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September 16, 2010 in Resorts
Morzine Avoriaz, France
Location: Rhone-Alpes Region, Part of the Portes du Soleil ski area (French Side), France
Nearest city: Cluses
Skiable terrain: Pistes of 650km
Longest Run: Unknown
Ski season: Start of and end of season snow dependant (19th December-End of April)
Lift System: 212 lifts – 117 surface lifts, 81 chairlifts, 10 gondolas and 4 cable cars – 235,828 people per hour
Terrain Parks: 9 snow parks 5 boarder crosses
Morzine’s terrain makes it a fantastic place for beginners or those who haven’t skied in years. The laid back attitude of the locals in the restaurants and the friendly lift staff make it the perfect place to for a long weekend getaway. With the flight from London Gatwick taking an hour and 15 minutes its a short hop across the channel to Geneva airport, and then an easy hour and a half journey by car to Portes du Soleil.
The resort is traditionally very popular with families because of the nature of the skiing in and around the village area. However if you need a challenge just hop up to Avoriaz a 20 minute drive or 5 minute cable car journey from the Prodain bubble car into the heart of the Avoriaz Village where you can test yourself with a selection of black and red runs including the infamous ‘THE WALL’ run (not for the faint hearted).
If you get board (no pun intended) of all the slopes offered to you in Morzine and Avoriaz the Port du Soleil ski pass also incorporate the nearby village of Les Gets which has a good couple of days challenging skiing on Mont Cherry as well as some easier runs near the ski school in the centre of town. If France isn’t your cup of tea in the Port du Soleil why not pop over to Switzerland. As long as you’ve purchased the Port du Soleil lift pass the slopes are yours to roam. Just be careful not to get stuck there when the lifts close for the day!
|Duration||From 19/12/09 until 03/04/10||Before 19/12/09 and after 03/04/10|
|Half Day (until 1pm or from 12 noon)||30 €||20 €||24 €||26 €||17 €||20 €|
|From 11am onwards||36 €||24 €||29 €||31 €||20 €||25 €|
|Full day||40 €||27 €||32 €||34 €||23 €||27 €|
|1 day and a half||69 €||46 €||55 €||59 €||39 €||47 €|
|2 days||78 €||52 €||62 €||66 €||44€||53 €|
|3 days||111 €||74 €||89 €||94 €||63 €||76 €|
|4 days||143 €||96 €||114 €||122 €||82€||97 €|
|5 days||173 €||116 €||138 €||147 €||99 €||117 €|
|5 x 1/2 days||150 €||100 €||120 €||130 €||85 €||100 €|
|5 x 1 day||200 €||135 €||160 €||170 €||115 €||135 €|
|6 days||205 €||137 €||164 €||174 €||116 €||139 €|
|7 days||230 €||154 €||184 €||196 €||131 €||156 €|
|8 days||254 €||170 €||203 €||216 €||145 €||173 €|
|8 days non-consecutive||240 €||160 €||192 €|
|9 days||277 €||186 €||222 €||235 €||158 €||189 €|
|10 days||297 €||199 €||238 €||252 €||169 €||202 €|
|11 days||315 €||211 €||252 €||268 €||179 €||214 €|
|12 days||332 €||222 €||266 €||282 €||189 €||226 €|
|13 days||349 €||234 €||279 €||297 €||199 €||237 €|
|14 days||364 €||244 €||291 €||309 €||207 €||247 €|
|Season Pass||760 €||509 €||608 €||646 €||433 €||517 €|
|Residents Pass||600 €||402 €||480 €||510 €||342 €||408 €|
Typical ski hire and boot is between 20 Euros a day and 60 Euros a day, obviously dependant on the quality of kit hired and the provider. Whilst boards are a little more expensive at 25 Euros a day.
Ski hire shops are situated throughout the centre of Morzine Avoriaz and Les Gets, however it may be wise in peak season to pre book some equipment just in case.
Because of the relatively affluent area which it resides accommodation during peak times can be expensive however, look hard enough and you will always find a bargain.
The nightlife for a particulary family orientated resort is reasonable. There are plenty of friendly bars and clubs in the centre of morzine with more and more springing up all the time however the downside to the tourism is that drinks aren’t cheap with a cheap pint being 4 euros.
+ Part of the vast Portes du Soleil lift network
+ Larger local piste area than other Portes du Soleil resorts
+ Good nightlife by French standards
+ Quite attractive old town – a stark contrast to Avoriaz
+ Few liftlines locally (but see minus points)
– Takes a while to get to Avoriaz and main Portes du Soleil circuit
– Bus-ride or long walk to lifts from much of the accommodation
– Low altitude means there is an enduring risk of poor snow, though increased snowmaking has helped
- Low altitude or inconvenient beginner slopes
– Not a great resort for experts
– Weekend crowds
Tags: Avoriaz, bars, blizzard, camera, chalet, clubs, facebook, friends, fun, ice, Les Gets, Menu, Morzine, pool, Resorts, ski, Ski Hire, Ski passes, Skiing, snow, snowboarding, snowy, The wall, video
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May 13, 2010 in Weekly Update
Hope everyone is well and Welcome Back to the site if your returning and a Massive Welcome to all who are visiting for the first time….
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Bad Gastein, Austria
Traditional spa resort with a huge ski & snowboard area.
The Gastein valley isn’t widely known internationally. It deserves better: its slopes are impressively extensive, and mainly quite challenging – great for intermediates who are happy on real red runs. But the place doesn’t cater properly for air-package holiday makers without a car. With five mountains, of which only two are linked, the valley really needs an efficient bus service instead of the current token offering.
With its grand hotels, trinket shops and cramped gorge-like setting, central Bad Gastein itself is a far cry from your standard chalet-style Austrian village. But staying above the center near the lifts offers a more normal winter sports experience, and both Bad Hofgastein and Dorfgastein, respectively a few miles and a few more miles down the valley, are equally well worth considering as a base.
To make the most of the valley you need a car. With five spread out mountains, of which only two are linked, the valley needs a first class public transport system, and it doesn’t have one – traveling from end of the valley to the other can take over an hour and may involve a couple of changes.
Trail map Town map
+ Four separate, varied areas with a huge number of slopes both above and below the tree-line
+ Great for confident intermediates, with lots of long, challenging reds – and great cruising and carving in the Schlossalm sector
+ More snowsure than most low-altitude Austrian resorts, with the high Sportgastein area as back-up
+ Lots of good, atmospheric, traditional mountain restaurants
+ Plenty of off-slope facilities, many related to its origins as a spa resort
+ New Ski Alliance Amadé lift ticket covers wide range of nearby resorts
– Unless you have a car, you need to choose your location with care or budget for a lot of pricey taxi rides – the lift bases are widely spread and the bus service is a disgrace
– Spa-town atmosphere is not to everyone’s taste, and Bad Gastein itself can suffer from local traffic on the narrow streets; Bad Hofgastein is a better base for many people
– Near-beginners and timid intermediates must be wary of leaving the Schlossalm sector