Skiing in Chatel
Back in 1947 the first ski lift was installed in Chatel which was the start of what was to become one of the most exciting places to visit for a winter holiday. Huge investment in new lifts, pistes, resturants, bars and activities over the following 65 years has seen Chatel grow into a very special winter ski resort and one of the best ski areas in the world.
Whilst the ski resort has continued to develop every effort has been made to protect and respect all local traditions and cultures to ensure Chatel also remains a traditional Savoyard farming village and this is just one of the reasons it is such a special place.
Although there is a definite centre, the village sprawls along and up the hillside from the road in from Lake Geneva. The road diverges up towards Morgins and along the valley towards the Linga and Pré-la-Joux lifts. There is a free bus service linking the sectors.
Accommodation in Chatel
Staying centrally simplifies après outings – the bus finishes at around 8pm most days. The suburb of Vonnes, where the two chairs linking the two sectors meet, is a convenient place to stay.
Doing more in Chatel
Give this a try if you have never been before; if you have you will surely enjoy another trek away from the slopes; instead through quiet forests with only the sounds of nature around you. Equipment hire is straightforward in the many rental shops in the village and guides can plan routes according to your energy levels and accompany you along the way.
Although clearly still on skis this is a very different activity to traditional downhill alpine skiing. The 40km plus of trails of eight marked routes link together across the Abondance valley with La Chapelle hosting the main biathlon site.
If you want a completely different winter activity without any fiddling with a piste map or charging down the next red run this is it. And your children will love you for it! The huskies run at La Chapelle d’Abondance and the tourist office there will be happy to arrange bookings.
Village shops and ice-skating
Why not take a stroll through the village and walk up to the ice rink at Lac Vonnes? It’s a lovely thing to do if you need to slow down the pace a little. If you have had enough exercise already the free bus will whisk you there from the church in minutes. Have fun whizzing about on the ice but make it a morning visit as the lake comes into shade quite early in the afternoon in the winter, making the lakeside remarkably chilly.
Take your time wandering back down the hill and stop off at any of the local craft shops on the way. Pottery, wooden carved toys, cheeses, charcuterie, local spirits (including the génépy which you must try!) and gifts are all there. Not to mention several lovely places to sip a coffee, hot chocolate or anything stronger and watch the world go by.
The recently constructed leisure centre and spa, Forme d'O, in the centre of Châtel is a marvellous place to unwind. A swimming pool, connected outdoor pool, room-long ‘jacuzzi’, sauna and spa facilities await. There are plenty of daily aquatic activities as well. In particular children love diving under the dividing barrier with the outdoors and then playing in the various water jets, bodies warm and head cold in the outdoor air.
A Family Resort
As a certified family resort, Châtel takes children’s expectations into consideration. Châtel makes 6 commitments with regards to children of all ages:
1. A personalised welcome for families
2. Activities suited to age groups
3. Rates adapted to age
4. Activities for children of all ages that can be enjoyed together or separately
5. Shops and services close at hand
6. Children pampered by our professional staff
Cross Country Skiing
The cross-country trails in Châtel slice through the whole of the area, alongside the River Dranse, down through the Abondance Valley and underneath the trees.
Most slopes are located in Super Châtel, Vonnes and Linga, and you can access a good few by four of the ski lifts in resort.
The Chatel Liberte Ski Pass. Châtel ski pass is getting bigger, for a wide and varied playground.
The ski area of Châtel, with two massifs: Super-Châtel/Barbossine and Linga/Pré la Joux, entirely reachable with your skis on since January 2015.
The neighbouring resort of La Chapelle d’Abondance
The Swiss resort of Torgon
The "Corbeau" section in the Swiss resort of Morgins
- 130 km of runs
- 73 slopes (12 green, 29 blue, 23 red, 7 black, 2 kindergarden)
- 61 ski lifts (3 cable cars, 19 chair lifts, 35 drag lifts, 3 rope lifts, 1 carpet)
- 1 snow park located at Super Châtel: rails, kickers, slide boxes, hips, boarders cross
The Portes du Soleil Ski Pass
12 resorts, 1 ski pass : a journey from country to country. Discover each charming village of this fabulous skiing area, and taste their mogul runs and slopes that offer the most breathtaking views!
12 connected ski resorts : Abondance, Avoriaz, Champéry, Châtel, La Chapelle d'Abondance, Les Gets, Montriond, Morgins, Morzine, St Jean d'Aulps, Torgon, Val d'Illiez Les Crosets Champoussin
600 km of ride
Getting to Chatel is quite straightforward as it is close to Geneva airport and also the Swiss motorway system.
Chatel is only about 1.5 hours away from Geneva airport.
Driving to Chatel is quite straightforward from the UK and the excellent and mostly very quiet and roadworks free French Toll Motorways provide a reasonably quick journey from the channel ports or the tunnel at Calais.
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