Les Gets and Morzine – Summer Activities.
PORTES DU SOLEIL IN SUMMER – FOCUS ON LES GETS AND MORZINE.
Les Gets and Morzine in the summer are a hub of activity with world famous MTB down hill biking, hiking, whitewater rafting, paragliding and much more.
We visited the area to experience what the two neighbouring resorts had to offer our family of five and we discovered so much to do that we would need to return.
As temperatures rise and the last of the snow is slowly melting on the slopes, the natural flora, fauna and wildlife are beginning to flourish in the French Alps providing a spring and summer feast for everyone.
This is a truly magical time of year as new life emerges after months of snowfall and is what drives mountain lovers to explore the natural environment of the Alpine pastures, rivers and lakes.
The emergence of the summer season brings opportunities for a multitude of summer activities that can be enjoyed by both young and old and continue to bring the mountains alive and Portes du Soleil is no exception.
Many resorts in the French Alps consider themselves to be dual-season resorts but some in particular have invested in the infrastructure to reach this goal.
Les Gets and Morzine – Summer “hotspots” in Portes du Soleil.
The mountain villages of Les Gets and Morzine are two such resorts. Situated in the world famous Portes du Soleil, the villages are very close neighbours and although they have totally different characters, both resorts welcome summer with a bang and a list of activities which grows yearly. Les Gets is a small, family orientated resort with restaurants and cafes. Morzine is the more cosmopolitan of the two with a more active nightlife, boutique shops and a busy town “vibe”. It is however very easy to enjoy both these resorts in the summer, whichever one you are staying in, as they are clearly linked by bike routes, hiking paths and of course by road.
We visited the area a few years ago with our 3 children and we found there was so much to do in both resorts that we just couldn’t get it all done. We had friends staying in Morzine at the same time and we were all amazed at how much was on offer. Below is some of what we experienced.
MTB downhill trails in Les Gets and Morzine.
Mountain biking in the Alps can be alarming but also great fun and Les Gets has the largest MTB park in Europe with 128 km of slopes offering adrenaline-pumped action for all abilities. We were all beginners but found it easy to navigate the maps and signposts and build up from green to blue. There are also red and black for the more advanced biker, exactly the same as ski runs.
There are also additional family trails with a mixture of on-road and of-road biking and we found it wasn’t difficult or dangerous to cycle over to Morzine from Les Gets and join our friends for lunch. Rather than cycle back the same way there are family routes that have been organised to go in a circuit and suit all abilities and connect both resorts.
A popular day route is to cycle down the valley to Morzine, ride the chairlift up to Avoriaz and to cycle down through the picture postcard hamlet of Les Lindarets with its goats wandering the streets, and back to Les Gets via the Lac de Montriond. One can also now hire electric bikes to help take the strain if you prefer.
Summer luge run in Morzine.
Particularly popular with both our families was the luge in Morzine which runs down the side of the Pleney and is accessed by the La Crusaz chairlilft and is great fun for all ages. It’s safe and controlled by the person in the toboggan via a simple lever system. It does at times get very busy but is well worth the wait and it was enjoyed by one and all before the cycle home.
Hiking in Les Gets and Morzine.
We also walked from Les Gets across to Morzine, a really pleasant hike with stunning views over towards Avoriaz, and stopped for a wonderful lunch at the popular Le Vaffieu restaurant on the way.
We took the Chavannes chair lift up from Les Gets and walked along the ridge with the golf course on our left which took us less than an hour. It was a lovely, sunny day so we sat outside on the terrace at Le Vaffieu with views over the golf course and beyond. This lovely mountain restaurant is a definite “must visit” and the food is exceptional.
We walked off our lunch with a relatively steep downhill stroll through cow-filled pastures alive with the sound of jumping crickets, straight into the heart of Morzine and went for a pony trek along the river Dranse where it was lovely and shady. The return journey is either by reversing the walk with a chairlift up the other side or by bus.
Adventure Parc and Lac des Ecoles in Les Gets.
Our friends from Morzine did this walk in reverse and joined us in Les Gets and the children had fun swinging through the trees above us at the Adventure Parc, which is situated just above the lake. French rules are more relaxed than in the UK with no parental involvement required which the kids loved.
Again, a lovely sunny day so after the Adventure Parc we walked over to nearby Lac des Ecoles to cool off and have ice creams. Lac des Ecoles is a powerful family attraction in Les Gets and now has an inflatable watercourse for the over 6’s to enjoy as well as lifeguards to make it more relaxing. There are also a couple of waterslides. We took lilos and blow up boats and everyone was happy! There is also a café/restaurant and public toilets. Afterwards we watched the more advanced bikers hurling themselves over enormous jumps in the local bike park which was very entertaining.
On another day our horse-mad daughter persuaded one of her brothers and father to join her on a mountain hack. The Ranche des Portes du Soleil is in Les Gets and has a selection of local ponies for all sizes and abilities. The views from the journey up over the crests and back down were outstanding.
Whitewater rafting on the River Dranse in Morzine.
Whitewater rafting on the River Dranse provided us all with a bit more of an adventure. There are numerous hire companies to choose from in Morzine. It’s a spectacular trip through rapids and into the gorge and it was a fantastic experience for the whole family to enjoy regardless of age. Also from Morzine are canyoning, kayaking and body rafting down the rapids in wetsuits which is known as Hydro Speeding.
Lake Montriond, Portes du Soleil.
Another day we did a day trip to Lake Montriond which is not far from Les Gets and Morzine and provides another fantastic opportunity to combine swimming with hiking, ice creams and incredible views. You can either do a leisurely stroll around the lake or explore more deeply following the marked hiking trails. We did a very warm climb up and then down for a refreshing swim in the glacial run off that feeds the turquoise waters of Lake Montriond.
We thoroughly enjoyed our alpine adventures in Les Gets and Morzine and as I have already said at the beginning, there was a lot more to experience. A fantastic summer holiday in the French Alps!