©Morzine-Avoriaz.Sam Ingles @morzineofficiel #morzine
Whilst being a bustling modern ski resort, with one of the largest international ski domains in the world, the true appeal of Morzine is that it has still kept the appearance of a village from another time; wooden facades, carved balconies and slate-covered roofs. This true Alpine charm and real traditional French village ambiance is what sets Morzine apart from other man-made ski resorts and keeps visitors returning time and time again.
When the skiing began
The main Pleney cable car was first opened in 1934 and the resort of Avoriaz, (created by Jean Vuarnet, a local Olympic gold ski champion) was developed in 1963. Up until then, it was quite a different story.
Up until this point, the income of the village depended largely upon farming and slate mining, the local ‘grey gold’. 1734 was the official year of commercial exploitation of slate, but it was probably extracted from the cliff face as far back as the 15th century to cover roofs and lofts. Machinery and mining techniques have remained practically unchanged since then, with five mines still open today, supplying materials for roof covering, tiling and for souvenirs.
The commune of Morzine is responsible for Avoriaz, hence why it is often referred to as Morzine-Avoriaz. However they are two separate villages. Morzine is based at 1,000 metres and Avoriaz village is at 1,800m. It is our snow sure resort in Winter and hosts the golf course and other activities in the summer. It is a car free zone and has very distinct architecture. Well worth a cable car ride up to have a look around and experience the fabulous views.
A few key historical dates
- 1920: The start of tourism with the building of the ‘Grand Hotel’
- 1934: Pleney cable car opens
- 1960: Hotel Les Cimes opened by Pascal Rodriguez (Thierry’s grandfather)
- 1961: The telepherique at Nyon is built
- 1963: Avoriaz telepherique is built
- 1973: 1st Fantastic Film Festival at Avoriaz
- 1974: The skiing world cup is held in Morzine & Avoriaz
- 1992: Super Morzine telecabine opened