Review of the Club Med ski resort in Samoens Morillon
By Jens Hoffmann
Away from Chamonix, the French Alps has another piste-perfect resort in Morillon, a pretty, family-friendly village close to charming shops – and bags of snow-related fun Morillon in the Haute-Savoie, France.
Morillon is a one hour drive away from Geneva, in France’s Haute Savoie region.
The Grand Massif ski area is the fourth largest ski region in France. Samoëns has bakers, small cafes and cheese shops. It’s a traditional village, a family-friendly option.
Though the Grand Massif is France’s fourth-largest ski area. The Club Med lies on the top of a mountain on 1600 m high, it’s quiet, but truly a lovely Alpine resort. The villages date back to at least 1144, when an abbey was built in Sixt, and retain their historic character, with lovely stone buildings.
Families will love it: it’s quiet, with lots of activities and beginners’ runs. Morillon has a children’s village for six-month to 10-year-olds, featuring sledge runs, an ice rink and free activities; and there’s good choice of bargain apartments and chalets.
From Morillon a fast cable car whisks skiers up to where easy runs and lifts connect to the other resorts of the Grand Massif. It’s quite a distance back from Flaine though. Don’t miss the lovely, long, 14km blue, the Piste des Cascades, which passes waterfalls and ends in Sixt, where you can have a vin chaud before catching the free shuttle bus back to Morillon, which runs between the resorts until 6pm.
Challenging skiing is limited on powder days its great fun, but there are off-pistes.
There’s a JamPark in Flaine, and a boardercross. You could hire a guide and attempt the Pas de Sales, a 13km run with a 50m abseil section in the middle, or head over to do the classic Vallée Blanche.
Samoëns has charming shops, such as La Remise Enchantée, which sells beautiful handmade puppets, and Montagne et Chocolat, a gorgeous old-fashioned sweet shop and cafe. You can book a tour of historic Samoëns, to see the 12th-century church, old wooden greniers, and creeper-covered stone buildings built by the town’s once globally renowned stonemasons. There are many other snowy activities, including skijoring (being pulled along on skis by a horse), long cross-country ski tracks, dog-sledding and torch-lit snowshoe treks followed by fondue. Atmospheric Sixt, a historic mountaineering hotspot where Everest climbers trained, has around 60 ice-climbing itineraries.
Apres ski in pandemic times
La Puzze opposite the Morillon lift is a basic bar that’s good for a beer at the end of the day. It’s usually sleepy, if that’s what you’re after.
Morillon is at its liveliest with a street market selling wine, cheese, charcuterie and gifts. Otherwise, no!
What do I eat?
Try the huge variety of cheese, savoury and sweet crepes, accompanied by a bowl of delicious Breton cider.
Morillon has: 265km of pistes, 69 lifts, highest altitude 2,500m, 20 green runs, 65 blue runs, 50 red runs and 14 black runs.
It’s good for: peace, scenery, value, families, quick transfers.
Fly to Geneva, the nearest TGV is Cluses.