We’re not even halfway through the ski season, and if the Winter Olympics have inspired you at all, it’s time to book a ski trip! Having just returned from an all-levels-of-epic ski trip, I can highly recommend Morzine in the French Alps as your next ski-extravaganza destination.
Morzine’s short transfer time (just over one hour’s drive from Geneva airport), its raucous apres scene and seemingly endless ski runs are just three reasons to pack your skis and head to this fire cracker of a resort. And if that’s not enough, here are my top tips for eating, drinking and generally being as merry as one person can possibly be on a pair of skis (and that’s pretty damn merry in my book).
Morzine forms part of the “Portes du Soleil” an area which encompasses eight French resorts of Abondance, Avoriaz, La Chapelle d’Abondance, Châtel, Les Gets, Montriond, Avoriaz, St Jean d’Aulps and six Swiss resorts of Champéry, Champoussin, Les Crosets, Morgins, Torgon and Val d’Illiez. The options and variety of pistes for a week’s skiing are off the chart. If you are a keen skier, I recommend you get the “Portes du Soleil” ski pass that allows you to ski the entire area.
If you’re a beginner or only spending a few days, then the Morzine-Les Gets ski pass will provide plenty of variety and challenges in the smaller (but by no means limited) combined ski area of Morzine and Les Gets.
Just a little tip: if you are a group of skiers with just one snow boarder, don’t accidentally leave the snow boarder behind on the mountain. In Switzerland. When it’s getting dark. They will be really pissed off by the time they get a taxi back to Morzine from Switzerland. Just a little something we learned for ourselves on our trip.
eat – in town
Morzine is a thriving little town in its own right, and there are plenty of options for eating out, with the traditional Savoyard cuisine featuring heavily.
For a cheesey twist on the usual Savoyard experience, head to La Ferme de la Fruitiere. The owner makes his own cheese on site which features in many of the dishes from tartiflette to fondue to raclette and beyond.
After blissing out on your cheese-laden main course, I recommend burning it off with a digestif in the way of a genepi shot. Normally I avoid shots (they’re so deceptively innocent and small, like they can’t cause you any harm…). And I’ll go out of my way to avoid genepi. But La Ferme de la Fruitiere serves up a quality genepi. Totally worth staying for a snifter.
La Ferme de la Fruitière, 337 Route de la Plagne, 74110 Morzine (T: +33 4 50 79 12 39)
eat – on mountain
Of all the restaurants we’ve stopped at for lunch while on the mountain, two stand out far above any others:
1. La Cremaillere (T: +33 4 50 74 11 68)
Towards Avoriaz and located in the small village of Les Lindarets is the delightful La Cremaillere. A family run restaurant whose specialities include its chanterelle mushroom dishes, escargots and entrecôte steak. I had the tartiflette chanterelle and was blown away.
La Crémaillère, 4795 Route des Lindarets, 74110 Montriond
2. La Paika (T: +33 4 50 92 85 22)
So good, we skied over to it twice. On the terrace of La Paika restaurant is the wood fired barbecue, and if that isn’t enough to give you lunch-themed mouth-watering ideas, then the menu will not disappoint. Others were raving about the lamb casserole and cote de boeuf, but I was on a parmentier-de-canard buzz by that stage. And don’t get me started on the desserts. Heaven half way down a ski slope.
La Paika, Piste Bleue des Vorosses, 74260, Les Gets
Drink – wine
Morzine has plenty of apres going on. For a civilised tipple post-ski, I suggest Le Coup de Coeur wine bar, where the wine list is extensive and the terrace at the back an ideal spot to wind down and re-hydrate after a long days skiing.
Le Coup de Coeur, Route de la Plagne, 74110 Morzine
There is also a hipster beer micro brewery in Morzine – Bec Jaune Brewery. While I didn’t have a chance to drop in, it came highly recommended by those in the know. If you go there, let me know if it lives up to its reputation!
Bec Jaune Brewery, 220 Route de la Combe à Zore, 74110, Morzine
Drink – coffee
It’s not all that common to find speciality coffee places in France, let alone in the Alps, so thank the Lord for Satellite Coffee in the heart of Morzine town, where all your caffeinated dreams will come true.
Satellite Coffee, 142 Rue du Bourg, 74110 Morzine
treat yo self
After a few days skiing, I totally deserved a massage. At the charming La Parfumerie LS in Morzine I had the “apres ski” massage, and emerged totally ready to face a little more apres ski. Worth a visit.
La Parfumerie LS, Rue du Bourg, 74110 Morzine, France (T: +33 4 50 79 12 10)