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    Skiing in Morzine-Avoriaz – The Gateway to the French Alps

    French Alps
    French Alps

    Morzine-Avoriaz is a ski spot in the Portes du Soleil area of the French Alps and a favourite of those looking for a traditional resort with a longstanding pedigree. The resort has the capacity for more than 40,000 people to stay at any one time so it is a fairly sizeable destination and skiing in Morzine-Avoriaz is extremely popular.Despite the fact that Morzine and Avoriaz are usually referred to in the same breath, they are actually two separate locations and each one has a slightly different character. Morzine is the older of the two resorts, with a history stretching back some 80 years and a traditional layout with attractive old school chalets on the lower part of the mountain. 800 metres further up is Avoriaz, a much more recent addition of purpose built accommodation constructed in the 1960s. Avoriaz is the more modern of the two resorts, with a brand new purpose built swimming and leisure complex and excellent environmental credentials (it is France’s only car free resort) but it’s Morzine that has the traditional feel. Together, these resorts are a great option for beginners and those new to the slopes and also offer plenty for the non-skiers in the group.

    The Slopes

    Obviously most people who visit resorts such as Morzine and Avoriaz have come for the skiing and the position these resorts have in the centre of the Portes du Soleil ski area gives you access to some 650 miles of skiing via the lift links to other villages in the area. Here you will find fabulous 7-mile runs, hundreds of tended trails and slopes, countless lifts of every type and endless opportunities for off-piste adventures. A hands free electronic pass is available for the entire area to make things even easier. Half of Morzine’s slopes have been rated beginner or intermediate so are the perfect place for those looking to find their feet on the snow, and Avoriaz’s slopes are tree free and tend to appeal to those looking for fresh powder. A day’s Domaine Des Portes Du Soleil ski pass for an adult is €43 and for a child €32.

    Off Piste Activities

    When it comes to activities, both Morzine and Avoriaz have plenty to offer. Both have ice rinks, leisure complexes and the opportunity to get involved in hiking, sleigh rides, dog sledding, or exciting adventures like guided snowmobile tours. Avoriaz is a particularly good spot for families with children as it has the Village des Enfants, which offers a range of activities that are geared entirely towards little ones. If it’s shopping you are after then Morzine definitely wins, whether you’re looking for designer threads, ski gear or just lots of delicious alpine chocolate.

    Après Ski And Eating Out

    Whilst some may claim to head to the Alps solely for the thrill of the slopes, everyone knows that it’s the après ski that really sets one resort apart from the other. There tends to be more choice of après ski in Morzine, which has 4 nightclubs and a wide range of bars and pubs, such as The Dixie Bar (http://www.dixiebarmorzine.com), a 3 venue chain covering British, Irish and Spanish tastes. Avoriaz still offers a lively evening out with 8 après ski bars – such as live music venue The Place (http://theplace.dk/The_Place/Welcome.html) – and 1 club, but perhaps not the choice of establishments you might get further down the mountain. Similarly when it comes to eating out you will find you have around a third more choice in Morzine than Avoriaz, with everything from a curry to fondue available. La Chamade (http://www.lachamade.com) offers delicious, traditional cuisine in a cosy environment and La Grange (http://www.lagrange-morzine.com) specializes in generous portions of mouthwatering regional dishes.

    Accommodation

    Both Morzine and Avoriaz have a good range of accommodation, although if you are looking for traditional chalets you will only find these in Morzine. The Chalet Hôtel Les Prodains (http://www.hotellesprodains.com) has great value clean, comfortable and conveniently located rooms from around €60 a night and for something a bit more luxurious the L’Aiglon de Morzine (http://www.aiglonmorzine.com) offers 4 star chalet accommodation from around €185 a night.

    Skiing in Morzine-Avoriaz has become hugely popular and taking a closer look at the resorts it’s not hard to see why. Sitting plum in the middle of a huge and well-connected ski area, with prime conditions for both beginners and experts, as well as a huge range of activities and après ski options, the resorts have something to offer everyone looking for a thrilling ski holiday in the French Alps.

    Amy is a guest blogger from Easyjet who provide flights to Geneva from more than 30 airports across Europe – the fastest way to the slopes of Morzine-Avoriaz!

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