At just 75 minutes transfer time from Geneva airport, the Portes du Soleil is one of the closest major ski areas to the UK, and competes with the Trois Vallées and Paradiski for the title of the world's largest ski area. When it comes to hitting the slopes, its immense variety of terrain ticks all the boxes for beginners through to advanced skiers and snowboarders.
Whether your looking for a charming chocolate-box chalet, a family-friendly hotel or a ski-in ski-out apartment, visitors can take their pick from a wide-range of accommodation across the resort's stunning villages. What's more, the food and drink scene gets better and better each year, as does the list of non-ski activities to keep you entertained once off the slopes. Not convinced? Here's our top 5 reasons for heading to the Portes du Soleil for an unforgettable ski holiday this season.
1. Families will love the imaginative kid-friendly ski areas
The separate, but interlinked areas, of Les Gets and Morzine rank highly among France’s most family-friendly resorts, with fantastic ski schools, clubs and crèches, along with impressive ski areas imaginatively designed for little skiers. Magic carpets, kid-friendly drag lifts and themed parks with fun characters, from giant penguins and Indians to unicorns, make tackling first turns and mini obstacles super fun. Then, when ready to explore, families can cruise all-day long on the extensive network of intermediate level runs.
Morzine also boasts the ‘Stash’, a favourite with teenagers, this freestyle park area has loads of fun features, including the famous picnic table to slide over.
2. Powder hounds can access miles of off-piste terrain
Finding powder doesn't really get any easier than in the Portes du Soleil; with its extensive lift system you can be as lazy or as adventurous as you like.
Avoriaz probably offers the largest and most easily accessible area of off-piste, which can be reached from most villages in the Portes du Soleil. The Snowcross Zones in Avoriaz, are un-pisted but secured areas where you can venture off-piste in relative safety.
For powder bowls and fall line skiing head high up above Morzine to Nyon and Chamossière. For great views head to Mont Chery in Les Gets, where the usually quiet back side of the mountain is north facing with open pitches and tree sections.
On sunny powder days you can’t beat Les Crosets, on the Swiss side of the ski area, where you’ll find wide-open powder fields interlocking with the pistes.
3) Hungry skiers will find delicious food on the mountain
This vast ski area includes some excellent pit-stops for re-fuelling on the slopes. Many of the restaurants are traditional chalet style huts, offering tartiflette, charcuterie platters, fondues, and in Switzerland, delicious rostis.
Getting a side portion of amazing scenery is also never a problem. Try La Grande Ourse, situated at 1,725m in Les Gets with amazing views of Mont Blanc. For more great views from a sunny terrace, head to Champoussin, on the Swiss side, where Chez Gaby restaurant forms part of an authentic working farm and produces delicious cheeses.
A great meeting point to head to for lunch, is 'Les Lindarets bowl' near Avoriaz and the quaint little hamlet below. Here you’ll find many charming lunch options, including La Cremaillere with its delicious plat du jour menu. After lunch there’s the ‘Stash’ park to explore and endless options for more fantastic skiing before retiring for the day.
4) Accommodation to suit all tastes and budgets
From self-catered apartments and all-inclusive family hotels to luxury chalets, the villages of the Portes du Soleil are home to a wide range of accommodation.
For families and those looking to relax in comfort once off the mountain, the best option is a catered chalet. AliKats Mountain Holidays has a stunning collection of chalets across the Morzine-Avoriaz area, and provide breakfast, dinner, hot tubs and a private chauffeur service, so catching early lifts and making ski school on time need never be a problem.