Things to do

The neighbourhood

Location, location, location – the three best things about Chalet Gilbert. It is in the most peaceful spot you will find, tucked on the side of a large forest and away from the madding crowds. Yet still very handy for a wide variety of ski stations or hikes in the summer. There are a variety of Shuttle Bus options from Geneva airport summer and winter, which will take guests right to the door.

Getting around

Morzine is only 5km away – 5 mins by car, 15 by bike or 25mins jogging for the fitness fanatics. If you’re looking for a bit of nightlife or some variety of food, Morzine has plenty of bars and restaurants. There is a local bus which runs to and from Morzine several times a day, but a car is advised for flexibility. Transport to the ski stations during the day or into Morzine at night can be arranged for guests arriving without a car. Ample car parking is available on the driveway.

Other things to note

There are plenty of things to do whatever time of year you choose to come – in the middle of winter or in the long hot summers. The place is a lot quieter during the inter-season periods in late Spring and Autumn, but therefore very peaceful and pleasant for hikes and cycling. Enquire about special deals during these periods or if you’d like to organise a group trip for cycling, golf or even yoga.

Additional activities

Morzine is very much an all year round resort although is quieter in spring and autumn. However, the outdoor enthusiast can have a field day with white water rafting, quad biking, canyoning, mountain boarding, luge and lots more.

Main activities include

Skiing and snow boarding

Skiing is exceptionally good and extensive in Portes du Soleil and at 650km is, they claim, the largest ski area in the world and even larger than Les Trois Vallees. Although Essert-Romand itself is relatively low (about 950m), the purpose built (ugly but camouflaged) Avoriaz is much higher and has skiing well into April. When the snow conditions are good however, you can ski through nice Alpine ski lined runs and nip into Switzerland for lunch via the picturesque Chatel (no passport needed!). You can even ski back to the chalet door off-piste if you do a day at La Grande Terche and head through Graydon village which is buried under snow all winter. The lift system is very modern indeed and works on the basis of a magnetic card that you can charge up with credits. You can choose to charge up one of the numerous spare cards in the chalet or buy one for about 3 Euros. If you’re hiring skis, boots or a board, suggest you go to the Caribou ski hire shop. The friendly owner, Michel (former French ski team trainer!) offers guests staying at “Chalet Gilbert” a 20% discount. The same discount applies to all purchases such as clothes or ski gear in the shop.


Hiking is very extensive in and around the area and we have some good maps in the chalet of the Morzine and Samoens valleys that can be borrowed. Options range from long walks to peaks, ridge walks or something altogether more gentle. The views are stunning wherever you go. Between mid June and mid September the lifts are working and you can get a head start on your hike! Graydon village up behind the chalet is a great starting point to leave your car and you can finish with a glass of wine in the little Auberge there – a local favourite in the evenings. Similarly, Lac des Mines D’or (Gold Mine Lake) is stunning and you can walk up the Col de Cou in 2 hours to be on the Swiss border and then return for a drink or lunch in the farm. Both these walks can be done in the off-season without lifts. Non-skiers may want to try “racqette” or trekking in snow shows. Two pairs are in the chalet and can be borred by guests.

Mountain biking

We have two mountain bikes which guests are welcome to borrow. Les Gets next door to Morzine is the European mountain biking mecca and was home to the World Championship in 2004. It has tracks that are graded in difficulty – just like ski pistes. In the summer months the lifts operate and if you’re lazy, you can take your bike up on the lift and cycle back down. Off season, a lovely cycle is to take the riverside path up from Morzine to Mines D’Or and then freewheel all the way back down the gentle slope. Or a shorter trip is just to cycle to Morzine and then follow the path by the river through the trees which leaves from the open air swimming pool and goes back down to Essert Romand (but be warned, you have a little climb at the end!). There are numerous shops for hiring bikes (again try Michel at Caribou for a discount).


Not great in the winter as the course is under 1m of snow, but in the summer months there is the hilly and picturesque Les Gets Golf Course (18 trous!). It is nice and short, with fir trees lining the fairways, has little lakes and ponds and has views over snow-capped Mont Blanc. Hiring a buggy is recommended as the hills are fairly steep! Despite the fact that a million people have skied and boarded over it all winter, it is in great nick. Other options are the 9 Hole Avoriaz Golf Course or if you want to go up market, Evian Golf Course, home of the European Women’s Championship, is only 30 mins away. Two sets of decent golf clubs are available in the garage for general use.

Paragliding and parapente

If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, you may wish to try a bit of paragliding. Again, Morzine is a bit of a Mecca for the sport and you’ll normally see the sky littered with “parapentes” all summer. Lauren – who is quite mad but great fun – and Francoise his wife are a lovely couple who run the “Morzine Parapente” shop in Club Piou Piou. You can take a week long course and be flying solo from day 3. Or, if you just want to try it out, tri a tandem flight or “bi-place” for about 75 Euro. Well worth it and they’ll take kids of most ages.