Those of us who are regulars at the Alpine resort of Morzine have seen plenty of changes to the tone and vibe of the resort over the years. Located close to the French/ Swiss border, what started off as a genteel village resort for good quality, affordable skiing, has turned into a veritable playground for lovers of all kinds of winter sports, including show boarding and cross-country skiing.
And in recent years, some really unusual activities have arrived at Morzine, giving us all the opportunity to push ourselves to the limit and beyond! Below is our round up of the best alternative winter sports to enjoy. Just a few words of caution: make sure you’re fully equipped with all the body armour and protective skiwear you might need, and please – don’t try this at home!
Speed-riding/ Paragliding: There are six companies specialising in paragliding and speed-riding in the Morzine area – six! If you’re not familiar with the term, speed-riding is like paragliding, in so far as you launch yourself (whilst on skis) from a slope with the wing overhead, but with speed-riding the wing is much smaller, allowing you to ride closer to the slopes and at much greater speeds for an exhilarating experience.
Heli-Skiing: Run by official tour guides in Morzine’s specialist, the heli-skiing company takes you on a thrilling helicopter ride over the stunning Portes de Soleil ski area and then literally drops you off on neighbouring Italian glaciers and Swiss ski slopes. It’s a fantastic way to expand your French ski holiday to take in other foreign slopes!
Off-piste Skiing: Be amongst the more adventurous of us by spending a day or two exploring the off-pistes slopes of the Portes du Soleil or the less well-known glaciers of the Mont-Blanc area. Only accessible with official tour guides, check in at the tourist office to make contact and book your off-piste adventure.
Ski Joëring: If you’ve never heard of this activity, then you’re not alone! It’s a highly unique experience where a specially trained horse pulls you along as you glide over the snow on your skis! If it sounds weird, well it kind of is! But it is also a really fun family day out and, best of all, children as young as 5 can participate (as long as they meet the minimum 2 star ski level). Note that you’ll need to bring your own skis, and that they need to be under 1.70m long!
Yooner: The Yooner is the next level in sledging! It’s basically a seat that is set at 20cm above the ground on a wide-based single runner. Using the integrated steering handle, you carve turns on the slopes at super-fast speeds and have tons of fun to boot! As well as fun, spills are guaranteed, so invest in some decent headwear to avoid too many bumps!
Segway: Yes, the Segway – the futuristic, eco-friendly transportation device – is a hit on the Morzine slopes! Well, not exactly the slopes as such, but lead by local guides you can get a taste of this unique mode of transport whilst exploring the Morzine area throughout the year.
We’re just coming to the end of the 2013 season, which has been fantastic for snowfall, and hope you will join us in 2014. If you would like to find some luxurious Morzine accommodation then please consider staying with us at The Farmhouse situated in the quiet old town.