A charming traditional village on the edge of the huge but low lying Portes du Soleil ski area, Les Gets offers a good variety of skiing when snow conditions are right. It’s not as central as Morzine or as high as Avoriaz but its much less busy than either of them during high season.
An excellent location for a family skiing holiday in the middle of the season, Les Gets is particularly good for beginners and intermediates, but still offers some off-piste challenges for advanced skiers.
The village is about 8kms from Morzine, and at 1172m, a little higher. It’s quite narrow and, for its small size, rather strung out, but there are lifts at both ends and near the middle so it’s unlikely that you will have to walk far to get to and from the slopes. The resort has an authentic French feel that visitors like. Most of the chalets, apartments and hotels in Les Gets have been built recently but they blend in well with the traditional rural buildings, as do the cosy bars and restaurants. Although the Morzine to Les Cluses road runs through the village, it’s not usually busy enough to spoil the atmosphere.
Skiing is on both sides of the valley. To the North West (the right-hand side of most piste maps) is Mont Chery. There are mostly black and red runs here, and its far side is an uncrowded playground, on-piste and off-piste, for confident skiers. To the East (the left-hand side of most piste maps) are the rolling hills of Les Chavannes, La Turche, La Rosta, Le Ranfoilly and Pleney. From here you can ski into Morzine, or keep going to the Chamossiere and Pointe de Nyon lifts which at just over 2000m are the high points of the Morzine-Les Gets ski area. The journey over to them is almost entirely on blue or gentle red pistes, but there are some tougher runs when you get there, including an official freeride area and some unofficial off-piste opportunities for advanced skiers with a guide.
Across Morzine lies the main Portes du Soleil circuit linking Avoriaz, Champery, and Chatel, and providing literally hundreds of runs to choose from. Les Gets is not perfectly located to explore its furthest reaches but with a bit of determination a confident skier can complete the circuit and return before the lifts close. (Samoens which connects with Flaine is also within an hour’s drive if you want to experience a totally different ski area.)
Being off the main Portes du Soleil circuit also has its advantages: the pistes, mountain restaurants and apres-ski bars around Les Gets are often less crowded than those of its more famous neighbours. The resort becomes livelier at weekends however because transfers from Geneva airport take little more than an hour.
So there are many good reasons for choosing Les Gets for a ski holiday, but there is one drawback: its slopes are simply not high enough to be snowsure. There is rarely a problem in the middle of winter, and when it’s actually snowing the treelined runs around Les Gets are much more enjoyable to ski than an exposed open bowl above a high-altitude resort; but if you plan to come here in December or April, it’s best to book last minute and check the webcams first.
Les Gets Pros & Cons
+ Lovely traditional village
+ Good variety of uncrowded local runs
+ Part of the vast Portes du Soleil ski area
+ Easy to reach / good for ski weekends
– Not snowsure
– Runs are short
– Quiet at night
– Not on the main Portes du Soleil circuit