Despite the best efforts of our local lift operators, the French government has prohibited the opening of our ski lifts for the festive season. At this moment (22nd December 2020), there is no 100% confirmed date for the opening of the ski lifts, however the French government have indicated that the season could commence on 7th January, depending on infection levels and hospital capacity. We’re assured that our local lift operators continue to prepare our pistes and lifts for an opening at the earliest possible date and in the safest possible conditions.
Whilst it’s obvious that most people come to Morzine, Les Gets and Avoriaz during the winter season to ski or snowboard, it’s important to note that our villages are still open. Shops, parks and trails are still open for festive family time, the Christmas tree is extra special and we’ve already had our first big snowfall. However our bars and restaurants will remain closed until 20th January. A number of activities, such as snowshoeing will still be possible and we’ll continue to keep the list of FAQs that follow updated as new activities are announced.
The information that follows is our best effort at keeping you updated on Christmas, New Year, January and the rest of the winter season. If you’ve a question that hasn’t already been answered below, or if you have any information to add, you’re very welcome to email us and we’ll do our best to help.
Is there a curfew?
Confinement officially ends in France on Tuesday 15th December and although this allows the easing of movement restrictions, an 8pm curfew is in place for the foreseeable, with the exception of the evening of 24th December 2020.
Can I go ski touring?
Thanks to a number of local organisations, ski touring can now take place in different authorised locations.
– Departing from Avoriaz, ascent and descent via the Bleue du Lac piste
– From Morzine to Les Prodains, ascent and descent via Piste du Crôt
– From Montriond, ascent and descent via the Parchets and Combe slopes in Floret. The ascent route will take you through the village of Lindarets and the Lindarets plateau.
On these routes, hiking will be authorised from 9.00am to 4.00pm. Outside of these hours, access to hiking routes is prohibited.
In Morzine ski touring can take place on Piste B.
However, should you wish to go ski touring or splitboarding outside of these authorised areas, you do so at your own risk, and it could be considered that those risks are generally higher than under normal circumstances. For example, pistes may not be marked or pisted and regular mountain rescue services will not be on patrol. Even though the lifts are closed, lift operating companies will continue to prepare and maintain the ski area, measures which could include avalanche clearing, snow making, the movement of equipment, etc. You are therefore requested to use the greatest caution and take a qualified, experienced local guide with you, plus the necessary safety equipment.
In case of an emergency on the piste between the hours of 9am and 4pm, or to check on conditions before you head out, you should call 04 50 74 11 13. Outside of these times and only in an emergency, you should call 112.
Will bars and restaurants be open?
In accordance with national guidelines, bars and restaurants across France will be closed until 20th January 2021. However, you’ll discover that many restaurants in each resort are now offering a takeaway or delivery service so you can enjoy a freshly-prepared meal in your own accommodation.
Are the supermarkets open?
Yes, it will be business as usual in our local supermarkets, although you should know that strict sanitary procedures are in place and you’ll need to wear a mask at all times. The weekly fresh produce markets in Morzine and Les Gets will also continue.
Will the Prodains Express be open so we can visit Avoriaz?
Because it is classified as ‘public transport’, the Prodains Express will be open exclusively for pedestrians on a reduced rotation of once every 20 minutes between 8am and 5pm. Parking in Prodains will also be free of charge during the festival holidays while the A bus line continues to travel between Morzine and Prodains every 30 minutes.
Are the snow parks open?
On the Plateau in Avoriaz, a learning zone has been prepared and is dedicated to beginner skiers and snowboarders. Note that of course the ski lifts are closed. In the Chapelle snow park, two lines have been created featuring modules for both beginners and intermediates. The Lil’Stash hut area is also open.
Can I go snowshoeing?
Yes, showshoeing is very popular in all three resorts, with many dedicated routes for you to enjoy. Equipment is available to hire in many local shops and our local guides are both experienced and qualified in safety procedures.
Can I go cross country skiing?
Of course the beauty of cross country skiing is that it gets you off the beaten track, away from the ski lifts and queues. The dedicated trails in all three resorts will be maintained as usual and they are accessible free of charge. You’ll also find equipment is available to rent in shops across all three resorts.
Will Alta Lumina be open?
Alta Lumina in Les Gets was the star of the show this summer season. The year-round outdoor attraction will reopen on 15th December and will run at 50% of its capacity to ensure adequate social distancing. Advance booking is required on the Alta Lumina website.
Will the local busses still be running?
Can I still park my car?
The covered parking spaces in Avoriaz will be open as usual, the open air car park will be closed. The horse-drawn sleighs and the caterpillars in Avoriaz will also continue to operate within strict sanitary protocols. In Morzine, all the car parks will be open and free of charge until 19th January.
Will any festive activities and events take place?
The offices de tourisme in each resort are currently preparing a programme of festivities for the Christmas and New Year period, as soon as these are complete we’ll share them in full.
Will the swimming pools be open?
Unfortunately, in line with government guidelines, neither Aquariaz or the swimming pool in Morzine will be open during the festive period.
Will the ice rinks be open?
The outdoor ice rinks in all three resorts should be open during the festive holidays, though we are waiting for final confirmation on the arrangements and we’ll update this question when we have further information. Morzine’s indoor ice rink will be closed.
Can I go sledging?
In Morzine, the dedicated sledging space on the Pleney will be groomed and open for you to enjoy. Also in Les Gets, a dedicated sledge piste will be established on the Chavannes during the festive season. We’ll update this question with the details from other resorts when we have them.
Can Wellness activities take place?
The therapists in addition to the yoga and pilates instructors of our valley are all fully operational. Massages, facials and other treatments can take place in dedicated treatment rooms or in the comfort of your own accommodation, whilst private yoga or pilates sessions are also available. Head to the Morzine Source Magazine wellness directory for more details.
What other activities are available?
Alpine French School will continue to offer language lessons including individual sessions, exam preparations and online classes. Tap this link for further details.
Can I get a refund on my season lift pass?
Those in procession of a Portes du Soleil season pass for Winter 2021, which was purchased in Morzine or Les Gets, can apply for a refunded, but this request must be submitted to the lift pass company from which you bought your pass no later than 11th or 18th December 2020, depending on where your purchased your pass.
If you purchased your PDS season pass in Les Gets, this request should be sent to email@example.com before 11th December.
For passes purchased in Morzine, you must send your request to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than 18th December.
For details on the Avoriaz season pass terms, click here.
It’s worth noting that PDS passes purchased with the 50% discount ‘Flash Sale’ in May 2020 are not refundable, but you can change the name on them without charge.
For those retaining their season passes, and in the event that all of the ski lifts are interrupted due to a case of force majeure (see the terms and conditions provided when you purchased your pass) resulting in the inability to use your season pass for 15 consecutive days, the Portes du Soleil season passes and Les Gets-Morzine local area passes may be subject to compensation in the form of a credit or reimbursement, corresponding to the number of closing weeks during the season, multiplied by the price of the season pass, reduced to the number of opening weeks initially planned, deducted from a day of deficiency at the basic rate in force.