I have always wanted to visit the Alps in the summer. I’ve been lucky enough to visit in the ski season year after year, but I’ve never got round to booking a sunny mountain holiday. I really couldn’t tell you why because I’d take a mountain over a beach any day.
A couple of years ago, I stayed with Chilly Powder chalets in Morzine on a winter press trip. I had the most amazing stay, so I was delighted to be invited back in July last year. Finally, a chance to experience the beautiful French Alps in the summer!
Due to the timing, my boyfriend and I had a little hesitation about going because we were unsure about travelling in the COVID era. But we ended up having an incredible time, full of stunning scenery, adrenaline-fuelled adventure and exceptional hospitality.
This was one of my favourite adventures to date, so I’m very excited to share it with you.
Travelling to Morzine in the summer
Morzine is one of the most accessible mountain resorts from the UK. It’s a short flight to Geneva airport in Switzerland and then just a one hour drive to the Portes Du Soleil region, which comprises Avoriaz, Morzine & Les Gets.
In the winter, we have always travelled from Geneva to Morzine via a shared or private transfer. But in the summer, it’s highly recommended to hire a car. There are two main reasons for this. Firstly, options for transfers are extremely limited in the summer. Secondly, it’s almost impossible to get around without a car. You could cycle or walk, but if you are planning some day trips then you’ll need a car.
We flew with Swiss Air – you can find out more about our socially distanced flying experience in this blog post. It took me a while to find a car to hire, as there were quite a few options with a whole range of different reviews and prices. I ended up hiring through Alamo and I couldn’t fault the service.
I was a bit nervous about hiring a car because I’ve heard horror stories from friends and family about being charged for damage that wasn’t caused by them. But I have to say, our car hire went swimmingly. We had a lovely car and the pick-up / returns process was very straightforward.
Staying with Chilly Powder
I was very excited to be staying with Chilly Powder again. In the winter, their Au Coin Du Feu hotel felt cosy and welcoming, with a snow-covered roof and roaring fireplace to snuggle up next to. In the summer, it retains the same homeliness but with a light, bright and airy feel. The sun pours in through the big glass windows and the outdoor area is a perfect little sun trap.
The hotel is fully catered, with breakfast, afternoon tea, and five course dinners included. Oh, and there’s unlimited wine at dinner – say no more! I have to give a big shout out to Ian the chef – we enjoyed the most incredible food throughout our stay and it was truly faultless.
The Chilly Powder team were also brilliant at catering to our dietary requirements – I’m gluten free and Ben has a shellfish allergy. We mentioned our requirements when booking and we didn’t have to remind them once. It was all taken care of from the very first meal.
Au Coin Du Feu is in a perfect location. It’s outside of the town, which means you can enjoy the peace and quiet of the mountains. But it’s only a five minute drive in, so everything is very accessible. It’s also a very short walk to the Prodains lift, which takes you into Avoriaz. Plus, there are countless hiking trails accessible from the hotel.
I said this in my winter review, but by far the best thing about staying with Chilly Powder is the hospitality. It’s a family-run business and the staff are the most attentive, considerate team. It’s why I always hesitate in calling Au Coin Du Feu a hotel – it feels more like staying with friends and it’s what makes us want to return each year. Every one of our needs was taken care of and they also provided us with a wealth of information to make the most of our trip.
Morzine summer activities
There are plenty of activities and things to do in Morzine in the summer, whether you’re an adrenaline seeker or looking for a more peaceful break.
1. Visiting Lac de Montriond
On our first full day, we visited Lac de Montriond, which was only a 10-15 minute drive away. It is one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited! Calm, crystal blue water framed by tree-covered mountains and a clear blue sky.
We spent the day sunbathing, eating cheese in the restaurant, and swimming in the lake. You can also hire kayaks and paddleboards if you prefer. There were, understandably, a lot of people there. But there was plenty of parking and the lake is so expansive that it’s easy to find a spot to set up for the day.
The Alps in the summer are a hiker’s dream. You are spoilt for choice when it comes to hiking routes. From easier walks to more intense hikes with some scrambling thrown in, you’ll find something to suit your needs.
And let’s not forget the mountain views! The best kind of hikes are the ones where you are rewarded with breathtaking views at the top. You won’t struggle to find such hikes in Morzine.
I’d also recommend hiking or getting the lift up to Avoriaz. You’ll find more incredible views and it’s a great spot for families as there are plenty of activities. There’s also a driving range and tennis courts to enjoy.
3. Mountain biking
Mountain biking is one of the most popular attractions for adrenaline seekers in the summer and it is the main mountain sport for the sunny months. In the winter, the town is full of skiers and snowboarders, helmets in arms, and skis propped up all around. In the summer, it’s teeming with bikers, helmets in arms, and bikes propped up all around.
I’ll admit that we didn’t actually try mountain biking, mainly because we were quite limited on time and there was so much to do! If I go to Morzine again in the summer – which I absolutely plan to – I’ll definitely be giving it a go.
4. High ropes under the suspension bridge
Not one for the faint-hearted! In the centre of Morzine, there is a huge suspension bridge which connects either side of the valley. Underneath the walkway of the bridge, they have built a high ropes course. Morzine Tourism Board very kindly gifted us this activity. We said that we wanted to do something that would get the adrenaline pumping – and they nailed it with this one!
Ben and I are both fine with heights. But I have to say, this was nerve-wracking! The course itself was actually quite physically challenging, which is what makes it so scary. It’s also very high off the ground and I would describe it as Go Ape on steroids! I loved this high ropes course and it was just the adrenaline kick I needed. I highly recommend it for anyone who loves heights, but if you’re of a more nervous disposition then I would probably steer clear…
For our final adrenaline kick of the holiday, we went paragliding. This has been high on my bucket list for a long time so I was very excited to get in the air. We were driven up to the take-off point, where they harness you up. Once ready to go, you literally just run off the side of the mountain!
Paragliding is actually extremely relaxing. As long as you’re not scared of heights of course, once you’re in the air, it’s a very gentle glide. For the thrill seekers, you can opt for an ‘adrenaline’ option where they’ll do some G-force turns so it feels like you’re on a rollercoaster in the air.
The views were incredible and it felt very surreal to be floating through the air above the mountains. I did, however, face one rather unfortunate problem. Paragliding triggered my motion sickness rather badly! I suppose I thought that the adrenaline would override any feelings of motion sickness. But as it was more relaxing than I thought, I ended up feeling extremely sick. So, if you’re like me and suffer from motion sickness, I suggest taking a motion sickness tablet before going paragliding!
Sickness aside, the paragliding was truly amazing. It’s one of the more pricey options out of the activities available, but it’s a bucket list item and worth every penny.
And that concludes our summer mountain adventure! I’ve fallen in love with Morzine in the summer and I cannot wait to return in future years. In the meantime, be sure to check out my video of our trip:
This post is a result of a press trip in which the accommodation was kindly gifted by Chilly Powder. All views and opinions are my own.
Chilly Powder operates year-round, offering active summer holidays for individuals, groups and families looking to experience the stunning Portes du Soleil region. Summer prices start from £595 per week based on two adults sharing a standard bedroom, or £1,660 for two adults and two children sharing a standard family bedroom. Prices based on a half-board basis with wine included in the evening meals. Self-catered chalets and winter ski holidays are also available.
Chilly Powder is offering a 100% credit note for all new bookings, should a booking have to be cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictions in place during dates of a scheduled trip. To learn more about the guest guarantee or to making a booking, contact Chilly Powder on email@example.com or 020 7289 6958 or visit www.chillypowder.com.