About Winter Activities in Morzine
Whatever you choose to do on your winter holiday you are sure to find a huge range of activities across the Morzine area. From relaxing to full on adrenaline there is something for everyone, every ability and every age in Morzine. Check out the selection of things to do below for some holiday inspiration!
Morzine is a winter walker's paradise, with lifts giving access to the higher ground and a network of groomed trails in the winter, it's very easy to discover the resort on foot. Don’t forget to check the weather forecast before you set out as conditions can change rapidly in the mountains. You do not need any particular equipment, just a pair of sturdy boots and layers of warm clothing that you can take off or put on as necessary. A pair of walking poles will come in handy for extra balance on icy patches and for checking snow depth before you go striding forth. Top tip: buy ‘grippers’ for your walking boots to prevent slipping which you can buy from most local Sport Shops.
Once the pistes are closed, the mountain empty and the sun setting you would think the only thing happening would be piste grooming.... Well not in Avoriaz!! Now you can race down the empty slopes on a mountain bike. Grab the gondola up and race, bump, slide and enjoy your descent down the snowy mountain on two wheels. The activity costs around 40 euros, which may seem steep but can definitely be worth it with the beautiful view, the sun setting and the thrill of the experience, plus it includes the rental of the bike, safety gear and a guide to take you down. The session will be around 2 hours and at the end there will be a nice warm glass of mulled wine waiting for you, what better way to end two hours of biking on the snow. Contact Ecole Rustine to book your snow mountain biking experience.
Modern Winter Biathlon is the combination of cross country skiing and rifle shooting and tests not only fitness but also patience and control. In Morzine you can try your hand at this Olympic Sport. If you like cross country skiing but want to add another challenge then Biathlon is the perfect way to escape in to the natural,quiet surrounding mountains sand then shoot stuff. Bit of a contradiction this one but it's fun all the same.
There are bowling alleys in Morzine, Les Gets & Avoriaz to keep you entertained on bad weather days, or if you're looking for something to do with a group or non-skiers.
Catch the latest films and releases in Morzine on your winter or summer holiday. Some cinemas open their doors early on a bad weather day, otherwise you'll find most screenings in the evenings. Look out for VOST for English speaking films.
Get back to nature and explore the lovely tranquil cross-country ski trails. There are two different techniques – classic and skating. Classic is the easiest for beginners; you simply place your skis in two parallel grooves, push off and glide around the trails. Skating is more energetic and a slightly harder skill to grasp; you push your feet out to either side as though you are ice skating and use your poles simultaneously to gain momentum. You can hire the comfortable boots and lightweight skis and poles fairly inexpensively from most sports shops and book a group or private lesson to learn the basics from most ski schools or private instructors. A number of adventure companies also offer cross-country skiing guiding, tours and lessons too. Find your way around with the cross country skiing maps.
Also see: Cross-country Skiing in Morzine
There are over 2.5 million people doing geocaching around the world and some of them (perhaps surprisingly) are right here in Morzine! It’s a relatively new craze that started taking the world by storm in May 2000 after a computer geek decided that GPS could be “really exciting”. He hid some treasure at his home in Portland, America, for people to find, broadcast the GPS coordinates and said, “Come and get it”. His only rule: “Take some stuff, leave some stuff”. And that’s exactly what Geocaching is…you go in search of treasure by using the GPS system on your mobile device – once you’ve found it, you write your name in a logbook and replace the treasure you decide to take. It’s pretty simple really and means, as a family, you can be adventurers together. You won’t usually find anything quite as precious as gold, silver and diamonds but nevertheless it’s quite exciting!
Gym / Fitness centres
There is a fully-equipped gym at the Mountain Rehab facilities in L'Aiglon, where they also offer fitness classes.
Handiski / sit-ski
Enjoying the thrill of being on the pistes need not escape you if you're less mobile or have special physical needs. Resorts all over the Alps offer equipment and fully qualified guides to help you get the most out of your experience. Sit-ski, taxi ski, Vertiski, Handiski.. whichever method you're used to, or would like to try there will be at least one ski school or activity company in Morzine that offers this service.
Also see: Disabled Skiing in Morzine
Unfortunately, heli-skiing is not permitted in France, however, some of the ski schools, adventure companies, local flight companies and mountain guide companies will offer a pick-up/drop-off heli-skiing service for you where you will be taken over the border into Italy or Switzerland. It is expensive, but definitely a once in a lifetime experience!
Sit back and admire the mountains from even higher up. Daily panoramic helicopter flights are available (weather permitting) with a number of local flight companies. Relax and enjoy the stunning views as you fly over the snow-capped mountain tops, glaciers and alpine forests of the Alps.
Horse-drawn sleigh rides
In Morzine Up to 6 people can have a ride in a horse-drawn carriage around Morzine from a price of 15€. Starting at the Tourist office, the ride can take you through the whole village, showing you the old town, and taking you through some of the more hidden streets. It’s an afternoon activity, usually starting around midday. And it’s first come first served.
Be in charge of your own sled and team of excitable husky dogs, driving them along forest paths in winter. After a brief explanation of how to make your team stop and start, you set off following the guide’s team. If this all sounds a bit much you can opt for a less physical outing where you sit in the sled and the guide does all the hard work! It's a very popular winter activity, so booking at least 48 hours in advance is a must. They run from early December to the end of April (snow-permitting).
For the true mountain enthusiast, why not scale an amazing frozen waterfall or glacier? This is a fantastic sport, not just for experienced mountaineers. The frozen columns of the Gachette, Dame du lac and Brochaux waterfalls are stunning locations to try your hand at ice climbing. The ice climbing season peaks between December and March. You can either go with a guide from an Adventure Company in Morzine or you'll need to know what you are doing and bring your own kit.
You can try a completely unique experience in Morzine - Ice Diving. Plunge into the icy cold waters of Lac Montriond and experience the thrill of diving under the icy layers above. Explore the beautiful water, the wildlife and ice formations found in the freezing water. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced diver you can have a go at ice diving. Adventure companies offering this activity will provide you with all the equipment and instruction you need, and will take you on this underwater adventure.
Ice-skating / Hockey
Go to the ice-skating rink in Morzine for fun loops with friends and family. With a refreshment bar, music and lighting you can enjoy the indoor ice skating rink at Parc des Dereches all year round. Open during the day and with night sessions from 09:00-23:00 on Tuesday and Thursday, although be warned these are sometimes postponed due to hockey matches or special events. In the winter you can scoot around on the outdoor ice skating rink situated in the tourist office square, with ice shows on Thursdays. Open every day from 10:30 to 12:30 and 15:00 to 19:00 throughout the winter season. Ice hockey matches league games take place on Tuesdays with Magners Cup games on Saturdays.
Avoriaz has an open air ice rink in the resort centre that is open daily from 15:00 to 20:00 (14:00-20:30 during French school holidays). Holders of the MultiPass can get in for free. The rink may close in the case of bad weather.
The Village Igloo Morzine Avoriaz brings you a fantasy attraction of ice caves that could have fallen straight out of a fairytale book. Beautiful and unique, the Village Igloo is an annual project that occupies Avoriaz 1800 (at the bottom of the Arare piste) every year, bringing guests and locals of the resorts the chance to enjoy the sheer novelty of enjoying the unique environment created by a giant igloo.
Winter is not only for the skiers and snowboarders. Whether on temporary ice-falls or on ridge routes, you can discover the thrills of mountain climbing in winter right here in Morzine.
Night skiing takes place on the Pleney piste in Morzine every Thursday weather permitting. You can enjoy floodlit pistes and a well deserved and warming vin chaud afterwards.
Paragliding / Parapenting
If you’ve never tried paragliding before then Morzine is a great place to learn how to fly. Known as “parapenting” in France & Switzerland, there are a great number of clubs and organisations in the area whose sole purpose is give you the experience of flying. From the heights of the mountain tops you can glide down to the bottom of the valley on a tandem paraglider controlled by the instructor. He manoeuvres the parachute while the passenger enjoys the ride and fantastic views. Top tip: go on a sunny, warm day when the thermals will keep your airborne for longer.
The Segway is a two-wheeled scooter that allows you to transport around in a fun and different way. Now you can enjoy this fun mode of transport on the mountains in Morzine. To move the Segway you use your own balance and just lean forward to make the Segway move forward, they are extremely popular in America and are a fun new way to get around and see sights. You can take your Segway tour in the evening and in a group it will guarantee some giggles.
Many people would not automatically think of Morzine as a place to shop, however, the town boasts some great stores. As you would expect from an outdoor sports resort, there are plenty sports stores where you can get your hands on some of the top mountaineering, ski and snowboard brands but there are also some fashionable clothing stores, and plenty of shops selling traditional mountain goods.
Morzine is popular for ski touring, whether it's going up the pistes that most people normally ski down, or tackling more of a back country route. A number of ski schools, private instructors and companies can show you around, or if you've got all the necessary equipment you can head out in your own group.
Skiing & snowboarding
The main draw for people coming to Morzine in winter is of course the skiing and snowboarding. With 5 different parts of the valley to ski in, as well as a wealth of off-piste areas, Morzine has something for every level of experience.
Also see: Ski Areas in Morzine
Sky-diving & parachuting
If you want to experience the beauty of the mountains and the thrill of falling through the mountain sky then you can do just that in Avoriaz. Just turn up to the Skydiving school, they will teach you all the basics you need to know about skydiving in a quick session, take you up in small plane and then jump out of it with you! Skydiving gives you an extreme thrill seeking experience like nothing you have ever done before. It is a truly new experience, with the total free fall at the beginning of the jump and then once your parachute is up the gentle movement through the sky, if you want to give skydiving a go then Avoriaz is definitely the place to do it.
Sledging / Tobogganing
This is one winter activity that doesn't require a lot of expensive equipment, just grab your sledge and head for the nearest snow-covered hill! You can pick up a sledge at one of the many ski hire shops or sports shops in Morzine. Several activity companies also offer you the chance to sledge at night, down the ski slopes of the Pleney.
Raquette à Neige or Snow-shoeing in and around Morzine is a perfect activity for bad weather conditions or for non-skiers. Don't forget to wear comfortable and waterproof boots. Either set out on your own, or join a group led by a knowledgeable local guide and explore the hidden parts of the ski area. Snowshoes and ski poles are provided by most companies offering this as an experience, or you can hire snowshoes from most Sports Shops or Ski Hire Shops, grab a trail map from the Tourist Office and head off on your own adventure. Be sure to check the weather forecast before you go.
Snowmobile / Skidooing
Those who enjoy speed will love riding a powerful snowmobile (like a motorbike with caterpillar tracks) around Morzine. Discover the different dimensions of driving; carving turns, accelerating in a straight line, ascents and descents. Snowmobiles are a great way to explore Morzine especially as you get to ride them when the resort is at its quietest. Disappear into the woods and blast around empty snow fields on your scooter with your own guide. Remember to wrap up warmly especially if you go after dark, and bring goggles if there is powder. This is not a sport for the timid!
Avoriaz and the wider Portes du Soleil is a favourite for freestyle skiers and snowboarders. With a permanent halfpipe, Europe's first Burton Stash and parks in Avoriaz, Les Gets, Crosets, Nyon and Chatel it's no wonder it is so popular.
Also see: Snowparks in Morzine
Spas & massages
If it is calm and relaxation you are after then head to a luxury day spa or book in for massage therapies and beauty treatments. A day spa is also the perfect activity when the weather turns. You can keep warm and revive aching muscles in saunas, steam rooms and jacuzzis or take a refreshing dip in a swimming pool. Unwind, relax and indulge.
Speed-riding / Speed-flying
The idea behind speed riding is to combine the sensations of skiing and paragliding into one activity, and then descend off-piste sections of the mountain using a mini-wing to enable you to access areas that you might not normally go. Learning and having fun with speed riding comes very fast as long as you are a competent skier; you need to be able to ski red pistes with confidence in any type of snow. Speak to one of the companies offering this activity who can show you the ropes (literally).
Swimming can be great fun for all the family and in Morzine & Avoriaz and you have the choice of a few swimming pools to go to. In Morzine, head to Parc des Dereches where you can enjoy the indoor pool and paddling pool all year round and the 2 outdoor pools, padding pool, waterslide and bouncy castle in the summer. Also with a beach volleyball court and sun loungers everyone can enjoy swimming in the summer and winter. In Avoriaz the 'Aquariaz' centre is an aquatic paradise offering a huge water park made up of a gentle flowing indoor river, a slidewinder (an aquatic halfpipe), a toddlers paddling pool & water playhouse, a large pool with natural climbing walls.
Telemarking is a form of downhill skiing where you are only attached into the binding at the toe, so to turn, you have to lunge and bring your heel upwards. Talk to one of the ski schools or private instructors who can teach you how to telemark and take you out on excursions using this technique.
There are a number of places where you can play squash whilst you're in Morzine either during winter or summer. Normally located in the main sports centre, you should be able to rent all you need on site. Alternatively some of the hotels or spas have their own squash courts too.
Tours & excursions
If you fancy a free, educational activity, why not try a lesson in Cheese making at the central Morzine cheese shop? La Fruitiere L’Alpage (which is close to the Ferme De La Fruitiere restaurant) offers free tours of its cheese cellar on Wednesday’s at 09:00. You’ll learn about how all the popular Savoyard cheeses are made, whilst also tasting a few!
Location: Morzine Region