FRANCE, Morzine with kids – While hiking in the French Alps, you soak up the crisp mountain air, feel dwarfed by the towering pines, and enjoy the sounds of a babbling brook beside you. Up ahead, you find an old stone bridge lined with delicate flowers, and just beyond you see the storybook village of Morzine, nestled in the valley of a river gorge and flanked by grand mountains speckled with wooden chalets. Each chalet has steep, pitched roofs and charming balconies overflowing with brightly colored flowers.
At first encounter, it seems to be a sleepy mountain village, but as you continue it is clear there is far more than meets the eye. Every aspect of the winter resort is transformed into summer fun, from ski runs becoming hiking and biking trails, to the chairlifts taking you up each mountain for spectacular views. Located just a few miles from the Swiss border and about a 1-hour drive from Geneva, it is easily accessible even for the international traveler. If your family is looking for an active, outdoor vacation in France, here 4 great things to do, 1 great place to stay, and 1 great place to eat while visiting Morzine with kids.
Activity 1: Ride the slopes of Pleney
It’s time to ride the luge on the Pleney! Grab a sled, enjoy a short ride up on a chairlift and take in the breathtaking views of the valley while you scope out the luge route below. Once at the top it is time to hop on your sled in the luge track, with a few instructions and safety checks you are on your way. Zipping down and around the mountain, with each turn presenting a majestic view of the beautiful natural surroundings.
You have the fresh cool air brushing your face, and your smile couldn’t get any wider as you let out giggles of joy. This is a great activity for the entire family, as the adults can take the small kids with them and the bigger kids can enjoy it on their own. There are two tracks, with one designed to be slower for the smaller kids or anyone who would prefer a more relaxed pace. The sleds are equipped with hand brakes, so you always have full control of your speed. It is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon and a memory that will certainly stick with the kids. They are open from July 4th until August 30th, 10:30am – 6:00pm, for ages 5 and up. Find out more: www.morznet.com/activities/companies/summer-sledging
Activity 2: Hike Around The Emerald Green Lake
Lac de Montriond (Lake Montriond) is a beautiful outdoor playground, with fresh water swimming, hiking trails, fishing, canoeing, kayaking and more. It is a natural lake, said to be created after a landslide from Nantaux mountain to the northwest hundreds of years ago.
The entire area has a sense of peace and calm. A nice stroll or ride around the lake on the flat trail is suitable for all ages. There are a few restaurants and places to stop along the way, and if you have time, be sure to view the waterfalls (50 min walk from the parking lot). The kids can safely run around or just find a good spot to lay down on a blanket and watch the clouds drift by. It’s the perfect place to have a picnic or bring some wine to watch the sun and mountain reflections dance on the lake’s emerald green surface. Don’t forget to take that perfect postcard picture of the family. Find out more: https://en.valleedaulps.com/montriond-lake-1.html#media
Activity 3: Fly From Tree To Tree
Get up-close and personal with the magnificent trees of the French Alps as you climb, weave and fly through the treetops on self-guided rope and zip-line courses. Flex your adventurous spirit and test yourself mentally and physically with a few courses to choose from. You are safely attached to a wire the entire way, as you navigate wooden platforms, rope bridges and zip your way across from tree to tree. The kids will feel a sense of independence and confidence, as they navigate through their age-appropriate course. The adults will have a great time too, even if you choose to just watch the kids; it’s nice to enjoy the natural surroundings. This is a summer activity and is open for ages 2 years and up.
Pssst! Don’t miss the map of our Morzine recommendations and pinnable at the end of this feature.
If you have a more adventurous spirit, you must try the ultimate zipline instead, the Fantasitcable. You will soar 800 feet above the French Alps and create a feeling and memory which will last a lifetime. This is not for the faint of heart and you must weigh at least 77 lbs. Find out more: http://www.indianaventures.com/en/activities/treetop-adventure
Activity 4: Skate, Swim & Play at Parc des Dérêches
Parc des Dérêches is a true paradise for any kid, with more than 10 summer activities ready to go right in the heart of the town. They offer an Olympic-sized swimming pool with water slides, a skateboard park, basketball, tennis, a tourist train, and even an indoor summer ice skating rink. If the kids have loads of energy to burn, this is a great place for them! You can join in with them or hang out, relax and just listen to their squeals of delight. Find out more: http://www.parc-dereches.com/en/multipass-portes-du-soleil/
Tip: In the summer months, they offer a very affordable multi-pass, which includes many of the activities, as well as access to all the area chairlifts. The multi-pass is the way to go if you want to try it all in a day or over a few days.
1 Great Place to Stay: Hotel La Clef Des Champs
There are many choices of great places to stay in Morzine, but Hotel La Clef des Champs, will not disappoint! It is perfectly located, close enough to walk to all the amenities needed during your stay, yet set back far enough for a peaceful, tranquil stay. This is a small, family-run hotel with a relaxed, chilled vibe and themed rooms with the feel of an Alpine cottage–all of which have stunning views of the mountains, village, or gardens. There are also several family room selections, which will sleep 3-4 people. The pool is located on the back side of the hotel, with lush green landscape all around. There is a restaurant on site, but you have myriad dining choices within a few minutes walk as well. Find out more: http://www.clefdeschamps.com/index.php/en/
1 Great Place to Eat: Bar La Taverne
Bar La Taverne is in Hotel Le Samoyede, right in the heart of the village, across from the tourist office. If you like to people watch, sitting outside on the terrace will be the perfect spot for you. With animated streets, quaint shops, restaurants, and people all around, it feels as if you are a watching a story unfold before you. During the summer months they serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as tapas and sandwiches. Find out more: http://www.hotel-lesamoyede.com/en/bar-morzine/la-taverne
Tip: If you are looking for something a bit nicer, the hotel also is home to Restaurant Le Samoyede, offering fine dining built around the seasons and geared towards nature, the region, and its signature flavors.