Summer Alpine Adventures

in Morzine

M

orzine needs no introduction as a winter ski destination. It benefits from some of the best skiing on it’s doorstep being part of the massive Portes du Soleil ski area.

Unlike many ski resorts which don the appearance of a post-apocalyptic filmset once the snow melts, Morzine transforms into a lush mecca of alpine summer, fun and adventure! We went to find out exactly what it has to offer.

Located between Avoriaz and Les Gets, sitting at 1000m above sea level. It’s the largest town in the Portes du Soleil region and as such has the infrastructure for all year round tourism. There are plenty of accommodation options from flexible short stay hotels and apartments to the full chalet experience for larger groups.

We stayed at the Hotel les Côtes which is just a short stroll across the footbridge and in a nice quiet part of town. It’s got great views over to the Pleney cable car and Avoriaz, with spacious rooms and balconies.

%TNT Magazine% IMG 1671

Geneva is the closest international airport with transfers taking approximately 120 mins into the town. There are many shuttle services running into Morzine We used Skiidy Gonzales who provide a cost-effective minibus shuttle service.

Morzine is a bustling town full of bars, cafés and restaurants, there’s generally a nice relaxed vibe with plenty enough night life (but not too much) if you go looking for it.

If you’re into mountain biking, then Morzine will already be on your radar, as it provides some of the best trails in the world. There are so many trails to explore, with 6 bike parks all blended into one massive playground. These are all interconnected via cable cars, ski lifts and trail linkups, all covered by one lift pass. It’s easy to see why it’s such a destination for mountain bikers from around the world.

It’s also pretty good for all abilities with lots of beginner trails right up to the most extreme black trails. There are lots of bike hire options too, but unlike a chap I spotted up on one of Le Pleney blue runs, don’t expect to be able to ride safely with the crappy hardtail bike you blagged from your hotel complex! This is a serious bike park and you really need to hire a full suspension bike (and proper protection as I found out to my detriment).

%TNT Magazine% IMG 1689v2
%TNT Magazine% TNT Matt Day Morzine 1 9
%TNT Magazine% TNT Matt Day Morzine 1 12
%TNT Magazine% IMG 1674

In addition to it’s popularity as a bike park, there are lots of other activities to enjoy in the area, with alpine lakes for wild swimming, Horse riding trails, Hiking and climbing routes.

It’s a great destination for adventure hungry kids too with so much for them to do. I love to push myself out of my comfort zone, so was delighted to discover my canyoning trip started off with a massive 40m decent off a footbridge into the Canyon of Nyon.

It’s one of the best Canyons in Morzine with lots of interesting features to navigate from jumps, chutes and abseils to contend with. I went with the Bureau des Guides de Morzine Avoriaz who though their team of mountain professionals provide some of the best activities all year round.

%TNT Magazine% GOPR0636 scaled
%TNT Magazine% GOPR0755 scaled
%TNT Magazine% GOPR0639 scaled
%TNT Magazine% GOPR0680 scaled

One of the guides ‘Veronique’, spends the winter taking groups deep into the mountains on ski touring expeditions, and in the summer she teaches a special Afghan hill walking technique along with being a true expert in alpine fauna with the wonderfully calming foraging trip.

Even the Adrenaline Junkie in me needs a day off from time to time, and if I’m honest, my aging and aching body really enjoyed the slower pace for the day. Just ambling around the hillsides and woodland foraging for edible plants and learning about the alpine ecosystem was good for the soul and a thoroughly enjoyable and energising experience.

Veronique was such a wealth of knowledge and after a couple of hours of exploring, we sat down beside an alpine lake to learn how to make the most delightful cuisine from the plants we had collected. I have to say Veronique set a new bar for the best bread and butter!

%TNT Magazine% IMG 1630
%TNT Magazine% Morzine Matt Day 6 1 scaled
%TNT Magazine% IMG 1598
%TNT Magazine% Morzine Matt Day 5 scaled
%TNT Magazine% IMG 1629
%TNT Magazine% Morzine Matt Day 2 scaled

There are lots of chilled activities to do alongside the more adventurous ones including visiting  ‘Les jardins de l’Abbaye’ even the less French literate will be able to decipher that one to The Gardens of the Abbey!

It’s a wonderful market garden (the ultimate pick your own fruit and vegies). If you are self-catering in Morzine, then this is the perfect place to stock up on seasonal produce. It’s all planted and maintained by hand, so this is like an allotment on steroids. If you’re just into your own garden produce, then it’s a real treat to see such a sustainable farm in action, and sample some of their produce.

To add to this experience I thoroughly recommend visiting ‘La Chamade’ restaurant in downtown Morzine which the farm owner also runs, where you can sample some of the produce fresh from the field to the plate!

%TNT Magazine% TNT Matt Day Morzine 1 7

There are many great places to eat and drink in Morzine, from ‘Le Colibri’ which is great for informal lunches or quick bites, La Grange which offers fantastic regional specialities, L’Avalanche which is a relatively new addition to Morzine, providing intimate and cosy dining, and really exciting modern yet simple seasonal food on the menu.

%TNT Magazine% jardins de labbaye juillet 2023 6 scaled

I thoroughly enjoyed my lunch at the Restaurant lac de Mines d’Or, which is quite a walk out of town up towards Avoriaz but you’re rewarded with some lovely local cuisine, and some of the best views out over the hills.

I really miss Morzine, it’s a truly special place to visit, and really should be on your list for the ultimate destination for summer adventures.

%TNT Magazine% TNT Matt Day Morzine 1 5
%TNT Magazine% TNT Matt Day Morzine 1 4

For more information about Morzine call +33 6 08 34 04 54 or visit https://en.morzine-avoriaz.com

Accommodation
A three nights stay at Hotel Les Cotes is priced from €416 / £359 for 2 people.

Transfers
A private return transfer from Geneva airport to Morzine is priced from €110 / £97 pp with Skiidy Gonzales

Flights
Return flights to Geneva are available from London Luton with EasyJet, priced from £125 pp. For a great deal on airport parking I used Holiday Extras