Skiing in Chatel

Unlike most resorts linked to major ski areas, Chatel remains relatively unspoiled and retains a very French charm about it.  Located right on the huge Portes du Soleil circuit, very close to the Swiss border, the resort is linked in either direction by fast lifts and a blue piste.

It has two sectors of slopes, one linked to its French neighbour – high, purpose-built Avoriaz – and the other linked to two resorts in Switzerland: Morgins (which is on the Portes du Soleil circuit) and Torgon (which is not on the circuit).

The nearest airport is Geneva.

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

Snow-shoeing

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.

Nordic skiing

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.

Huskies

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.

Forme d'O

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.

Ski Pass

The Chatel Liberte Ski Pass.  Châtel ski pass is getting bigger, for a wide and varied playground.

Including:

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

Covering:

  • 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

Covering:

  • 300 slopes
  • 197 ski lifts

Getting here

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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See the accommodation options in Chatel

 

What we like

  • Very extensive, pretty, intermediate terrain on Portes du Soleil circuit with good local slopes 
  • Wide range of good value accommodation including family run two-star and three-star hotels 
  • Pleasant, lively, traditional, French-dominated village

Getting here

Chatel is the most northerly located resort in the Alps, providing fast and easy access for all clients from Northern Europe and Central Europe.

  • ACCESS BY RAIL: Thonon-les-Bains SNCF railway station (TGV – high speed train) / Transfer by shuttle: 40 km (Approximate cost 11 €)
  • Aigle railway station (Switzerland)
  • Monthey railway station (Switzerland) / Transfer by taxi: 25 km
  • ACCESS BY ROAD: A6 motorway via Macon followed by the A40 motorway towards Geneva. Motorway exit: Annemasse, Thonon-les-Bains, Châtel.
  • From Northern Europe, access via the Swiss motorway towards Martigny. Exit: Portes du soleil", 20 minutes from Châtel
  • ACCESS BY AIR: Geneva-Cointrin international airport / Transfer time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Ski Area

  • No of km of skiing (local area): 
  • No of km skiing (full area): 650km
  • 10 Snowparks
  • Mountain restaurants: 89
  • 12 Linked Swiss & French Resorts
  • Superb Forme d'O Aquatic Centre 
  • Only 90 minutes from Geneva
  • Longest Run: Chamossière-Morzine (Red/Blue) - 11km
  • Total lifts - 196

    · Cable cars - 3
    · Gondola - 9
    · Chairlifts - 76
    · Drag lifts - 104
    · Magic carpets - 4
  • Altitude (min): 1201m
  • Altitude (max): 2400m
Important info:
  • Currency: €
  • Time difference from the UK: +1hr

Fantasticable

  • Having first removed their skis at the top of the Rochassons chairlift, intrepid skiers are now able to fly down the first stage of the Fantasticable over Plaine-Dranse village at 140 m in winter as well as in summer. Speeds along the giant 1,200 m zip-wire can reach 100 km/h.
  • At the bottom, skiers collect their equipment (which will have followed them down the wire in a transportation bag), snap into their skis and can continue to enjoy the wide choice of ski runs.

Ski Insurance

Ski insurance is a requirement when booking our holidays

If you have a policy in place - that's great - if not the policy on our site is available from MPI  This covers all the key areas.

  • Les Chalets d'Angele

    £POA

    (£pp on std occ)

    82 APARTMENTS FREE WIFI PETS ARE PERMITTED FOR A SUPPLEMENT UNDERGROUND CAR PARK PAYABLE LOCALLY WELLNESS FACILITIES

    This 4 star residence offers luxurious ski apartments, combining traditional architecture with high standard modern facilities.

    Ski holidays: The apartments are offered on a self-catered basis and include a channel crossing per apartment

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  • Chalet Picard

    £POA

    (£pp on std occ)

    5 BEDROOMS SLEEPING 10 PEOPLE PETS ARE PERMITTED WIFI IS AVAILABLE FOR A SUPPLEMENT

    The Chalet Picard is located just 1500m from the centre of Chatel in the Petit Châtel district, Chemin de Sur la côté.

    Ski holidays: The chalet is offered on a self-catered basis and includes channel crossing as standard (prefer catered and/or airport transfers - get in touch and we can quote)

     

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  • Chalet L'Orme

    £POA

    (£pp on std occ)

    6 BEDROOMS 16 PEOPLE 3 BATHROOMS PETS ARE ALLOWED PARKING NEAR THE CHALET FOR THREE CARS. SKI STORAGE

    The spacious Chalet l'Orme is situated in the Etringa area of the mountain resort of Chatel.  Centrally located, just 400 metres from the nearest shops and restaurants.

    Ski holidays: The chalet is offered on a self-catered basis and includes channel crossing as standard (prefer catered and/or airport transfers - get in touch and we can quote)

     

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  • Chalet Les Laurentides

    £POA

    (£pp on std occ)

    16 PEOPLE 5 BEDROOMS 8 BATHROOMS 4 PARKING SPACES AND A GARAGE FOR UP TO 2 CARS WIFI INTERNET

    The Chalet Les Laurentides was brand new for the 2016 season! This spacious chalet is designed to accommodate 16 people.

    Ski holidays: The chalet is offered on a self-catered basis and includes channel crossing as standard (prefer catered and/or airport transfers - get in touch and we can quote)

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  • Apartment Florence

    £POA

    (£pp on std occ)

    7 BEDROOMS SLEEPS 14 PEOPLE 7 BATHROOMS WIFI CONNECTION COVERED PARKING FOR 4 CARS

    This 14 person apartment Florence is situated in the heart of Châtel, part of the Les Portes du Soleil ski area with 650 km of slopes. In the immediate surroundings of the apartment there are restaurants, bars and shops. 

    Ski holidays: The apartment is offered on a self-catered basis and includes a channel crossing 

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  • Apartment Le 360

    £POA

    (£pp on std occ)

    4 BEDROOMS SLEEPING 6 PEOPLE 2 BATHROOMS SKI IN/SKI OUT ACCESS 2 COVERED PARKING SPACES OR GARAGE

    Apartment Le 360 is in an enviable elevated position just above Chatel village centre and with a leisurely short ski to the Super Chatel ski lift.

    The 360 degree views from this exclusive residence development are unobstructed, hence the name and mostly to the South and West.

    Ski holidays: The apartment is offered on a self-catered basis and includes a channel crossing 

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  • Chalet Les 2 Vallees

    £POA

    (£pp on std occ)

    9 BEDROOMS SLEEPS 20 PEOPLE 6 BATHROOMS OUTDOOR PARKING AREA

    The Chalet Les 2 Vallees is located halfway between the centre of the village of Chatel and the ESF Piou Piou garden.  

    Ski holidays: The chalet is offered on a self-catered basis and includes channel crossing as standard (prefer catered and/or airport transfers - get in touch and we can quote)

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  • Chalet La Boule de Neige

    £POA

    (£pp on std occ)

    5 BEDROOMS SLEEPS 15 PEOPLE 2 BATHROOMS PETS ARE ALLOWED WIFI INTERNET CONNECTION CAR PARKING IS AVAILABLE AT THE CHALET

    Chalet La Boule de Neige is conveniently located in the district Béchigne in Chatel.  Chalet La Boule de Neige is a good starting point to explore the great ski area of Portes du Soleil. 

    Ski holidays: The chalet is offered on a self-catered basis and includes channel crossing as standard (prefer catered and/or airport transfers - get in touch and we can quote)

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  • Residence Le Grand Lodge

    £POA

    (£pp on std occ)

    113 APARTMENTS COVERED PARKING PAYABLE LOCALLY FREE WIFI ACCESS IN RECEPTION PETS ARE ALLOWED FOR A SUPPLEMENT

    The Residence Le Grand Lodge self-catering apartments in Chatel are located 800m from the cable car (free shuttle bus service) and nearest shops, and are 500m from the slopes and ski lifts. This residence offers accommodation in 113 apartments, which have been built in the local, traditional style.

    Ski holidays: The apartment is offered on a self-catered basis and includes a channel crossing 

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  • Residence Le Grand Ermitage

    £POA

    (£pp on std occ)

    32 APARTMENTS SLEEPING UP TO 8 PEOPLE FREE WIFI ACCESS COVERED PARKING PAYABLE LOCALLY PETS ARE ALLOWED FOR A SUPPLEMENT

    Located near the slopes, this Chatel residence is within a 15 minute walk of the Swiss Alps and the Super Chatel Ski Lift.

    Ski holidays: The apartment is offered on a self-catered basis and includes a channel crossing 

    View details

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