Mountain Biking – Portes du Soleil
The Portes du Soleil is a Mecca for mountain biking. If you’re looking for a dream destination to ride this summer, with its links to 12 resorts, 24 chairlifts and 650 kms of trails, it’s hard to beat the Portes du Soleil, no matter what style of riding you’re into. Read on for the lowdown on the bike parks, or find detailed info here: Morzine | Les Gets | Avoriaz | Châtel
Whether you ride downhill, freeride or enduro, it’s happy days for you here. In the Portes du Soleil the numbers speak for themselves: 24 lifts, over 650 kms of trails, 12 resorts, 5 bike parks and a 90 km MTB enduro loop! The five bikeparks are Les Gets, Morzine, Avoriaz, Châtel and bikepark.ch comprising a total of 50 man made downhill tracks, 22 mountain bike schools and 29 bike shops to rent bikes and buy gear. You can access the whole area with just one lift pass or you can opt for a day, week or season pass for a specific bike park.
The thing that makes the Portes du Soleil stand out above anything else is the sheer variety of riding on offer. You could very well spend a day riding steep rutted, rooty forest tracks and the next day hit fast swooping singletrack with manicured jumps and berms. Twenty-odd Bike Patrols work every day to maintain the quality and safety of the trails, but the reality is that the most popular runs get cut up with braking bumps in the height of the summer. The Portes du Soleil maintains its partnership with the Lapierre Gravity Republic team this year and it’s very possible that you could see Loïc Bruni, Emmeline Ragot, Sam Blenkinsop or Loris Vergier on the trails. Not forgetting 10-times downhill world champion, Nicolas Vouilloz, who has consulted on recent improvements to the trails and enduro loops.
South of France MTB Holidays
Guided and self-guided multi-day mountain biking trips in the Southern Alps and Provence.
Morzine – The Epicentre of the Portes du Soleil
The Morzine MTB area extends across two very distinct mountains. On one side, the Super Morzine lift takes you up towards Avoriaz where you’ll find five graded downhill tracks as well as a bunch of other more technical trails. On the other side you’ll find the legendary Pleney, the run itself frequently cited as the best track the Portes du Soleil. The Pleney side is generally more accessible to beginner and intermediate riders. Morzine is the training ground of choice for many of the world’s top riders and you’ll frequently see some impressive mountain biking when out on the trails. A biking holiday in Morzine means staying in the heart of the vast Portes du Soleil Franco-Swiss mountain bike area. From Morzine, the lifts provide easy access to Châtel and Bikepark.ch (Champéry-Les Crossets, Morgins, Val d’Illiez, Champoussin), and also Lets Gets. All that riding with just one lift pass!
Mountain biking in Morzine | Go >
Avoriaz – Top of the Mountain
Mountain biking in Avoriaz, the most central resort in the Portes du Soleil, has really found its groove in recent years. The opening of the Tour chairlift in 2014 made access to the trails much quicker and easier, so much so that now you can reach the start of the trails in less than five minutes! The Avoriaz bike park has 3 downhill runs that snake down through high alpine terrain to the lower level forest (1 blue, 1 red and 1 black), plus 4 downhill tracks in the Lindarets forest that are more freeride oriented with North Shore, jumps and berms. New for this summer is a wooden pump track right in the centre of the resort. Avoriaz also has 3 mountain bike schools and a kids’ skills track.
Mountain biking in Avoriaz | Go >
Châtel Mountain Bike Park
Amongst bikers lucky enough to sample Canadian dirt, Châtel is dubbed Europe’s Whistler, and for good reason. The sheer diversity of terrain, innovative use of gradient and the quality of the tracks undoubtedly makes Châtel one of the best bike-parks in Europe. Châtel is a little gem in the heart of the Portes du Soleil. The bike park is located in the Pré-la-Joux/Plaine Dranse area. It has no less than 20 downhill, freeride and enduro trails and there’s something suitable for all levels of riding ability. But, the stand out point is the variety of riding the bike park has on offer, from the Air-Voltage track (a series of step-downs, doubles and wallrides – think Whistler’s A-Line), to the Black Shore and Zougouloukata lines. In Châtel, you’ll find ultra-technical downhill tracks stuffed with tree roots and drops, fast, wide-open motorways peppered with smooth, accessible jumps, North Shore lines and freeride runs requiring 100% commitment.
Mountain biking in Châtel | Go >
Les Gets – The One and Only!
For nearly twenty years now Les Gets has been considered a must visit MTB destination. The secret of its success is making the resort accessible to all abilities, all the while keeping the most seasoned riders happy. Les Gets is the gateway to discovering the Franco-Swiss area of the Portes du Soleil and comprises a dozen downhill trails, 6 all-mountain XC loops and a mythical freeride run called the Canyon, known for its many alternate lines. Les Gets’ mission to be accessible to all means the bike-park is nicely balanced with 6 tracks aimed at newcomers and 6 aimed at advanced riders. In 2013, the Les Gets bike-park introduced a superb pump track right in the heart of the village and the trail beavers continue to innovate, extend and renovate. This year sees the opening of a new elite level DH track on the Mont Chéry side, built by Seb Giraldi, the founder of the Châtel Mountain Style event. That means big air, high velocity and lots of adrenaline. The video zone has been moved to the 4-cross track for this year. Four cameras film your run and everything is shown on the big screen at the bottom of the track. You can then grab your video and share it on Facebook, etc. Check me out Mum!
Mountain biking in Les Gets | Go >
Pass’Portes du Soleil MTB Event
It’s impossible to talk about the Portes du Soleil without mentioning the legendary Pass’Portes du Soleil. This event held over 3 days at the end of June is an opportunity to discover the whole Portes du Soleil area via a challenging 80 km loop. The ride criss-crosses the Franco-Swiss border taking in all the resorts in the Portes du Soleil. There is some pedalling, but the route makes good use of the lift system, employing 15 lifts to maximise the time you spend riding downhill. The Pass’Portes du Soleil is also a huge bike show with the biggest names in mountain biking represented with opportunities to check out and test the very latest bikes and kit.
Pass’Portes du Soleil Event | Go >