GATEWAY TO THE SUN – SKIERS’ HEARTS BEAT WILDLY AGAIN

Nils Kraus - Oct 31, 2011
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Portes du Soleil, or ‘Gateway to the Sun’, is one of the most fascinating ski resorts in the world. As winter approaches, skiers countdown the days till they once again experience local ice magic.

Winter sport enthusiasts are undoubtedly in the middle of planning their next ski trip and those who live in Europe will definitely consider the Alps. The reputed mountain range is home to thousands of ski resorts. It becomes rather tricky to select the right one.

Those who have experienced the wondrous diversity of Portes du Soleil in French Alps need look no further. This fantastic resort is in fact the second largest in the world and features a surprising 650 km of pistes, nearly 200 lifts and b endless skiing options.

One clear advantage for many ski travelers is the proximity of the Geneva airport. In fact, it takes less than one hour by car to reach the village of Les Gets. The options where to stay are limitless, ranging from five-star hotels to picturesque chalets available for large-party bookings. The resort is ideal for families with children and there are many packages especially designed for them.

Adrenalin seekers and freestyle enthusiasts will deem Portes du Soleil a true paradise. It features seven parks, four free-to-use airbags and a massive superpipe in Avoriaz, as well as ‘The Stash’ – a freestyle ski and snowboarding run created among the trees in the Lindarets area. The village of Avoriaz dates back to the 1960s, and was created by the Olympic-winner Jean Vuarnet.

This enthusiastic skier teamed up with inventive architects and created a futuristic village featuring angular buildings, horse-drawn sleighs for getting around and instead of streets, there are chairlifts and pistes. Morzine, the biggest town of the area, lures a great number of tourists as well as ski professionals, many of which basically live here most of the year. Apart from the good-old downhill skiing, there is a significant backcountry area waiting to be explored.

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