In June, MTB Bed’s Lewis, a recent addition to the UK side of operations, made the journey to Morzine for the first time. Having skied in Morzine numerous times, Lewis is familiar with the town, but seeing it without snow-capped mountains and full of bikes and not skis took some getting used to. If you’re thinking about joining MTB Beds for the first time but are unsure what to expect, read on below for a first-timer's perspective.

The Journey - Getting to Morzine

Opting for the Euro Tunnel with a van load of gear and bikes, we set off from Bristol at 5 am, arriving at Folkestone about 30 minutes before our departure and rolling straight onto the train. Maybe we got lucky, maybe it was brilliantly planned (MTB Beds' owner Rich believes it was the latter one…), but either way, it was hassle-free and cruisey. Next stop, La France.

Once we hit the motorways of France, it’s pretty plain sailing. Cruise control set and empty roads - only stopping for quick driver swaps and intakes of caffeine - driving to Morzine is a simple and enjoyable way to travel. Costing about 70 euros in tolls each way and an easy drive, if you’re able to split the journey between a few of you, we'd recommend it as a great option. You can read more about travelling to Morzine HERE. Flying and the train are the other options to consider.

We rolled into Morzine at about 6 pm, so with the time difference a door-to-door time of 12 hours, including a couple of quick breaks. Not quite as quick as flying, but not far off when all things considered.
 

Spotted on the way to Morzine

Sticker in Channel Tunnel

Day One at Super Morzine

After arriving and unpacking riding gear - luckily there was a spare MTB Beds Hire Specialized Enduro Expert for me so there was no bike to build - it was time to enjoy a dinner of Asian Pork belly and kimchi slaw prepared by Chef Tony. Time for an early night ready for some of the world's best trails the next day.

If you’re new to Morzine, or even a seasoned veteran, spending the first morning at Super Morzine is often the best idea. Known for being tamer and less steep than Pleney, Super Morzine has lots of flow trails and table tops, so it’s an ideal gauge of where you’re at and to find your feet. We’ve unfortunately seen a lot of weeks come to an early end with some over-zealous riding on day one, so even for returning guests, we recommend taking a chill morning at Super to warm up. 

Starting on the green and blue flow trails it’s easy to see that there’s nothing quite like Morzine in the UK. The descents are so long and flowy that even the easiest of trails are super fun. Big berms, rollers, floaty tables, and they all end at a chairlift ready to take you straight to the top again. Tutti Frutti and Cap Carnaval are favourites. From the top of Super Morzine, you can access the trails at Avoriaz, Lindarets and Châtel, as well as get down to Lac Montriond for a post-ride swim!
 

Team MTB Beds enjoy a day on the hill with Season Guiding

Coaching with Season Guiding

Super Morzine is also the ideal coaching spot as there are lots of easier trails to practice technique. On day two Cecile (MTB Beds French-based office manager and guardian of our email and phone lines) and I met with Anthoine from Season Guiding for a morning of coaching. Anthoine is one of the owners of Season, who MTB Beds have worked with for a couple of seasons now, and will work with on our newly launched winter operation, Atlas Ski Co. Season Guiding are instructors and guides based in Morzine and Chamonix, and absolutely rip on bikes! Coming from DH and enduro and all knowing the trails intimately, there’s no one better to improve your technique or show you around. You can read more about Season Guiding HERE

So, after a coffee and a chat, the three of us jump in the gondola to Super Morzine. Working on basic cornering technique and body positioning for a couple of hours can be so beneficial and it’s so rarely what we do when we jump on a bike, more often than not just wanting to ride trails! 
 

Pleney Laps

Pleney. Is it the most famous hill in Mountain Biking? With some of the steepest, techiest, gnarliest singletrack trails around, as well as the infamous Pleney Main Line, it’s home to the fastest world cup racers for most of the summer. It’s not exclusively the home of world cup racers though. With Family, a blue trail set in the trees, and Super 8 (red trail) running alongside Pleney Main (black trail), there’s something for everyone, and with all trails ending straight back at the Pleney gondola, you can get so many laps in it’s unbelievable. 

Pleney Main is a staple of Morzine riding. Built by local legend Roger - of Chez Roger Bar - the track features fast, rooty fun, with flowing berms and the infamous ten percent section. 

At the bottom of Pleney you’ll find Le Tremplin, a vibing apres-bike bar with DJs, live music and an outdoor area. Well worth checking out after a day's riding, which we did…

There is so much more riding than just Pleney and Super Morzine, but in the few days I was in town, those two areas offer plenty to get stuck into. Onto the town…
 

Bottom to the top of Pleney

The Burgers (and Beers...)

Obviously, the riding is world-class, but on top of that, the town of Morzine itself really makes a holiday there special. It’s the epicentre of mountain biking in Europe, with so many bike shops to check out, more bars than I can reasonably list and home to some of the finest burgers around. If you’re staying with MTB Beds in our Riders Weeks you won’t need to head out for dinner very often, but there’s always lunchtime to sample a few of our favourite spots. 

Starting with Au Bon Coin (AKA Pleney burger), which is my highlight. Traditional, classic, iconic; call it what you will, it’s GOOD. Found right at the bottom of, you guessed it, Pleney, it’s a perfect lunch spot. 

O’Chalet is also great for burgers. O’Chalet is a more modern, American style, and the menu is huge. You can find O’Chalet in the centre of town. 

For a healthier lunch spot, check out Satellite on Rue de Bourg. Think good coffee, smashed avo, fresh salads and granola.

Onto spots for a beer. As mentioned Le Tremplin is good and conveniently at the bottom of Pleney. There’s also Bec Jaune, a microbrewery a couple of minutes walk from Chalet Chapelle and Chalet ICE. If you want somewhere a bit quieter, Le Crepu is a firm favourite, serving cocktails and home to a good rum and whisky selection.

Read a more in-depth guide about Morzine Food and Drink by clicking the links.
 

Tips for First Timers

Pack for all eventualities

This one is tough if you’re flying, but I don’t just mean bring loads of spares. For example, bring a good quality lightweight jacket - when it rains, it storms! If you are driving, spares are definitely recommended as Morzine can be tough on bikes over the week, and although the town is incredibly well supplied with shops and spares, if you’ve got your own you’re one step ahead!

Get lots of bike time in before

You’ll be pounding out laps like never before. Assisted by chair lifts you’ll be amazed at how much descending you can fit into a day. Work on overall fitness, get bike fit and sharpen your technique because you’ll want all three over the course of the week. 

Hydrate yourself!

It can get HOT in Morzine, so stay hydrated when on the trails. The slopes, especially on the Super Morzine side, can be exposed, and heat exhaustion is no fun (and it’s easier to come by if you’ve enjoyed a few beers the day before). If your bike doesn’t have a bottle cage, there are lots of troughs with drinking water up the hill and in town, or take a water bottle with you and leave it at the bottom of the lift.

Check out the lakes

The perfect way to round off a day is to jump in some cold water, so head to Lac Montriond for a cooling dip, or there are several mountain top ones to explore too.  

Book a MTB Beds riders week

Ok, maybe a little bit of self-promotion, but take the stress out of the week and book with us. Get picked up at Geneva airport and arrive to a lift pass ready for you. Our friendly staff are ready to point you in the right direction with on-site mechanics available for the big jobs. If you’re travelling alone or in a small group, you’ve also got ready-made riding buddies staying in the same chalet. It’s a no-brainer if you ask us. 

Book for 2023 (and a few remaining 2022 spots) HERE

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