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!
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 is a small underground bowling alley and bar on the main street of Les Gets 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 holiday. Cinema Rex is located in the centre of Morzine and shows films in the evening and, some days, also in the early afternoon. Look out for VO or VOST for English speaking films.
Portes du Soleil boasts 216 km of tranquil cross-country trails. There are 4 cross country areas accessible from Morzine: the Manche Valley with 25 km of challenging circuits, the Morzine-Avoriaz at Parc Naturel des Crêtes de Zorre with up to 47 km for all levels, Lake Montriond with 10 km of Canadian-style runs and the Pléney-Chavannes sector with 18 km of forest runs. 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 and have a dedicated Pilates room. At the Parc des Dereches, they also offer fitness classes including Step, Zumba and Pilates.
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. ESF Morzine and ESF Les Gets have specially trained instructors and a range of sit-ski equipment that enables them to teach anyone who is partially sighted, hard of hearing or has learning difficulties or a physical disability in complete safety. They offer private lessons and equipment hire.
In Morzine, the Pleney gondola and the Nyon gondola are wheelchair accessible. All of the chairlifts are also adapted to take handiskis. All of the chairlifts, gondolas and cable cars in Avoriaz are adapted to take a handiski, making all of the pistes and snowparks available to handiski users. In Les Gets, the lifts that are handiski accessible are all within the Chavannes sector of the resort. This includes the chairlifts of La Croix, Chavannes Express, Perrières Express, Nauchets Express, Grains d'Or Express, Ranfolly.
Also see: Disabled Skiing in Morzine
Unfortunately, heli-skiing is not permitted in France but here is a couple of companies in Morzine offering panoramic helicopter rides that include heli-skiing. They pick you up in resort and take you over the border into Italy or Switzerland from where you will ski down accompanied by a mountain guide. 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 the resort starting at 15€ and up to 90€. Starting at the Tourist Office, the ride takes you through the whole village, showing you the old town, the different hamlets around Morzine or even up to lake Montriond. 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), last for around 2 hours and there are even children-dedicated rides.
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 20:30 to 23:00 once a week (night sessions are sometimes postponed due to hockey matches or special events). In the winter, you can also 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.
In Morzine, you can have dinner inside an igloo after a short 30-45 minutes walk. A guide will accompany you and you'll enjoy a delicious cheese fondue surrounded by ice before heading back down. Anyone over 8 years of age can take part.
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. The summits and ridges of the Chablais region might not be as famous as their neighbours in the Mont Blanc area but the fact that they are more gentle make them fantastic terrain to discover ski mountaineering. The quantity of snow in winter usually requires using touring skis for the approach hike, which means ending the outing by a really enjoyable downhill run.
Museums & Galleries
A visit to a museum is a great idea on a bad weather day or for those in the group who don't ski. In Les Gets, at the Mechanical Music Museum you'll learn about the history and development of this kind of music. The slate workshop and mines in Morzine can also be visited, local master Franck Buet will explain the origins of this 100-year-old trade in Morzine and how the stone is crafted.
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.
Orienteering involves going on foot through unfamiliar terrain and requires the honing of your navigational skills, with the use of maps and a compass to go from one place to another. The Alps offer a great playground where to practice it surrounded by stunning landscape, and it is also a great activity for children. There is an orienteering circuit at Parc des Dereches open year round to everyone, where you need to find all 20 tags within a set time. Maps are available at the Tourist Office as well.
Paragliding / Parapenting
If you’ve never tried paragliding before then Avoriaz is a great place to learn how to fly. Known as “parapenting” in France, there are a great number of clubs and organisations in the area whose sole purpose is to give you the experience of flying. Flights usually start at the top of the Super Morzine lift and descend down to the Pleney, other popular routes depart from the Chaux Fleurie, the Ardent and the Crete d'Arare. Top tip: go on a sunny, warm day when the thermals will keep your airborne for longer.
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 backcountry 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. Some of the most famous ski touring routes here include the Vallee de la Manche or Col du Fornet, the Hauts-Forts summit, the Pointe de Vorlaz or the Dents du Midi tour crossing the border over to Switzerland.
Skiing & snowboarding
The main draw for people coming to Morzine in winter is, of course, the skiing and snowboarding. The Portes du Soleil area is vast, with 426km of pistes spread across 13 different ski resorts in France and Switzerland. There are 286 pistes and 30 snowparks all accessed by around 200 ski lifts. The ski resort of Morzine offers beginner skiers lovely wide, tree-lined mostly blue and red pistes. Carvers will love the runs around Le Pleney and powder enthusiasts will revel in the slopes above Nyon. This resort is also good a place for families, groups and intermediate skiers and snowboarders to enjoy. Easily accessed from Morzine, Les Gets is a very pretty ski area. Tree-lined runs in the Ranfoilly bowl and stunning panoramic views from the top of Mont Chery make this one of the best areas for cruising pistes with a backdrop.
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 sky then you can do just that in the Morzine area. At the local school, they will teach you all the basics you need to know about skydiving in a quick session, take you up in a plane or helicopter and then jump out of it with you! You must be over 15 years old to try skydiving in Morzine.
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. Either set out on your own or join a group led by a knowledgeable local guide and discover the hidden parts of the ski area. The trails will take you to places from where you can enjoy stunning views of Mont Blanc, Lake Geneva and the Swiss peaks or explore forests where local fauna such as chamois, wild goats and deer roam free. Popular spots include the Boutigny Valley and the Chardonnière forest. Snowshoes and ski poles are provided by most companies offering this as an experience, or you can hire them 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. There are around 30 snowparks across the whole of the Portes du Soleil ski area. The small Nyon Snowpark in Morzine boasts kickers and boxes, while the Les Gets Snowpark features kickers and rails for beginners to intermediate as well as an airbag.
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. In Morzine, head to Parc des Dereches where you can enjoy two indoor heated pools (a 25x15m and a 12.5x10m teaching pool) as well as a 50m2 paddling pool all year round. There is also a large 160m2 spa area with saunas and Turkish baths, as well as a relaxation area with loungers. Open until 19:00. They offer swimming lessons and Aquagym.
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.
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. There are also free guided tours of Morzine old town on Thursdays at 10:00 during the season from the covered hall next to the church.
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.
Also see: Walking Routes in Morzine
Location: Morzine Region