the other side of Les Gets on Mont Chery. A small road train (free) takes skiers across the village from the base of the Chavannes slopes to the Telecabine running up to Mont Chery.
Advantages: Unintimidating for all levels of skier, large, relatively sheltered in bad weather, cheaper ski pass, plenty of places to eat on the piste.
Access: The Pleney Telecabine starts just above the Avenue de Joux Plane (Felix Ski, the ESF and Chalet Dominique are all on this road, and the Farmhouse Hotel is fifty metres beyond the roundabout which forms one end of the road).
Clients in Chalet Dominique and Le Petite Maison are just a short walk away. From the Telemark apartments and Chalet Buchille take the small electric train from the base of the Super Morzine bubble.
Avoriaz and the Portes du Soleil
Purpose built Avoriaz and its access to the other French and Swiss ski resorts of the Portes du Soleil.
Style: Avoriaz was developed thirty-five years ago by the town of Morzine to broaden the resort's appeal to the more demanding skier and to generally increase the size of the skiable area. Many skiing and boarding Freestyle ideas were also born in Avoriaz. The village is car free, all transport provided by horse drawn taxis. Avoriaz is a great part of the Porte du Soleil, providing the perfect contrast to its older brother Morzine.
Skiing is massive with scope to roam over the largest ski area in the world. A couple of features stand out. The Swiss Wall is a frightening near vertical off piste slope accessed from the top of the Chavanette lift above Avoriaz. This attracts skiers wishing to prove themselves from all over the Alps. The closest I've come to skiing it is watching my children woop their way down it from the safety of the ski lift which cowards may take to avoid the wretched thing. The World Cup downhill run is an enormous piste which as the name suggests follows the course of the men's downhill when the World Cup was held in Avoriaz. This I have tried and still remember the aching thighs after skiing down an uninterrupted piste which falls from 2450 metres to 1200 metres. Finally the famous Tour des Portes du Soleil, a complete day's non stop skiing in France and Switzerland covering 80 km of piste. Follow the route shown within the piste map or hire a guide.
Advantages: Full of excitement for the thrill seeker, lots of off piste powder for the keen boarder, guaranteed snow throughout the season, limitless piste for the cruising skier.
Access: Clients staying in Chalet Buchille can either drive to Ardent, take the ski bus from in front of the chalet to Ardent or walk to the Super Morzine bubble (known locally as "The Eggs" or "Les Oeufs") and then ski from the top of the bubble via a couple of links (two chairs and a drag) to Avoriaz. Clients in the Telemark apartments should take the Super Morzine bubble. Clients in Chalet Dominique and Le Petite Maison can either walk to the Super Morzine bubble or can take the ski bus from Pleney to Les Prodains. This is a direct large Telecabine link to the centre of Avoriaz (a very impressive trip). Guests in Apartment La Dranse and also Les Castors can either walk to Pleney or Super Morzine, or the apartments are situated very close to the major bus route leading to all main ski stations. Guests in our self-catered chalet Les Trois Ours are within a minutes drive from the Ardent car park, so a perfect location to have first runs of the day or fresh tracks in Avoriaz. Guests from here are also a few minutes walk from the beautiful Lake Montriond which is frozen over in the winter It is great for walking of ski-touring around and there are a couple of great restaurants nearby.