6 Reasons for Skiing in Child-Friendly Morzine
When planning a family holiday, especially with young children in tow, the pressure to ‘make it perfect’ is immense. After all, holidays are financial, emotional and logistic investments. Morzine, located in the French Alps, is part of the Portes du Soleil ski area and offers the best experience to visitors of any age. Family ski holiday insurance is very affordable and the resort is a ‘one-stop-shop’ for your needs and desires. After one visit, you’ll question the wisdom of going anywhere else!
Six Good Reasons to Visit Morzine
Morzine’s unique ability to offer the best of all worlds covers more than just ski instruction. The town has grown in popularity over the years, but yet retains its alpine charm and old-world village feel. Obviously, you’ll need ski holiday insurance before heading to the slopes, but after that the resort takes care of just about everything else. Here are the top six reasons why Morzine is the family-friendly destination that has it all.
The Morzine ski resort is serviced by Geneva Airport, which is only a 90-minute drive away. Flights from the UK are affordable and frequent, which takes the headache out of travel arrangements.
Finding the right accommodation for your family while on vacation can seem like an impossible task. However, Morzine’s wide choice of abodes means that your accommodation can be tailored to meet your family’s needs. From hotels to chalets, either catered or self-catered, the quality and standards of accommodation are consistently high throughout the resort.
No matter how prepared you are for a journey with your toddler, chances are some crucial item will be forgotten. For parents of toddlers, the fact that Morzine is ready for all your younger children’s needs makes it a dream destination. Shops stock basic supplies, such as baby food and nappies, and most restaurants have changing facilities and are very child-friendly. Local nurseries and crèches offer excellent childcare, and there are even private nannies available if you prefer.
- The Skiing
As long has you have ski holiday insurance, there’s no need to worry. Morzine prides itself on exceptional ski instruction for children (and adults) of any age. The varying terrains create the perfect classroom for beginners as well as intermediate or advanced skiers.
- Off-The-Slopes Activities
The resort offers myriad alternative activities for families who need a break from skiing. Favourites include sledging, husky sledding, ice skating and there is even an indoor pool.
- Take a Break
Although Morzine accommodates the needs of children, the resort does not feel like it is entirely focused on the under 10s. Parents have the opportunity to take advantage of available childcare and go out and enjoy a meal at any one of the sophisticated restaurants or chic bars in the local area. Time away is just as important as time together!
The Perfect Family Holiday
Planning a family getaway that will appeal to all members of your tribe can be a daunting task, especially if you want to avoid it becoming wildly expensive. This is where Morzine shines the brightest amongst all of the destination choices. The relatively compact nature of the resort means that your basic needs will be met and that your holiday will become close to effortless. Ski holiday insurance and flights to the region are very affordable, and the fun begins as soon as you arrive!
Posh & Plush: The World’s Most Opulent Ski Resorts
Skiing has certainly become more affordable – to some it now conjures images of packed minibuses, budget cartons of wine and students in their droves. For a more refined ski experience without a box of wine in sight, these posh ski resorts are a far cry from the student ski trip-style winter getaway.
Aspen, Colorado, USA
For a five-star experience, look no further than Aspen’s Little Nell ski-in, ski-out hotel. Come celebrate Christmas or ring in the New Year here and you’ll be sure to rub shoulders with some of Hollywood’s hottest as they holiday in the resort. It’s not just a hotspot for star-spotting: the skiing is excellent, the mountain town is beyond charming and Little Nell’s wine cellar will please any wine buff as it boasts 50,000 bottles of the rarest wines in the world.
St Moritz, Switzerland
Possibly the most luxurious ski resort on the planet, countless European royals and Hollywood A-Listers are among the regulars on the pistes and in the boutiques of St Mortiz each year. Think horse-drawn carriages, high-end boutiques including Bulgari and Chanel and 10,000 private jet landings in the local airport each year… you’ll get an idea of who a trip to St Moritz might have you rubbing shoulders with.
Although many come to St Moritz merely to be seen, the skiing itself is fabulous too. It’s hosted two Winter Olympics and puts on a World Cup ski event annually too.
For a fairytale-esque luxurious ski experience, look no further than this Canadian resort. Tucked away between two enormous tree-covered mountains interlinked by the world’s highest and longest gondola, Whistler boasts natural beauty and extreme luxury perfectly.
Share the five-star vistas from the Four Seasons with elk, deer and even black bears, and enjoy some heli-skiing and decadent spa treatments at the Scandinave Spa while you’re there.
With 100 five-star and four-star hotels to choose from, the Lech-Zürs ski region is one of the world’s most exclusive resorts. These charmingly picturesque villages boast opulent chalets and luxurious hotels in addition to their manicured pistes.
Understated luxury is how the Austrians do lavish, and its delightfully rustic streets don’t feel flashy or flaunting at all. Effortless perfection and five-star charm make it easy to see why it was the late Princess Diana’s favourite place to ski, and why the Beckhams make it their ski resort of choice!
Eagle Point Resort, Utah, USA
What could be more decadent than having your own private ski resort? With 600 acres, 5 lifts and 40 pistes, the fluffy snow-covered mountain could be yours for up to 200 friends to ski the day away and dance well into the night until it’s time to get into the outdoor hot tubs. If you tire of the après, Vegas is a mere 20 minutes away by helicopter…
Don’t Leave This till Après
Whether you’re whizzing down slopes or chatting up celebrities, you don’t want to have to worry about insurance once you’re on your opulent ski trip. Make sure you have special winter sports travel insurance that covers your snowy antics on and off the pistes so you can enjoy yourself with total peace of mind.
Why Wait? Enjoy Early Season Winter Sports in the Alps this Autumn
For those of us with a passion for winter sports, the long hot summer months can feel like an annoying obstacle between us and the snowy fun of the winter ski season.
But if you are one of those who pines away the summer months waiting for news of the first snowfall, then I’ll let you into a little secret: some of the Alpine ski resorts open for an autumn season as early as September!
The great thing about skiing during the early season is that most people don’t even know it’s possible, so the slopes are virtually empty (except for national teams training for the World Cup season which begins in October) and there are no queues for the lifts.
Of course there is a risk – particularly as early as September, that mild weather and rain will spoil the fun. But most of the resorts open at this time of year offer a combination of glacier skiing and, into October and November, a decent covering of artificial snow which mitigates the impact the weather can have.
What to Expect From Early Season Snow
It’s impossible to know what the snow conditions will be like in the early season. After all, the resorts are dependent on early snow falls and cold weather to open an extensive number of runs, and these are far from guaranteed at this time of year.
Skiers looking for the best conditions may want to think about booking last minute deals based on snowfall. The benefit of the early winter sports season is that the sun is relatively weak at this time of year, so, unlike in the spring, it cannot ruin a good snowfall quickly. This gives you plenty of time to get a last minute flight out there and enjoy the fresh powder.
If you are booking in advance you will find that only the highest ski resorts open for the early season, and these usually have access to a glacier with snow machines which will guarantee skiing even in a mild autumn.
Where to Go for the Best Early Snow
Fans of all winter sports, from Alpine and Nordic skiing to snowboarding, will find plenty to keep them satisfied in the early season as long as they choose carefully where to go for the best snow. Austria is a good bet for early skiing with more resorts open during October than any other country.
Here’s our rundown of the best Alpine resorts for early season skiing:
- Zermatt (Switzerland)
- Saas Fee (Switzerland)
- Hintertux glacier (Austria)
- Pitztal (Austria)
- Kaunertal (Austria)
- Val Senales (Italy)
- Kitzsteinhorn glacier (Austria)
- Mölltal glacier (Austria)
- Solden glacier (Austria)
- Stubai glacier (Austria)
- Dachstein (Austria)
- Glacier 3000 (Switzerland)
- Titlis glacier (Switzerland)
- Vorab glacier (Switzerland)
- Diavolezza glacier (Switzerland)
- Tignes (France)
For winter sports fans willing to take a chance on the snow conditions, early season skiing can offer some great opportunities at very reasonable pre-season prices. The benefit will be that you will have the pistes to yourself and can enjoy trying out all the new season’s equipment while it’s still brand new. Not to mention the fact that, if you fit a ski holiday in in October, you’ll have plenty of time for a least a couple more before the season ends!
Take the Snow by Storm: Must-Try Winter Sports for Dare Devils
For true die-hard adrenaline junkies, the winter months of cold and icy weather are not enough to contain them. The colder climes offer the perfect canvas for the creation of the best kind of dare-devil art. All that is required is a sense of adventure and nerves of steel to participate in these winter sports; travel insurance wouldn’t hurt either! I’ve travelled the world and have gathered a collection of the best must-try adrenaline-pumping winter experiences.
Above and Below
Contrary to popular belief, excitement can be found down below in the icy weather. If you are ready for a truly other-worldly experience head to Tignes in France for ice diving.
Expert divers toss aside their thermals and woolly jackets in favour of scuba gear that lets them sink into the dark, soundless depths of the frozen lake. And the best part is that you can come too! The world under the thick layer of solid ice comes alive as air bubbles capture the glinting rays of sunlight. If you can contain your screams terror (which no one will hear anyway) it is said to be a captivating and almost ethereal experience.
Take to the Air
Although it may not be classified under the category of ‘winter sports’, travel insurance will still cover the adrenaline pumping activity of zip lining. La Tyrolienne is the latest attraction to hit the top ski resort of the Trois Vallees. Skiers, snowboarders and all general winter enthusiasts can finally take flight for an extended period of time as they literally zip from the ski areas of Orelle and Val Thorens.
To be precise, that would be flying across the snowswept landscape at an altitude of 3230m, reaching speeds of up to 100km per hour. The experience is being touted as almost as close as you can get to “mimicking the journey of an eagle in flight” – probably complete with screams as well.
Don’t Knock it Till You Try It
If necessity is the mother of invention then boredom must be her delinquent son. Boredom must surely be to blame for the genius creation of Shovel Racing. However, it does actually require nerves of steel, some degree of skill and an unquenchable thirst for adventure which is, of course, any true daredevil’s magic combination.
After a lengthy hiatus due to numerous ill-advised runs and their outcomes, Shovel Racing has returned! Practice may or may not be necessary for this one, but entrants only need to grab their trusty shovel, sit back, and prepare to hurtle down the snow-covered slopes in the hopes of achieving glory in the annual Shovel Racing World Championships held in February. Um, good luck?
The Cold Won’t Stop the Adrenaline Pumping
The adrenaline rush found when pitting yourself against the worst that Mother Nature can throw at you is like no other. The different activities available for winter daredevils are proof that the rush can be achieved, but may require some creativity and an open mind. Before you leave for that winter adventure, be sure to secure good winter sports travel insurance so that you can truly throw caution to the icy wind.
Choosing Your Winter Sports Apparel and Gear
When the European ski season comes around every year I do admit to a little quickening of the pulse rate. I don’t mind saying that, over the past few years, through both work and play, I’ve become somewhat of an aficionado of winter sports and I’ve picked up a few tips along the way.
Shop Early, Shop Smart
It’s an oldie but a goodie: when it comes to winter sports, preparation is key. Having the right equipment is paramount – not only for comfort and safety, but also in order to get the most out of your abilities.
The sooner you start shopping around for your gear the better – and my first (and top) tip is to enlist the help of a qualified (I’m going to italicise and bold that!) salesperson to help. While it may seem too early to start ticking off your winter sports gear list when the sun’s still shining in the UK, you’ll be able to pick up some fantastic deals in the spring clearance sales. Another thing I suggest is to shop online; if you’ve got the time (and you know what you want) you can get some amazing deals on ski gear after winter.
A Word on Layering
Do it. Ok that’s two words but, seriously, base layering (as we ‘experts’ call it) can make all the difference between making magic or being mired in misery out on the slopes. This is one area where you get what you pay for, and I suggest spending a little more to get a lot more. The first thing to invest in is a couple of good quality long sleeved undershirts – and while the word ‘polyester’ might scream 70s glam rock to you, in this case it’s the best. Look for something like Techwick, which is a breathable, synthetic fabric designed to wick the sweat away from your skin as quickly as you can produce it.
Your next layer should be to insulate you against the cold, but it also needs to continue to draw the moisture out. What you’re looking for here is a lightweight, breathable fleece. The big hitters in fleeces are Polartec and Techwick enhanced fabrics, but if you’re looking for something cosy and natural, merino wool will do the job.
For your top layer, a decent quality ski jacket is the most important piece of apparel you’ll invest in for winter sports. It’s a minefield of choice, but I can simplify your search with just two buzzwords: breathable and waterproof. You’re welcome.
Basically, the job of your jacket is keep the snow and wind out, while ensuring your body heat and moisture can still escape. Jackets using the latest hi-tech synthetic fabrics like Gore-Tex and Polartec are a good indicator of their quality, and a moisture-wicking lining is a major plus in keeping you dry and toasty warm.
While most beginners are happy with rented skis, poles, boots and boards, if you want to take your winter sports a little more seriously you may want to invest in your own gear.
Skis: Make sure you’re fitted by an expert for the right length skis, according to your height, weight and skills.
Boots and Bindings: A proper fit is vital. Try them on with thick socks and ensure they’re a good, snug fit with no movement of your heel. Your bindings need to be checked regularly to check the release mechanism is in working order.
Poles: Make sure an expert recommends your poles based on your height.
Snowshoes: The key is comfort, but the correct size may actually feel tighter than you expect. They need to be water repellent, well insulated and easy to click into bindings.
Snowboards: Just like skis, the correct snowboard is based on an individual’s height and abilities. Don’t choose one just because the colour is cool. (Although there are some pretty cool designs out there!)
Helmet and Goggles: After the jacket, the two most important pieces of apparel/equipment are a high-quality safety-rated and certified helmet and some protective goggles.
Skiing, cross-country, snowboarding, snowshoeing and even a little bit of good-natured slalom competition with friends – I’ve tried it all! While I won’t be heading to the Winter Olympics any time soon, I’ve learnt a thing or two about a thing or two when it comes to preparing for winter sports – and lucky for you, I’m a good sharer!