© Poretot-Morzine//A Morzine landscape
3,000 inhabitants (Morzinois)
Morzinelies half-way between Lake Geneva and Mont-Blanc.This traditional Savoyard village is perched at an altitude of 1,000 m, extending over 2,460 m. in a mountain range where green valley slopes unfurl in stark contrast to soaring rocky peaks.The pure water in lakes, torrents and waterfalls,winds its way through the landscape.Amid this protected environment, Morzine offers an invitation to recharge your batteries; or work off some energy through a myriad activities:hiking, mountain biking, canyoning, via ferrata, rafting, acrobranching, paragliding, summer tobogganing, golf, paintballing, Nordic walking… not forgetting cycling for which Morzine has a particular attachment; regularly hosting stages of both the Critérium du Dauphiné and the Tour de France.
Enthusiasts have plenty to choose from among the numerous pass climbs, and a cycling diary which includes the Morzine cyclosportive and two cycle climbs every summer as well as the climb to Avoriaz fitted with apermanent timing system chip.
© Jean-François Vuarand – Châtel Tourism//General view
1,200 inhabitants (Châtellans)
Situated in the Vallée d’Abondance and an acknowledged "Pays d’Art et d’Histoire” (a label awarded by the French Ministry of Culture); on the border of Switzerland, the mid-altitude mountain station (at 1,200 m) of Châtel – which also bears the family-friendly label “Famille Plus Montagne” – is part of the fabulous Franco-Swiss resort group of Portes du Soleil. This group includes 12 stations; boasting 650 km of slopes and 198 mechanical ski lifts in winter and 850 km trails with 24 mechanical ski-lifts in summer along the total length of the Franco-Swiss border. The community therefore has a definite sporting vocation – but its tourist attractions are centred on the generous variety of activities and numerous opportunities to let off steam and relax; taking advantage in particular of the restorative properties of the great outdoors. However, many of the inhabitants of Châtel (around thirty families) still work on the land, in particular in cattle farming (there are several hundred cows of the Abondance breed which celebrated its 120th birthday in 2011) and the production of the famous Abondance cheese (an AOC since 1990).