MORZINE IN SUMMER GUIDE
Morzine in summer is absolutely thriving. Its vibrant high street is bustling with people and the surrounding area becomes a hub for heaps of outdoor activities. Yet, one of the many reasons why we love Morzine so much is because there are so many different things to do that it doesn’t matter what kind of holiday you enjoy.
You can lay by the pool all day, chill among nature while bobbing around on a turquoise lake, hike and bike until your heart’s content, and even ship the kids off to a club in the sports centre while you roam around the nearby towns eating all the croissants your belly can take; there is no end to things to do.
In this guide, you’ll find everything you need to know about visiting this hidden gem in Europe. We’ll let you know how to get there, what the best things to do are, and give you some recommendations on where to stay, eat and drink.
HOW TO GET TO MORZINE IN SUMMER
The closest airport to Morzine is Geneva Airport. It’s roughly 1 hour and 20 minutes away and it’s important to note that there are two sides to the airport – the Swiss and the French side, so make sure you follow the signs to exit the airport on the French side.
From Geneva, you’ll need to book an airport transfer or hire a car.
We personally recommend having a car to explore things at your own pace, however, Morzine multipass allows you to use the local transport and take part in various activities for just €2 per day, so a car is certainly not essential!
Tip: We always use Skyscanner to book any flights, as not only do they compare the best deals so you don’t have to, but they allow you to search by month which means you can find even cheaper dates!
EUROTUNNEL/DRIVING FROM THE UK TO MORZINE
If you’re up for a road trip, then hopping on the Eurotunnel from Dover to Calais is straightforward.
From Calais, it will take you around 8 hours to get to Morzine, and it’s basically just one big long road most of the way down. We chose to break up the journey by stopping in Reims on the way down, and Troyes on the way back and I’d recommend you do the same if 8 hours in a car doesn’t sound too appealing! Plus, with booking.com flexible cancellation policy, you can always change your mind if you feel that you want to drive less or more.
Tip: If you shop at Tesco then our top tip is to use your Clubcard points which will mean you’ll get 3x the value of your points – for example, if you have £20 Clubcard points then you will have £60 to spend on the Eurotunnel.
THINGS TO DO IN MORZINE IN SUMMER
HIKE ROC D’ENFER
One of the number one reasons why people travel to the French Alps in summer is to hike the abundance of signposted trails embedded among the mountains – over 200km to be more precise.
Roc D’Enfer is by far one of the most enthralling hikes to do in the area that should only be tackled at your own risk.
It’s an undulating hike for most of the way until you reach the bottom of a vertical climb that spits you out next to a narrow pathway towards the peak. If you’re brave enough to claw your way to the top then you’ll find yourself crawling along a knife-edge ridge which is quite frankly terrifying, thrilling, and electrifying all in one go.
It should take around 5-6 hours and there are signposts throughout the route.
You can find the trail here, however, it’s important to note that this is for the advanced hiker (not that we realised that at the time). It’s paramount that you have a solid pair of hiking boots (him/her) as the surface throughout is uneven and you will have to scramble to the top. It also gets incredibly hot, so a water bottle and snacks are definitely something to stuff into your backpack.
HIKE MONT OUZON AT SUNSET
15 minutes drive from Morzine is Le Biot. If you don’t have a car then there is a bus from Morzine town centre, however, it will take 25 minutes.
Summited Mount Ouzon is no doubt an incredible experience regardless of what time of day you do it. However, hiking to the top for sunset is extra special. Plus, it’s also one of the coolest times of day in the French Alps.
Although it’s a fairly easy hike for most of the way, the last part is a real scramble over some gigantic boulders. Once you peak over the top, you’ll find Lake Geneva sparkling away, which will be enough to distract your jelly legs for just a few moments.
The hike should only take a few hours, but you’ll need to bear in mind that it gets dark very quickly, so you can’t hang around for too long once you’ve reached the top unless you pack a torch in your backpack. It also gets pretty chilly quite quickly so the perfect solution is a merino wool base layer (him/her). This magic stuff keeps you cool when you’re hot and hot when you’re cool!
SPEND THE DAY AT LAC DE MONTRIOND (LAKE MONTRIOND)
Lake Montriond is 5 minutes drive from Morzine and when summer swings around, you could easily spend days here. In fact, we did spend days here (usually after a full-on morning of adventures).
It’s the perfect spot to relax, with activities on hand nearby for the more energetic. At the south of the lake, you’ll find paddleboarding, kayaking, canoeing, pony rides, and mini-golf readily available at a reasonable price, as well as a few restaurants. There is also a smaller, man-made lake for children to safely play in.
HIKE TO CASCADE DE ARDENT WATERFALL (A MINI-HIKE)
The trailhead to Cascade de Ardent leaves from the north side of Lac de Montriond. At just 3 kilometres long, it’s a short hike with great rewards. You’ll be led through a stunning woodland area before reaching a short and sharp hill towards the waterfall. Once you’ve arrived at Cascade De Ardent waterfall, you’ll find many people climbing across the giant rocks and even some wild swimming.
Tip: if you’re driving, make sure you don’t park in the layby’s as you will get a parking ticket, as we soon found out! We also recommend taking a packed lunch as the restaurants are expensive!
VISIT LAKE GENEVA
A 45-minute drive from Morzine is Lake Geneva and it is huge. And I mean really huge – 5400 acres worth of huge.
There is a French and Swiss side, both of which are very different. Around the lake, there are many beautiful towns to explore, and even a man-made beach! We recommend Yvoire, a picturesque medieval town on the French side, and Saint-Prex on the Swiss. You could spend a few days by the lake and it would pass as a beach holiday.
Alternatively, cycling the circumference is also a pretty epic adventure; the route is over 200k, which can be adjusted if you make use of the ferries.
PLAY SOME SPORT OR RELAX AT PARC DERECHES IN THE CENTRE OF MORZINE IN SUMMER
If hiking and biking aren’t for you, then fear not! Parc Dereches is an incredible complex right between the mountains and just a few minute’s walk from Morzine town centre.
It has skate parks, high-ropes, orienteering, dance classes, tennis, a spa…you name it, it’s probably available!
And the best part is that it’s super cheap! A number of hotels are part of the multipass scheme which covers some activities at Parc Dereches and includes local transport such as busses, along with chair lift access for just €2 per day – it’s such a bargain that allows you to explore the Morzine in summer with ease!
EXPLORE MORZINE ON A BIKE
Mountain Biking is one of the biggest reasons that Morzine comes alive during summer – a lot of people come out for the season and spend their days catching ski lifts up the mountain, before hurling themselves back down attached to their bikes.
If that sounds right up your street, then this is one of the best areas to test your skills. Needless to say that I didn’t try mountain biking and Tom stuck to being a roadie this time round, however, the official Morzine/Avoriaz site has a lot of information on the subject.
Road cycling in Morzine is also a popular sport, with some key Tour de France climbs such as the short and punchy Col du Corbier and the long and steep Col du Ranfolly at you at your fingertips.
The Col de Joux Plane is also nearby and will be the real test if you can hack it in the heat.
Tom has written a post dedicated to cycling in Morzine which has more in-depth detail about each of aforementioned the climbs.
WHIZ DOWN THE MOUNTAIN ON THE PLENEY LUGE
We’ve all seen those insane mountain slides on Instagram, haven’t we? Well, The Pleney Luge is just that, and you don’t even need a child to give it a go!
Annoyingly, we didn’t realise that the Pleney Luge was there until we were about to leave and so we never got a chance to give it a go. However, when we were in Interlaken, we flew down the mountain many times on a similar mountain slide so I can confirm that it is awesome.
If you head towards the Pleney Ski Lift near the town centre then you’ll find clear directions on how to get to the starting point.
WHITE WATER RAFT DOWN THE RIVER DRANSE
The River Dranse runs through Morzine and its surrounding areas, all the way down to Lake Geneva. It’s a beautiful way to travel down the mountain while having enormous amounts of fun!
There is a whole host of companies that run activities including canyoning, white water rafting, and hydrospeeding to name a few.
We would absolutely recommend Frogs Rafting as we had heaps of fun! They cater to all levels and is also a great activity to fall back on, on the off chance you get a spot of rain!
Exploring the French Alps in summer can be more exhausting than winter, which is why and that’s why yoga in Morzine is so popular.
Whether you’re looking for a yoga retreat or a one-off session after a long day hiking or biking, you won’t be short of classes.
From SUP yoga on Lac De Montriond to more traditional classes, it’s a tranquil place to give it a go! Emily Ruth runs a gorgeous class, as well as retreats that can be booked on her website.
EXPLORE THE GOAT VILLAGE OF LES LINDARETS
Les Lindarets goat village is an incredibly unique/cute/kind of weird little village that’s roughly a 10-minute drive from Morzine.
You’ll likely have to battle your way up the mountain and through the traffic of goats who rule the roads without knocking one over.
It’s the perfect spot to pick up some souvenirs and grab some lunch before feeding the goats and taking an obligatory selfie with one of your newfound furry friends.
EXPLORE MORZINE TOWN CENTER
Staying anywhere around Morzine in summer is a totally different experience from winter; the ski chalets ditch the Christmas decor and transform into the perfect summer hideaway.
Morzine town centre is vibrant and full of atmosphere, with plenty of bars and restaurants to relax in after an active day. There’s even a mini stage in the town centre with entertainment for both adults and children throughout the day and night.
HERE TO STAY IN MORZINE IN SUMMER
If you think the centre of Morzine is for you and you’re flexible with your budget then you won’t be disappointed – it’s a large and hilly town that sits snuggly between two mountains at the epicentre of all things sport; there is a huge sports complex smack bang in the middle, which we will come onto later.
And, with a web of cable cars, bus routes, and hiking trails sprawling from the town, most of the key activities and points of interest are accessible within arms reach.
Luxury: Auberge Duplex
Mid-range: La Bergerie Authentic Hotels
Budget: Hotel Le Grand Tetras
A roughly 10-minute drive from Morzine is St-Jean D’Aulps, which was where we chose to base ourselves.
It’s a small village with not much more than a boulangerie, pharmacy, and a couple of restaurants, however, it’s perfect if you enjoy hiking or cycling.
As you drive up the mountains you head into perfect tranquillity with chalets among the trees and the Roc D’Enfer cable car stretching above.
Hotels aren’t really a thing in St-Jean D’Aulps so you’re limited to chalets.
We stayed in Chalet Forêt which is hosted by Alex who also lives there – although he was out most of the time. We absolutely fell in love with Chalet Forêt and would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to stay near Morzine.
Just 5 minutes from Morzine is Montriond.
Next time we visit Morzine in summer this would be our location of choice – mainly due to the absolutely heavenly lake (which we will talk about later!) where we spent a lot of our time!
It’s slightly more built-up than St-Jean D’Aulps and as such, it feels less remote.
It’s also flatter so it doesn’t have the views that some of the other towns have, but the lake more than makes up for this in our opinion.
THE BEST PLACES TO EAT AND DRINK IN MORZINE IN SUMMER
Morzine is jam-packed with your typical French restaurants, cafes, bakeries, and much more.
- La Chaudanne
La Chaudanne offers classic French dishes like cheese fondue and Tartiflette is a super cute and romantic setting. If you haven’t tried Tartiflette then you should make it your priority…it’s basically a big bowl of cheese-potatoey-gooey-yummy goodness.
- Beanies Bar Pizzeria
If you’re not feeling that adventurous then Beanies Bar Pizzeria is a good alternative that offers equally cheesy-gooey-yummy pizza.
Alba in St-Jean D’Aulps offers a variety of dishes from pork belly to various curry’s. If you go for the curry then you won’t be disappointed as both Tom and I agreed it was the best we have ever tasted. They also have live music every week which provides a great atmosphere!
- Satellite Coffee
Satellite Coffee in Morzine is somewhere we ate pretty much every day – we were obsessed. They do the best french toast, smoothies, and nourish bowls EVER. It’s incredibly popular and not that big, so I recommend getting there in good time for both lunch and breakfast. There is one table for two on the balcony with beautiful views of the mountains, so definitely try and bag that if you can!
DISCOVER BEYOND MORZINE IN SUMMER
Read more: if you’re visiting France and love the mountains, then not too far from Morzine is Interlaken which is another beautiful location in the Alps!
Read more: no trip to France is complete without a visit to the capital. We’ve got posts on where to stay in Paris, things to do in Paris, and hidden gems in Paris.
Read more: If you loved the hiking aspect of this post, then discover the best walks in North Devon, or check out our guide to hiking the Four Waterfalls Walk in the Brecon Beacons!
Millie and Tom x
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