Considered the capitol of the Portes du Soleil, Morzine is a lively mountain town that has managed to retain its charming Savoyard roots whilst offering all the modern comforts a visitor could wish for in a mountain resort. Although the resort is low lying, its location near Lake Geneva and the Mont Blanc Massif means it receives fantastic snow, and the lower pistes are equipped with the latest in snow-making technology to ensure you can ski to your door no matter how late in the season it is. An excellent family resort, it has dozens of intermediate pistes perfect for those looking to progress their skiing and is directly next to Les Gets, another family-favourite Portes du Soleil resort.
Like nearby Chamonix, Morzine is home to a large expat community and is incredibly popular with British buyers who either own second homes or live in the village year-round. A well-known market town for over 500 years, Morzine is a bustling village which happens to have a phenomenal ski area attached to it and it shows in the vibrant local community. There are dozens of shops, bars and restaurants dotted around and there is enough going
Morzine offers fantastic value for money compared to some nearby ski resorts, particularly when you take into account the sheer amount of ski area that is offered in the Portes du Soleil. The village itself is beautiful and has retained its picturesque chalet-style architecture and tall apartment buildings are nowhere to be found.
Nearby Essert-Romand has become a popular place for buyers looking for a more quiet and peaceful village life with all the perks of living in a large ski resort. A short 10-minute drive away from the heart of Morzine, Essert-Romand is a quaint village of mostly farm houses and detached homes and has slightly lower property prices than Morzine itself offering buyers the chance to get more for their money.
As the largest village in the Portes du Soleil ski area, buying property in Morzine is a great option for those looking for a lifestyle purchase that is also a good investment. The central village is bustling and filled with people from all over the world who have chosen to call Morzine home. There is constant investment into resort infrastructure and lifts, which is one of the biggest indicators of annual property growth value (read more about indicators of property growth value here). In 2019, the Morzine Avoriaz 2020 project will begin construction and includes a new €35 million lift directly linking Morzine to high-altitude Avoriaz as well as a further €11.5 million investment in the surrounding infrastructure.
Morzine is an easy 1 hour 15 min drive from Geneva airport on a motorway with frequent shared (or private transfers) making the journey daily. Chambery, Grenoble and Lyon Airports are nearby, making it a great destination for those looking for shorter breaks. The train stations of Cluses and Thonon les Bains are approximately 45 minutes from the resort and local buses or taxi services will take you the rest of the way to the resort.
As the unofficial capital of the Portes du Soleil ski area, winter sport enthusiasts are spoilt for choice when coming to Morzine. With a total of 426 km of pistes spread across 13 different ski resorts in France and Switzerland with over 200 lifts, 286 pistes and 30 snowparks, there is truly something for every person of every ability that can be accessed from Morzine.
Half of Morzine’s pistes are wide, tree lined blues and reds making it a great ski area for families and beginners looking to push their riding to the next level. With a total of 8 black runs in Morzine itself, advanced skiers will have to move onto the resorts of Avoriaz and Chatel to explore the steeper slopes, but the off-piste in Morzine can keep the most experienced skiers entertained for days.
Whilst the area sits at a modest 1100m, snow coverage is generally quite good back to the village throughout the winter season thanks to state of the art snow-making technology.
Morzine has one of the most established summer seasons of all mountain resorts in the Alps, coming second only to Chamonix Mont-Blanc. Having established itself as Europe’s premier mountain biking destination, thousands of visitors flock to Morzine every summer to explore the hundreds of kilometres of biking trails and watch the worlds best riders compete in the Downhill World Cup Championships.
Road bikers are also spoilt for choice with some of the most famous cycling routes in the world within a short ride of Morzine village. Experts can tackle the Col de Joux Plan or the Col de la Colombiere which regularly feature in the Tour de France and there are plenty of easier rides for beginners such as the Col de Corbier or La Forclaz.
Hikers can choose from over 200km of marked hiking trails, and climbers have plenty to explore with a number of via ferrata routes and some excellent crag climbing to be found. The nearby lake of Montriond is one of the most beautiful settings to enjoy watersports such as stand-up paddle boarding and kayaking. If all of this sounds a bit too extreme, there is a world class golf course is located just above Morzine in the resort of Avoriaz offering one of the most amazing views in the world.
Morzine has plenty to do off the slopes, and even just walking around the streets can keep you occupied for hours. There is plenty of shopping to be done, and the Wednesday market shouldn’t be missed for those looking for an authentic French shopping experience. Once you have had your retail therapy fix, head to the aquatic area at Parc Dérêches where the kids can play in the paddling pool (and even a small waterslide) and adults can unwind in the relaxation area with spas, hammams and saunas, perfect after a day on the slopes.
Each March the Rock the Pistes and Snowboxx music festivals take over the major resorts of the Portes du Soleil. Collectively they have played host to some of the worlds most famous musicians including Fatboy Slim and Rag’n’Bone Man.
Although places like Courchevel and Val Thorens might be famous for its fine dining, enthusiastic foodies visiting Morzine will be pleasantly surprised with what they find here. On the mountain, Chez Nannon in the Nyon sector is an unmissable dining experience. One of the oldest restaurants on the mountains and located in a converted cow shed, eating here is a delight with outstanding food and service. Le Vaffieu is found on the way to Les Gets and offers incredible Savoyard food with a slight twist and perhaps the best café gourmand in the entire Portes du Soleil! Off the mountain, Beanies Bar is a great option for when you have had your fill of Savoyard fare, offering delicious coffee, smoothies and a small menu with outstanding pizza. L’Etale is a popular spot in the centre of town which offers something for everyone and Bec Jaune is a great microbrewery offering good beer and delicious Asian-inspired food. For a slightly different experience, head to The Farmhouse where a lavish 4-course meal is served around a shared dining table in the main hall of an 18th century farmhouse.
The terrace of Hotel le Tremplin is an institution when it comes to après in Morzine and its location next to the bottom of the Pleney lift is the perfect stop-off on your way home. The outdoor terrace is heated and has live bands or DJ’s playing everyday of the week between 4 – 8pm. La Kinkerne is another lively après spot at the bottom of the Prodains lift. With a large sunny terrace and good traditional food, the best days to head here are Mondays and Fridays for live music between 4.30 – 7.30pm. Once you have had your fill of mountain bars, head into town and check out Bar Robinson. This family-owned bar has been open since 1926 and is famous for its friendly atmosphere, cozy size and strong beer! A must-visit for anyone in Morzine be it summer or winter. Le Bar à Vin tucked away underneath La Chaudanne restaurant is the perfect place to go for a wine tasting and Laury’s Bar is the place to go for late night drinks with incredible live music and an amazing drinks menu.