Portes du Soleil : the perfect ski, rock & bike combo

Border hopping in the heart of the first cross-border area is the stunning advantage of the Portes du Soleil. With twelve resorts in two countries and just one package, the Portes du Soleil offers an exceptional playground for sensations on a large scale.

From Les Gets, THE place to start your border hopping adventure, between France and Switzerland.

Genesis of an XXL ski area

Europe’s largest mountain bike area, 650 km of snow in a natural powdery reserve, and a home of events, Portes du Soleil can definitely win over visitors.

It must be said that since its creation in the 60s, the desire to unite has never gone away, because it was born of a deep friendship between two mountaineers, who were dreamers but, above all, visionaries. On the French side we have the Olympic downhill champion Jean Vuarnet, and on the Swiss side there’s his friend from Valais, Gustave Trombert.

From a crazy seed of an idea to build cross-border ski lifts, this huge Franco-Swiss ski project is growing. Originally called the ‘Haute Route des Familles’ (Family High Road), when it was presented at the Swiss National Exhibition in Lausanne in 1964, it became ‘Les Portes du Soleil’ in 1965.

THE place to start your border hopping adventure

Through a combination of will and passion, twelve resorts in Haut Chablais and Valais joined together to offer holidaymakers a ski safari paradise: Abondance, Châtel, La Chapelle d’Abondance, Les Gets, Montriond, Morzine- Avoriaz, and Saint-Jean-d’Aulps, on the French side, and Champéry, Morgins, Torgon, and Val-d’Illiez-Les-Crosets- Champoussin in Switzerland.

Over 50 years later, the Portes de Soleil continues to shine and adapt its huge playground for new activities. Skiing in winter, mountain biking or walking in summer, why not hop from France to Switzerland for some fun without frontiers? It doesn’t matter which flag is flying, we’re just giddy
with… boardsports!

A family resort in the heart of the Portes du Soleil

Nestled in the heart of the area, Les Gets displays its Savoyard identity on the façades of its chalets and in the hearts of its residents. The stones and wood, borrowed from the mountains, and the alpine pastures and herds are a reminder of the village’s pastoral roots, long before it became a resort.

Here, under a generous sun, take a deep breath of authenticity.  In an exceptional location between Lake Geneva and Mont Blanc, and with a direct link to the Portes du Soleil, Les Gets combines the delights of a recognised ‘Famille Plus Montagne’ resort with those of a huge Franco-Swiss playground.

With ski departure on foot from the heart of the village, Les Gets goes to infinity and beyond. Les Gets opens up onto the immensity of the Portes du Soleil area. With one single package, the twelve Franco-Swiss resorts are open to skiers’ tips. 286 runs and 196 lifts in Portes du Soleil. If climbing makes you dizzy, push back the borders for unlimited skiing.

Leaving from Les Gets, more than 650 km of white gold are open to those who love skiing or boardsports; because here, all forms are possible. Telemark, snowboard, cross-country skiing, the possibilities are endless and the beauty of the setting gives you the chills. After a nice warm-up on the slopes of Mont-Chéry, with its breathtaking view of the Mont-Blanc chain, why not go over the Chavannes slope to reach Morzine, Avoriaz, with a quick jump to the Swiss resort of Champéry. It’s always more fun without borders.

Ski & rock, the winter cocktail of the Portes du Soleil

We’ve got French culture, we’ve got Swiss culture, but in the Portes du Soleil, we’ve also got rock culture!

Concerts on the slopes during the day and later in the resort, the Rock The Pistes festival brings the area together for a wall of sound, live and at altitude. 7 days of rock, 5 giant concerts on the slopes, 50 gigs off piste in the 12 resorts and 28,000 festival-goers, a unique cocktail in Europe.

For music lovers, this is a unique opportunity to discover the area, from resort to resort in pursuit of a great sound. The atmosphere melts the snow each year as there’s dancing in ski boots. Before a slide down the slopes to enjoy this amazing scene right to the end. In the centre of the village in the evening, the fervour continues with vibrant concerts by young talent.

Public assistant à un concert en plein air lors du Festival Rock the Pistes

Always more tips & tricks…