Thanks to the city’s location close to mountain ranges in both Switzerland and France, there is plenty of skiing near Geneva. And with flights from all 6 London airports and from most major UK cities, Geneva Airport is a very popular choice for many UK skiers. Short transfer times means more time on the snow. Therefore, we at CheckYeti have put together the top 5 ski resorts near Geneva, to help you maximise your time on the pistes on your next skiing trip!
Morzine (Portes du Soleil) will keep all of the family happy
Lively Morzine is situated close to the Swiss border in the Haute Savoie region of south-eastern France. The resort shares many of its 120km of local slopes with its neighbouring “little sister” Les Gets but additionally lies within the heart of the 650km Portes du Soleil skiing region.
The pistes at Morzine are split into three main areas: Pleney has numerous blue slopes and is ideal for beginners. Nyon offers more challenging blues and reds for more experienced skiers, plus the Eagle Park Border Cross for freestyle fans. Higher up, Chamossières offers excellent off-piste skiing.
The ski schools in Morzine offer all-inclusive ski lessons for kids up to age 12yrs, with ski pass & equipment included. The schools also offer snowboard lessons from age 10yrs, for older kids and teenagers who prefer to snowboard rather than ski.
Reachable within 75mins from Geneva Airport and with slopes and après ski events to keep everyone happy, it’s easy to see why Morzine is a firm favourite of the ski resorts near Geneva for families with older kids.
Les Gets (Portes du Soleil): let’s get the little ones skiing!
Les Gets is located in the Haute-Savoie department of southeast France, 60mins drive from Geneva airport. The resort has the ‘Famille Plus’ award for family-friendliness and offers 110km of local slopes.
The ski schools in Les Gets offer a wide range of ski lessons from age 4yrs. The lesson prices are very affordable, even in the February school holiday week, and all ski lessons include discounted ski hire rates.
With 44% of the runs being blue, ski novices in Les Gets have plenty of slopes to practice on. Additionally, the quiet and secure Les Mappys children’s area is easily accessed from the resort and is ideal for little skiers learning their first moves. Whilst the younger ones are having lessons, parents and older siblings can enjoy more challenging slopes at nearby Les Chavannes, which is linked to the extensive Portes du Soleil skiing region.
Optimally set up for families and with a programme of events designed to keep the little ones happy, Les Gets has the best skiing near Geneva for families with young children.
Samoëns: for the perfect ski weekend
The heritage-rich village of Samoëns is located in the Prealps, around an hour’s drive from Geneva airport. Together with neighbouring Flaine, Morillon, Sixt-Fer-À-Cheval and Les Carroz, Samoëns ski resort forms part of the 265km Grand Massif, with 135km blue, 95km red and 35km of black runs.
Despite the majority of easier slopes, Samoëns provides superb runs for all standards. Expert skiers will be challenged on runs such as the Combe de Gers. Skiers looking for a longer stretch will enjoy the 14km blue La Piste Des Cascades route, which passes through the untouched nature of the Sixt-Fer-à-Cheval Reserve.
The ski schools in Samoëns offer group and private ski lessons and for French standards, the lesson prices are very reasonable – even in high season. Group lessons are kept small, meaning there is more focus on the individual skier and therefore faster progress.
Samoëns has plenty of alternative activities to fill the hours after skiing. With 50km of cross-country tracks offering breathtaking views of the Mont Blanc, plus activities such as ice skating, tobogganing and husky sledding, Samoëns is the clear choice for an action-packed ski weekend.
Chamonix-Mont-Blanc: ideal for off-piste explorers
Reached within just over an hour’s drive from Geneva airport, Chamonix has 150km of varied skiing terrain extending over 4 areas: Lower down in the valley, Flégère-Brévent has a freestyle zone, a speed piste and the “Le Savoy” beginners’ area with direct access to the village.
Les Houches has beautiful runs through the forest, plus the world-famous “La Verte des Houches” black run. Les Grands Montets offers glacial skiing plus a generous expanse of freeriding terrain. And Balme-Vallorcine has wide, open slopes on the Balme side, with tree-lined pistes in the Vallorcine area.
The ski schools in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc offer a wide range of ski & snowboard lessons. There is also a range of lessons for off-piste fans, including private lessons, tours of the famous 23km Vallée Blanche glacier and multi-day Montblanc Ski Discovery tours. When it comes to freeriding opportunities, Chamonix has the best off-piste skiing near Geneva.
Avoriaz (Portes du Soleil): the snowboarder’s paradise
With its stunning red cedarwood architecture and horse-drawn sleigh transportation, Avoriaz is the highest and most snow-sure resort within the Portes du Soleil region. Avoriaz has plenty of conveniently ski-in, ski-out accommodation and offers 130km of local slopes, plus direct access to the 650km of Portes du Soleil pistes.
Avoriaz was one of the first resorts where snowboarding and freestyling trends began to emerge. There are 7 terrain parks, with snowparks for all ages and levels, from gentle obstacles for first-time freestylers to a permanent half-pipe for experienced pros.
Alongside a wide range of ski lessons, the ski schools in Avoriaz offer snowboard lessons for all levels. Whether in a group or a one-to-one private lesson, snowboarding novices can learn their first moves and advanced shredders can optimise their freestyling technique and tricks. For novice riders to freestyle shredders, Avoriaz is the best of the ski resorts near Geneva.
I have always loved snow but winter in England was usually more grey than white. Now living in Austria, my kids have inherited my passion for skiing and we make most of every winter, getting out in the snow whenever we can!