This picturesque town of Morzine in the French Alps might be best known as a ski destination but it’s becoming increasingly popular as a summer escape and for good reason, there is so much to do during the summer in Morzine.
Once the snow has melted away the 600km of ski slopes become marked trails for hikers and mountain bikers. There are golf course and zip wires, white water rafting and lake swimming, horseback riding and lots of good food.
Morzine also enjoys a packed summer calendar of events with everything from children’s festivals to the Morzine Harley Days Festival when more than 20,000 motorbikes descend on the French Alpine village.
If you’re thinking about swapping skis for hiking boots and spending summer in Morzine then this post is for you. Discover the best of Morzine during the summer months along with neighbouring Les Gets with our handy guide to summer in the mountains.
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Morzine sits at the heart of the Portes du Soleil area, which covers 12 resorts located between Mont Blanc in France and Lake Geneva in Switzerland. It’s a popular destination during the winter months for family ski holidays but increasingly people are looking to Morzine for the summer season.
Morzine started life as a traditional French farming village and you can still see the original homes and buildings in the heart of the village today. It’s a year-round resort meaning that while the winter months still win out when it comes to apres-ski partying, the summer months are almost as lively and you’ll find a great selection of places to eat and drink as well as some good options on accommodation.
Personally I love summer in the mountains and have a particularly soft spot for Morzine. My family has been returning here year after year drawn by the fresh mountain air, the myriad activities and the laidback summer days. For me, Morzine really is the perfect place for a summer holiday.
Things to do during the summer in Morzine
Your first port of call should be the Morzine Tourist Office. Located in the heart of the town centre, the tourist office is a great source of information for finding out about what are the best Morzine summer activities for your family. It’s also a good place to find out more about the excellent Multi Pass Scheme, which allows you to experience an huge array of indoor and outdoor activities in the region from as little as €2 per day!
Walking and Hiking in Morzine
Lace up your hiking shoes and hit the trails this summer in Morzine – you have over 200km of signposted walking routes to choose from!
The Morzine area offers miles of brilliant hiking trails to suit all abilities from short strolls along the Dérêches river and gentle hikes from Lindarets goat village to visit the magnificent Brochaux waterfall, there are walks to suit all levels. Some of the ski lifts and cable cars still run during the summer months giving you even more walking options. Many of these can be accessed without a car.
Paths are generally well maintained and signposted with yellow signs – just be aware that some trails are shared with mountain bikers. The yellow signposts indicate how much time you have left on your walk (rather than telling you the distance) and are usually accurate.
Be aware that cafes and restaurants are few and far between when walking so make sure to bring everything you need with you including a refillable water bottle, snacks and a picnic lunch. Similarly, make sure to bring layers and sunscreen with you as the weather in the mountains can change very quickly.
If you’re really looking for an adventure then consider hiking and bivouacking in the mountains, we enjoyed this one summer and it remains a Morzine highlight!
The following are some of our favourites. Once you’ve tried these, stop by the Morzine Tourist Office where you can pick up a booklet of recommended walks.
The village of Lindarets is a short 20-minute drive from the centre of Morzine. Head to Lac de Montriond and keep going past the lake following the windy road up to Lindarets.
The hike from Lindarets to Brochaux takes you along a wide path bordered by banks of wild flowers and cow pastures. The waterfall is hidden behind the mountain just past the Refuge d’Abricotine. It’s best to go on a sunny day just after a big rainfall when the waterfall is at its most spectacular. Take water shoes for the kids so they can play in the little pools and streams at the bottom of the falls.
The hike takes us about an hour and a half return since we stop a lot to look at the flowers, butterflies and cows. We also like to take a little picnic to have at the falls.
This gentle stroll is ideal to do with young children and can be done with a pushchair if you have very young children or babies with you. Pushchairs are available to hire from the Intersport in the centre of town if you don’t have one with you.
Start at the tennis courts near the swimming pool and skate park in Morzine and follow the path along the Dérêches. There is plenty to do along the river including various parkour courses, the Indiana Adventure Park that has a zip wire, the horse riding stables and a play park.
Le Sentier du Renard
From the bibliothèque opposite the church in town, Le Sentier du Renard, is another peaceful amble along the river to the Nyon falls. It is a gentle incline and pushchair friendly. It is also really shady so good to do on a drizzly or sunny day as it is not exposed. From the top of the falls you can either retrace your steps or double back across the Pleney plateaux which has nice views over the town.
Chardonnière – La Golèse – La Bostan
If you are looking for more of a challenge then there are some great hikes from Lac des Mines D’or and the Chardonnière. These will be steep in parts so they are well suited for older children or young tots in a hiking baby backpack.
We’ve enjoyed a three-hour hike to La Bostan when our two children were younger and although it was steep in parts it was manageable and we spent the night in an Auberge and enjoyed marshmallows by the fire.
The small village of Montriond is just outside of Morzine located near the Ardent bubble lift. It’s home to the Lac de Montriond, the Montriond Lake, a beautiful emerald green freshwater lake. During the winter months it’s a popular spot for ice diving but during the summer months it’s a playground for swimmers, kayakers and canoeists. It’s also a great place to launch your stand up paddle board.
There’s a little lake for kids, complete with sand pit and a miniature waterfall. The lake is usually home to hundreds of tadpoles too, which provide endless hours of entertainment for young kids.
There are plenty of activities around the lake as well, including a mini 4×4 course, a playground with a little zip line and pony rides. You can also walk or run a loop of the lake.
There are three restaurants on the lake all serving delicious Savoyard food. I love the filets de perche (locally caught fish), or a steak with local mushroom (cepes) sauce. If you have access to a parasol bring it along as there is limited shade next to the lake and it gets quite hot in the summer months.
If you enjoy yoga then early morning yoga sessions are held on the wooden terrace overlooking Lake Montriond during summer months (adults only).
Go Mountain Biking
The Portes du Soleil has become one of the world’s largest mountain biking area, particularly in Morzine and Les Gets, and during the summer months you’ll see hundreds of mountain bikes zipping down one of the hundreds of marked trails.
VTT, or Downhill Mountain Biking, gives a similar rush as skiing does in winter and it’s a great sport to try if you’re looking for a summer adrenaline thrill. But it’s not just a sport for daredevils (although it does require a certain amount of confidence!) an increasing number of families are hitting the trails together.
Runs are graded in the same way the ski pistes are with green being the easiest and black being the hardest. If you are heading out without an instructor or guide, make sure to study your piste map carefully so that you can choose easy tracks for the whole family to enjoy.
That said, this is a sport for older kids as the terrain can be steep, rocky and slippery. If you are considering taking the kids out on mountain bikes then I highly recommend booking a lesson first. Even if you are comfortable riding a road bike, navigating the mountain terrain on two wheels is another ball game entirely.
Bikes are available to hire in Morzine and in nearby Les Gets or you can bring your own. Similarly, protective kit including helmets, gloves, back and shoulder protectors, and elbow, knee and shin pads, can be rented. This is not a cheap sport, however, and a day up the mountain on two wheels will easily cost 100 Euros per person.
Electric mountain bikes are also an option and a great choice if you want to see the mountains on two wheels but don’t fancy hurling yourself down one of the MTB trails.
Road cycling is also a popular sport in Morzine and Les Portes du Soleil – the area often forms part of the Tour de France, most recently in 2023. During the most recent stage riders had to cycle up the infamous Col de Joux Plane, the most famous – and challenging – of the Morzine Cols.
If you’re visiting Morzine with kids then I would not recommend cycling along the mountain roads with kids, however. The winding roads are narrow and cars like to zip along at speed!
The Summer Luge
The slopes of Pleney are situated just a short walk from the centre of Morzine. There are a handful of lovely places to eat on the slopes that have activities for the kids including trampolines, mini golf and playhouses.
The other reason that we love coming here is the Luge. Located next to Le Tremplin restaurant, this large summer sledge whisks adventurers down the left hand side of the Pleney slope. Younger kids can ride with an adult and older ones can go solo.
The luge is accessed by La Crusaz chairlift.
Morzine Swimming Pool
Be prepared to spend a whole day at the outdoor pool with the kids. Located next to the sports centre (where you’ll find the ice rink), the swimming pool in Morzine is great fun and really one of the best places to be on a sunny summer’s day. There’s a twisty water slide, a bouncy castle, a baby pool with slides and fountains, a play park, a 50m outdoor lap pool, an indoor heated pool, a medium kids pool and diving boards. There’s also a sandy volleyball area and picnic lawn.
You are not allowed to eat poolside but you can take a picnic and eat on the surrounding grassy area.
Be aware, traditionally speedos have been obligatory in French swimming pools. In recent years, staff seem to have become more relaxed and there have been more board shorts on display but it is probably worth packing a pair of budgie smugglers just in case! There is a vending machine at the pool entrance if you forget.
The slide and bouncy castle close for lunch so best to go in the morning or afternoon. It’s worth investing in the Multi Pass if you plan on swimming regularly, it offers free access to the pool as well as lots of other activities and attractions.
The Skate Park
Just outside of the swimming pool is the skate park equipped with a bowl, a series of ramps and a pump track. The great thing about this skate park is that it’s open to all ages and abilities so it’s just as fun for teens as it is for young kids with scooters.
French Alpine School
School might be the last thing your kids want to do on holiday but the Alpine French School in Morzine runs fantastic summer camps that allow kids to learn French and have fun.
The week-long camps involved morning lessons followed by afternoon activities that include everything from canyoning and white water rafting to mountain karting and stand-up paddleboarding (there is also the option for a half-day camp).
Classes are run by native speakers and are capped at a maximum of 15 kids per class. Speaking from personal experience, even the most unenthusiastic of teens will enjoy themselves!
Visit Les Gets
It’s well worth spending time in neighbouring Les Gets when you are in Morzine. This is a popular ski-in ski-out resort in winter but it’s equally popular during the summer months. Despite its proximity to Morzine, however, it has a very different personality with upmarket shops and restaurants sitting side by side laidback bars and cafes as well as artisanal shops selling local produce.
Les Gets is also home to the Mechanical Music Museum, a strange but oddly charming museum that explores the history of mechanical musical instruments. It’s free to enter if you have your Multi Pass and is a great option on a rainy day.
Another place worth visiting is the Poterie Artisanale des Gets where you can take a pottery class (kids, too!). Anouk and Nathalie who own the farm are brilliant and patient teachers who are lucky enough to own a little piece of paradise that they want to share with the world.
One of the best things to do in in Les Gets during the summer, however, is to visit the Wibit. Every year, during the summer months, a large inflatable obstacle course is erected on the Lac des Ecoles providing much fun for all ages. For young children, there is a smaller course available. This does get very busy so do buy your tickets early!
Les Gets is also home to the Alta Lumina, a magical illuminated walk through the forest.
There are a number of schools offering tandem paragliding flights but the one that I recommend is Les Gets Adventure, a family-run outfit based out of Les Gets.
The company offers a host of adventure activities including canyoning, white water rafting and via-ferrata. They also offer paragliding flights. We’ve flown with Antoine, one of the two brothers, several times now and he’s even taken my youngest (then aged 6) up in the air. They are a great outfit and one that I highly recommend.
Faire le Fête!
There are plenty of local festivals throughout summer in Morzine and the neighbouring villages of Les Gets, St Jean D’Aulps and Montriond. Some of the most popular summer festivals include:
- La Fête Nationale
- La Fête de Char (biannual floatilla fête)
- La Kermesse (school fair)
- La Fête de la Musique Mécanique (Les Gets)
- La Fête de Lindart
- Morzine Aime Les Enfants
- Feux du lac (Montriond)
During these fêtes the villages come alive with colour, music, custom and tradition. Although Morzine has become increasingly popular as a summer holiday destination it has also steadfastly preserved its tradition and culture. These events are where you can really witness local French culture. Check with the tourist office for more information.
Lac de Mines d’Or
Just 15 minutes from the centre of Morzine is the Lac de Mines d’Or (the Mines d’Or Lake) located at the bottom of the Manche Valley. It’s the perfect spot to escape to for a slice of rural mountain life and lunch at the Mines d’Or restaurant.
For an easy walk with younger children, follow the path around the lake edge (and see what the local fishermen have managed to catch that day!). Lac des Min d’Or has been designated an area of special ecological interest There are various boards positioned around the lake detailing the ecology and geology of the area. Alternatively you can go hiking at the Col de Fou at the Swiss border or catch a section of the GR5.
For a unique place to stay, book in for a night one one of the magical bubbles at the Bulles des Mines d’Or and wake up to spectacular views of the mountains from within your very own “bubble”.
The Zipline in Avoriaz
High above Morzine sits the purpose built resort of Avoriaz. Built to blend in with the surrounding area, the buildings are wooden and angular. During winter months Avoriaz can look, from afar, a little like Mordor from The Lord of the Rings. But when you visit the resort and see the buildings from close up, you realise the design is incredibly unique and oddly charming.
Avoriaz is, for the most part, a car-free zone, which makes it particularly appealing families in both winter and summer (during the ski season you can ski from your apartment to the shops to pick up your groceries!).
One of the best things to do in Avoriaz during the summer is Fantasticable, a zip line that whizzes you across the mountains head first. Another fun day out is Aquariaz, the indoor water park complete with a lazy river, outdoor Jacuzzi, rope swing, rubber ring flume and toddler’s slide and fountain area. I save Aquariaz for a rainy day since it is a great indoor activity.
The Goats at Lindarets Village
A trip to the little village of Les Lindarets is a very unique day out. Dozens of goats roam freely through the lower part of Lindarets village, munching on goat food pellets (available to buy) and intimidating visitors! No joke, the goats here know who’s in charge and will follow new arrivals around town until they are given something to eat. Make sure you don’t walk around eating anything that you don’t want the goats to have!
To be entirely honest, I don’t completely love the goat village but it is an original experience and a you definitely come away with some good photos!
Just past the village, alongside the river, are a couple of restaurants that are a good option for lunch if you don’t want to bring your own picnic.
The Adventure Parks
There are a couple of good adventure parks that are great fun with (or without!) kids. Located near the Parc des Dereches (where the swimming pool complex is) is the Indiana Parc with three different high ropes course ranging in difficulty. They also offer circuits for young children; Indiana Kid is for children aged 4 years and up and P’tit Kid is for children from 2 years old.
Our favourite adventure park, however, is the Cascade Adventure located near the Cascade de Nyon (the Nyon Waterfall). There are a handful of circuits to choose from, including one for young children, and they all include rope bridges, zip wires and more.
Meet the eagles at the Les Aigles du Léman
Located at the top of the Nyon cable car is Les Aigles du Léman, a restaurant that’s also home to dozens of birds of prey. During winter months daily shows are held where you can watch the residents imperial eagle soar through the sky above you. There’s also the option to ski with an eagle or, for children, to snowshoe through the mountains with a bird on your arm.
During summer months visitors to Les Aigles du Léman can see the birds in their aviaries and there is also a small enclosure outside the restaurant home to a handful of animals including very cute bunnies. Shows are also held during the summer but do check the website for details and timings.
The restaurant also houses the largest ball pit in France, which is a fun thing to do if you’re looking for a way to keep the kids busy on a rainy day.
Things to do in Morzine when it’s raining
Despite forming part of Les Portes du Soleil ski area, which translates as “Gates of the Sun”, the sun doesn’t always shine in Morzine. Indeed, when it does rain it pours! So make sure you bring a set of wellies and a raincoat.
If you find yourself wondering what to do in Morzine on a rainy day then we have some ideas for you:
- Visit the indoor water park Aquariaz in Avoriaz
- Take a class at La Poterie in Les Gets
- Go to the indoor ice rink (located next to the swimming complex)
- Hide out in the library for a story time session
- Take a dip in the indoor pool in Morzine
- Visit the Museum of Mechanical Instruments in Les Gets
- Brave the drizzle and take a walk in the rain along the shady park of the Dérêches
- Take a ride on the bubble to the top of the Super Morzine lift and hide away in the cosy restaurant La Grenouille with a warm cup of hot chocolate.
- Head to the ball pit in Les Aigles du Léman
Where to stay in Morzine
There are lots of accommodation options in Morzine ranging from high end hotels and luxury catered chalets to wallet-friendly B&Bs and sustainable lodgings. The following are some of our favourites:
La Bergerie Chalet Hotel is a boutique hotel located right in the centre of town with a swimming pool, a garden with children’s play area, areas to relax, a bar, a games room, a spa with a hamman, and a selection of gorgeous rooms complete with kitchenette and balconies.
For catered chalets I would recommend Chill Out Mountain (that offer both catered and self-serviced chalets) and Reach 4 the Alps. As well as AirBnB, there are plenty of places to choose from on Mountain Extra and Independent Mountain.
We also love AliKats, luxury catered and self-catered apartments that have an incredibly impressive attitude towards sustainability.
Where to eat in Morzine
You can see our top picks for places to eat in Morzine here.
The best time to visit Morzine
For a summer vacation choose the months of July and August when everything is open (June is the quiet time when most of the activities are closed).
The beginning of July is the best time as it is quieter. If you don’t like crowds (or paying top dollar!) avoid the busy weekends when the Tour de France and Harley Days are hosted in the town.
The winter ski season usually runs from mid-December to mid-April.
How to Get to Morzine
By Air: Fly to Geneva International Airport with any major airline. If you are travelling from Europe then EasyJet, British Airways and Swiss Air all fly into Geneva.
From Geneva Airport book a transfer or hire a car for the short journey to Morzine. You can book airport transfers with many different operators. The journey usually takes around 1.5-2hours.
Here are a few operators:
By Train: If you can travel by train then do, this is a great and much more eco-friendly way to travel. For ideas on how to get to Morzine by train, take a look at the excellent SnowCarbon website.
By Car: We usually drive from London to Morzine, a journey that takes between 10 – 12 hours.