Explore picturesque French Alps from base at Morzine’s Chilly Powder

The French Alps have an incredible reputation as a winter ski destination – and it’s deserved. But for a short period in the summer, the area around Morzine-Avoriaz is transformed into the perfect summer getaway.

The snow is gone, and the ski slopes and forests surrounding this picturesque town become a haven for hikers and adrenaline junkies alike.

Our summer base was the Chilly Powder chalet, nestled just a few miles outside of Morzine, and surrounded on all sides by imposing cliffs and lush green forests.

This family-friendly catered lodge was vital to our stay. Not only providing a comfortable place to unwind, as well as fantastic communal meals – complete with plenty of French wine and cheese – but the staff have unrivalled local knowledge and advice.

Each of the rooms of the lodge has its own unique theme; ours – Provence – was filled with rustic floral wallpapers. It was cosy, comfortable, and had a door opening to the patio space outside.

A large communal space was used to allow all the adults in the lodge to eat together at a large shared table – with ample French wine and delicious home-cooked food. These daily gatherings provided a space for people to share experiences and help exchange ideas on the best places to visit.

It was during dinner on our first night when we had the local “Multipass” explained to us. Regular skiers will be familiar with the concept, but when the summer season rolls round, the pass gets a hefty price cut (2 euro per day/person) and is vital for anyone visiting the region.

A couple enjoy one of the many chair lifts in the region. Image: Chilly Powder

It allows you access to the vast majority of the ski and chair lifts throughout the valley, access to the swimming pool and ice rink as well as discounts on a host of activities such as paragliding and summer tobogganing to name but a few.

A short walk from Chilly Powder took us to the modern Prodains cable car – the fastest way up the 600m cliff which holds the impressive purpose-built ski resort of Avoriaz.

During summer though, it becomes a base for mountain bikers and the more adventurous hikers and explorers – you can even use the network of chair lifts from here to head across the Swiss border.

The area is popular with mountain bikers of all ages. Image: Chilly Powder

From Avoriaz, a steep chair lift drops you down to Lindarets, aptly nicknamed goat village (Village des Chevres). This small Alpine hamlet features dozens of friendly goats walking freely making the most of salt-licks and tree trunks positioned around – getting a goat selfie is a must if you visit. It’s also a great place to stop for a spot of lunch, with almost every structure in the village a restaurant, café or souvenir shop.

The first of the super-adrenaline junkie experiences is available a short chair lift ride from here – the Fantasticable. On these zip lines you’ll fly more than 200m above the valleys at speeds of up to 60mph, suspended horizontally over a few thousand feet of wires. Definitely not for one for those afraid of heights – but it is suitable for older children.

The town of Morzine has that classic alpine charm. Image: Chilly Powder

The town of Morzine itself, with its charming wooden chalets, hotels and restaurants is easily accessible from Chilly Powder, either by car (highly recommended) or a free shuttle bus. Here you can take a break in one of the many cafes, most of which have outdoor seating to make the most of the stunning scenery and warm sun.

In 2022, Morzine was host to one of the stages of the Tour de France; the week after we left, a massive mountain bike event was held in the area, so it’s no surprise really this place is dominated by those who love life on two wheels during the summer.

My fiancée and I enjoy the stunning views. Image: Callum Main

But for those who prefer to remain on their feet, the chairlifts and surrounding hills and forest provide the perfect environment for hiking. Heading up on a series of lifts takes you to the iconic Eagle Pass, a suspended glass viewing platform at the top of one of the highest peaks in the area with stunning views across towards Mount Blanc.

For those who really have no fear of heights, you can even opt for a spot of tandem parapente/paragliding. Neither of us was brave enough in the end, but guests at Chilly Powder showed us their pictures from a jump and the views of the valley are incredible

On a rare day of heavy rain, we decided to head north away from Morzine and out to Lake Geneva.

On the drive to the French side of the famous lake, we came across the devil’s bridge (Les Gorges du Point du Diable). This short walk, steeped in history and fable, was created by the devil in return for the first soul to cross it – the locals sent across a goat, angering the demon who threatened to return…

You can explore the gorge under the devil’s bridge. Image: Callum Main

What’s left now is a wonderful winding path through a gorge directly under the devil’s bridge. Glass walkways and bridges help you navigate the beautiful area formed by the crystal-clear ice melt over millennia. It’s the same beautifully clear water that feeds Lake Geneva itself.

We stopped at the picturesque old town of Yvoire with its historic harbour and quaint cafes – a perfect get-away from the mountains and stunning in the sun.

Lakeside view of castle in Yvoire. Image: Shutterstock

For beach lovers, the golden sands at Excenevex is perfect for a spot of sunbathing, swimming and even water sports.

The beauty of saying at Chilly Powder, over a regular hotel, was the joy of coming back each evening, sitting around the communal dinner table and catching up with other guests and staff – sharing experiences and ideas and planning out the following day’s adventures.

So, whether you’re looking for peaceful relaxation in the mountains, a tear down muddy hills on a bike or just a jump off said mountain strapped to a parachute, Chilly Powder is the ultimate home base for your trip.

Chilly Powder operates year-round, offering active summer holidays for individuals, groups and families looking to experience the stunning Portes du Soleil region.

Summer prices start from £595 per week based on two adults sharing a standard bedroom, or £1,660 for two adults and two children sharing a standard family bedroom.

Prices are based on a half-board basis with wine included in the evening meals. Self-catered chalets and winter ski holidays are also available.

To learn more or to make a booking, contact Chilly Powder on info@chillypowder.com or 020 7289 6958 or visit www.chillypowder.com

For the ultimate guide on what’s on in Morzine during summer, visit or pop into the travel centre in Morzine’s town square.

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[Explore picturesque French Alps from base at Morzine’s Chilly Powder]


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