A hugely popular ski area, Les Portes du Soleil is one of the top destinations in the Alps. Here at InTheSnow.com we are giving you a rundown of 7 reasons why you NEED to visit Les Portes due Soleil this year.
1. Size Matters
With over 650km of marked piste and 196 lifts, Les Portes du Soleil is one of the largest ski areas in the world. It boasts over 300 runs, 2/3 of which are either red or blue, meaning that skiers of every level will be able to enjoy themselves with an abundance of runs to ensure good variety throughout your visit. Due to the immense size of the ski area, there are good pre-marked trails and circuits that are often popular with holidaymakers due to the ease that comes with their being well signed. If you prefer to make your own routes however, this is simple too thanks to a free app that creates and plans routes based on your ability level and preferences.
You could spend a whole season there and never get bored, so whether you’re thinking of heading off for a week’s holiday or working a winter season, Les Portes du Soleil will provide you more than enough pistes to play with.
2. Superb Snow Parks
Alongside it’s vast piste offerings, Les Portes du Soleil has great variety for those freestyle fans out there, with 11 snow parks and 4 border cross. The best place to head if you want to get that adrenaline flowing is Avoriaz, which offers dedicated zones for superpipe and border-cross, as well as ‘The Stash’, an extremely fun Jake Burton-inspired snowpark that weaves through the forest. Les Crosets’ Superpark is also a great place to head for experts as well as those that are only just starting to get their freestyle legs thanks to the additional Micro Park.
3. The Wall
Le Pas de Chavanette is an infamous mogul run that links to the Swiss resort of Les Crosets and it’s definitely not one to miss in Les Portes du Soleil area. Also referred to as ‘the Wall’ or ‘the Swiss Wall’, it’s an orange run which means that it’s classified as being more difficult than a black. It’s very steep, very bumpy and is definitely one that every skier needs to tick off their list at some point!
The moguls at the top can get up to incredible sizes, which can make this run a very intimidating prospect. However, once you’ve passed the first 50m or so, the terrain becomes a lot more forgiving and it’s a run that many people really enjoy. If you’re confident on moguls, you should definitely give this one a go – it’s a lot of fun.
4. Amazing Alpine Food
Traditional alpine cuisine is at its delicious best in Les Portes du Soleil. Whether it be lunching in one of the 99 mountain restaurants or relaxing over dinner in your base resort, you will enjoy the best of the region’s incredible offerings. Traditional Savoyarde specialties of bubbling raclette, tartiflette and fondue are common, if you’re a cheese-lover there really is no better place to get your fix of fromage. Not to mention the amazing vin chaud…! A particular lunchtime favourite of many Portes du Soleil holidaymakers is Chez Dennis over in Châtel. With a mouth-watering menu that contains many local specialties that you really need to try while you’re in this area, Chez Dennis can be enjoyed by skiers of all abilities thanks to a convenient location atop one of the area’s main chairlifts. Food always seems to taste better when you’re mid-way through a long day’s skiing and you will be spoilt for choice in Les Portes du Soleil.
5. Resort Choice
Les Portes du Soleil boasts a total of twelve resorts – five on the Swiss side and 7 on the French. This means that you have a LOT of choice when it comes to what sort of holiday you are after. If you’re after a more party-focused town, you can choose a busier resort like Avoriaz or Morzine.
Alternatively, if you want a quieter getaway, you can head to the beautiful family friendly resorts of Les Gets or Morgins. Either way, absolutely everyone is welcome when it comes to this ski area and you will definitely be able to find the perfect resort for the sort of getaway you are after.
6. Festivals in Les Portes du Soleil
This year, Les Portes du Soleil plays host to not one but two amazing festivals; Rock the Piste and Snowboxx. Dance festival Snowboxx takes place in Avoriaz from the 17th to the 24th March 2018, with headliners including Chase & Status, Snakehips and Danny Howard. A Festival Village will play host to live music and crazy apres parties for 5 consecutive nights, while bars throughout Avoriaz will be putting on special events throughout the week. Alternative entertainment options include late night igloo parties, raclette, steak and fondue feasts and bottomless brunches.
The more rock-focused, Rock the Piste Festival takes place across Les Portes du Soleil area on the same week, beginning just a day later on the 18th. The lineup is as yet unreleased, but previous years have seen concerts from the Klaxons, the Babyshambles and Rag’n’Bone Man. This festival will see five main concerts on the pistes, with an additional 74 concerts taking place across Les Portes du Soleil area. The whole ski area will be absolutely buzzing across this week. If you like music, partying and an incredible ski area – March in Portes du Soleil should definitely be an option you consider this year.
One of our favourite resorts that service Les Portes du Soleil area, Morzine is a beautiful, charming ski town with a bustling centre. We particularly like this resort because it’s not purpose built for skiing; the town is in use by locals all year round and really has a lovely traditional feel. The majority of the accommodation here is built in a local chalet style, as opposed to the large, looming apartment blocks that dominate some other French resorts.
It’s a great choice for a ski holiday, as the surrounding slopes are good for beginners and not too challenging, however more difficult skiing can be found only a few lifts away for those that want it. This means it is a great destination for families or groups with skiers of varying abilities. There’s also a lot of choice for non-skiers, including tobogganing, snowshoeing, ice skating, swimming, ice diving and hiking. A very popular resort and only around an hour and 20 minutes from Geneva airport, Morzine is definitely one of our favourite bases from which to explore Les Portes du Soleil.
Morzine & Les Gets are scheduled to open on 16th December 2017, while the extended Les Portes du Soleil area opens this year on 23rd December, just in time for you too get your perfect white Christmas! To read more about the area and its resorts, take a look at our Resort Guides.
Images from Les Portes du Soleil at: [https://www.facebook.com/lesportesdusoleil/]