The name “Portes du Soleil” quite literally translates to “gateway to the sun” in English. And despite the fact this vast region receives abundant sunshine throughout the year, like any mountain destination, it experiences its share of rainy days too.
However, if your holiday coincides with rainy weather, don’t fret. The Portes du Soleil is a brilliant destination to visit, regardless of the weather. From museums to cheese-making courses, even on rainy days, there are plenty of activities to do to keep you entertained. Read on to discover more about each one…
Rainy days in the Portes du Soleil
When planning your trip, it’s good to research what the weather in the Portes du Soleil is like throughout the year. And as you can see from the graph above, rainfall varies significantly from one month to the next.
During the winter season, it’s highly likely for precipitation to be in the form of snow, creating excellent skiing conditions. On the other hand, if you plan on visiting the Portes du Soleil in the summer, you can expect to experience warm and sunny days that gradually become cooler as autumn approaches.
However, weather can be extreme in the Alps, and conditions can change in an instant, with rain storms occurring at any time of year. Therefore, it’s a good idea to have a bank of rainy-day activities to turn to if the weather isn’t so good…
Your dream chalet in the Portes du Soleil
The top 10 things to do in the Portes du Soleil when it’s raining
1. Go swimming
The Portes du Soleil is a popular destination for those looking to enjoy the great outdoors. However, when it’s raining outside, you can still have a great time by taking a dip in one of the region’s indoor swimming pools.
These pools offer a fun and relaxing way to spend time indoors and can be enjoyed by people of all ages. Whether you’re looking to swim laps or just splash around, there’s a variety of indoor swimming pools to choose from. So even if the weather isn’t cooperating, you can still keep the whole family entertained!
Here are the top recommendations:
2. Explore the culture
Rainy days are the perfect opportunity to visit a museum and learn about local culture and traditions, and there are a few spots in the Portes du Soleil waiting for you. While there may not be a huge selection, the few museums available offer unique and interesting exhibitions that are worth checking out.
Here are the top cultural sites:
- Mechanical Music Museum, Les Gets – discover over 900 mechanical instruments, from clocks to music boxes and learn how they work on a guided tour.
- Art’N Chéry, Les Gets – discover the work of local painters, sculptors, visual artists and photographers in Les Gets.
- Slate Mine Museum, Morzine – uncover the history of quarrying and how it influenced building development in Morzine and book a tour of a slate worker’s workshop.
- La Vieille Douane, Châtel – find out about the smuggling history of Châtel at this old customs house, where tobacco, salt cheese and coffee illegally crossed the border into France! (Website available in French only.)
Rental chalets in Les Gets
3. Pamper yourself at the spa
When the weather isn’t great, there’s nothing quite like a spa day to lift your spirits and help you relax. Luckily, the Portes du Soleil region is home to a number of spas to choose from, each offering its own unique atmosphere and range of treatments.
Whether you prefer hot stone massages, facials, swimming or simply soaking in a hot tub, there’s a spa that will cater to your needs. So why not treat yourself to a day of pampering and self-care the next time the rain starts pouring down?
The top spas in the Portes du Soleil:
- Le Dahu, Morzine
- Hotel Spa Champs Fleuris, Morzine
- Deep Nature Spa, Avoriaz
- Spa des Dromonts, Avoriaz (treatments available in winter only)
- Spa d’altitude Ô des Cimes, Châtel
- Spa Océane, Châtel
- Sereni Cimes, Les Gets
- Spa Les Sources du Chery, Les Gets
Want to devote some time to self-care, but don’t fancy leaving your chalet? No problem. Massage Me offers a whole range of treatments from sports and deep tissue massages to pregnancy massages, all from the comfort of your accommodation.
4. Sample the local cuisine
Book a cheese tour
If you’re interested in discovering more about the art of cheese making from professional cheesemongers, consider booking a visit to La Ferme de la Fruitière in Morzine. This lovely restaurant is conveniently located on Route de la Plagne, just a short distance from the town centre.
During guided tours, you’ll have the opportunity to learn about the production of famous cheeses like Abondance and Raclette, from expert fromagers. In addition, you can reserve a table and indulge in delectable dishes made with their own homemade ingredients. Head to their website to make a reservation.
Enjoy a meal out
There are so many options for eating and drinking in the Portes du Soleil! And on those rainy days, there’s nothing better than indulging in some of the area’s best culinary delights!
Click on the following links to search for places to eat or drink in your chosen resort:
- Bars and restaurants in Morzine
- Eating and drinking in Avoriaz
- Eating and drinking in Châtel
- Bars and restaurants in Les Gets
Try a Michelin-starred restaurant
For those who enjoy good food, the Haute-Savoie region boasts an exceptional fine dining scene. Although the Michelin-starred restaurants require a longer drive, the experience is definitely worth it.
Take a look at our guide to find the top recommendations.
Book a stay in the Portes du Soleil
5. Play an escape game
Trying an escape game with the family on a rainy day can be a great way to spend time together and have some fun. It’s always exciting to work together to solve puzzles and clues, and each member of the family can contribute their unique skills and knowledge.
Le Room in Morzine offers two escape games: “Survival” and “Evil Villain’s Lair” for you to try. Both are available in English, but advanced booking is required, as the games are on a strict schedule. You can find Le Room on Place du Baraty, opposite the Tourist Office.
Alternatively, head to Aquariaz and try their underwater escape game! Find clues and solve the mystery of the lost island as a family, followed by a swim in the pool afterwards. Tickets cost 120€ for a group of four and last for 1h30. See their website for more details.
6. Make your own pottery
Sisters Anouk and Nathalie invite visitors to their studio in Les Gets for an introduction to pottery during both the summer and winter seasons. It’s the perfect rainy-day activity, which is open to all abilities! Costing 50€ per person, the materials and firing are included and children under 12 can work in pairs with an adult.
Browse chalets in Morzine
7. Go bowling
Bowling is a great activity to do in the rain, and it’s perfect for those who are looking for a fun indoor activity. The good news is that if you’re visiting the Portes du Soleil region, you’ll find a few good options for bowling alleys in the area.
Make sure to check the websites in advance, as some centres will be closed throughout certain periods. If you’re not sure, ask at the tourist office for the most up-to-date information.
8. Go ice skating
Ice skating is another easy option when the weather turns bad, especially during the colder months. Usually, in Alpine resorts, the rinks are open-air, so in this instance, you’ll need to head to an indoor rink instead.
The Parc des Dereches offers a 56x26m rink where skaters of all abilities can let off some steam on a wet day. Plus, it’s the home ground of the Penguins, the local ice hockey team. Make sure to check the team’s website to see if there’s a fixture during your holiday – a buzzing atmosphere and friendly rivalry are guaranteed!
9. Go to the cinema
Going to the cinema isn’t always the first thing that springs to mind when staying in a ski resort. However, it’s a great go-to activity for a rainy day.
You can shelter from the wet weather and cosy up with one of the latest releases at one of the following cinemas:
- Cinema Rex, Morzine
- Cinema Le Club, Les Gets
- Portes du Soleil Cinema, Avoriaz
- Le Chamois Cinema, Châtel
10. Join a yoga class
Whether you’re just starting out or you’re a more advanced yogi, you’ll be able to find a yoga class to suit you in the Portes du Soleil. Try out some new poses, advance your practise and stay warm and dry indoors.
Check out the following links for yoga classes in the Portes du Soleil:
11. Explore the region’s events and entertainment
The collective resorts across the Portes du Soleil also plan a great deal of events and entertainment for all ages and interests, throughout the whole year.
In rainy weather, you may find workshops or fitness events that you can take part in, so make sure to take a look at the following guides for inspiration:
- What to see & do in the Portes du Soleil in winter
- What to see & do in the Portes du Soleil in summer
With so much to see and do, the Portes du Soleil is a destination that can be enjoyed in all weather. Come rain or shine, you’ll never get bored of the stunning scenery, delicious food and fun-filled activities.
OVO Network’s partner properties in the Portes du Soleil offer the perfect base for an unforgettable holiday. With top-class facilities and unbeatable locations, you’re sure to find everything you need and more. Plus, our 24-hour hold feature allows you to reserve up to three of your favourite properties while you decide which one is best for you. Discover our full range of partner properties in the area below:
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