Whilst all of the individual resorts in this area have their own distinct advantages, a full area lift pass is like having the keys to the sweet shop! The Portes du Soleil region is comprised of 12 different resorts and straddles the Franco-Swiss border to give 650km of piste and with it the honour of being the world's largest international ski area. This is not like other supersized ski areas in that it still offers great diversity in terms of both skiable terrain and the character of the towns and villages within it. Aside from the shared lift pass the sleepy village of Champoussin in the Swiss canton of Valais has very little in common with the purpose-built French resort of Avoriaz, which in turn could not be more different to historical town of Abondance with its monastery and famous cheese-making heritage. The Portes du Soleil is massive and yet all of the individual resorts have managed to retain an intimacy that makes visitors feel at home.
Although the temptation is to clock up the miles and dip your toes in to as many resorts as possible we would suggest trying different areas each day so as to spend more time skiing and less time travelling. The Linga sector in Chatel is an intermediate paradise that offers tree lined skiing on snowsure North-facing slopes, and the descent from the summit of Le Linga to the valley floor on the ladies downhill run is epic. The opposite side of the Abondance valley is perfect for recreational skiers looking for gentle sun-kissed slopes and spectacular views. The Panoramique piste lives up to its name with breath-taking views of Lake Geneva and the often-empty slopes of the Braitaz in La Chapelle are a great place to work on your carving skills. Adrenalin junkies will feel the burn in the nearby Barbossine mogul field but some of the most challenging skiing is arguably in the Swiss sector of the Portes du Soleil. Two runs that are not to be missed in the right conditions are the legendary Chavanette (known locally as the ‘Swiss Wall') and the Piste Defago black run above Morgins that opened after local hero Didier Defago won the Olympic Downhill gold medal in 2010.
Whether you like bumps, powder, corduroy piste or just plenty of hot chocolate breaks we are certain that you will find what you are looking for here in the Portes du Soleil. You will barely scratch the surface of the area in a week but we are always on hand to help you make the most of your time. We are passionate about this fabulous ski area and given the chance we’ll talk about it all day long, so feel free to pick our brains!