Advice

What’s New in Morzine, Les Gets & Avoriaz for Winter 2022?

Image: Keno Derleyn for Les Gets OT

We may have missed an entire winter season, but time did not stand still here in Morzine, Les Gets, Avoriaz and the wider Vallee d’Aulps. Here we round up the most exciting new developments this coming winter season, plus some you may have missed from last year’s saison blanche.

Next Generation lift passes in Avoriaz

This winter, Avoriaz lift operator SERMA will trial a lift pass with dynamic pricing – this means the price you pay will be determined by overall demand on a particular day or time during the season and your passes all be cheaper the further in advance that you purchase them. AI will be used to determine the best rates for lift passes, taking into account peak times, snow conditions, the weather and other elements too. SERMA hopes that this sophisticated system will attract new skiers to the Avoriaz 1800 ski area and the innovation continues with a new, fully-digital Shred Experience pass.

This is the world’s first pass-free lift pass; all you need to access the Avoriaz 1800 ski lifts will be integrated onto your mobile phone. The advantages of the Shred Experience pass are plentiful; you’ll no longer need to visit the lift pass office at the start of your holiday, instead you’ll buy your passes on your phone. The environmental benefits of fewer plastic passes in circulation cannot be ignored! The Shred Experience pass will access the ski lifts serving the Stash and the La Chapel snow park (that’s the Ardent cable car, the Lindarets chairlift and the Chapelle drag lift) and is priced at €19.50 per day. 

Discover More: skipass-avoriaz.com

The Unmissable Alta Lumina

 

Many of you ask us for one ‘must do’ while you’re here for your holidays and Alta Lumina in Les Gets is always one of our recommendations. As you’ll discover on page 64, this is where the magic happens. Alta Lumina is an enchanting evening walk through the forests surround the Lac des Ecoles, perched above the twinkling lights of the village. The walk tells the story of a hawker travelling through the mountains selling his wares from this hot air ballon, which crashes into the forest. Magic ensues and the result is truly spectacular. Alta Lumina is a fabulous activity for families as children of all ages will love the light shows, the interactive elements and the imaginative storytelling.

Advance booking is necessary at altalumina.com.

The Morzine Igloo

Created in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic when our ski lifts were closed, Morzine’s Igloo returns this winter season and it makes for the perfect family trip. Located along the Vallee de la Manche and easily accessible on the free ski bus route, you’ll discover a beautifully crafted igloo to play in, alongside a gentle cross country ski  or snowshoe route, a snow playground, picnic area and a sledging slope that’s perfect for little ones. Take the E bus route from Morzine.

The New Belvédère Chairlift

 

The original Belvédère lift. Image by Reuben Shaul at Story Crafters

Morzine’s ski lifts failed to make one turn last winter, but despite the obvious lack of revenue generated during the season, investment in the lift network continues unabated. The télésiège du Belvédère is the first lift most of us encounter at the top of Pleney. It was slow and that’s an understatement. It’s replacement is a 6-man chair lift with the capacity to disperse a whopping 2800 skiers an hour into the wider lift network.

There’s also better safety for new skiers, more comfort for the rest of us and even a living roof on the departure station to help it blend into the landscape. Elsewhere at the top of Pleney you’ll discover a welcome chalet staffed by local experts to help you plan your day. There’s also a couple of phone charging kiosks too!

 

The new Belvédère lift on Pleney under construction, image from TPC Maintenance

The New Aigle Rouge Piste

This was actually new for last season, but since Winter 2021 brought us zero lift-assisted skiing, this revised piste on Nyon is still brand new! The existing red Aigle run was remodelled to be three times wider than previously (hurrah for anyone who didn’t enjoy those narrow switchbacks) and it now offers two continuous kilometres of pisted pleasure from the Pointe de Nyon to the plateau below. Thrill-seekers, don’t forget to take a trip along the Pas de l’Aigle while you’re at the top!

Hubert Sports, but not as you know it

 

One of Morzine’s oldest ski shops has undergone an huge facelift and redesign ahead of this winter season. Hubert Sports on the route de la Plagne in the centre of the village has been expanded to feature an extended selection of ski clothing including a large range of Picture Organic Clothing plus many accessories or extras you might need during your ski holidays. They even have the much-coveted Picture Organic x WWF collection including sweaters, hoodies and caps. Brothers Cédric and Sylvain are known for their exceptional ski fitting services and with a location just one minute from the Super Morzine lift, Hubert Sports is a great place to visit this winter.

Discover More: hubertsports.com

New and Improved Grand Cry

It’s always one of the most popular runs in Les Gets and for this winter season, the Grand Cry has a number of new modules for children aged five to 12 years to enjoy. The Indian-themed park features musical and skills-based games, teepees, a very cool picnic area, treasure hunts and drawing competitions plus face painting for little ones. There’s now a totem bell for you to ring as you whizz through the park and a giant wall of fries to ski through. Don’t forget to look out for the bison and pumas as you go!

Discover More: lesgets.com

Chalet Blythe comes to life

Currently under construction and set to become one of the most exclusive properties in Les Gets, Chalet Blythe occupies a superb location on the Front de Neige in the centre of the village, just metres from the pistes and lifts. Operated by Les Gets catered chalet company Summit Special, Chalet Blythe is an all-singing, all-dancing small boutique hotel with interiors by acclaimed designers Shep & Kyles and architecture by renowned architect Hérve Marrullaz. Inside you’ll discover eight large en-suite bedrooms, a spa area featuring a swimming pool, sauna, ice room, hammam and private treatment rooms, plus an outdoor hot tub. We’re mostly excited about the expansive rooftop terrace and bar area, which will offer views across the rooftops of the village. It’s also great to know that two electric vehicle charging points will be installed too.

Discover More: summitspecial.co.uk

The Best of Both Worlds

 

Why not combine your love for skiing and snowboarding with a round of French lessons this winter? The local language experts at Alpine French School run a variety of courses throughout the winter season at all levels, from beginners to advanced. Their intensive courses include 10 hours of lessons per week, taking place between 9am and 11am each day, giving you the rest of the day to enjoy the mountains, or between 4pm and 6pm each afternoon. Super-intensive packages include 20 hours per week with small, friendly groups that make learning a breeze. Prices start at just €180 per week and courses begin on 26th December until 10th April 2022.

Discover More: alpinefrenchschool.com

Wake Up, Smell The Coffee

 

Developed by people and planet loving coffee enthusiasts who like to start each morning with a phenomenal brew, Cafés Vorlaz is a new environmentally-focused coffee roastery in our valley. Delivered to you with zero waste and zero emissions, Cafés Vorlaz only roast beans purchased from carefully selected coffee farmers and they prepare a new batch each Thursday to ensure your order is extra fresh. Order your coffee via the Cafés Vorlaz website, prices start at €9,50 for 250g and you can choose from a filter or espresso roast. You can also choose to fill one of your own containers on delivery, or pay a one-off €20 deposit for a Cafés Vorlaz handmade sandstone storage pot. 

Discover More: cafesvorlaz.com // Instagram @cafesvorlaz

There’s an App for that

Holiday accommodation company Snow & Trek have launched a useful app for their guests this winter. Personalised according to each of their different properties and featuring a curated list of resort goings-on, the app also includes property-specific information such as driving directions, a local weather forecast, lift pass details, a local area guide and useful contact numbers. “Rather than those printed and laminated info packs you often find in your chalet or apartment, our new app is a much more practical way to share useful information with our guests,” Vicky Whitehorn of Snow & Trek explains. “Even before they arrive in resort, visitors can read our hand-picked list of local restaurants, essential events and begin to get excited for their holiday.”

Discover More: snowandtrek-morzine.com

Join the Ski Patrol

What does a day in the life of a ski patroller look like? Find out as you join the team on Morzine’s Pleney in the early hours as they prepare the pistes for the day ahead. This extra special experience is open to all this winter and is offered free of charge on one morning per week; you just need to book your space at the Office de Tourisme. You’ll ski the perfectly groomed pistes, checking for obstructions, ensuring the safety markers are in place as the lights of the village twinkle below. Each session ends with a well-deserved coffee and pasty inside the ski patrol hut, just before the ski lifts come to life. 

Discover More: Check morzinesourcemagazine.com/events for specific dates and times

Run with the Horses in Avoriaz

 

Ski-joering is without doubt one of the most fun activities in a ski resort. Hurtling along on your skis behind a powerful horse is such a thrill and we highly recommend that you give it a go this winter. On the pisted walking trails of the Super Morzine you’ll find Shinouk, Phillipe and their pack of beautiful, well cared for horses. You can choose between a 30 minute and a 1hour 15 minute session, taking in the tranquility of these quiet routes that also come with stunning views. 

Discover More: avoriaz-skijoering.com

Elsewhere on Nyon…

Nyon really is the mountain that keeps on giving! Eagle Park on the Nyon plateau has been entirely remodelled ahead of the Winter 22 season with modules for all levels, from beginners to the more adventurous. The XL border cross course starts at the top of the Raverettes chair and has new features for you to enjoy. The park has been modelled using earth, placing less of a reliance on snow cover and therefore demanding less artificial snow.

 

Snowshoe fans will also enjoy a new trail on the Nyon plateau where you can learn the secrets of our local wildlife from handy information panels positioned along the route. There’s even a new sledging piste on the plateau for you to enjoy when you’re finished!

A New Spartan Event – In Winter!

It’s one of the highlights of our summer season here in Morzine and now the Spartan Race returns for a much colder  winter version. This is the very first winter obstacle race and it’ll take place in the heart of Morzine on 11th and 12th December 2021 followed by the finale of Spartan Kids 2021. Registration and more details are promised soon!

Ciao, La Bokka

 

This brand new, authentic Italian trattoria in the heart of Les Gets stood ready to welcome diners in December 2020; unfortunately COVID-19 had other plans. La Bokka finally opens its doors for the Winter 21/22 season with a menu that features genuine Italian dishes, ingredients sourced directly from Italian producers by acclaimed head chef Antony Trezy and stunning interiors crafted by former Louis Vuitton interior designer Linda Rabouine.

La Bokka is a complete evening of entertainment. Think pre-dinner cocktails in the James Bond-esque lounge followed by a delicious plate of freshly prepared pasta and then live music into the early hours. “The ambience we’ve created is chic, stylish and fun” restaurant manager Julien Moulinet told Source. “This will be a destination restaurant where you can plan your family celebrations, stay to enjoy the entertainment to simply drop in for a first class pizza or salad and a crisp glass of Italian wine.”

Discover More: bokka-lesgets.com // Instagram @bokka-lesgets.com

#MadeInLesGets

The resort of Les Gets have launched their own range of French-made, sustainably-focused merchandise for you to collect and take home this winter. With the aim of eliminating single use plastic in the resort, the range includes bags, water bottles, caps, t-shirts, umbrellas, hot drinks carriers and more. A safety certified face mask is also available for €10 and a neck scarf for €13. They make the perfect holiday souvenir and are available to purchase from the Les Gets Office de Tourisme in the centre of the village.

Discover More: lesgets.com

A Mid-Winter BBQ

 

La Païka in Les Gets is famous for its lunchtime BBQs during the winter season, but did you know that this notorious restaurant has a sister in Les Lindarets? Restaurant La T’chapa serves up the same friendly, cosy atmosphere as La Païka with delicious dishes to suit the whole family. Ski straight to the door (advance reservations are always recommended, especially during school holiday weeks!) And you’ll discover grilled meat, giant prawns and more cooked to order on the huge outdoor BBQ to accompany an excellent wine list. You might as well settle in for the afternoon…

DISCOVER MORE: facebook.com/Restaurant-La-Tchapa or call +33 (0) 4 50 74 07 86 to reserve a table. 

Take a Break at the Sapana Spa

 

Located within the Kinabalu residence in the heart of Les Gets and open to non-residents throughout the winter season, the stunning Sapana Spa makes for a perfect break from the slopes. Designed to encourage a sense of calm and relaxation, inside you’ll discover a swimming pool, spa bath, hammam and cosy treatment rooms. The exclusive Thalac and Thalac bio product ranges are used to encourage a soothing experience that will leave you rejuvenated and ready to enjoy the rest of your holiday. Advance booking is required and you can view the full treatment menu on the spa website.

Discover More: alpine-residences.fr

A Night Under The Stars

At the Refuge L’Abricotine at the foot of the Brochaux chairlift in Avoriaz you can discover a unique holiday within a holiday experience. Benjamin and his team offer an authentic overnight stay in their warm, cosy refuge that features Savoyarde specialities for dinner plus 24 dormitory beds. You’ll enjoy a night under the stars in the snowy wilderness as skiers head home for the day, the sky grows dark and the piste bashers get to work. It’s just €59 per person for dinner, bed (including sleeping supplies) and breakfast and you’ll head home with fantastic memories.

Discover More: refuge-abricotine.com or call +33 (0) 6 66 26 05 26 to book a table for lunch!

Wellness with a View

 

Can there be anything more refreshing than a dip in a warm, relaxing swimming pool after a day on the slopes? At Le Mil8**** in Avoriaz the infinity pool looks out over the peaks of the Portes du Soleil, making for a spectacular setting as the sun sets. There’s also a sauna, massage room and even a gym in case you’ve any energy left to spare. The Mil8 Signature Massage is a true treat, combining ancient, soothing and rejuvenating massage techniques. The hotel restaurant, bar and wellness suite are open to non-residents throughout the winter season.

Discover More: hotelmil8.com // Instagram @hotelmil8

Up, Up & Away in Avoriaz

Last winter Avoriaz lift operator SERMA prepared and secured a small number of ski touring routes for the benefit of those who like to get their downhill thrills by self-propelling up a hill. The result? Ski touring and splitboarding became a big deal. In fact, an overwhelming majority of those surveyed by SERMA during the course of the season said they plan to continue to enjoy the mountain in this alternative way during future winter seasons. SERMA responds this winter with three dedicated ski touring routes suitable for all ability levels. You’ll use the existing pistes to descend with itineraries that take in beautiful natural scenery. Use the Avoriaz Up & Down app to plan your route and look out for updates on night touring sessions and tutorials along the routes. 

Man’s (and woman’s) Best Friend

Photographer Gio Fleming has this year launched a dog photography service which aims to capture the beauty of time spent with your pet outdoors. Whether you’ve brought your dog on holiday with you, or you live locally, Gio is available to photograph you, your four-legged loved one and the rest of your family in a stunning local location. Each session lasts around an hour and a half and prices begin at €160 which includes the photoshoot, digital photos and a fine art print of your choice from the photoshoot. Gift vouchers are available too!

Discover More: gioflemingphotography.com/dogs

The Ski-In, Ski-Out Art Gallery

Hotel MiL8 in Avoriaz has teamed up with the online art gallery ventedart.com to open a contemporary arcade gallery on the lower level of the residence, which you’ll find in the centre of the village. With direct access to the slopes, hotel guests and contemporary art lovers from across the Portes Du Soleil can now view and acquire superb works from acclaimed artists to take home with them. With a fine selection of pieces signed by artists such as Edouard Buzon, Toma L, Nicolas Rubinstein, ANTO Fils de Pop, Pascal Bernier, Alexandre Nicolas, L’Atlas, Maxime Lhermet and more, you’ll also discover that some works have also just been hung in the hotel lobby, creating a new artistic dimension for the whole resort to enjoy.

Taste the Unexpected

 

L’Improvise translates to English as ‘the unexpected’, and that’s precisely what you’ll experience at this new pizza bistro in Morzine. Located in the old quarter, in a spot where there are very few other eateries, the team here have designed an eclectic mix of contemporary and classic pizzas, available to eat in or take away. New on the the menu this winter you can expect the Bella Rossa – beetroot cream with honey, Mozzarella fior di latte, lambs lettuce, fresh goats cheese, walnuts and balsamic cream in addition to an upgraded Forestière featuring porcini mushrooms, bacon and Mozzarella fior di latte. Fresh pastas, gnocchi also feature on a menu that is jam packed with fresh, seasonal ingredients. 

Discover More: improviste-morzine.com

Rock the Pistes Returns

It was one of the first events taken out by COVID-19 in March 2020 and the closure of the ski area meant it couldn’t take place in 2021. Fans of live music will be delighted to hear that the Portes du Soleil’s very own music festival returns to our slopes between 13th and 19th March 2022 with venues across the ski area. Each day there’ll be a concert in a different location at 1.30pm in addition to over 30 additional apres-ski concerts in individual resorts. The festival is entirely free to attend, all you need is your lift pass to access each venue. As we go to print the final lineup hasn’t been announced but we’ll load everything onto our events calendar at morzinesourcemagazine.com as soon as its available. For now, head to rockthepistes.com for updates!

The Return of Snowboxx

Because there’s no better feeling than raving at 1800m, Snowboxx returns to Avoriaz between the 19th and 26th March 2022 and… drumroll… the lineup has already been announced! Join in high altitude fun alongside Andy C, Annie Mac, Becky Hill, Sonny Fodera plus many, many others inside a massive open air arena in the centre of the resort. Fringe events include apres parties in secret locations, DJ sets in an enchanted forest, igloo parties, bottomless brunches and more. Whilst most festival-goers opt for a full package including accommodation, transport and a festival wristband, it’s also possible for local residents to buy festival-only wristbands which only become available as the festival draws nearer. There’s stacks more information at snowboxx.com for your reading pleasure!

Glasses For All

 

If you’re in the market for a new pair of sunglasses during your holiday, or perhaps your small people had lost theirs (again), take a trip to La Lunetterie on the route de la Plagne (opposite the large pharmacy) in the centre of Morzine to see Priscilla and Alexis. They’re experts in eyes, performing eye tests within the boutique and they also offer an extensive range of both glasses and sunglasses from several brands including Ray-Ban, Tod’s, Tom Ford and Julbo. The shop is open every day throughout the winter season between 10am and noon and 5pm and 7pm.

Head to facebook.com/la-lunetterie-morzine for updates.

Back On Track

This winter life and leadership coach Caitlin Cockerton launches a series of back to nature retreats and one to one outdoor coaching experiences here in our valley. Caitlin is passionate about helping people through big work and life transitions so that they feel more aligned in who they are and what they do. She believes that nature, movement and human connection are vital ingredients to support change and she creatively integrates these elements into her outdoor coaching practice.

The retreats involve 1-1 coaching sessions, forest bathing, wild swimming, yoga and mediation, healthy meals and cosy mountain accommodation. They make for the perfect alternative holiday experience, while those living here in our valley might benefit from individual coaching sessions with Caitlin. If you’re feeling disoriented or overwhelmed by the craziness of the last couple years and could do with a bit of support, contact Caitlin on connect@greatheightspathways.com.

A New End of Season Party

Le Bagui will take place on 10th April 2022, bringing an end to the winter season in Morzine. The celebration will include team relay ski races, mountain bike challenges and a whole load more fun, plus live music too. It’ll be the perfect celebration, bringing to an end the winter season that we all need!

Expect us to enhance this post as we career towards the new winter season!

What’s New in Morzine, Les Gets & Avoriaz for Winter 2022?
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