Portes du Soleil: ideal for extensive cross-border skiing
Ski resort:
Portes du Soleil
Map:

Portes du Soleil in brief

 

Visit Portes du Soleil for an incredible number of slopes, family-friendly resorts, delicious French and Swiss cuisine and excellent snowboarding at Avoriaz.

Resort name:

Portes du Soleil

Location:

French and Swiss Alps

Nearest airport:

Geneva

Transfer time:

1 hr (by car)

Altitude:

900 m to 2,400 m (slopes)

Total ski runs:

650 km

Beginner runs:

122 blue runs plus 31 green

Intermediate runs:

100

Advanced runs:

32

Activities:

Alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, snowboarding, tobogganing, snow scooter rides

Did you know?

Portes du Soleil is home to the famously difficult piste known as the Swiss Wall on the eastern side of the Pas de Chavanette. This mogul piste is graded orange (meaning it’s more difficult than a black grading) due to its steep gradient and moguls of up to 2 m high.

 

Skiing in Portes du Soleil

 

Portes du Soleil is one of the biggest ski areas in the world. Stretching across the border between France and Switzerland, the ski region encompasses 12 resorts located between Mont Blanc in France and Lake Geneva in Switzerland, creating 650 km of ski runs and limitless opportunities for other winter sports.

 

Abondance

Located at the gateway to the Portes du Soleil region, Abondance is a French resort with around 15 runs ranging from gentle greens and blues to trickier black runs on La Corne and Pointe des Follys. Snowboarding is limited here, so you’re best off heading to Avoriaz instead if that will be your main focus.

The village itself is scenic and family-friendly with a few buildings of historical interest. Look out for a local dish called berthoud, which is made from melted Abondance cheese.

 

Avoriaz

Avoriaz is a French resort renowned for its snowboarding facilities. Located high above the Morzine valley, Avoriaz offers panoramic views of the Dents du Midi and Dents Blanches and has snow-sure slopes that spread outwards from the village in every direction.

Its snowboarding offerings include the La Chapelle snowpark, which serves riders of all abilities with various kickers, rails and boxes, a superpipe for intermediate and expert snowboarders, a boardercross with blue and red sections, the Arare snowpark for experienced snowboarders and a couple of facilities specifically for children.

 

Champery

This picturesque Swiss village at 1,050 m can be found at the foot of the Dents-du-Midi and Dents Blanches and offers easy access to the slopes of the wider Portes du Soleil area via a 5-minute cable car journey.

Intermediate and expert skiers will enjoy Champery’s own slopes the most; beginners should investigate their options elsewhere.

 

Châtel

Châtel in France has 130 km of its own pistes as well as offering access to slopes at the other resorts in the region. The ski area here extends across the Super-Châtel/Barbossine and Linga/Pré-La-Joux /Plaine Dranse massifs and includes 9 green, 17 blue, 14 red and 6 black runs. Skiers can enjoy direct links with Avoriaz, Torgon and Morgins.

The snowpark offers rails, kickers, slide boxes, hips and boardercross for snowboarders, as well as family-friendly features.

 

La Chapelle d’Abondance

La Chapelle d’Abondance can be found in France’s Haute-Savoie region below the Cornettes de Bise and Mont de Grange peaks. Skiers can pick up the La Chapelle/Torgon ski pass for access to 3 ski areas - Cret-Beni and Braitaz in La Chapelle d'Abondance and Torgon in Switzerland - or opt for wider access to 230 km of slopes in France and Switzerland, or the entire Portes du Soleil region.

Cross-country skiers can enjoy 40 km of trails going through La Chapelle d’Abondance, Châtel and Abondance. Snowshoeing and dog sledding are also on offer here.

 

Les Gets

Les Gets in France offers 120 km of slopes and 48 lifts. It occupies a convenient location between the ski areas of Les Chavannes and Mont Chéry, the latter of which offers amazing views of Mont Blanc.

There are pistes for all abilities and a boardercross slope dedicated to Déborah Anthonioz, an Olympic silver medal winner in the 2010 Vancouver Games. Some of the most difficult ski slopes include Chevreuil, Gazelle and Mouflon.

 

Montriond

The French resort of Montriond is famous for its l'Abricotine piste, which is one of the longest runs in Portes du Soleil at almost 8 km long. It also offers direct access to skiing in Avoriaz, Châtel and Les Crosets.

Montriond is also attractive for its food with a good selection of restaurants. The local cuisine is based on regional ingredients such as cheese and potatoes - tartiflette is served by many eateries and is worth a try when you’re looking to warm up after a day on the slopes.

 

Morgins

This Swiss resort is right on the border with France and is part of the CLCF ski area - the letters stand for Champéry, Les Crosets, Champoussin and Morgins. The area offers 100 km of slopes and 34 ski lifts. One particular highlight is the opportunity to ski at night on the floodlit piste of the Foilleuse.

Morgins has 3 cross-country trails varying in length from 3 km to 9 km, as well as an AUDI Skicross Park with a 1 km course and a descent of 160 m.

 

Morzine

Morzine is a popular French resort that shares a ski area with Les Gets and has a direct connection with Avoriaz for a total of 113 pistes, including a good selection of blues and reds. Many of the slopes are nicely uncrowded, offering quiet skiing.

Other activities available in Morzine include heli-skiing, sledding, snowmobiling, paragliding, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing across 5 areas. Some off-piste skiing is also available for the adventurous.

 

St Jean d’Aulps

St Jean d’Aulps is a French resort located at the foot of the Roc d’Enfer range and offers 77 km of slopes in conjunction with Avoriaz.

The St Jean d’Aulps-Roc d’Enfer ski area has 50 km of slopes with one highlight being a 20 km wooded circuit. It’s also possible to visit La Grande Terche via a shuttle ride for more skiing.

 

Torgon

Torgon is a quiet family-friendly Swiss resort that is the closest destination to Lake Geneva in the Portes du Soleil region.

Skiers can enjoy views of both the lake and the Dents-du-Midi mountains. The panoramic views of the Rhône valley and the surrounding Franco-Swiss Alps shouldn’t be missed.

 

Val d'Illiez

Val d'Illiez is a Swiss destination located at 950 m at the foot of the Dents-du-Midi mountains. Skiing is available at the nearby Les Crosets and Champoussin ski areas. Both are at higher altitudes for better snow and skiing.

Les Crosets is at 1,700 m and has particularly good snow in the winter. It’s easy to get to the resorts in France using the Pointe des Mossettes chairlift. Champoussin is at 1,600 m and offers great skiing in the sunshine along with superb mountain views.

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