As the benefits of the vaccine programmes at home and abroad start to take effect, we can look ahead to better times, and that means planning that first big ski trip in two years or more, reconnecting with loved ones, and making the most of the great outdoors again. As the beautiful mountain village of Morzine gets ready to welcome back Brits to the slopes, tourism providers have been working around the clock to ensure that guests can enjoy the resort’s superb facilities safely and hassle-free, while experiencing a warm and heartfelt French Alpine welcome.
Now that quarantine free travel to the continent has resumed for the double vaccinated, and French authorities have removed most travel restrictions for UK visitors, the prospect of a Morzine winter sports holiday to remember is very much back on the cards. The mountain lifts are expected to operate at full pre-pandemic capacity this season, with the first skiers set to hit the slopes of the Portes du Soleil from 10 December, and the area fully opening on 18 December.
Morzine has long been a favourite with British skiers, combining world class winter sports facilities, an eclectic food scene and a rich cultural heritage. A flurry of tried and tested health and safety measures were put in place last year, which worked successfully and have been improved upon further, meaning visitors can be confident of experiencing a safe and enjoyable holiday this winter. Wearing a mask will be compulsory in accommodation communal areas, in the waiting areas and on the ski lifts, and social distancing rules will be in place throughout the resort. Hand sanitiser will be widely available, and holidaymakers are encouraged to book ski passes online, meaning they can beat the queue.
Winter news from Morzine
Historic anniversary: Morzine’s Farmhouse is one of the oldest buildings in the Portes du Soleil, with charming original architectural features dating back to 1771. This winter, British expat owners Dorrien Ricardo and his wife Di are celebrating the hotel’s 250th birthday. Each of the property’s 11 bedrooms is uniquely themed; the Atelier room is a former carpenter’s workshop with beautiful wooden beams, while the India room has been thoughtfully decorated with finds brought back from a trip to the sub-continent. At the onsite restaurant, guests can enjoy authentic mountain flavours with an international twist. Think hearty cheese fondue, raclette and delicious local meats. Seven nights’ accommodation is priced from €1,400 pp (£1,190) on a half board basis.
Viewing platform: Last winter a new viewing platform was installed at the summit of nearby Pointe de Nyon, and because of Covid-19 restrictions, it will now open to the general public this winter. At an altitude of 2,019m, the new 10m long glass walkway is called Le Pas de l’Aigle and can be easily accessed by skiers and snowboarders of all abilities. The attraction, which is free, features a 350m drop beneath visitors’ feet and a breath-taking 360° view from Lake Geneva to Mont Blanc.
Lift upgrade: Morzine’s Bélvèdere chairlift has undergone major upgrade works, with a new, high-speed six-seater design replacing the old four-seater, fixed clamp version. Supported by eight brand new pylons, the improved chairlift will be able to transport up to 2,800 people per hour when it re-opens this winter. Providing greater safety and comfort, the improved Bélvèdere will offer faster access to the beginner area, as well as to the more demanding pistes at Chamossière and the fun space at the Pointe de Nyon. What’s more, the departure station will have a grass covered roof, integrating it perfectly into the surrounding area.
Music festival returns: After last year’s edition was cancelled, Morzine is preparing for the tenth edition of Rock the Pistes. The original music festival in the mountains and the only event of its kind with concerts on the slopes, Rock the Pistes will feature performances at an altitude of between 1,600m and 1,950m across the entire Portes du Soleil region. TRUST and Gaëtan Rousse are already confirmed to play, with more thousands of music fans expected to descend on Morzine and its neighbouring villages 13-19 March 2022. The largest event of its kind in the Alps will comprise five live concerts and more than 30 après-ski concerts across multiple resorts, with Morzine making the perfect base for those wanting to rock out all week. Past acts have included Rag’n’Bone Man, the Klaxons and Pete Doherty, with this year’s remaining line-up being hotly anticipated. Festivalgoers can literally ski from one performance to the next, and with entry to the concerts free to lift pass holders, revellers can enjoy the freedom to party where they please.
Hotel renovation: Morzine’s delightful three-star Hôtel Alté Névé is set to re-open in mid-December after more than eight months of renovation works. Created in 1961 by Solange & Claude, the property has 37 rooms, all of which have been updated in a retro-modern theme, allowing guests to relax in comfort and style. Ideally suited for families, the hotel is situated close to the pistes and offers easy access to the resort centre. To while away an evening after skiing, there is a well-being centre with a pool, hammam, sauna and gym. There is also a new cinema room, a games rooms for kids and a bar area with a pool table and darts. Double rooms are priced from €170 per night and include breakfast.
To plan your Morzine trip and for more information, please visit: