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The Best Property in Portes du Soleil - one of the biggest ski areas in the world

Portes du Soleil offers extensive skiing and no less than thirteen great resorts

The Portes du Soleil ski area

The Portes du Soleil is not a ski resort, but what is known as a "ski area". The area is partly in France, partly in Switzerland and stretches from Mont Blanc to the Swiss side of Lake Geneva. Alongside the Trois Vallées ski area, the Portes du Soleil is one of the two biggest ski areas in the world. There is some argument as to which of the two actually takes the honours, as no one seems able to decide whether the title is to be awarded on grounds of number and length of pistes, number of lifts, resorts included or square kilometres covered! But, either way, the Portes du Soleil offers extensive skiing and is hugely popular.

Facts and figures

The Portes du Soleil encompasses thirteen ski resorts, covers 1,036 square kilometres, offers 650 marked pistes plus off piste skiing, and has around 200 lifts. The ski area is 9,000 kilometres from Calais, and is reachable by road, rail or air. The highest altitude pistes are at 2,400 metres, while the lower slopes, at 900 metres are well supplied with state of the art snow making canons to ensure that wherever you are in the skiing season, you will be able to enjoy your sport. The open season runs from early December to late April, with some variations depending on altitude of resorts and weather conditions. However, the Portes du Soleil can be expected to be fully open for the 2013-2014 season from the 21st December until 27th April.

The resorts of the Portes du Soleil

The ski area is made up of thirteen recognised resorts in addition to smaller villages and hamlets. These include eight in France and five in Switzerland. The resorts in France are:


Morzine is the biggest of the area's towns. With a great snow record and extensive lifts and facilities, Morzine is perennially popular. It's also attractive and traditional, having evolved from an old village. (Morzine Property Directory and Guide.)


Purpose built, Avoriaz has excellent modern amenities. The resort is excellent for snowboarders and appeals to a young, hip crowd.

La Chapelle d'Abondance

Small and friendly and with great Savoyard charm, La Chapelle d'Abondance is also famed for its pretty cattle and cheeses. (La Chapelle d'Abondance Property Directory and Guide.)


Pretty and very traditional, Abondance is also connected to the Portes du Soleil ski area and makes a lovely retreat after a day on the slopes. (Abondance Property Directory and Guide.)


Lying on the French side of the Swiss border, Chatel is another traditional village resort. With its proliferation of red and black runs and great off piste skiing, Chatel is a good choice for expert and adventurous skiers. (Châtel Property Directory and Guide.)

Les Gets

Les Gets began life as a small farming village, but has seen great expansion to meet the demands of winter sports fans. It's got good facilities for beginners and intermediate skiers, with plenty of ski schools and less challenging pistes. (Les Gets Property Directory and Guide.)


Authentic and small, Montriond is perfect for those who prefer the simple life to the party lifestyle of larger resorts. (Montriond Property Directory and Guide.)

Saint Jean d'Aulps

Small and attractive, this little resort lies on the River Drance. The lift pass from St Jean d'Aulps covers the Portes du Soleil ski area. (Saint Jean d'Aulps Property Directory and Guide.)

Swiss resorts of the Portes du Soleil

The resorts in Switzerland include Morgins, which is a charming and lovely resort, although it tends to have less snow at the beginning and end of the season; Les Crosets, which is tiny but well connected to the ski areas, and well known for its mogul run; Champery, an historic village with its cable car and chair lift offering good connections to the pistes; Champoussin, a close neighbour of Champery; and Torgon, at an altitude of 1,085 metres.

Other activities available in Portes du Soleil

Although the Portes du Soleil is classified as a ski area, skiing isn't the only sport or activity on offer there. Variously, the towns and villages of the Portes du Soleil have entertainment for day and night, and for all ages and abilities to enjoy. The larger resorts like Les Gets and Morzine have a lively après ski scene, while the smaller ones offer pleasant restaurants and cosy bars. There are great facilities for kids, with ski schools, snowboarding parks, pony rides, play areas, swimming pools and more. Depending on the season and your exact location, you can also try your hand at any number of mountain sports, such as dog sledding, canyoning, white water rafting, rock climbing, para gliding and para skiing.

How to get there

You can fly to Geneva, Chambéry or Grenoble, or travel by Eurostar to Paris and onto Geneva, Cluses or Thonon Les Bains. Coaches are available too. The driving distance from Calais after you leave the ferry or car train is about 9,000 kilometres.

Property prices and availability in and around the Portes du Soleil

While the prime locations for skiing property in the Alps are often expensive, there are considerable variations in price depending on the resort you choose. Within the Portes du Soleil the resorts of Morzine, Avoriaz and Les Gets are generally more expensive than the slightly smaller and quieter resorts such as La Chapelle d'Abondance, Montriond and Saint Jean d'Aulps. There is, however, also a great variation in price on different types of property in the area. Small studio apartments can be surprisingly affordable, while the sky's the limit if you are after a luxury penthouse apartment or a converted farm. The good news is that with this much choice there is something for everyone within the Portes du Soleil, and all have access to amazing skiing.

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