What’s new this winter in Morzine-Avoriaz?

Long ago, back in the mid 1900s, Avoriaz was composed of a few shepherds huts used by the people of Morzine Valley when tending their cattle during the summer months. When the snow fell over winter, only a handful of enthusiasts remained to enjoy skiing on the mountains.

One of these enthusiasts was Jean Vuarnet from Morzine, whose passion helped him win the Olympic downhill course in 1960 at the age of 27. Afterwards, he tasked himself with developing the beautiful mountains of Avoriaz so many more people could enjoy them as he had; in 1963, the Prodains cable car (stretching between Morzine and Avoriaz) was finished, ready for those wanting to make the most of the slopes.

Over the next few years, Vuarnet teamed up with Gérard Brémont, a property developer – who went on to become the CEO of Pierre & Vacances Group – and Jacques Labro, a young architect. Together, they created Avoriaz: a unique, pedestrianised resort designed to blend into the mountains (for those looking up from Morzine). To do this, they mimicked the natural landscape in the shape of the buildings and used untreated red cedar and larch; the wood changes colour based on its exposure to sunlight and humidity. And in 1966, as Christmas sparkled, Avoriaz opened its doors.

Although Morzine and Avoriaz are two separate villages, the commune of Morzine is responsible for both resorts, and they complement each other well.

Open from 16 December 2023 to 7 April 2024, Morzine sits at 1,000 metres and is home to authentic Savoyard character. It’s a place of attractive wooden and stone chalets, historic buildings, bustling markets, and boutique shops – plus it’s less than 90 minutes’ drive from Geneva Airport.

Avoriaz, open from 15 December 2023 to 21 April 2024, is perched on the cliff above Morzine at 1,800 metres and is renowned for being the only 100% skiable and 100% pedestrianised resort in Europe. It’s home to the Aquatic Centre, Aquariaz; the après ski venue, La Folie Douce; an eco-friendly giant snowpark, The Stash; and 20 horse drawn carriages (instead of taxis) and another 100 horses. Non ski activities across both resorts include, snowshoeing, ice climbing, fat biking, ice skating, ice diving, dog sledding, skijoring, tobogganing, plus new Avo Karts.

Together, guests staying in Morzine and Avoriaz can access 600 km of skiing across the expansive Portes du Soleil comprising 12 resorts, all on one ski pass. (A six-day Portes du Soleil ski pass costs from €399 / £343 per adult and €299 / £257 per child.

So, what’s new across these well-known resorts? Read on to find out more…


Avo Kart in Avoriaz

For a new type of transport on snow, why not try the Avo Kart? Thrill seekers will love this three-wheeled vehicle, equipped with hydraulic brakes and designed with a low centre of gravity for excellent road handling. Settle down into the bucket seat, take hold of the handlebars, and set off on a long 3.2 km track descending 600 metres.

Lac-Intrêts Chairlift in Avoriaz

This winter, guests can make use of a new detachable six-seater chairlift (that will replace the old four-seater Lac-Intrêts chairlift) in Avoriaz. The new chairlift will be able to transport 3,000 people per hour (600 more people per hour than before). SERMA, the operator of the ski area, made a series of decisions to limit the environmental impact from the beginning of construction to the operation: work has been carried out to protect local habitats; the chairlift has a Direct Drive motor with no gearbox to reduce its carbon footprint; all installations are in keeping with the resort’s architecture, and the technical centre has been equipped with solar panels.

Red run in the Arare Sector in Avoriaz

Skiers and snowboarders can enjoy a new red run, Le Creux de la Neige, in the Arare section of Avoriaz. Created along a natural route that needed no development, the run reaches 1.5 km in length and descends 300 metres. The Arare benefits from good, natural snow cover and the new piste will be groomed throughout the winter.

Beginners’ Carpet in Morzine

Those new to the sport can make use of the brand-new magic carpet that is being installed at the summit of the Pleney cable car. Starting close to the Nabor chairlift, behind the first-aid post, the 147 metre lift will arrive slightly above the Viking magic carpet; making it easy to transition between the two and access the beginners’ area easily.


Chalet Sarcleret

Taking its namesake from a traditional farming tool – like a hoe – that has been used in and around the Alps for generations, Chalet Sarcleret (sleeping 14) is all about creating a bond between people and the mountains. After being thoughtfully renovated earlier this year, families and friends can make use of the six en-suite bedrooms, plus a fun bunk room for up to six children. Chalet Sarcleret also has a welcoming open plan living and dining area, perfect for socialising. Plus, with its cinema room, outdoor hot tub, and balcony with stunning views of the valley, there are plenty of places to relax with a glass of wine or refreshing beer after an exhilarating day on the slopes. Based on the outskirts of Morzine, a chauffeur will whisk guests to and from the village centre and ski lifts. A week’s stay at Chalet Sarcleret, from 16 December 2023, costs from €1,070 / £917 total for 12 people sharing the chalet on a Classic Catered Package. Extra guests (13 and 14) will be charged 50% of the price pp for a week during winter.

Regor, Morzine

As the famous James Bond movie states, ‘Diamonds Are Forever’, but that doesn’t mean they have to cost a fortune. Visit Regor, a shop in Morzine, which offers customers a brand-new and unique collection of synthetic-coloured diamonds. The jewels comply with the 4Cs (colour, cut, clarity, and carat) and come with IGI certificates of authenticity. The diamonds hail from the USA, India, and Israel, but the settings are made in Morzine (and offer a more ethical and environmentally friendly alternative to mined diamonds).

Solide Café

After 12 years as a chef in Michelin-starred restaurants in Paris, Antony Dorland has opened his own laid-back café in the centre of Morzine. He specialises in working with small-scale local producers, such as les Jardins de l’Abbaye à St Jean d’Aulps, to use the very best ingredients. Everything is prepared fresh on the day, and consequently the small menu is updated regularly. The mugs and plates in the café come from a nearby potter, and the iced tea and lemonade are both prepared on site. Solide Café will stay open year round and offer healthy, seasonal dishes with plenty of vegetarian choices.


Morzine and Avoriaz are invested in sustainability: both are part of a UNESCO Global Geopark, and 3 Pierre & Vacances Residences in Avoriaz have been awarded the Clef Verte label (top international accolade for environmentally friendly tourist accommodation), Morzine’s locals have set up Montagne Verte (a not-for-profit association with a second-hand clothing shop), and Morzine-Avoriaz was awarded the prestigious Flocon Vert (a label promoting mountain tourist destinations committed to a cutting-edge sustainable development policy) in 2021. Across the mountains ski groomers use less polluting fuel and are equipped with a GPS system to improve efficiency, solar panels are being installed onto more lifts, paper is slowly turning into digital, and trees and habitats are fiercely protected.

Since 2012 Avoriaz has decided not to expand further, but to renovate the existing facilities to improve the quality of stay. In addition, local businesses that go the extra mile to support sustainable tourism are now receiving the recognition they deserve, with a new award for businesses within the prestigious Flocon Vert. Managed by the Association Mountain Riders, 11 companies in Morzine were the first to be awarded. These included, Croc Blanc (family chalet), Quincaillerie Mechoud (hardware store), and AliKats (chalet operator).

The Morzine ski area has also partnered with Les Aigles du Leman in the Nyon area; here visitors can learn about endangered birds of prey in the mountains and how to protect them. The resort is also sponsoring the reintroduction programme of the magnificent white-tailed sea eagle, which has been extinct in the area since 1892. Les Aigles du Leman breeds the eagle in captivity and has successfully released more than 10 birds into the wild over the past few years. During the winter season, skiers and snowboarders can watch a falconry display over lunch, and even ski with an eagle (and meet plenty of other birds of prey) if they are keen to know more.

Another way to help the environment is to choose to travel to resort by train. Picking this method of transport, instead of flying and/or driving, uses around 66-80 percent less carbon. Last year, the AlpinExpress Pass, designed by Montagne Verte, was launched. The AlpinExpress Pass gives skiers and snowboarders up to 10% off Morzine-Les Gets ski passes, ski hire, transfers, accommodation, and eating out with its wide range of partners. Morzine is a 40 minute drive from Cluses and Thonon-les-Bains while Avoriaz is an hour’s drive from both (the closest stations). Private transfers from these stations can also be booked with local transfer companies who are AlpinExpress partners.

To help guests make savvy choices, Morzine-Avoriaz has also created the GO MORZINE AVORIAZ App. This platform allows travellers to see different ways to reach the resort – the fastest, the most cost effective, and the lowest carbon footprint. The App also means holidaymakers can plan, book and pay for their journey in one go, from anywhere in the world, and easily select the most environmentally-free option.