The picturesque French Alpine town of Morzine might be best known as a ski destination it’s just as much fun to visit Morzine in summer.
The 600km of ski slopes become marked trails for hiking and mountain biking. There are golf courses and zip wires; white water rafting and lake swimming; horseback riding and lots of good food. There’s always a packed summer calendar of events and the scenery is simply stunning.
As a family holiday destination, Morzine is hard to beat!
Post and photos by Philippa Langrish
Morzine forms part of the Les Portes du Soleil ski area. The ski area covers 12 resorts located between Mont Blanc in France and Lake Geneva in Switzerland. It’s hugely popular during the winter months for family ski holidays but it’s becoming increasingly well-known as a summer destination too. If you’re visiting Morzine during the summer months, then here are some of the best activities to do.
For ideas on where to stay in Morzine and restaurant recommendations take a look at our family guide to Morzine. If you’re looking for other places to visit in France, this list of the 25 best places in France for families should inspire you!
Summer Activities in Morzine
1. Go walking in the mountains
Morzine offers miles of brilliant hiking trails. Whether it’s a short stroll along the Dérêches river or a gentle hike from Lindarets goat village to visit the magnificent Brochaux waterfall, there are walks to suit all abilities. Cable cars still run during the summer months giving you even more walking options.
The following are two of my favourites to do as a young family with a pushchair. For both of these walks I use a mountain buggy pushchair. If you do not have one then Intersport, in the centre of town, hires them out. Alternatively use a hiking baby carrier.
Lindarets: 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.
Dérêches: Start at the tennis courts at the bottom of town for a leisurely meander along the Dérêches. There is plenty to do along the river including various parkour courses, the Indiana adventure park, the horse riding stables and a play park. Kids of all ages love throwing stones into the river, trundling across the little bridges and climbing over fallen logs and up leafy slopes.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can go on a longer hike and spend the night in an Auberge.
2. Swim in Lac de Montriond
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 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 a loop of the lake.
There are three restaurants on the lake all serving delicious Savoyard delicacies. 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.
3. Ride the summer luge
The slopes of Pleney are situated just a short walk from the centre of Morzine. There are a handful of lovely eateries on the slopes that have activities for the kids including trampolines, mini golf, and playhouses. This is my favourite place to come for an aperitif so the children can let off steam in the late afternoon while parents watch on from the comfort of a sun lounger.
The other reason that we love coming here is the Luge. Located next to the Tremplin restaurant, this large summer sledge winds its way down the left hand side of the Pleney slope. Younger kids can ride with an adult and older ones can go solo.
We love whizzing down the slope, drinking in the spectacular views of Morzine below. The luge is accessed by La Crusaz chairlift.
4. Go to the pool
Be prepared to spend a whole day at the pool with the kids. The swimming pool in Morzine has everything. There’s a twisty 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 we love to take a picnic along with us and retreat to the grassy picnic area to refuel after hours of splashing around.
Be warned, speedos are obligatory in French swimming pools! The slide and bouncy castle close for lunch so best to go in the morning or afternoon.
5. 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.
The children love nothing more than a spectacle, and parents can benefit from a dose of local culture and often free entertainment. Whenever we are in Morzine we try to catch as many celebrations as possible both local and national. 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.
6. Visit Les Gets
Morzine’s neighbour, Les Gets, punches above its weight during the summer months. We regularly spend a couple of days a week here enjoying a change of scenery and making the most of the artistic focus.
My new favourite place in the world is now Poterie Artisanale des Gets where I learned how to use the wheel to make simple bowls. While I was spinning the wheel, my daughter Maya was in a class with lots of other children crafting objects by hand and learning the basics in moulding and design. 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.
Another favourite Les Gets activity was the Yoga Hike that Maya and I signed up for with Barbara Porret. Barbara met us at the bottom of Mont Chéry télécabine where we ascended the mountain. Once at the top we practiced several yoga poses, hiked, breathed and posed. We then hiked, gazed, breathed and hiked and posed some more with stunning views of Mont Blanc in the background.
Despite my love of her big sister Morzine, Les Gets has a special place in my heart. I love this place more and more, not least because of its annual wacky mechanical music festival where avant-garde inventors mesh with old school accordion players. The children were delighted by the many musicians who lined the street, playing their mechanical and antique musical instruments and singing.
7. Chill Out at Lac de Mines d’Or
Oh, Lac de Min d’Or you are simply heaven on earth!
This is the little pocket of rural France where I always take my Mum for lunch with the grandchildren. Here, we sit back with a glass of wine and relish the marvellous view of the little lake as it mirrors the soaring grey mountains in the distance. The children are able to dart from the small play park to the donkey field, down to the lake and back again in time for dessert.
Once we have finished a delicious lunch (the food here is dreamily exquisite) I usually take the kids for a little tour of the lake to spot dragonflies, tadpoles and butterflies. The lake is popular with local fishermen who while away hours in this peaceful haven.
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.
8. Go mountain biking
Along with hiking, mountain biking is the most popular of Alpine summer activity. Morzine and Les Gets have definitely captured the market for adrenaline junkies. VTT, or Downhill Mountain Biking, gives a similar rush as skiing does in winter. Maybe it is the contrast of zooming down the mountain teamed with long lazy rides on the chairlift and hearty lunches in mountain cafes which appeals so widely.
Over the years I have seen more and more families going out mountain biking together, usually on the more forgiving blue and green runs. This is a sport for older kids since the terrain can be steep, rocky and slippery.
Study your piste map carefully before heading up the mountain so that you can choose easy tracks for the whole family to enjoy. It is expensive to hire all the kit but well worth it. A day up the mountain will easily cost 100 Euros per person. Hiring good bikes is a must (I prefer the lighter frame hybrid types) and maximum body armour to avoid injury.
Road cycling is also a popular sport in Morzine and Les Portes du Soleil – the area often forms part of the Tour de France. I wouldn’t recommend cycling along the mountain roads with kids, however. The winding roads are narrow and cars like to zip along at speed!
9. Go Wild in Avoriaz
High above Morzine is the uniquely designed town of Avoriaz. For the most part Avoriaz is a pedestrian only zone, which makes it a great day trip for families. My children love 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.
If the sun comes out while the family are splashing around inside, then there is a great play park opposite that boasts a climbing wall and mini bike park. There is also Le Petit Train, which is always a bit hit with younger kids.
Next time we visit Avoriaz we are keen to try out the Fantasticable, a zip line across the mountains that you ride completely horizontally with an epic view of the valley below.
10. Visit the Goats at Lindarets village
A trip to the little village of Lindarets is well worth the effort. I love to go to Lindarets on a sunny day with the aim of spending the whole day here with the family. This year we spent several days picnicking by the river, hiking to the Brochaux waterfall, and of course feeding the goats.
There are a couple of eateries perched next to the river in the “Lindarets Bowl” (past the actual village) which have invested in playhouses and kiddy slides. We had a sumptuous picnic here with cheeses, baguettes, cured meats, fruit, olives and wine while the children paddled in the ankle deep river, collecting stones and sailing toy boats.
In Lindarets village, the goats roam freely through the lower part of town, munching on the goat food pellets (available to buy) and idly standing in the way of oncoming traffic. My daughter loves to pet the goats (especially the kid goats) who look so cheeky standing on picnic benches and water fountains.
Happily, there is plenty of ice cream available in the village, but be careful as Maya was chased by a naughty goat who wanted a lick of her vanilla cone!
2 thoughts on “All the best things to do in Morzine in summer”
I have heard great things about Morzine this looks fantastic you did so much!
Thanks for the pin, saved for future trips
Thank you! It really is such a wonderful place. I hope you get to visit one day.
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