Monday, 18 June 2012 9:15 AM
People looking to enjoy the great outdoors in one of the world's most picturesque environments should consider a summer family holiday to the French Alps commune of Morzine, which is popular with tourists all year round - read on to find out why.
Located in the east of the country, this vacation hotspot offers a fantastic range of French holiday chalets and apartments, high-quality skiing facilities and a good selection of restaurants and cafes.
Whether you are hoping to learn more about the local history and culture or get the adrenaline pumping with a range of outdoor activities, Morzine provides ample options for people of all abilities.
If you and your family prefer to stay active, there are plenty of sporting pursuits to get stuck into, including cycling, paragliding, climbing and spelunking.
Prefer water-based fun? Canyoning is a popular activity and involves descending down mountain streams using special abseiling equipment.
You could also try white water rafting, kayaking or hydrospeeding if you are determined to test your skills on Morzine's rivers and lakes.
Don't worry if you are travelling with small children, there are plenty of professionals at hand to ensure your kids are safe at all times during such activities.
Culture and history
For those who prefer to flex their mental muscles, Morzine has a wide selection of local attractions that enable you to learn more about the region's cultural heritage.
The commune is well known for its slate quarries, which were its main commercial commodity before the emergence of tourism.
Slate is commonly seen on the roofs of French holiday chalets and apartments, with many of the mines still open today for visitors to explore.
A seasoned slate worker will tell you about the area's slate mine history, which goes back over 200 years, as well as show you around a modern workshop.
More interested in culinary pursuits? Morzine falls within the appellation d'origine controlee zone for Reblochon and Abondance cheeses, meaning holidaymakers can see how these delicious dairy products are made.
You can see the entire process unfold before your eyes, all the way from the initial milking of the cow to the placement of the cheese into a mould.
Take a guided tour of the maturing cellars at La Fruitiere in Morzine, which occur at 09:00 local time on Wednesdays and Thursdays during season, while free visits are available from 15:00 to 19:00 every day.
Prefer to be pampered? There are a number of spas, health centres and masseuses available nearby, enabling you to spend your spare time exploring the benefits of reflexology and other treatments.
If you are hoping to enjoy a meal out with the family, there are numerous restaurants from which to choose, with both domestic and international cuisines available.
Located in the middle of Morzine, La Grange is a popular choice with many tourists, offering a selection of delicious local dishes and secret mountain recipes.
The best option for meat-eaters is Le Clin d'Oeil - an eatery well known for its spare ribs in barbecue sauce and grilled steaks, while duck leg in armagnac and prunes sauce is something of a specialty.
There are also many bars in Morzine, meaning you can hit the tiles in style after a busy day exploring the local amenities.
Local favourites include Le Coup de Coeur - a wine drinker's paradise - and La Taverne, a classic bistro with food, drink and a warm and cosy atmosphere.