When the snow melts and the ski slopes are transformed into lush green pastures, the mountains become a fabulous outdoor playground for thrillseekers, nature-lovers and those looking for more gentle pastimes.
We’ve put together a list of some of the most popular events in the Morzine and Avoriaz area (and you can check out the local tourist offices for the latest news of what is happening).
Note: we have tried to ensure that all details and events are as up to date as possible. However, events are subject to change, and we recommend that you check information about the event you wish to visit before you set out.
2-5 June – European Mountain Village Football Championships, Morzine
Football teams from mountain regions all over Europe get together every four years to play for the championships, and this year Morzine hosts the competition. As well as football, there are concerts in the evening in the Skoda Arena.
5 June – Criterium du Dauphine, Les Gets
One of France’s most prestigious cycle races, the Criterium, has stages throughout France and is considered a warm-up for the Tour de France. See the prologue in Les Gets.
19 June – Morzine-Haut Chablais Cyclosportive, Morzine
Two races of 142km and 92km leave at 8am and go over the Joux Verte, Corbier, Grand Taillet, Jambaz, Ramaz and Enrenaz cols to finish in St Jean D’Aulps. The event is great training for the Etape du Tour on 10 July, and a great spectacle for those watching.
21 June – Fete de la Musique, Morzine
There are musical celebrations of the summer solstice across France on this date. In Morzine as elsewhere, all events are free and music of all kinds spills out of the bars and restaurants on to the streets. Programmes are not usually made available until June, so check the website nearer the date for more details.
15-10 June – Crankworx, Les Gets
The Crankworx world tour adds Les Gets to its list of stops in 2016, with five days of MTB competitions, demonstrations, new products and parties. Twenty lucky riders will enjoy a VIP ride with downhill world champion Loic Bruni, who is an ambassador for the Les Gets bike park, there’s a girls’ night ride with Tahnee Seagrave and much more. Check the website for more details.
24-26 June – MTB Pass’portes du Soleil, various locations
This 80km mountain trek crosses the border between France and Switzerland at heights ranging from 1,000m to 2,250m. The route uses 15 lifts, and there are variations for those choosing to cycle uphill. The trek takes a day, and riders can choose whether to take part on Friday, Saturday or Sunday. The price of €50 includes a lift pass, a number plate, food stops, a gift, and a lift pass voucher for use in summer or winter. For 2016, sections of the route will be signposted for electric MTB riders. At least two recharging points will be available at the food and drink stops.
30 June-2 July - Musiques En Stock, Cluses
Big names feature at this free music festival in the town of Cluses, less than an hour from Morzine. The full line-up includes Ty Segall, Birdpen and Matt Corby. There’s also an international food area, a bar, a kids’ zone, and some a festival market.
2-3 July – Spartan Race, Morzine
The world leader in obstacle courses comes to Morzine for two days of events, including the 6km Sprint, 13km Super and 20km Beast. There is also a course for children aged 7 and over. Prices for registration vary from €59 for the sprint to €129 for the beast, depending on how early you register. See the website for more details and to register.
10 July – Etape du Tour passes through Morzine
A chance for amateur cyclists to experience a stage of the Tour de France under the same conditions as the real competitors later in the month. Not to be confused with the actual 20th stage of the Tour de France, from Megève to Morzine, on 23rd July, which covers 146 km and a climb of 11.7km with a gradient of 5.8%!
10-23 July – Operation Pois Rouges, Morzine
Help to paint the town red in celebration of the Etape du Tour and the Tour de France itself! People in the town will be decorating buildings, trees and cars with red polka dots, and residents and visitors are invited to wear red too. The wearers of the most original outfits will win VIP seats at the arrival of the Tour de France on July 23, so start planning yours now! Pictures should be uploaded to the event’s official facebook page.
11 July – Alpine Battle, Les Gets
This is an orienteering event open to all mountain bikers with a good level of technical ability and safety awareness. Teams are formed of 2 competitors, equipped with a route map, who must pass through as many designated checkpoints in the area as possible during the two days of the race. Using GPS, organisers can verify the position of each team in real time and ensure that all the checkpoints have been crossed. Ski lifts may be used if wished. Competitors start together and each team must race to find the various compulsory routes and complete them in the fastest time possible. Go to the website for more details and to register.
14 July – Bastille Day, Morzine
The whole of France celebrates the storming of the Bastille. Here in Morzine, the fireworks usually go off at about 10pm.
15-17 July – International Mechanical Music Festival Les Gets
Started in 1983, this festival features a varied programme of mechanical music and exhibitions on the streets of Les Gets with shows and strange objects. More than 450 musicians and artists will play at the heart of Les Gets and in its gardens and terraces. This year, the theme is Mechanical Music and the Arts.
18-22 July – Four Elements Festival, Les Gets
This family event highlights the importance of understanding and preserving the environment. Families in particular will enjoy lively street shows, stories, exhibitions, experiments and other surprises. Learn to make kites, candles, water mills and land art and also join country walks, learn about mountain plants and visit environmentally-themed exhibitions.
23 July – Tour de France, 20th stage, Morzine
The gruelling 20th stage of the Tour de France (Mégève-Morzine) crosses the finish line in Morzine the day before the final stage in Paris. Don’t miss this spectacle - there’s a great atmosphere in the village and all along the route! Riders will arrive in Morzine from the Col de Joux-Plane. The route will take them then towards the fire station, then towards the town hall. They will then ride up Rue du Bourg to cross the finish line on Tourist Office square.
27-30 July – Festival du Lind’art, Montriond, Morzine
This annual festival explores the crossover between cultural heritage and the natural environment. The 2016 festival looks back at the Tango, with music from Argentina.
1-12 August – Lounge Music Festival, Les Gets
There will be more than 35 free concerts performed in and around Les Gets centre. From early afternoon into the evening, spectators can move from terrace to terrace, enjoying blues, reggae, pop and jazz. There will also be musical workshops for young people so that visitors of all ages can enjoy this exciting music festival.
7 August – Carnival, Morzine
Local clubs and groups show off their floats in a parade through the town centre from 2om to 5pm. There’s a great carnival atmosphere in the village and it’s free to watch
8-12 August – Morzine loves flavour
Discover new flavours and local produce at this foodie festival, with activities, workshops and tastings.
13 August – Trail des Hauts Forts, Morzine, Avoriaz
For this trail running event, competitors have a choice of two routes - 25km and 45km. The route takes you through three mountain passes around the Hauts-Forts peaks and through some of the most beautiful landscapes in the Portes du Soleil area. The 45km race is a qualifier for the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc. Go to the website for more details and to register.
14 August – Morzine-Avoriaz Road Bike Hill Climb
Meet in the main square in the centre of Morzine at 9am for the steep 14.6km road bike climb to Avoriaz. It’s 860m vertical with a 6% average incline. The 33-minute record was set by Bernard Hinault 27 years ago. Think you can beat it?
19-26 August – Avoriaz Dance Festival
Join in for some Salsa, Zumba, Kizomba, Semba, Bachata, Tango, Zouk and Rock. Each year, more than 500 people taking part in 100 hours of dance classes, Latin nights and demonstrations. The dance festival is open to all: experts, beginners or experienced.
1-3 September – Mont Blanc Rally, Morzine
Drive or walk up to one of the view points to see a rally cars scrambling round the corners near Morzine and Les Gets. For the last 20 years, rally drivers have raced around the resort, the Joux Verte and Joux Plane passes before making for the Cote d'Arbroz.
10-11 September – Evergreen Endurance Triathlon, Montriond to Chamonix
Competitors start with a 4km swim in Lake Montriond before a 181km cycle through five mountain passes (Joux Verte, Joux Plane, Romme, Colombière, Aravis) and a 41km run on some of the most beautiful running trails of the Chamonix Valley through the Montenvers, Forbes Signal, Grand Balcon Nord, Aiguille du Midi mid station, before heading down to the finishing line at Chamonix town centre. Entry fees range from 230€ for the 118 kms individual race to 330€ for the 228km race. More info on the website.
24 September – Morzine Three Peaks challenge
Tackle the three peaks of Nyon, Ressachaux and Nantaux before heading back to L’Aubergade for a barbecue, beer and some music.