The mammoth ski area dubbed “The Gates of the Sun” is mind-bogglingly large and is a challenge to cover for even the most experienced skier or snowboarder. With more than 400 miles of pistes, covered by 200 lifts over an area of 400 square miles, Les Portes Du Soleil is an impressive undertaking. At the top, you stand 2,400 metres above sea level and can drop by 1,500 metres to reach the bottom – then turn round and get queuing for the nearest lift again. Why not book a hotel in one of the dozen villages within Les Portes Du Soleil that span the border between France and Switzerland and see how good the snow is from December to April most years.
Where to Stay in Les Portes Du Soleil
Avoriaz — The modern resort of Avoriaz can host more than 14,000 visitors at any one time, yet it retains a charm and character unusual among purpose-built alpine destinations. With three snowboard parks, a boarder cross and snow cross zones, Avoriaz is an ideal place to book a hotel for snowboarders. In summer, visitors can try paragliding, mountain biking and even golf.
Morzine — This traditional market town is a delightful example of Alpine heritage that has been preserved after more than 80 years of ski holidaymakers. The lowest part of Les Portes Du Soleil, Morzine nevertheless has cable car access direct to the highest slopes. With artisanal cheese makers and slate workshops providing the traditional employment for the town, you can experience authentic Alpine culture by booking a hotel here.
Châtel — Stay in an archetypal Savoyard village; Châtel has lakeside views and had some of the best smuggling routes between France and Switzerland – now immortalised in a museum. Naturally, the skiing is excellent, but there’s also a thriving mountain bike community in the summer. You can also try a dare-devil zipline that spans the valley of Pre-la-Joux – not for the faint-hearted.
How to Make the Most of Your Hotel in Les Portes Du Soleil
With so many mountains to choose from, there’s something for everyone in Les Portes Du Soleil. Just kicking back and relaxing allows you to check out the peaks as they change from moment to moment in the summer or winter weather. Get out in the fields and meet the mountain cows with their traditional bells, or visit some of the picturesque villages. With some charming architecture and traditional industries around, there’s plenty to see in Les Portes Du Soleil.
For winter sports, Les Portes Du Soleil is unparalleled. Skiing and snowboarding are just the beginning. Try Nordic skiing, handiskis, ice skating, husky sledging, skidoos – and dozens more ways to enjoy the pistes. If you fancy a bit of powder, try telemarking or just pull on your boots and climb. With so many lifts and pistes, there’s no shortage of variety at Les Portes Du Soleil in winter or summer. Mountain biking is a major activity with all the summer lifts linked in a bike park. And for a slower, grander tour of the area, explore the 500 miles of trails and paths through the villages and peaks – you’ll have earned that raclette at journey’s end.