Autumn in The French Alps

As the trees turn from their summer greens to autumn oranges, reds and yellows, the pace of life here shifts as well.
Once the cows move down from their summer pastures and the mountain and road bikers dissipate, a distinctive stillness falls across the valley.

But don’t be mistaken, there is still lots to do!

In our opinion, the Autumn interseason is one of the best times to explore the French Alps and bear witness to the stunning changing of the seasons in our mountain towns. 


There is no better time than autumn to come hiking in the Alps.

We’re spoilt for choice with an abundance of beautiful, scenic hikes and here are a few of our favourites…

Pointe de Ressachaux (2173m)

The starting point for this hike is a 20-minute walk from the Tourist Information Centre.
From the treeline at Chemin de Ressachaux, it is a 3.5-hour hike from bottom to top. Climbing an elevation of over 1,000 meters (1,143 to be precise), this hike isn’t a casual afternoon stroll, but you’re efforts are rewarded with some amazing views.

After a steep climb through the trees, you’ll come to the clearing of Les Cotes- here, you can refill your water bottles with fresh water from the water trough. You have a choice of trails to make the summit, the 5 minutes difference between them isn’t huge but if you choose the ‘harder one’, the views at the top will take away what little breath you have left.
From here, you can see Pointe de Nyon, Avoriaz, Pointes de Nantaux and Morzine sitting in the valley below.
Rest here for a little while, take in the views and catch your breath. The descent will take around an hour and a half, making this hike a 5-hour round trip.

Pointe de Nantaux

There is no easing into this one; the hike starts off with a steep incline through the woodland. Depending on your speed, after about an hour, you’ll be rewarded with a clearing that offers views of Mont Chéry and Cote d’Arbroz.

Don’t be fooled by the false summits! As this hike takes you across the ridgeline, you could be forgiven for thinking you were ‘nearly there’ quite a few times. When you do make it to the summit, you’ll be rewarded with some amazing views of Avoriaz, Morzine, Montriond and further across the surrounding peaks.

In just under 5km, you’ll have climbed over 1,000 metres! The descent follows the same trail you took up. In total, this hike should take around 5/6 hours, depending on your fitness levels.

Reward yourself with dinner out at one of our mountain restaurants. Fondue and wine go down great after a big day on the mountain!

Lac des Mindes d'Or

A 14-minute drive from Morzine centre or a 1 hour 50-minute walk if you’re feeling energetic. There is a range of routes available from the lake, ranging from a stroll to a hike. Whatever your level of endurance, Lac des Mindes d’Or is a lovely spot for a picnic. With 360º views of the surrounding mountains, this spot provides an epic backdrop for lunch.

Lake day at Lac Montriond

Surrounded by steep mountainsides, Lac de Montriond is a picturesque spot that provides the perfect setting for a relaxed day in the mountains.

You can walk the perimeter of the lake, which will take around 40 minutes.
If it’s not too cold, you can swim in the lake or play in the park (children and adults alike!)

Looking for a bite to eat? You can dine at Hotel de Lac. They serve everything from coffee to cocktails and a 3-course evening meal.

Go chasing waterfalls

Cascade de Nyon
A light 30-minute walk from the Morzine Tourist Information Centre, the footpath to Cascade de Nyon follows the river up to a lovely waterfall. Nestled in the trees and with an overhanging canopy of trees. Are you brave enough to take a dip? If not, you can simply sit and enjoy the sound of running water and trees rustling in the wind.

Cascade de Ardent
Starting from Lac Montriond, the path to the waterfall takes you along the lake and is a short walk. Stand on the bridge as the raging water falls below you.

Cirque du Fer-à-Cheval

Only a 40-minute drive from Morzine, Cirque du Fer-à-Cheval is a lovely spot for walking. Wondering around this mountain cirque will have you feeling as though you’ve travelled back to prehistoric times. While there are no dinosaurs here, you’d be forgiven for expecting to see one emerge from the Jurassic scenery. There are some amazing waterfalls around the cirque – would you be brave enough to dip your feet in their pools?