Is Morzine family-friendly? Does it cater for little ones and teens alike? If these are boxes you need ticking, Morzine has everything covered, from nursery slopes to childcare, from family chalets to winter activities the whole family can enjoy.
In the heart of the Portes du Soleil ski domain, Morzine is an authentic and welcoming village full of wooden chalets rather than modern high-rise blocks, an attractive town where Haut-Savoyard culture is celebrated alongside a lively après-ski scene! Throughout the winter, a multitude of wintersports activities are available, making it an excellent resort for keen intermediates, mixed-ability groups and families looking for an unforgettable ski holiday.
Morzine is a hugely popular choice for family ski holidays. The resort has the Family Plus award, guaranteeing families an unforgettable holiday. Family Plus is a pledge of the commitment of the resort to providing a family-friendly holiday for those with young children. Various activities and events are offered throughout the year, with dedicated gentle beginner slopes, incorporating magic carpets, which are perfect for the little one’s first ski lessons.
The resort has invested €200,000 to improve its fun snow parks. The Penguin Park, version 2.0, is specially designed for little ones. Look out for a giant xylophone, totem poles, arches and all sorts of other exciting things for children. As for the Chemin des Zouzous, it is now dotted with statues of mountain animals, new information panels, and more visible signposts to create a bigger learning experience.
For newcomers and families, the Pléney plateau has some really gentle slopes and a safe area for beginners. The beginners area on Nyon has also had a facelift. A range of ski pass options are available; Pléney & Nyon beginner passes cost just 20€ per day.
Morzine ski resort lies at 1,000m in the northern French Alps and is the principal resort in the vast 600km Portes du Soleil ski area that straddles the Franco-Swiss border. Morzine is just over an hour’s transfer from Geneva airport to where there are direct low-cost flights available from multiple UK cities including London, Birmingham, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Bristol and Leeds. One of the closest ski resorts to the UK, the drive to Morzine from Calais is around 8 hours.
The Portes du Soleil ski area offers 600 km of pistes under one lift pass. The variety of skiing really does offer something for everyone. In Morzine, skiers pass through pine forests, glide down snowy slopes and surround themselves with scenic summits.
Start the day at the Pléney gondola, heading straight out for a view over the village and a day covering the Morzine-Les Gets ski area. Choose from various beginners’ areas with covered carpet lifts and gentle pistes, to winding blue runs through the forest, the red stade dropping steeply into the village, and the black freeride slopes. To head out to the Swiss sector or the other French resorts in the domain, such as Avoriaz or Châtel, use the Super Morzine gondola, also departing from the village centre.
Freestyle enthusiasts and snowboarders should head for the various snowparks of Avoriaz; mileage-hungry intermediates likewise are also well served on that side of the domain.
Advanced-level visitors can choose either to head directly to the challenging Nyon-Chamossiere freeride sector on the dramatic upper ski slopes overlooking the southern end of the town, or to explore the steep blacks above Avoriaz; the notorious Swiss Wall run off the Chavanette ridge above Avoriaz into Switzerland should also be a must-do on any self-respecting expert’s been-there-done-that list.
Morzine itself is quite a large village, more of a small town really, with plenty of amenities and attractions to entertain its guests. Its handsome central streets are filled with a good range of shops, cafés, some fantastic restaurants and bars, with something to suit all tastes and budgets.
Accommodation is plentiful, too, with a wide range of self-catering and catered chalets, such as Chalet Alpaga 1 which boasts a central Morzine location, a sauna and outdoor hot tub, incredible views, and a high-end finish throughout. Or Chalet Goldilocks which has probably the best views you’ll find of Morzine and the mountains. This luxury chalet is only a 10 minute walk from the village centre, and comes with a cinema room, cocktail bar and terrace with spectacular views.
Among the resort’s 34 hotels is the 3-star Hotel Le Névé, founded in 1961 by Solange and Claude Monnet. The Névé has been given a makeover for 2022: its 37 rooms newly decorated with a novel blend of retro-modern design. This friendly, family-run hotel is perfectly located a stone’s throw from the slopes.
Family ski holidays in Morzine are about much more than the skiing, as the area offers a plethora of family activities. For the best views in Morzine, head to the incredible new Pas de l’Aigle viewing platform at Nyon. Perched at an altitude of 2019m, this 10m long look-out point with a glass base, gives skiers a unique experience: a 350m drop below and a 360° panorama from Mont Blanc to Lake Léman.
Would-be mini falconers should head to the Nyon plateau where there are free shows at lunchtimes for birds of prey, including white owls, great horned owls, eagles, buzzards, vultures and more. You can even book for an experience to see what a falconer does, and get up close with the birds.
A great way to raise awareness of the environment, while also having fun, is to take the educational trail at Nyon. On foot, with or without snowshoes, families can enjoy the new trail directly accessed from the top of the Nyon cable car. Along the way, young adventurers can learn about the mountain’s fauna from a series of educational panels.
Away from the mountains there is an outdoor ice skating rink on the town centre square, as well as an indoor ice rink if you prefer, and horse-drawn sleigh rides are another great hit with families.
If you fancy going tobogganing, there are sledging slopes on the base of Pléney in the village, and also at Mines d’Or experience: a 10-minute free bus ride out of Morzine, far from lifts and hustle and bustle, there is an igloo, snowshoe walks, and sledging area.
There’s also a great night sledging experience. At the end of the day when the ski lifts close, holidaymakers can opt for a ride on a piste basher to the upper slopes. Once at the top, it is time for a crazy descent by sledge, wearing a headlamp to find your way to an unusual village in the dark. On arrival, relax and enjoy mulled wine around the fire followed by a meal of Savoyard tartiflette in a traditional yurt.
Village Enchanté – Christmas in Morzine
17 December to 1 January
Every year, Morzine is lit up, giving a fairytale feel to the festive celebrations! The village comes alive to the sounds of parades, brass bands, the Christmas market, fireworks and the arrival of Father Christmas.
Course des Champions
2 April 2023
Some 600 children aged between 8 and 16 will compete in a ski race in the morning before parading through the village streets.
Royaume de Marmots
8-10 April 2023
The Tourist Office square in Morzine resort centre is transformed into a paradise for kids. With inflatables, games and lots of workshops, activities and shows.
Throughout the whole winter, the Morzine ESF ski school welcomes children and their parents to watch its Thursday night torchlit descent by ski school instructors.
To find out even more about what this outstanding ski area has to offer, go to morzine-avoriaz.com.