With its peaceful pine forests, magnificent views of Mont-Blanc, and wide range of sporting activities, it’s no wonder Morzine, in the French Alps, is a popular destination throughout summer. Morzine’s beautiful car-free village – home to 34 hotels, 52 bars and restaurants, 15 mapped mountain biking routes, 200km of signed paths, 25 lifts in the Portes du Soleil, and many different shops – has retained its authentic Haute-Savoie charm. The resort is also ideal for nature lovers, with camping, foraging, and climbing on offer. This year, Morzine will play host to the famous Tour de France: riders will roll into Châtel on 10 July, enjoy a day’s rest in Morzine on 11 July, before departing on 12 July to compete in the 10th stage.
The Tour de France arrives in Morzine
At 100 km altitude, Morzine is renowned for being a playground for those on two wheels. This year, the 109th Tour de France will stop over in resort, for the 21st time, from 11-12 July 2022. Many deciding factors meant Morzine was the place to factor in a break, including the right elevation, quality of accommodation, and good roads for training. The resort will welcome riders for a rest day on 11 July, before bidding them farewell (and good luck) as they begin the 148 km 10th stage towards Megève on 12 July.
Cyclists inspired by the Tour de France can enjoy 16 mapped routes totalling 1,200 km around Morzine. And this year, Morzine has partnered with Cervélo, who create the ultimate all-round performance bikes.
Aside from road biking, Morzine and the Portes du Soleil also offer 80 managed downhill tracks with 600 km of trails, 10 mountain bike schools, and 400 km of electric mountain biking routes.
The resort was awarded the ‘Accueil vélo’ label and the ‘Hébergement Cyclo’ label guaranteeing quality and expertise for cyclists, and sports shops offering specialist bike services. Plus, the centrally located Hotel La Clef des Champs now offers guests six electric bikes and charging points (from €29 pp).
Awarded Prestigious Green Snowflake
The prestigious Flocon Vert (green snowflake) was awarded to Morzine in September 2021 – the resort is always on the lookout for new ways to become greener whilst educating guests along the way.
This summer, tourists can meet Jacques-Olivier on the Nyon plateau, who is aiming to reintroduce the white-tailed eagle back into Morzine and the surrounding mountains. He is currently working with six young birds, teaching them to fly and live in the wild, and hoping to release them later this year.
The Refuge de Nyon, on the edge of Lake Nyon Guérin, is also welcoming three yaks from Italy. And every year, trout are reintroduced to Lake Nyon so keen fishers can indulge their passion.
Morzine is also home to chamois, deer, marmots and more. Spot the latter in their natural environment on a guided wildlife-watching walk (from €25 pp).
Families (children especially) will enjoy visiting the educational farm Le Monde de Jacquotte. Here, young and old can meet various animals such as giant and dwarf hens, pompom ducks, and lop-eared rabbits. The enclosures feature educational panels so everyone can learn some interesting facts.
The resort has many plans and practices in place to protect the wildlife and nature: to keep birds safe, all cables on lifts are equipped with ‘visualisers’ every five metres, meaning fewer collisions; there are two safeguarded areas for the Black Grouse, a key bird species in the Alps; working with the Forestry Commission (ONF), for every tree that is cut down in the ski area, another is planted, ensuring local pine, larch, and spruce remain abundant; and an awareness campaign around the problem of litter in the mountains has been put into place on the lifts.
Relax in nature
Although there is plenty going on in the mountains of Morzine, it’s also the perfect place to relax. There are three new opportunities for guests who are after a tranquil, restorative break.
Keen yogis, or even those new to the sport, can discover aerial yoga, which takes place in a hammock. This original and fun concept is designed to get all the parts of the body – and mind – working together by moving through gentle, weightless poses. (From €15 pp per hour)
Family-run sustainable accommodation provider, AliKats Mountain Holidays, has designed a series of Retreats. Coming into force at a crucial time after Covid-19, these year-round four-night retreats combine yoga, meditation, walking, nature, scenery, food, spa treatments, music, and most importantly, companionship, to support people wanting to press pause on their everyday life, learn how to work with (and through) any problems they may have, plus create meaningful connections with others. (Four nights from €2,000 pp)
From 18-22 July 2022, Morzine will be concentrating (even more) on the well-being of its guests by running numerous outdoor workshops focusing on sophrology, foraging, tree climbing, yoga, walking, and more. The event, with the motto of ‘replenishment, relaxation, and wonder’, will be followed by the Nature and Plants Fair (23-24 July) which offers another opportunity to reconnect with nature.
For those people who do not want to say ‘goodnight’ to nature every evening, Morzine has a few solutions up its sleeves… Nestled in the mountains, the Mines d’Or (transparent bubbles) give guests incredible views of the forests, peaks, and valleys. Dine on some of the region’s must-haves including fondue and raclette, before settling down for a night under the stars.
Alternatively, team up with local guide, Hervé LeSobre, and spend a secluded night in the forest. As the sun sets, hike into the woods before stringing hammocks between trees, collecting wood for a campfire, and telling stories until the early hours… (From €50 pp)
Delicious and different dining experiences
The Alpine mountains are a feast for all senses: explore the terrain with Véronique, who knows every dip and climb like the back of her hand. With her, observe the abundant wildlife and forage for wild garlic, tangy blueberries, sweet chestnuts, fragrant lemon thyme, and earthy nettles. Afterwards, sample the findings with some freshly produced cheese. (From €45 pp)
Morzine, and the surrounding Savoyard region, also has delicious wine available. Look for ‘AOC’ on the label to know it’s from one of the four departments: Savoie, Haute-Savoie, Ain, and Isère. One of the best places to try these wines, and plenty others, is Restaurant La Chamade. La Chamade was the first restaurant to be created in Morzine and opened its doors in 1969. It started out as a homemade creperie, before being taken over by Thierry Thorens in the 1980s. On 31 January 2022, La Chamade was awarded the ‘Tour des cartes 2022’ trophy, signifying it to be one of 100 establishments with the best wine list in France.
During lockdown, Thierry Thorens teamed up with an experienced horticulturist to launch a 5,000 square metre vegetable garden. Everything grown here is tended to in accordance to the principles of sustainable agriculture, respectful of the season and environment. Even better, guests can tuck into the home-grown produce when dining at Restaurant La Chamade.
Events not to be missed
Join in with a wide range of events in Morzine this summer, whether it be sporting, cultural, or nature themed.
From 2-3 July, Morzine-Avoriaz will welcome 7,000 Spartans, all keen to tackle dizzying slopes, natural waterfalls, and high-altitude lakes. From 14-17 July, more than 10,000 motorbikes and 30,000 people will arrive for the Harley Days ‘Pure Rock’ edition. The Trail des Hauts-Forts takes place on 6 August, with four distances to choose from. And towards the end of August, keen triathletes can sign up to a sporting adventure comprising a swim in Lake Montriond, a bike ride up the legendary Avoriaz ascent, followed by a run through the magnificent mountains.
There are many other events taking place, for more details, please look here: https://en.morzine-avoriaz.com/all-the-events.html