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Morzine-Avoriaz Ski Resort Information
Beyond the slopes:
Both resorts have a wide range of activities off the slopes. At Avoriaz there's a cinema, bowling alley, ice rink and fitness centre. Morzine's indoor ice rink stages national league ice hockey matches as well as providing leisure skating, while the resort also has a bowling alley, games bar and two cinemas.
The twin resort now boasts two large swimming complexes. Along with the new Aquariaz in Avoriaz, which has a tropical-themed indoor water park, Morzine has also added a new water sports centre (tel: 04 5079 0169), which has family pools, a well-being area, three saunas and two hammams.
Outdoors, choose from a variety of activities, including sleigh rides, winter hikes, snowshoeing, dog sledding, guided snowbiking tours and snowmobiling excursions. For something a little special, gaze in awe at the mountain scenery while hang-gliding, paragliding or on a helicopter tour, or sledge down from Pléney for a night-time meal in the middle of the woods.
Fort those with a penchant for underwater activities, try a guided scuba dive beneath Lake Montriond, offered by Caméléon Production (tel: 04 5075 9400; www.cameleon-organisation.com).
Morzine’s heritage can be discovered through watching its artisan craftspeople at work. Tour a slate miner’s workshop, watch how cheese is made or marvel at the skills of the local potter.
Both resorts are well-equipped for families with good nursery provision (from age three months) and a choice of high-quality children's ski schools. Avoriaz also has the added attraction of its safe, car-free status, whilst Morzine has the traditional resort charm and wide choice of off-the-slope activities.
Morzine has been given the Family Plus award (a national award for resorts that are especially good for children) for its facilities for families. Among the attractions here is a huge programme of free entertainment and activities for children, as well as a special sledging run and a dedicated children’s ski area. A free guide is available from the tourist office with details of the various activities on offer.
Avoriaz has built a particularly strong family-friendly reputation with its Village des Enfants (tel: 04 5074 0446), which offers a host of activities beyond skiing, including skijoring for children, where they are towed on skis behind a pony. Activities organised for older children include L'Opéra (tel: 04 5079 1665) alcohol-free disco nights for teenagers.
Although there are about 25 shops covering all the basics in Avoriaz, Morzine is much the better destination for shoppers with 100 or so choices, thanks in part to its status as a long-established market town dating back to well before the arrival of winter sports.
Morzine's wide selection includes stylish boutiques, jewellers and chocolatiers. Visitors also have the option of taking an empty backpack and skiing over to one of the Swiss resorts such as Champéry for Swiss souvenirs.
Spend an hour drifting above the slopes aboard a hot-air balloon with Caméléon Production (tel: 04 5075 9400; www.cameleon-organisation.com). As the route depends to some extent on wind direction, the operators cannot guarantee the exact landing point, but they do promise to return customers to resort.