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Saint Jean D Aulps

The historic market town of Morzine originated in the 16th century and still retains its pleasant ‘Savoyard’ charm today. It is situated between Lake Geneva and Mont Blanc in the picturesque Northern Alps. The first cable car was installed in 1934 and it was from here that Morzine began to establish itself as a skiing resort. However it was not until the 1960’s, when the local Jean Vuarnet won the downhill gold medal in the winter Olympics, that its popularity as a tourist resort truly boomed. During the late Sixties it became the preferred haunt of French stars such as Brigitte Bardot and as such was nicknamed the ‘St Tropez of snow’.

Nestled in the heart of the Portes de Soleil, (an area which links the 14 resorts of Morzine, Avoriaz, Abondance, la Chappelle d’Abondance, Châtel, Les Gets, Montriond, Morzine, Saint Jean d’Aulps in France and Champéry, Morgins, Val d’Illiez, Les Crosets, Champoussin and Torgon in Switzerland), Morzine is an integral part of the largest interlinked ski area in the world. 288 ski runs cover a breathtaking 650km and provide diverse terrains for all abilities. These include wooded tree sections, wide-open slopes, seven purpose built snow parks and infinite opportunities to venture off-piste.  There is no need to worry about a lack of snowfall either, as 632 snow canons ensure the piste is always in prime condition.

If the thought of snow parks and off-piste sends shivers of fear down your spine then don’t fear, Morzine-Avoriaz also caters superbly for learner skiers and snowboarders. There are three separate nursery areas which provide a gently inclined slope on which to learn the basics. As you progress there are an array of easily accessible and relaxed blue runs which will allow you to perfect your skills on wide-open slopes before you progress further afield. Private and group lessons are also available at affordable prices and short notice from a range of ski and snowboarding schools such as the Ecole de Ski Français, Mint Snowboarding School and the Ecole de Glisse.

Morzine possesses the unique charm of  warmly welcoming everyone who graces the town – whether you are a family, a skier, a freestyle or free riding snowboarder, quad biker, cross country skier or snow shoer.

For the more confident and adventurous rider, Avoriaz provides more challenging runs and a large number of the aforementioned off-piste routes. Avoriaz was the brain child of Morzine locals in the 1960’s, and was developed by their celebrity skier Vuarnet. It is nestled on the cliff top above Morzine town at 1800m and is accessible from Morzine via the Prodain lift or a selection of lifts and runs. The angular architecture was impeccably planned and executed as the timber residences are set on different levels to blend seamlessly into their natural surroundings. It was even awarded the major achievement of national treasures of the 20th century. It is a fully pedestrianised town during the winter season, allowing residents to ski directly from their doorstep.

The snow often lasts well into May, providing divine conditions to ski and sunbathe! Once the snow has disappeared the popularity of Morzine as a holiday destination does not dwindle, as the lush and verdant summer climate attracts mountain bikers, golfers and walkers amongst others. The idyllic panoramic views from the highest peak of Mont Blanc to the resplendent valleys around Lake Geneva once viewed will never be forgotten.

Article from


Anyone familiar with the Portes du Soleil and Chablais mountains will know that two years ago Abonance ski resort closed after the local council withdrew funding. There have been rumours of links with Drouzin le Mont and outside developers taking over the running of Abondance. Well the ski resort’s future is secure for the next 12 years at least.

The American entrepreneur Gregory Lynn (aka Woody) Sherwood has done a deal with the local mayor to develop and run the ski resort for the next 12 years under a new company called Abondance Ski Valley (SVA). Rumours are that Woody Sherwood wants to use Abondance ski resort to demonstrate the effectiveness of his new design of snow cannon that can operate in conditions several degrees warmer than anything else on the market.

At present it is unclear whether Abondance Ski Valley (SVA) will continue to have a nominal link with the Portes du Soleil. Nor has there been any comment on a possible link with Drouzin le Mont ski resort.

Abondance, Drouzin le Mont and Saint Jean d’Aulps Roc d’Enfer Ski resorts are three of the satellite resorts to the Portes du Soleil that make a great ski (or snowboard) safari. A different resort every day, ideal to get your ski legs developed or back at a fraction of the price you pay for a Portes du Soleil pass.

posted on the 31st August 2009


A stroll by torchlight

Every Monday until 24 August 2009 at 10 pm

If you are in the area on a Monday night then consider taking a torchlight stroll around the historic Abbey d’Aulps. The guided night-time tour of the grounds and vestiges of the abbey last for about 90 minutes. They have created a unique atmosphere that is very different from the daytime. It starts at 10 pm and advanced booking is required Call +33 (0)450 04 52 63. Price: 4 € per person (all ages).
The Abbey d’Aulps is just off the main Saint Jean d’Aulps to Thonon Les Bains Road – D902, a few minutes drive outside of Saint Jean d’Aulps village. There is plenty of parking. From Drouzin le Mont and Penthouse Les Iris it’s about a 10 minute drive to the Abbey d’Aulps.


Le Biot marketI highly recommend a trip to this wonderful local market in Le Biot only a 5 minute drive from Les Iris.

Le Biot village Sunday morning market
Every Sunday morning in the summer (until the end of August) from app. 8am to 1pm .
Enjoy a traditional French shopping experience, local Haute Savoie, Rhone Alps produces, cheeses, meats fruit and vegetables and local arts. It gets busy so you park outside of the main village square.
To get to Le Biot take the Morzine/ Saint Jean D’Aulps to Thonon Les Bains Road – D902. From St Jean D’Aulps take the D32 that skirts Le Biot (the D32 continues up to Col du Corbier and Drouzin Le Mont). From Thonon Les Bains / Les Jotty direction you cross a bridge and take the D332 (left and immediately right) to Le Biot. This will take you into and through Le Biot Village.

Happy shopping.

There are other local markets in:


All year round: Savoyard market on Sundays from 9am-1pm in the Village Square

In the summer, Les Baïses: craft market every Thursday from 5-7pm in the village square

La Chapelle

In summer and winter: Friday morning market at the church square


Wednesday morning market, in the winter at the Route de la Meurba, below the church. The market is the rest of the year in the church square.