Morzine is at the heart of the Portes du Soleil, a vast ski area with statistics to dwarf other resorts. There are 650km of groomed runs – the largest linked ski area in the world – taking in 12 traditional towns and villages across both France and Switzerland. The unique selling point of the Portes du Soleil is the on-snow experience.
Les Gets is one of the prettiest villages in the Alps — chic and stylish — both in the town and on the mountain. This is a fantastic place; not just to ski, but to relax with family and friends. The pistes run right back to the heart of the village where bars and restaurants meet the slopes, making this an ideal location for family ski holidays.
Méribel lies at the heart of The Three Valleys ski resort and is an extremely popular village, not only because of its excellent location and access to snow-sure skiing, but also it’s lively yet laid-back atmosphere. Ideal for families, friends or corporate groups alike, the variety of pistes suits beginners through to experts.
The mountain town of Chamonix in the shadow of Mont Blanc is not to be missed. Take the driving route via Flumet and Megève, which is far more scenic than the motorway route. In the summer months Chamonix is a mecca for adventure sports—climbers, hikers and mountain bikers flock to experience the challenges of the mountains. Chamonix is also famous for its spectacular cable car up to the Aiguille du Midi (3842m), built in 1955 when it was the highest cable car in the world. Together with a cable car system going up to the Pointe Helbronner (3462m) from Entrèves in the Aosta Valley (Italy), it is possible to cross the entire Mont Blanc massif by cable car (the latter is only open during the summer).
Also go for a trip on the Montenvers Railway which goes from the centre of town to Montenvers, above the Mer de Glace. The town centre has a number of bars, shops and restaurants and parking is well signed and central, allowing for easy access to the pedestrian streets. Also don’t miss the Musée Alpin which charts the history of the town from the arrival of the first climbing tourists in the 18th century.
This beautiful town on the lake is known as the ‘Venice of the Alps’ due to its picturesque canals and maze of cobbled streets in the Old Town. The lake is the second largest in France and is said to be the cleanest in Europe, making it perfect for a swim on a warm summer’s day. The lake has a number of pretty villages along its banks and in particular Talloires which is well worth a stop for coffee or a drink. Park in the main Hôtel de Ville car park and then you are close to the Old Town where you’ll find a host of bars, restaurants and shops. Wander to your heart’s content, browsing along the cobbled streets and alleyways. Tuesdays and Fridays are market days in the Old Town.