MORZINE, FRANCE

Morzine is a long-established French resort, popular for its easy road access, traditional atmosphere and gentle tree-filled slopes, where children do not get lost and bad weather rarely causes problems. For keen piste-bashers wanting to travel the Portes du Soleil circuit, the main drawback to staying in Morzine is having to take a bus and cable-car or several lifts to get to Avoriaz and the main circuit.


Morzine's local slopes can suffer from poor snow conditions. Such problems can, however, be avoided by taking a car. A little-used gondola awaits at Ardent, a short drive from Morzine; from there, you can tour the circuit clockwise via Ch√Ętel, missing out Avoriaz (which is often crowded). If local snow is poor, a car means you have the alternative of visiting nearby Flaine, a resort far better than Avoriaz at coping with crowds looking for snow.

What's Great
What's Not-So-Great

+ Part of the vast Portes du Soleil lift network

+ Larger local piste area than other Portes du Soleil resorts + Good nightlife by French standards

+ Quite attractive old town - a stark contrast to Avoriaz

+ One of the easiest drives from the Channel (a car is very useful here)

+ Few queues locally (but see minus points)

? Takes a while to get to Avoriaz and main Portes du Soleil circuit

? Bus-ride or long walk to lifts from much of the accommodation

? Low altitude means there is an enduring risk of poor snow, though increased snowmaking has helped - Low altitude or inconvenient nursery slopes

? Not a great resort for experts

? Weekend crowds