Romance in the Mountains: 5-day Morzine itinerary
Five days of adventure and discovery with your loved one in Morzine
Luscious green valleys, epic mountain peaks, emerald green lakes and invigorating waterfalls; the mountains are a majestic paradise, and we honestly can’t think of a more romantic place to enjoy a summer getaway.
In this itinerary we unlock some of our best kept secrets for amazing mountain viewpoints, sun-filled adventures and beautiful al fresco meals. And because all love stories need some spice and adventure, we have picked the best exhilarating experiences to enjoy as a pair; so whether you are a new couple or have already enjoyed decades of adventuring together, this itinerary is sure to make sparks fly!
With many of the activities, we have given options so you can make your experience as relaxed or as adventurous as you wish!
Start your 5-day adventure by finding your way to one of the Portes du Soleil’s newest and most jaw-dropping viewpoints: Le Pas de l’Aigle. First, you will need to board the Nyon téléphérique (located a 20 minute walk along the river or 5 minute drive from the town centre).
This will bring you to the stunning Nyon Plateau, where you catch the Pointe de Nyon chairlift, which takes you further up the mountain.
Once at the top, veer to the left to follow the mountain trail for around 50m. It is then a few careful strides until you find yourself on a 15-metre walkway that protrudes from the side of the mountain. You are now standing at 2019m above sea level and will have a fantastic 360° panorama of the mountain range, with views of Mont Blanc on one side and Lake Geneva on the other.
If you wish to continue upwards – and have found your head for heights – after the viewing platform you can re-join the trail to reach the very summit of the mountain. The path is steep and quite challenging, with loose rocks in places, so take care as you climb up.
At the top you are rewarded with more amazing views and an information board naming the local mountains. Please find a detailed explanation of this route on our blog.
For the way down, you can either take the chairlift or walk back to the Nyon Plateau, the latter option is a route that winds its way down the mountains and takes around one hour. We recommend enjoying the walk and finding a beautiful spot along the way to share a picnic. For this option, remember to pick up a baguette from one of the lovely bakeries or sandwich shops in Morzine in the morning (our favourites are La Bonbonniere on Route de la Plagne and Au P’tit Casse Croûte on Rue du Bourg).
After a relaxing lunch, hop back on the téléphérique to descend to the parking area. In the far corner, cross the bridge and take the path on your left along the stream. Follow the stream for a 5 minute walk and you will reach a spectacular waterfall. Take a moment to feel the rush of the water or take a refreshing dip in one of the clear water rock pools.
You can continue on the path up and over the top of the falls and back down through the woods on the other side. For a more adventurous afternoon, Cascade Adventure, located in a clearing just off the path to the left, offer two activities: a tree rope course which involves flying over the waterfall on a zip wire; and canyoning where you don a wet suit and find your way down the falls by climbing, abseiling and jumping off rocks.
Of the plethora of activities offered by the mountains, Via Ferrata is one of the most daring and rewarding, and will long be remembered and talked about among friends and couples who dare to tackle it together. It consists of a combination of climbing and scrambling up rock faces on routes fitted with steel rods, steps and heavy-gauge wire cables that are embedded in the rock to assist and secure you. Fitted snugly in a harness, you will need to clip yourself safely onto the fixed cable using specialist equipment.
You need no prior experience, but first timers should seek the help of a professional mountain guide to learn learn the ‘ropes’ and ensure maximum safety on the rock face. There are several Via Ferrata routes in the area, but our favourite, Le Rocher de la Chaux, is just down the valley in Saint Jean d’Aulps. It offers two routes, one easier than the other, but by no means a walk in the park, with plenty of hairy sections which will test your mental strength more than your physical ability. You willl traverse a dizzying 795m above the forest to reach magnificent views stretching beyond Saint Jean towards Morzine, and Mont Blanc in the distance.
High on adrenalin and ready to re-fuel after your exciting morning, you will be keen to relive the experience over a hearty lunch. Stunning Lac Montriond is the perfect spot and is a 15 minute drive from Saint Jean. At the end of the lake you will find L’Auberge du Bout du Lac, this charming Savoyard restaurant serves local specialities that can be enjoyed on the terrace with a beautiful view of the lake.
In the afternoon, simply chill by the water. Read a book, enjoy a long swim, hire a paddle board or take a relaxing walk around the lake. It is easy to while away hours here, and you may want to stretch your afternoon into the evening to enjoy the changing colours and reflections upon the water.
Whilst it is lovely to stay local with plenty to do in Morzine, mid-way through your holiday we suggest heading a little further afield to experience a beautiful place with a totally different vibe. Yvoire is a medieval city built in the early 14th century, a fairy tale town on the shores of Lake Geneva (or Lac Leman to French locals), it is nicknamed ‘the gem of the lake’, and for good reason.
Walk through charming streets, admire flower-filled views of the lake from the ‘Garden of the Five Senses’ and explore the impressive castle. For lunch there are some excellent, and very romantic, restaurants, so take some time to read the menus and select the place that takes your fancy.
In the afternoon drive home via Excenevex beach (10 minutes from Yvoire), for a delightful swim in the lake. This unique sandy beach feels like a spot on the French Riviera and offers a sweeping view across the lake from the Swiss shore to the start of the French Alps.
Today’s activity is a fun – not too strenuous – mountain bike ride, with some exciting stops along the way. Once kitted out with a mountain bike, bike lock and helmet, which are easily rented from one of Morzine’s many bike shops, head to the Super Morzine gondola. Hitch a lift on the bubble and at the top jump on the Zore chairlift (lift operators will help you get your bikes securely attached to the lifts). You then have a 6km part trail, part road downhill cycle to Les Linderets. You will catch some amazing views on your way down before entering a bowl shaped area where several ski lifts meet. Here lock up your bikes and take the Chaux Fleurie chairlift up to Fantasticable – one of the Portes du Soleil’s most unique (and thrilling) attractions.
It consists of two huge zip lines that go from one side of the valley to the other at a height of 240m above the ground. They cover three kilometres in two stages and reach speeds of up to 100km/h! For this exhilarating ride, you will be strapped into a harness and fly face first across the valley. If you can, keep your eyes open, the views are incredible!
Once back on firm ground, take the lift back to Les Linderets bowl and recoup your bikes for a short 500m freewheel into the hamlet of Les Linderets. This tiny village with narrow paths and pretty chalets, is known as ‘The Goat Village’ because it is full of, yes you guessed it, goats! They are not shy and wander around freely, allowing tourists to get close and pet them. They also make for some hilarious photo opportunities.
This village is also home to several great restaurants, we love La Cremaillaire, where dishes using local mushrooms, known as chanterelles, are a speciality.
After lunch its time to jump back on the bike and carry on along the road heading down the mountain.
After around 6km you will come to Lac Montriond; the same lake as visited on Day 2, because quite simply one afternoon in this stunning spot is just not enough!
Lock up your bikes, have a refreshing swim and enjoy some chill time on the shores of the lake. And there is no need to save a large reserve of energy for the ride home – it’s an easy 30 minute downhill ride all the way to Morzine.
Your final day will take you on a stunning drive over the mountain pass of the Col de Joux Plane. This mountain road is unique, not only because it is one of the iconic climbs of the Tour de France, but in winter certain parts of it become a ski piste.
As the road winds up you will see some spectacular views of Morzine and beyond. Once at the top, park in the parking (just past the lake), cross the road and join the mountain trail that heads upwards.
This trail swoops around to the other side of the mountain (away from Morzine) and leads to a viewpoint marked by a cross. Stop here and enjoy views of the Portes du Soleil’s smaller, yet equally impressive, brother – the Grand Massif mountain range.
Check the information board and you are certain to recognise the names of some of the famous peaks along your eyeline.
It takes around 1.5 hours to complete the walk and get back to the car park. Once in the car, its a 15 minute drive down the far side of the mountain into Samoëns village.
This pretty village is full of charm and boasts some cute boutique shops, bakeries and a handful of restaurants. Take some take to explore, eat lunch and wander through the botanical gardens. After lunch, jump back in the car for a very worthy detour before joining the road back to Morzine. Ten minutes drive beyond Samoens you will find the ancient hamlet of Sixt.
Take the road straight through the village and continue into a wooded area, after about 5 minutes you will arrive at a tremendous waterfall. The Cascade du Rouget is known as La Reine des Alpes (the Queen of the Alps), and it is not hard to understand why.
After admiring the waterfall, it’s time to head back to Morzine, but instead of driving over the Col, take the road to Taninges. It’s an easier drive and affords you a stop at the stunning Lac Bleu. This natural spring water fed lake is a wonderful spot for a swim on a balmy summer afternoon. The mountain reflections on the water are truly beautiful, and it is worth stretching the day out, as the sunset down the valley will create a memorable picture to end your holiday in the Alps.