MORZINE - LOCATION GUIDE
Updated: Jul 25, 2019
Morzine is well known as being one of the most popular holiday destinations in Europe for mountain bikers-‘A riders playground.’
A place where bikes dominate the mountains. Morzine has hundreds of miles of cross country and downhill trails, more than any other European resort. It’s connected to 12 other resorts via 24 chairlifts. If you’re feeling adventurous you can even take the lifts over the border to Switzerland. The town itself has a range of vibrant cafes and swanky restaurants, it’s the perfect place to chill after a day on the bike. Well known for having great burger bars, be sure to keep your eye out for our feature ‘The Best Burger in Morzine.’
Passportes du Soleil provides chairlifts to a huge range of trails. Morzine gives something to suit every rider. Whether you ride, DH, Enduro, Park, Freeride, off piste, steep, technical or mind-blowingly bonkers, Morzine has it all. There’s everything from beginner trails to the most challenging DH tracks in the world. On one side of the valley you’ll find Super Morzine full of fast flowing rocky trails, it’s a great place to start before you move on to the more technical stuff. Then there’s the Pleney side. A step up from super Morzine, you’ll find lots more features, roots and chutes. There are lots of off piste trails on this side of the mountain. Be sure to put on your big boy pants if you head off the beaten track here, it’s steep, über rooty and at times insanely techy, only for the brave……… or head on over the other side of the mountain to Les Gets, famous for Crankworks and hosting the UCI MTB World Cup this year in 2019. Alternatively you’ve got Chatel, Pela, Champéry, Pas de Morgins only a short drive away. There are so many trails in this area, I strongly suggest you ask a good local guide to show you something that suits your riding.
MTB Beds Morzine
Beautiful Chalets set in the stunning Morzine valley. MTB Beds aims to provide a hassle-free holiday of a lifetime. They provide self catering and catered accommodation. We stayed in their flagship catered chalet ‘Le Chapelle’. It’s here that they host their Riders Week’s holidays. Based in the centre of Morzine, its within easy reach of all the lifts and trails, pubs and cafes. This year MTB Beds will be opening a second Riders Week chalet in Morzine, very close to the existing Chapelle chalet. Not limited to one area, MTB Beds have also expanded to Finale Ligure and The Aosta Valley. Hopefully more about that soon…..
A quick friendly tour on arrival tells you everything you need to know. Secure lock ups for the bikes and an on site workshop with every tool you could (but hopefully don’t) need. Le Chapelle boasts its own on site World Cup mechanic, as well as an undercover outdoor prep area and bike wash with all the free goodies you could need to prepare for a day in the mountains. Courtesy of the Peaty's bunch.
MTB Beds can arrange local guides to show you the best that Portes du Soleil has to offer. Private Uplifts can also be arranged to show you the stuff only the locals will know about. Day trips to some epic riding (Pila, La Thuile, Aosta etc) can be organised. There are so many places to visit within reasonable driving distance. Why not have a sunset photo session with their in house videographer? Photographer Scott Windsor is on hand to come out for a ride and get some snaps of you in action. If your after a bike to hire, MTB Beds, who work closely with Transition bikes can provide you with what you need.
The perfect place to return to after a ride. Sweat away in the sauna or relax in the hot tub. The rooms are tip top, all with comfortable beds and en suite. Get competitive with your friends on a bit of downhill domination(we turned on all the cheats whilst we were there!)
The food at MTB Beds comes very highly recommended. With its own in house chef, its guests are treated to exceptional homemade meals throughout the day. Their BBQs are the best. Everyone sits around a huge table for food and a drink reminiscing about the day they’ve had. A proper social gathering, the way it should be. A great way to make friends.
Descend cannot rate MTB Beds highly enough, we had everything we could wish for to make our stay as enjoyable as possible. The price is right for the facilities available, £559 for the week seemed good value for the first class treatment we received. The staff are a team of riders who pride themselves on providing mountain bikers with a holiday they’ll never forget.
In conclusion MTB Beds Morzine would be a great venue to consider this summer. The UCI MTB World Cup is due to be held in Les Gets on the 13-14th July 2019. The Atmosphere is set to be insane. If you want to see the pro’s sending it (like you think you can) then it’s a good time to visit but be warned that parts of Les Gets will be closed off for the event. Some of the tracks there are likely to need a bit of tlc post World Cup. Don’t worry though, there’s so many places to ride, you’ll have plenty of other options.
Whether you decide to go by plane or send it on a road trip, here’s some things to take into account when planning your trip.
If your like me you’ll just love getting on a plane. It’s quick and easy to fly to Morzine without a bike. It’s just over an hour to get to Morzine from Geneva airport. However if you are taking your bike then you need to think about getting a bike bag, dismantling your bike and protecting the hell out of it as well as the cost of getting it there and back. Flying with your bike can limit what you are able to take.
If you're planning a road trip you’ll have a couple of options to consider. You’ll need to weigh up how much you want to spend vs how much time you can cope in a cramped space on the road with your friends. Being able to take everything you need and more is a big bonus to going on a road trip. If you are travelling with friends it can work out cheaper than flying if you split the cost.
Ferry or Eurotunnel?
There’s a big difference in price and travel time here. Prices for the Eurotunnel start at £46 each way but it only takes around 35 mins to get to Calais. Compared to the ferry from Dover to Calais which costs around £25 each way but takes 1hour 30 minutes.
Tolls can be pricey but can save you so much time. The most direct route to Morzine with tolls costs around €75 and takes around 9 hours (580 miles) from Folkstone. The most direct route without tolls takes around 12hours (629 miles) But with 3 hours difference and 50 miles, make sure you consider the extra fuel you’ve used on this route and whether or not the people in the car are still your friends. Personally, its tolls all the way for me. Id rather have an extra 3 hours on the bike.
The lifts in Morzine open from beginning of June to mid September. During the first week of opening there’s limited access to all the lifts. Passport de solis will still charge full price for a pass so make sure they are open to all the places you wish to ride.
Something that’s easily overlooked. Make sure your chosen insurance covers you for extreme sports and make sure that that includes mountain biking.
It’s very likely that you’ll avoid snow between June and September but prepare for any other weather. It can be scorching hot in the morning with thunderstorms in the afternoon. Take clothes to accommodate for the wet and dry conditions. Listen to your Mum and wear sun cream. The thin air and hot summer sun means you will burn quicker here than at home.
Don’t let lack of prep ruin your holiday. Have your bike serviced and ready to go before your trip. Don’t be that friend with a broken bike. Bring a good selection of spares especially if you have exotic bikes or unusual components that are hard to find. There’s lots of bike shops around Morzine (we found Alans very helpful) but it’s better to be as prepared as you can.
We hope this guide has been useful. Get in touch if you'd like to know more. Plan ahead, but not too much, just go and get lit.
Photos - Scott Windsor, Alex Hunter and Tom Cooper
Words - Alex Hunter