snowboarding in morzine

The Ultimate Guide to Snowboarding in Morzine [2024]

by Fraser

Welcome to Morzine, a beloved ski and snowboard haven in the heart of the French Alps!

Whether you’re a newbie snowboarder or a seasoned skier, this guide covers everything you need to know. With easy access and options for every budget and skill level, Morzine promises an unforgettable experience.

Let’s dive into what makes this resort so special (other than the fact I live here).

Table of Contents

Morzine: An Introduction

Craving a top-tier ski holiday in France this winter? Of course you are!

Let’s zoom into Morzine, a hidden gem tucked away near the Swiss border, right in the pulse of the Portes du Soleil ski region.

Picture this: Morzine, flanked by the breathtaking Lake Geneva and the iconic Mont Blanc, offers a stunning backdrop for your ski adventures. 

What makes Morzine stand out?

Well, it’s all about the scale and accessibility. With a whopping 650 km of skiable terrain, Portes du Soleil stands among the world’s largest ski areas. Morzine, despite its modest village altitude of 900m, boasts a pretty complex lift system.

This system whisks you up to panoramic views at Chamossière, peaking at 1800m, and even higher to Avoriaz at 2100m. This grants access to vast ski and snowboard landscapes (seriously, it’s massive). 

But Morzine isn’t just about skiing. This place has history. From its humble beginnings as a small agricultural village in the 11th century, it’s transformed into a picturesque winter ski resort and a buzzing summer hub for biking, hiking, and climbing.

morzine town center

The best part? Morzine has clung to its Alpine roots.

Stroll through the village, and you’ll feel it in the traditional architecture, the warm atmosphere, and the genuine hospitality of the locals. This is a place where international acclaim meets local charm, creating a unique and unforgettable holiday experience.

So, are you ready to explore Morzine’s unique appeal? From the best ski chalet holidays in France to the gnarliest backcountry inclines, I’ve got you covered. Keep reading for the naked nitty gritty detail… 

Getting to Morzine: Your Journey to the Slopes

Embarking on a snowboarding adventure to Morzine starts with a well-planned journey. Nestled in the heart of the French Alps, Morzine is accessible yet retains a charming remoteness. Here’s how you can get there:

Flying In

The most common way to reach Morzine is by air. The closest major airport is Geneva International Airport. From there, Morzine is just over an hour’s drive away. Several airlines offer direct flights to Geneva from major cities across Europe and connecting flights from around the world.

*Airport Transfers

Once at Geneva Airport, you have a range of options for transferring to Morzine. Numerous companies offer shuttle services, private transfers, and shared rides. Booking in advance is advisable, especially during the peak winter season.

Driving to Morzine

If you prefer the flexibility of driving, renting a car at Geneva Airport is a convenient option. The roads are well-maintained and offer scenic views of the Alps. Do remember that winter driving in the mountains requires a bit of preparation, including snow tires and chains.

By Train

Another eco-friendly option is traveling by train. The nearest major train station to Morzine is Cluses or Thonon-les-Bains, both about a 30-minute drive from Morzine. From these stations, you can take a bus or taxi to reach the resort.

Bus Services

For those looking for a budget-friendly option, regular bus services run from Geneva, Cluses, and Thonon-les-Bains to Morzine. While it may take longer than a private transfer, it’s cost-effective and reliable.

Tips for The Journey

  • Check Flight and Transfer Timings: Ensure your flight arrival and departure times align well with your transfer options. Evening flights sometimes arrive after available transfers and you’ll be stranded in Geneva!
  • Consider Luggage Space: If traveling with your own snowboarding gear, ensure your chosen mode of transport has enough space.
  • Weather Considerations: Always check the weather forecast as mountain weather can impact travel plans. Don’t rent a car unless you’re comfortable driving in heavy snow!

Accommodation Options

Morzine offers accommodation for every taste and budget. Here’s a snapshot of what you can expect:

Ski Chalets

Experience authentic Alpine living in one of Morzine’s many ski chalets. From luxurious, fully catered options to more modest, self-catered chalets, there’s something for every group size and budget. Chalets often come with extra amenities like hot tubs and fireplaces.



Morzine boasts a variety of hotels, from family-run boutiques to larger, more luxurious establishments. Many hotels offer ski-in, ski-out convenience and amenities such as spas, restaurants, and ski storage.


For those who prefer a more independent stay, apartments are a great choice. They range from budget-friendly studios to high-end apartments with multiple bedrooms, kitchens, and living areas.

Hostels and Budget Options

Budget-conscious travelers can find hostels and other affordable lodging in and around Morzine. These are great for meeting fellow snowboarders and travellers. 

Après-Ski and Nightlife

Morzine comes alive after the slopes close, offering a vibrant après-ski scene and nightlife.

Bars and Pubs

From cozy, traditional Alpine pubs to lively bars with live music and DJs, there’s a spot for everyone to unwind after a day on the slopes. Don’t miss out on local favorites like Le Tremplin and Bar Robinson.


For those looking to dance the night away, Morzine has several nightclubs and late-night bars offering a variety of music and themes.

Local Events

Keep an eye out for special après-ski events, including live music nights, DJ sets, and themed parties, which are frequent during the ski season.


  1. Le Paradis Nightclub: Known for its lively atmosphere, Le Paradis is a popular choice among locals and visitors alike. It often hosts DJs and themed party nights.

  2. L’Opera Nightclub: This club is favored for its variety of music and energetic vibe. It’s a great spot to dance the night away.

  3. Le Coup de Coeur: While more of a bar than a nightclub, Le Coup de Coeur is known for its late-night parties and live music events, offering a fun and relaxed atmosphere.

  4. The Tibetan Café: This café-bar transforms into a lively spot at night, with a mix of live bands and DJs playing a range of music styles.

  5. Le Tremplin: Situated at the foot of the Pleney slopes, Le Tremplin is famous for its après-ski scene but also offers great nightlife with DJs and live music.

Off-Slope Activities

Morzine offers a range of activities for those days when you’re not on the slopes:

Spa and Wellness

Relax and rejuvenate in one of the many spas and wellness centers in Morzine. Enjoy massages, saunas, and thermal baths.

Snowshoeing and Winter Hiking

Explore the serene beauty of the Alps on foot with guided snowshoeing tours or winter hiking trails.

Ice Skating and Sledding

Enjoy some family fun at the Morzine ice skating rink or go for a thrilling sled ride down one of the designated sledding areas.

Cultural Experiences

Delve into the local culture by visiting the town’s museums, sampling local cuisine, or simply strolling through the charming streets of Morzine.

Snowboarding Schools and Lessons

During my time living in Morzine, I’ve seen many beginners transform into confident riders thanks to the excellent instruction available here. Here are a few schools that consistently receive high praise:

1. Mint Snowboarding

Mint Snowboarding is renowned for its quality of instruction and variety of lessons. They offer everything from group lessons for beginners to private sessions for advanced riders looking to fine-tune their skills.

2. New Generation Ski & Snowboard School

This school is well-regarded for its experienced instructors and small class sizes, ensuring personalized attention. They cater to all levels and also offer off-piste and freestyle coaching.

3. Avoriaz Alpine Ski School

Known for its friendly and professional instructors, Avoriaz Alpine offers a range of snowboarding lessons in both Morzine and Avoriaz. They’re great for beginners and intermediate riders.

Equipment Rental and Gear Shops

In Morzine, you’ll find loads of top-notch shops for gear rental or purchase. As a local, I’ve had great experiences with:

1. Star-Ski Sports

This shop offers a wide range of rental equipment that is regularly updated. Their knowledgeable staff can help you find the right gear, whether you’re renting or looking to buy.

2. The Woods Snowboard Shop

Focused specifically on snowboarding, The Woods is the go-to for the latest boards, boots, and snowboarding apparel. They also offer excellent advice and service.

3. Burton Store Avoriaz

If you’re a Burton enthusiast, the Burton store in nearby Avoriaz is a must-visit. They have a great selection of Burton gear and usually feature the latest models.

Snowboarding Passes and Lift Tickets

Getting around the vast slopes of Morzine and the Portes du Soleil area is easy with the right pass:

Portes du Soleil Ski Pass

This pass covers the whole Portes du Soleil area, offering access to a vast network of slopes and lifts. It’s ideal for those who plan to explore extensively. I’ll go into more detail on the Portes du Soleil later in the article.

Morzine-Les Gets Pass

For those planning to stay mainly within the Morzine-Les Gets area, this pass is a more cost-effective option. It gives access to a wide range of slopes suitable for all levels. Beginners could probably save some money with this option. 

Avoriaz Only Pass

If you’re focused on riding in Avoriaz, especially to make the most of the snow parks and half-pipes, an Avoriaz-only pass is your best bet. You should probably book accommodation in Avoriaz too (unless you prefer the classic ski aesthetic of Morzine). 

*Buying Your Lift Tickets

Passes can be purchased online or at the lift ticket offices in town. For the best deals, consider buying multi-day passes or look out for early bird offers at the start of the season. Online is nearly always cheaper!

Les Portes Du Soleil - The Ski Areas

Portes du Soleil, translating to ‘Gateway to the Sun,’ stands out as one of the globe’s most renowned ski areas. And for good reason.

Nestled within this vast expanse is Morzine, a key player among the 13 resorts which span both France and Switzerland.

The region, named after a mountain pass connecting Morgins and Les Crosets, boasts incredible snow conditions right across the season (with the exception of last year which was terrible!).

Imagine exploring over 600 km of terrain, dotted with 306 pistes and 30 fun-filled snow-parks. For those who love to snowboard or ski, the area is a dream, featuring nearly 200 lifts and a huge variety of runs – 38 green, 131 blue, 105 red, and 32 black.

So, whether you’re just starting out or you’re a seasoned pro, there’s a slope here with your name on it.


From Morzine, the high-altitude thrills of Avoriaz are just a lift ride away – 600 meters up to be exact. You have three choices to embark on this journey: the Lordains Bubble, the Lindarets Express, or the Super Morzine Bubble, all easily accessible from the town’s main square.

Avoriaz holds a special place in the hearts of snowboarders, particularly because it’s home to The Burton Stash – Europe’s first freestyle snow-park. This makes Avoriaz a favorite spot among snowboarding enthusiasts.

Avoriaz, France (one of the best places to snowboard in europe)

The region is a playground for all skill levels, boasting snowparks, a halfpipe, snowcross, and some spots for massive air. The slightly challenging hike from Morzine to Avoriaz makes it a hotspot for the more experienced boarders.

There’s an impressive 250 km of blue and red runs waiting for you here. For the real pros, the Swiss Wall, a notorious run bridging France and Switzerland, is a must-try – but only if you’re fairly experienced (check your skill level here). 

And if you’re skilled enough, several challenging black runs await as you descend on Les Prodains. Avoriaz isn’t just a ski destination; it’s an adventure waiting to be conquered.”

Grand Massif Domaines Skiables

Let’s dive into the heart of the Grand Massif ski region, nestled close to the French Alps. Here, the imposing Mont Blanc doesn’t just decorate the horizon – it sets the stage for some of the most scenic ski runs you’ll ever experience.

With 70 ski lifts at your disposal, you’re looking at 265 kilometers of slopes to explore.

Grand Massif Domaines

The high elevation of Grand Massif isn’t just for show. It means reliable snow coverage from December through April, perfect for every kind of snow enthusiast. And for families and pros alike, the diversity of the trails promises something for everyone.

Don’t miss out on the Cascades in Flaine. It’s a 14-kilometer journey that might not be on every skier’s radar, but it’s a route that offers its own unique charm and challenge. It’s certainly a slice of the Grand Massif experience that’s worth exploring.


Morgins, tucked away in Switzerland, is a ski resort that’s all about natural beauty and a quieter vibe. Picture yourself surrounded by alpine meadows, serene mountain lakes, and the impressive Dents-du-Midi mountains – it’s like stepping into a postcard.

This place is a gem for those who want to escape the tourist buzz and get the thrill of conquering significant mountain terrain. Morgins caters to everyone: beginners finding their snow legs, experienced skiers craving challenging runs, and those who love to venture off-piste or tackle freeride routes.

While the village, a picturesque scene straight out of a chocolate box with its pine trees and stunning views, might seem a bit too tranquil for adrenaline junkies, it shouldn’t be overlooked. It offers a unique blend of serene beauty and exciting ski possibilities, making it a worthwhile stop for skiers of all levels.

Best Runs For Beginners in Morzine


Beginner Zone The highest point of the Pleney gondola is where you’ll find this beginner-friendly area. It features a sizable flat area and an encircled, gently sloping carpet lift, both excellent for learning. Snowboarders (and skiers) can quickly advance to the nearby Nabor and Belvedere chair lifts as they gain confidence.


The Nabor run, an expansive, gentle blue slope beginning from the top of Pleney, offers a longer course for beginners seeking to extend their abilities. This lengthy, leisurely ski slope is ideal for honing your new skills.

Advanced Snowboarding Terrain in Morzine

Morzine, with its varied and challenging terrain, is a paradise for advanced snowboarders seeking to push their limits.

Here’s a look at the best spots in Morzine for seasoned riders.

1. The Nyon Sector: Steep and Deep

The Nyon sector stands out for its steep and challenging runs. It’s a haven for those who love to carve hard and fast. The area’s black runs, like “La Pointe,” offer steep descents – perfect for experienced speed demons. 

2. Chamossière: The Off-Piste Haven

For off-piste enthusiasts, Chamossière is a must-visit. This area is known for its deep powder and natural terrain features. The off-piste routes here are not for the faint-hearted but provide an unmatched thrill for expert riders.

3. The Hauts-Forts Area

Another hotspot for advanced snowboarders is the Hauts-Forts area. The black runs here are long and demanding, with “La Combe de Machon” deserving a mention. This run tests your stamina and skill with its steep and often moguled slopes.

4. Avoriaz: Freestyle and Park Riding

For those who prefer freestyle snowboarding, the nearby resort of Avoriaz, accessible from Morzine, offers some of the best terrain parks in the Alps. The Stash, an eco-friendly park with natural features, is a unique and challenging playground for advanced riders.

5. Swiss Wall: The Ultimate Challenge

Lastly, the infamous “Swiss Wall” (Chavanette) – straddling the border between France and Switzerland – is a must-try for any advanced snowboarder visiting Morzine. This notorious run is steep, bumpy, and leads to an unmatched level of thigh-burn. 

6. The Backcountry

Yes, it’s there. Plenty of it! 

But am I going to recommend backcountry locations in this article? Heck no! 

I promise I’m not gatekeeping the best spots (although there is one in particular that I will never share). It’s more that I don’t want you guys wandering around in the backcountry alone.

The Alps are no joke. If you decide to head into untamed terrain, bring a guide (and avalanche gear). 

Dining in Morzine

As a long-time resident and snowboarder in Morzine, I’ve had the pleasure of dining at many of the local restaurants. 

However as a man of simple tastes, the sugar (sucre) crepes will forever be my favorite dish!

morzine dining (crepes board)

For a more formal dining experience, here are some top picks:

La Chaudanne

La Chaudanne is a must-visit for its delicious local cuisine. The ambiance is cozy, perfect after a day on the slopes, and their Savoyard specialties are a delight.


Known for its lively atmosphere, L’Étale offers a diverse menu that includes excellent pizzas, traditional French dishes, and a great selection of wines.

Le Clin D’Oeil

This restaurant serves up some of the best French and regional dishes in Morzine. The service is impeccable, and the menu is always a pleasant surprise.

Safety Tips and Mountain Etiquette

Safety is paramount when snowboarding in Morzine. The town itself may look safe and quaint, but the surrounding mountains have some serious exposure.

Here are some tips:

  • Wear a Helmet: Always wear a helmet. It’s essential for protecting yourself.
  • Be Aware of Your Surroundings: Keep an eye out for other skiers and snowboarders, and be aware of the mountain’s signage and markers.
  • Stay in Control: Snowboard within your ability level and stay in control.
  • Respect the Mountain: Follow ‘Leave No Trace’ principles to keep the mountain clean and safe for everyone.

Mountain etiquette is also crucial:

  • Respect Right of Way: The skier or snowboarder downhill from you has the right of way.
  • Help Others: If you come across someone in need, stop and offer assistance.
  • Obey Signs and Warnings: They are there for your safety.

Seasonal Considerations

The best time to visit Morzine for snowboarding is typically from mid-December to mid-April. The peak season is during the school holidays in February, so expect more crowds then. For quieter slopes, consider January or late March.

Final Thoughts

Morzine stands out as a top snowboarding destination for its well-rounded offerings.

The slopes cater to all levels, supported by excellent schools and rental facilities. The dining scene, with its mix of local and international flavors, adds to the overall experience.

While safety and mountain etiquette are key, the welcoming community and varied seasonal conditions make it an awesome choice for your next snowboarding venture. 

And who knows, maybe I’ll bump into you on the slopes?

Happy Riding!

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