About Family Holidays in Morzine
Morzine is a pretty Alpine village with an international population and plenty of lovely, independently run chalets ideal for families looking for a traditional ski holiday. It also forms part of the enormous Portes du Soleil ski area, one of the largest in Europe.
Only just over an hour from Geneva Airport, Morzine is one of the easiest resorts to get to from a major airport. If you don't want to hire a car, there is a wide selection of well-priced private or shared minibus transfers to take you up to Morzine. Whilst there are one or two ski-in ski-out accommodations in Morzine, most families will choose to stay in the town centre. The free bus system connects most of the town to a variety of ski lifts so you will never have to walk too far.
Morzine makes for a great family holiday thanks to it's dedicated ski & play areas for children, top-notch children's ski schools, and a wide choice of accommodation for all budgets. It's a fairly flat resort so walking between your accommodation and ski school or the ski lifts is not too arduous - important when you are carrying more than one set of skis! Have a look at a Map of Morzine.
For a better selection of ski-in ski-out accommodation, the village of Les Gets has a super choice of charming chalets on the slopes. Combined with gentle beginner slopes and a special wild-west themed winter sports area (known as Le Grand Cry, or Indian Village) for children, it is also a great option for families.
Morzine is a great option for a summer holiday as well, particularly if you are a biking family. The Alps are very beautiful in summer with hot sunny days and cool nights, and plenty of activities and events to keep you occupied.
Accommodation for families
Taking the family on a ski holiday can be hard work so finding good family-friendly accommodation is essential to making life that little bit easier. Morzine has an extensive selection of hotels, chalets and apartments. If you are planning on enrolling in ski school, most of them meet in the Pleney ski area, so it could be useful to stay close to this sector. For more advanced skiers to wish to explore the whole of the Porte du Soleil area, then staying close to the Super Morzine lift will be a better option. You are likely to find better value accommodation further out of town, and as there is a good free bus service in Morzine, you can still access these lifts fairly easily without having to walk too far.
Les Gets is also a great choice for families. It is the village before you reach Morzine on the way from the airport and is a traditional and very pretty place to base yourself. With it's own ski area (linked to Morzine) and ski schools, it offers a quieter holiday than it's larger neighbour, and has a good selection of ski-in ski-out hotels and chalets.
Also see: Where to Stay in Morzine
Lift passes for families
Various family ski passes are available at a discount of around 10%, and there are special beginner passes and pedestrian passes available. Children under five ski for free but you still need to get them a ski pass from the lift pass office, just take some photo ID with you. Take a look at our Ski Lift Pass Prices page for more information.
Also see: Ski Pass Options in Morzine
Ski schools for families
If you have designs on raising the next Shaun White or Chemmy Alcott, then getting your kids into ski school as soon as possible is going to be a priority! Ski schools will not take children under three, so if you think your child is ready earlier, then you will need to teach them yourself or hire a private instructor. If you want to teach them yourself, you can find out more about the nursery & beginner ski areas in Morzine in our guide - the Mappy area is a good place to start. All ski equipment (and sometimes ski clothing) can be rented at the ski hire shops in Morzine, either when you arrive or you can book everything online in advance. First time skiers will need a helmet, mittens & goggles in addition to skis (poles are not initially needed for kids), and make sure they have enough layers on to stay warm. Remember to apply sun cream to their faces before they start and place a snack in their pocket, just in case.
There are several ski schools in the area offering ski lessons for children. Most of the schools take children from 4 years old. ESF is the only one who will take 3 year old children and teach them to ski in their own specially designed snow gardens where they can learn in a fun and safe environment. ESF also offer a mix of skiing and day care as one of their packages. For 3 & 4 year olds, the focus is on having fun in the snow and games are used as part of the teaching process. No ski pass is required. For children aged 5 and above, you can enroll them in courses according to their level, from beginners to good skiers who are nearing competition level.
Ski schools cater mainly for weekly courses, so if you are here for only a few days then you will need to enquire at reception when you arrive to see if there is any space for your kids on the days you are in resort. The alternative is to hire a private instructor for your dates.
Also see: Childrens' Lessons in Morzine
Ski areas for families
The ski area in Morzine is well suited to beginners thanks to the wide choice of blue runs throughout the Pleney area and over to Les Gets. Two of the nursery slopes by the town of Morzine - Bouchet and Mas Verjus can be accessed with a reduced price lift pass so you can build up your confidence without having to commit to buying a whole area pass. Once you feel happy to explore some higher runs up the mountain, the Pleney area has several beginner zones by the Belvedere lift. There is a super beginner and child-friendly zone below the Chavannes Express called Mappys, which has two magic carpets and a slow drag rope giving access to four gentle pistes. Just above here is the Grand Cry Indian Village, specially designed for children. Find out more about the Beginners Ski areas in Morzine & Les Gets.
For more advanced skiers, you have the whole of the Portes du Soleil Ski Area to explore. With 426km of pistes and six snowparks spread over 12 resorts, there is terrain suitable for everyone. The best access to the Portes du Soleil is via the Super Morzine gondola and on through Avoriaz.
The Portes du Soleil is renowned for it's snowparks and there are six freestyle areas to choose from. You will find a snowpark by Mont Chery in Les Gets which has rails, boxes and kickers, and a long boardercross under the Chavannes lift. There are even two snowparks especially designed for children, the Kid's Parkway and Lil'Stash, both can be found in Avoriaz. You'll find a permanent halfpipe, a Burton Stash and parks beyond Morzine in the wider Portes du Soleil area. There's no way your experienced teenagers will get bored here!
Also see: Ski Areas in Morzine
Activities for families
For younger kids and first-time skiers, often just half a day skiing is sufficient. So you will be pleased to know that there are other winter activities to enjoy in Morzine. Staying on the slopes, there are dedicated sledging zones at the bottom of the Pleney gondola, and over in Les Gets there are five sledging zones close to the village. You can also go night sledging from the top of the Pleney gondola down a trail - head torches are provided! The Parc des Indiens is a fun play zone for families, with easy cross trails to follow, games & treasure hunts, teepees and face painting. It is accessible from both Morzine and Les Gets. Next to the Indian Village is La Piste Mauve which is sponsored by Milka and has a wildlife area with life-size animal models and a fun ski area. There is also a 'Zone Enfants' below the Crusaz chair lift, closer to Morzine.
Back in Morzine itself, there is an outdoor ice skating rink underneath the Super Morzine lift. There is a charge for both rink entry and for skate hire. There is an indoor pool right next to the ice rink, and if you head up to Avoriaz, there is a fantastic swimming pool complex called Aquariaz which has slides, fountains, rapids and play areas - suitable for all ages. Other winter activities include cinema (look out for films in VO for films in English), a bowling alley, husky dog sledding and horse drawn sleigh rides. Lets Gets also has an outdoor ice rink, cinema and bowling alley. You can find out more about Winter Activities in Morzine in our guide.
For adults that aren't quite so sure of the skiing, there are a number of spas you can try for some indulgence, as well as fitness classes, or perhaps some snow shoeing. Pedestrian ski passes are available at a reduced rate so you can join the rest of your group up in the high mountains for lunch and spectacular views. If you head to Avoriaz and the slopes of Arare blue piste you will find an igloo village, with it's ice cave, ice bar and restaurant.
During school holidays, the tourist office organises plenty of events designed for children, such as carnival parades, lantern processions, snowmen contests, fireworks, concerts, face-painting and ice sculptures. For teenagers, there are many festivals held during the winter season, both snowsports and music festivals. Check our Main Events guide for details.
Summer holidays in Morzine are all about being active and there are a wealth of activities on offer here for all ages and members of the family. Our dedicated guide to activities in Morzine includes a section specifically on kids' activities with information on horse riding, short family hikes, high ropes courses, where to go swimming, nature parks, and numerous other fun things that will help make your family holiday as unique and memorable as possible!
Also see: Family Activities in Morzine
It is possible to hire baby equipment in Morzine - items such as high chairs, pushchairs, cots and playpens can be rented in resort. Look out for the 'Famille Plus' sign in the sports shops for 4x4 buggies, sledges and snow shoes. There is a changing area for babies at the tourist office in Morzine.
There are plenty of specialist tour operators and chalet companies who cater for families and have in-house nannies to help with the child care. Children under three are generally too little to try skiing so some help with child care is essential if you plan on skiing yourself. Independent nanny agencies are also available, and should be booked well in advance of your holiday. Have a look at our childcare listings for more information or you can contact the local Tourist Offices for a list of available babysitters. There is a municipal creche called L'Outa which takes children from 3 months - contact the tourist office for details and book well in advance.
The main winter establishments to help with childcare include the ski schools who sometimes offer a combination of tuition and childcare for children 3 years and older. You can book your child in for full or half day programmes and lunch can also be provided for an extra charge.
You may find that the main sports centre of each town host a kids club during the summer holidays, normally from 1st July to 30th August, with activities such as swimming, climbing, tennis, basketball, ice-skating, etc. and organised hikes & picnics.
School holiday dates
France divides its school holidays into a regional timetable to ensure that the entire country doesn't go on holiday at once - however this staggered system can mean that some months (particularly February) can be busy from beginning to end as one region after another arrives in resort! Planning ahead can help you avoid the crowds...
- Zone A - Caen, Clermont-Ferrand, Grenoble, Lyon, Montpellier, Nancy-Metz, Nantes, Rennes & Toulouse
- Zone B - Aix-Marseille, Amiens, Besançon, Dijon, Lille, Limoges, Nice, Orléans-Tours, Poitiers, Reims, Rouen & Strasbourg
- Zone C - Bordeaux, Créteil, Paris & Versailles
Top tips for families with children
If the thought of taking your family on a ski holiday fills you with trepidation, have a read of our Making the most of your Family Ski Holiday article. It has loads of useful hints and tips about holidaying with kids in a ski resort and will hopefully put your mind at rest!