Porte du Soleil
According to Wholevehicles, Portes du Soleil (Gate of the Sun) is one of the largest ski resorts in the world. It occupies a huge area of approximately 1000 sq. km between French Mont Blanc and Lake Geneva.
On the territory of Portes du Soleil, there are only about 650 km of slopes of different difficulty levels, which are covered by a single ski pass (cost about 53 EUR per day in high season). There are easy routes for beginners and steep trails with a large elevation difference for experienced athletes and extreme sportsmen.
In addition to the mountain slopes, there are many other entertainments on the territory of all resorts – the scale obliges. There are trails for cross-country skiing, snowmobile rental, an ice rink, a climbing wall, a swimming pool and other winter and off-season sports activities. There are also spas, restaurants, nightclubs, etc.
How to get to Portes du Soleil
The nearest international airport is in Geneva, from where you can reach any Portes du Soleil resort in about an hour by shuttle bus.
In addition, the region can also be reached by train from Switzerland or France (CFF and SNCF) to the stations:
- Thonon-les-Bains, Cluses (France)
- Lausanne, Montreux or Aigle (Switzerland)
From there, shuttles run to the resorts of Portes du Soleil.
The Portes du Soleil area includes 8 French resorts and 6 Swiss ones. France includes Avoria, Abondance, La Chapelle-d’Abodance, Châtel, Les Gets, Montriond, Morzine, Saint-Jean-de-Alps), and Switzerland – Morgins, Champoussin, La Crozzet, Champery, Torgon, Val de Ile. Some of them appeared near the villages, and some were built specifically around the tracks (for example, Avoriaz). All resorts are similar to each other, due to geography, but each still has some features.
For example, Morzine is designed more for middle and high level athletes. Most of the slopes here are steep, and there is one very difficult descent – Pointe de Nyon – for extreme skiing. There are also beginner trails in Morzine, but there are many more in neighboring resorts.
Les Gets, on the contrary, is recommended for those who have recently embarked on skis, as well as for children. You can ride a funny train around the resort, and the slopes start right from the doors of the hotels. So lifts are often not needed.
Avoria is considered the best suited for snowboarding. Here are built special tracks for snow-cross and a huge springboard with an inflatable cushion at the bottom. The most interesting here will be already confident snowboarders, but beginners also have something to do. Professional skiers also like to come to Avorisal, as it is here that the steepest “black” slopes in the entire Porte du Soleil are located.
Not far from Avoriaz is the small village of Châtel. There are also many interesting tracks here, but unlike Avoriaz, there are few people here even in the high season, and there are also thermal springs. The most famous of the Swiss resorts is Champery. It is located very close to Geneva and is considered a weekend resort among the Swiss. However, on weekdays it is completely uncrowded even in the high season.
Porte du Soleil in numbers
- 280 runs: 26 black, 105 red, 112 blue and 37 green
- 201 lift
- 650 km of slopes
- 9 snowparks
- 89 restaurants on the mountain
A ski pass for a week for one adult will cost 280 EUR, for a child – 210 EUR ].
The resorts of Val d’Isere and Tignes form a single skiing area Espace Killi – a total of 300 km of ski slopes of various difficulty levels and about a hundred lifts.
Skiing at the resort is guaranteed not only in winter, but also in summer thanks to the Pissaillas glacier.
Espace Killy trails
There are plenty of slopes for intermediate level skiers: Col de Fresse, an easy descent from Solaise to Le Laisinant and further into the city. The longest easy descent along the valley of Vallon de l’Izeran from the height of the Pisseya glacier to the village of Le Forne is also remarkable.
In the Bellevarde area (Bellevarde, 2827 m) there is a men’s downhill track. In Tignes, too, expanse for professionals – a long “black” slope Sache (Sache) on the northern slope, Tour de Pramecou (Tour de Pramecou) from the Grande Motte glacier (Grande Motte), western slopes offer skiing off-piste, serious “black » The route stretches from Tovier (Toviere, 2704 m) to Tignes-Le-Lac (Tignes-Le-Lac).
The resorts of Val d’Isère and Tignes are a vast and varied skiing area for snowboarders. Specifically, they will be interested in the Le Tour du Charvet track, the Col Pers pass, the Perdue and Les Danaides valleys (including the famous Le Lavancher corridor), two classic routes from the Bellevarde ski lift (the steep and deep La Table corridor and the Kern corridor).
Espace Killive in numbers:
- 156 ski runs: 23 green, 66 blue, 40 red and 27 black
- 2 snowparks
- 88 lifts: 33 ski lifts, 20 chairlifts, 25 chairlifts with detachable clamps, 4 gondola lifts, 4 cable cars, 2 funiculars, 4 free lifts
- large selection of off-piste skiing
- 6 information totems with information about off-piste skiing
- 6 Naturide zones with unprepared black runs
- an area where you can learn how to use the ARVA avalanche beacon
- 821 snow gun
- over 100 ski lifeguards
- 7 ski schools
Entertainment and attractions Espace Killy
Three fitness clubs (pool, sauna, Turkish baths, jacuzzi, exercise equipment, bodybuilding, gymnastics, aerobics, traditional massage and hydromassage, solarium). Tennis courts, volleyball, football, rollerdrome, table tennis, climbing wall, badminton, basketball, hockey.
In addition, a gym, bowling, ice rink (600 square meters), diving under the ice (~ 55 EUR per dive), helicopter rides, ice climbing.
More than 70 restaurants, various bars and “piano bars”, pubs, Internet cafes, bowling, bridge, squash.
There are mini clubs for children from 18 months to 3 years old and from 3 to 6 and 9 years old. For the little ones – kindergartens, nannies and nurses (for children from two years old with meals ~ 50 EUR per day). Children’s ski school from 4 to 12 years old, 5 lessons per week (each lasts half a day) ~ 75 EUR.