• Dates and duration

    9 days, 8 nights
    March 8-16, 2019

  • Location

    Morzine, France

  • Maximum number of participants

    12

  • Price

    $500 (reservation deposit)
    $2650 (second payment)
    Save $200 if you book before June 1, 2018.

Join us for an amazing ski trip in the French Alps with a focus on cheese. Haute Savoie is my favorite place to ski because of the beautiful unspoiled mountain views, fresh powder, excellent food, and French touch. We will ski and ride the “Portes du Soleil”, a collection of 12 connected ski resorts encompassing more than 600 kilometers of slopes in France and Switzerland’s Rhône-Alps region that allow for giant loops (see video Ski Safari) without ever skiing the same slope twice. Discover small charming locals’ resorts with excellent restaurants only accessible by ski.

Meet Local People

Ski and dine with local French people who will show us the proper way to twirl a fondue fork and powder stashes.

Beautiful accommodations

Stay in a stunning post and beam luxury chalet modeled after mountain refuges in the Alps.

Traditional cuisine

Eat your way through the traditional cheese dishes of the region, plus much more.

The whole country of France is famous for cheese but the Rhône-Alps region is famous within France for their delicious cheeses made by cows and goats grazing on lush mountain pastures. Each night we will dine on an ever changing selection of regional cheese specialties including “Fondue au Fromage” (rustic bread dipped into a simmering pot of melted mountain cheeses and wine), “Raclette” (slices of creamy melting cheese poured over boiled potatoes and eaten with cured meats), “Tartiflette” (a gratin of potatoes, lardons, and onions covered with a slightly aged soft cheese called Reblochon) and more!

We will also visit a charcuterie shop to learn about curing meats, as well as a cheese maker to meet his cows, watch how cheese is made, and sample the fruits of their labor. To avoid cheese overload we may also sample some of the non cheese delights the region has to offer such as mountain trout, perch filets from Lake Geneva, and the excellent sausages.

Take the gondola up the Aiguille de Midi, Mont Blanc (Chamonix) and, for advanced skiers, descend the 15 kilometers Vallée Blanche over the glacier accompanied by a mountain guide. We will ski/snowboard 5 days with breaks in between for cultural activities and exploring.

Accommodations will be in a beautiful mountain Chalet in the mountain town of Morzine, and one day in a hotel in Thonon-Les-Bains on arrival. Most meals, lift tickets, transportation within France and Switzerland, and all accommodations are included. Airfare, rental equipment, alcohol, and travel insurance (highly recommended) are not included.

Must be at least an intermediate level skier/snowboarder that is very comfortable with intermediate (blue) slopes and able to ski advanced (black) slopes. Must have a good level of fitness. If you are a beginner skier we can arrange for 3 or 6 half-day group lessons along with equipment rental for an additional $200 (3 day) or $350 (6 day).

Typical days might mean getting up at 7 am so that we can have breakfast and get on the slopes early. In the evening we will have time to relax and experience French mountain towns before eating large amounts of cheese in various forms. Bedtimes could run late. If you are not comfortable skiing/boarding all day and eating cheese all evening then this is not the trip for you. We will have a rest day built in and there will be the option to skip a day of skiing.

Our group will be staying together in the chalet so you must be willing to share common spaces, help out with clean up, and be respectful of each other. For those interested in cooking there will be some opportunities for hands-on learning. This trip is not suitable for vegetarians, vegans, dairy free, or gluten free diets. Speaking French is recommended but not required. Please make plans to arrive at the Geneva, Switzerland airport on March 8th, 2019 (airfare is not included). Cost for trip is $3150 (based on double occupancy) please add $500 for use of a double room by a single person. If you would like a guided ski descent of the glacier at Mont Blanc (Chamonix) (guides are required) please add $350. Couples sharing a bed save $200 from total cost.

Day 1 (Friday) March 8

Arrive in Geneva, Switzerland. Van to lodging: Hotel Ibis, Thonon-les- Bains, France.
Rest, relax, and recuperate or visit downtown, the old port, spa, etc.
Welcome meeting, icebreakers, aperitif.
Hosted dinner.

Day 2 (Saturday) March 9

Breakfast at Hotel Ibis (check out)
Transportation by van to Morzine (1hour) Pick up rental equipment
Ski Portes du Soleil
Lunch on your own
Check into Chalet starting at 4pm.
Dinner main course “Tartiflette”

Day 3 (Sunday) March 10

Breakfast at Villa Solaire
Ski Portes du Soleil
Picnic lunch from local cheese and meat specialties with fresh baguette
Return to Villa Solaire or visit Morzine for “apres ski.”
Dinner main course “Raclette”

Day 4 (Monday) March 11

Breakfast at Chalet
Ski Portes du Soleil “Ski Safari”
Lunch on the slopes
Return to Chalet
Dinner on your own

Day 5 (Tuesday) March 12

Breakfast at Villa Solaire
La Tour Fromagerie-Cheese making with Jean-Paul and Karine, tour, tasting. Feternes,
France
Lunch
Charcuterie Simon. Feternes, France. Simon will lead tour of curing chambers with aged
hams and sausages, smoke house, and production/retail area. Visit his pigs. Tasting.
Return to Morzine/Chalet
Free evening
Return to Villa Solaire Dinner “Fondue Savoyard”

Day 6 (Wednesday) March 13

Breakfast at Chalet Free day to relax, explore, or ski.
Optional: Guided visit to Farmers Market in Morzine from 8am-9am. We will select
ingredients and plan a menu for dinner.
Ski Portes du Soleil or take a day off.
Lunch on your own
Free time
Informal cooking class as we prepare dinner from the market.
Dinner-menu to be decided the day of

Day 7 (Thursday) March 14

Early breakfast at Chalet for those going on the optional trip to Chamonix/Mont Blanc.
Transportation by van to Chamonix/Mont Blanc for optional descent of Vallee Blanche. For
those not descending the Vallee Blanche they can take the Gondola up the Aiguille de Midi for
a view on Mont Blanc and/or ski at Chamonix. Ski Portes du Soleil (for those not going to
Chamonix/Mont Blanc)
Lunch at the Refuge du Requin
Dinner main course “Diots (local pork sausage) au vin blanc”

Day 8 (Friday) March 15

Breakfast at Chalet
Ski Portes du Soleil
French ski lunch of local cheeses and cured meats/fresh baguette
Farewell dinner out at gourmet restaurant

Day 9 (Saturday) March 16

Breakfast at Chalet. Check out by 10am
Departure for Geneva Airport by van 1.5 hours drive time

TRIP PACKAGE INCLUDES

  • All accommodations (double occupancy)
  • Luxury room with ensuite bathroom (at chalet)
  • Most meals (8 breakfasts, 5 packed lunches, 7 dinners)
  • 5 days of lift tickets for Portes du Soleil (12 resorts)
  • Half day of advanced group ski lessons
  • Transportation by private van
  • All tours and tastings
  • English translations
  • American and French guides
  • More amazing cheese than you can imagine

NOT INCLUDED

  • Airfare (Geneva Switzerland is the closest airport)
  • Travel insurance (try World Nomads)
  • Rental equipment
  • Alcohol
  • Gratuities
  • Optional guided descent of Mont Blanc glacier ($350)

FAQ Ski vacation in France

Do you have to be an experienced skier/snowboarder to go on this trip?

Must be at least an intermediate level skier/snowboarder that is very comfortable with intermediate (blue) slopes and able to ski advanced (black) slopes.  Having off piste experience is recommended.

Do you need to be able to speak French?

No!  French language proficiency is recommended but not required.  Even if the only French word you know how to say is croissant you will be fine.  We will help with translations and in ski towns many people speak English.

What are the accommodations like?

Accommodations will be in a beautiful mountain Chalet (a light and airy post and beam luxury Chalet) in the mountain town of Morzine, and one day in a hotel in Thonon-Les-Bains on arrival.

What is included in the trip?

Most meals, lift tickets (6 days), transportation within France and Switzerland, tours and tastings, and all accommodations are included.  Airfare, rental equipment, alcohol, gratuities, and travel insurance (highly recommended) are not included.

What if I have dietary restrictions?

This trip is not suitable for vegetarians, vegans, dairy free, or gluten free diets.

Should I bring my own equipment or rent?

If you have equipment that you really love and are comfortable with then I would suggest bringing it.  Ski/snowboard rental is quite affordable in France (probably around $250 euro for the week).  A good compromise is to bring you own boots if you like them and then rent the rest.

Will the whole group ski together every day or are you on your own?

Our groups are relatively small (around 12 people total) but this is usually too large a group to try to keep together on the slopes.  Generally we will break into smaller groups so that we don’t have to wait as much.  We can show you some great spots or you can explore on your own.

What will the weather be like?

The Alps are usually not extremely cold with temperatures usually in the 20-30 degree range.  Of course it can be colder, especially on the higher peaks and with the addition of wind so packing layers is always a good idea.

Will we be hitting the slopes early or lounging around eating croissants?

This trip is focused on skiing so we will be hitting the slopes early with the aim of catching the first chairs.  There is public transportation from the Chalet to the slopes, so if you feel like a slow morning you can join whenever you like.  Same goes for the end of the day, if you want to head back to the Chalet early for a glass of wine and a swim or nap it is no problem!

What if I need to cancel my trip?

If you need to cancel a trip that you have already booked and it is at least 90 days before the start of the trip your deposit is fully refundable.  Final payment for the trip is due 60 days before the start of the trip.  Cancellations between 30 and 59 days before the of start of trip that cannot be filled are 50% refundable, if your spot is filled then it is 25% refundable.  Cancellations less than 30 days are non-refundable (100% of booking cost).  For this reason, we recommend you consider purchasing travelers insurance, (try World Nomads) which will cover the cost of your trip in extenuating circumstances.

Testimonials

As an avid skier who has skied all over North America, I was looking for a ski trip to Europe that allowed me to do serious skiing, but also experience the local culture. I loved being in a small group, which included local experts in food and skiing, where we cooked, dined and skied together as a family. Aaron is flexible and responsive as a group leader, and was able to help customize transportation, rentals or other needs for the group. Portes du Soleil offers an enormous network of trails and resorts, with beautiful views and plenty of challenging skiing. I highly recommend Saveur The Journey for your next trip!

Barbara Settel
Barbara SettelSyracuse, NY

Our team

Aaron Schorsch

Owner- Saveur the Journey

Aaron Schorsch is the owner of Saveur the Journey where he combines his passions of food, travel, outdoor adventures, and culture. He grew up in rural New Hampshire and has lived and traveled extensively in the US and abroad. Aaron learned to snowboard while teaching English in the French Alps but later took up Telemark Skiing. While he still likes to drop a knee on occasion you are more likely to find him with fixed heels shredding the backcountry or resort in a style he likes to call “joyful abandon.” Aaron is a student of food who has worked throughout the food system from growing seed and farming of vegetables, fruits, and livestock to cooking in high end restaurants and managing farmer’s markets. He loves to talk about, think about, dream about and especially, cook and eat food. He is a member of Slow Food international and has been a US delegate at Terra Madre in Turin, Italy.

François Haug

Local guide

François is a native of Haute Savoie and grew up snowboarding the Portes du Soleil. He has a background in horticulture, is an accomplished snowboarder, has a charming personality, and loves good food and wine. François helps with driving, guiding, cooking, and greasing the cultural rails.

Caroline Pascal

Chef and local guide

Caroline grew up in Haute Savoie and is a fantastic cook. She loves to create and innovate, no two meals are ever the same. She is an avid gardener, seasoned traveler, carpenter, counselor, and an amazing host. Caroline loves learning about new cultures and sharing her own.