Morzine (French pronunciation: ​[mɔʁzin]; Arpitan: Morzena) is a commune in the Haute-Savoie department and Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of south-eastern France.

June 2001 general view of Morzine
June 2001 general view of Morzine
Coat of arms of Morzine
Location of Morzine
Morzine is located in France
Morzine is located in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
Coordinates: 46°10′44″N 6°42′32″E / 46.1789°N 6.7089°E / 46.1789; 6.7089Coordinates: 46°10′44″N 6°42′32″E / 46.1789°N 6.7089°E / 46.1789; 6.7089
 • Mayor (2020–2026) Fabien Trombert[1]
44.1 km2 (17.0 sq mi)
 (Jan. 2019)[2]
 • Density62/km2 (160/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
INSEE/Postal code
74191 /74110
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

A traditional market town in the heart of the Portes du Soleil, Morzine is dominated by chalets spread across a river gorge, bordered by partially wooded slopes allowing skiing in poor weather conditions. Situated at an altitude of 1000 m, it is one of the most northerly of the French Alpine resorts, and weatherwise benefits from the Mont Blanc microclimate. The locality enjoys panoramic mountain views and modern ski facilities, as well as hotels and restaurants in the town itself. The ski resort of Avoriaz is located on the territory of the commune.


In 1181, Morzine (Latin: Morgenes, or "border area") was a grange of Aulps Abbey, a Cistercian monastery 7 km away.[3] In the Middle Ages, granges were agricultural centres from which the monks exploited their landscape and co-ordinated farming and industrial work. The grange was fundamental to the Cistercians' successful expansion and management of their mountain land. The granges supplied the monastery's food, clothing, utensils and building materials. The granges were manned by lay-brothers, who cultivated the lands and reared livestock.[4]

From the 18th to the early 20th century, the exploitation of slate quarries was an important economic activity of Morzine, before winter tourism took over around in 1930.[5] Between 1857 and 1870, the commune received national attention for an unusually high number of women claiming to be possessed.[6][7] In 2015 only a few quarries were still being exploited.

Summer sportsEdit

Morzine also hosts summer activities such as mountain biking, golfing, walking and caving. The resort also boasts an Olympic sized swimming pool.

Mountain bikingEdit

Local trails are generally single track and with varying levels of difficulty available from steep, rooty and technical to fast open downhill tracks. There is also a small amount of Northshore available in the Chatel Bike Park area.[citation needed]

Morzine is also within easy reach of other resorts including Avoriaz, Morgins, Châtel and Les Gets. The resorts of Pila, Verbier and Les Arcs lie within easy reach by car thus giving access to several places to ride.

A single lift pass can be purchased to cover the whole of the Portes du Soleil area and costs much less than during the winter months.

Tour de FranceEdit

Morzine has hosted Tour de France stage finishes on several occasions, thanks in part to the proximity of the notoriously steep Col de Joux-Plane climb.

Morzine was the finale of the first mountain stage in the 2003 Tour de France. Stage seven's yellow jersey (for the leader of the general classification) and polka dot jersey (for the leader of the mountains classification) were awarded to Richard Virenque of France's Quick Step-Davitamon team. Stage 17 of the 2006 Tour de France ended in Morzine, where Floyd Landis did the impossible and gutted out one of the most memorable stage wins in Tour history during the height of the 1992-2012 doping-era. The town was also the starting point for Stage 18. In the 2010 Tour de France Morzine was the finishing location for stage 8.

Morzine again featured in the 2016 Tour de France as the finish for stage 20 - Megeve to Morzine.

From July 10–12 the 2022 Tour de France was scheduled to be in Morzine with a stage finish held nearby, the second rest day and also a stage depart.[8]


Morzine is home to the annual French Mountain Villages Football Tournament (Tournoi des Montagnes) where the best junior teams compete for a much coveted trophy each June.

Winter sportsEdit

Ice hockeyEdit

The town is home to the Morzine-Avoriaz Penguins, an ice hockey team which reached the Ligue Magnus final in 2006, but nowadays plays in the country's minor leagues.[9]

Skiing and snowboardingEdit

The intermediate terrain makes the area well suited to beginners and less-seasoned skiers and snowboarders, which has led to the resort being especially popular with families.[citation needed] However more challenging slopes can be found at nearby Avoriaz.

Morzine is closely linked to its neighbours Avoriaz and Les Gets in that they function as linked skiing centres during the winter season. The two resorts are included in the Portes du Soleil ski area,[10] which includes both French and Swiss villages.

Other eventsEdit

Since 2013, the town has hosted the Morzine Harley Days, a major motorcycle and music rally sponsored by Harley-Davidson and organized by its Harley Owners Group. The event reportedly drew 20,000 vehicles and 60,000 fans in 2019.[11]

Local transportEdit

The closest airport to Morzine is Geneva Cointrin International Airport, Switzerland. Although there is no rail service directly to Morzine the two closest stations are at Thonon-les-Bains and Cluses, and from these stations local buses are available to the town.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Répertoire national des élus: les maires" (in French)., Plateforme ouverte des données publiques françaises. 13 September 2022.
  2. ^ "Populations légales 2019". The National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies. 29 December 2021.
  3. ^ Delerce (A.), Recherches sur le chartrier d'Aulps. Reconstitution, édition et commentaire des chartes d'une abbaye cistercienne de montagne (1097-1307), vol. 2, p. 271-273, n° 32. Papal bull of Pope Alexander III
  4. ^ Willams (D. H.), The Cistercians in the Early Middle Ages, Leominster, 1998, p. 278 ss.
  5. ^ History section, Ardoisière des Sept Pieds
  6. ^ Harris, Ruth (1997). "Possession on the Borders: The "Mal de Morzine" in Nineteenth-Century France". The Journal of Modern History. 69 (3): 451–478. doi:10.1086/245535. ISSN 0022-2801. JSTOR 2953593. S2CID 144770540.
  7. ^ O'Shea, Stephen (2017). The Alps: a human history from Hannibal to Heidi and beyond. New York: W. W. Norton. p. 27. ISBN 978-0-393-24685-8.
  8. ^ Henderson, Amy (28 June 2022). "FAQ's 2022 Tour de France". Morzine Source Magazine. Retrieved 10 June 2022.
  9. ^ "Morzine-Avoriaz". Elite Prospects. Retrieved September 3, 2021.
  10. ^ "Portes du Soleil Ski Area | Resorts, Holidays & Skiing Guide".
  11. ^ "A Morzine, Harley Davidson fait se côtoyer la légende et l'électrique". Artémis. AFP. July 14, 2019. Retrieved September 10, 2021.

External linksEdit