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Châtel

Overview

Châtel is a truly charming village - the perfect spot for a family ski break.
The resort is also part of the vast Portes du Soleil domain - the largest international linked ski area in the world with over 650km of varied terrain spread across eight French and four Swiss resorts. This gives skiers and boarders an almost endless choice of runs on their doorstep. 


Typically French

Châtel is a very pretty village, the design of its chalets are still by and large traditional which has earned the Abondance Valley recognition as a "Pays d'Art et d'Histoire" destination. The resort is situated in the northern French Alps on the French/Swiss border and is now a popular ski resort although the village still retains many of its traditional alpine characteristics.

 

Vast linked ski terrain

The resort is also part of the vast Portes du Soleil domain - the largest international linked ski area in the world with over 650 km of varied terrain spread across eight French and four Swiss resorts. This gives skiers and boarders an almost endless choice of runs on their doorstep. The first lift was the Vonnes drag lift, constructed in 1947 and that began the transformation of Châtel into a winter tourist resort.

 

Steeped in history

Further development of winter sports facilities followed and in the 1950s the slopes of the Morclan were developed from the bottom of the village to the summit with the construction of a chair lift and drag lift, a hotel half way up the slope and another in the village – Super Châtel was born. At this time, the fact that people crossed the French/Swiss boarder on skis was a result of the close links that had always existed between the people of Châtel and Morgins and the concept of the Portes du Soleil was born in Super Châtel.

Although skiing and tourism is the major occupation here, agriculture is still important and the area retains its wonderful small village feel and everywhere in the architecture, the food and the festivals, local traditions thrive making this a really special holiday destination. 

Pretty Chatel church
Chalet village is a magical holiday setting
MAGICAL CHATELChâtel is one of the prettiest resorts in the Alps

Châtel’s broad valley setting is very scenic, with Linga providing a splendid backdrop and pleasantly woody slopes curving in both directions. The lifts above Torgon give great views over Lake Geneva. 

Sun sets on another ski day in Chatel
A cosy village atmosphereChâtel's village retains much of it's historical charm

Ski Guide

The cross-border ski area of the Portes du Soleil has an international reputation, offering you the very best skiing in twelve resorts, 197 high-tech ski lifts and 285 pistes: ski your heart out. With the Portes du Soleil “hands free “ ski pass you can ski, in Châtel, Avoriaz, Morzine, Les Gets, Saint Jean d’Aulps, Montriond, Abondance and La Chapelle d’Abondance on the French side, and at Morgins, Torgon, Champoussin, Les Crosets and Champéry on the Swiss side.


Chatel piste map - portes du soleil

VITAL SKI STATISTICS

Altitude 1200m
Skiable Range
1100 – 2,205m
Ski terrain (Châtel)
Pistes 83km
green 21%, blue 36%, red 30%, black 13%
Portes du Soleil Skiable Range 950 - 2275m
Ski terrain (Portes du Soleil) 
Pistes 650 km
green 12%, blue 43%, red 36%, black 9%

Off Piste Itinerary

One of the most unique features about the off-piste skiing in Chatel and the Portes du Soleil is that there are many areas ideal for all abilities.  A perfect example of this is ‘the Donkeys’ above Plaine Dranse in Châtel, ideal for intermediate skiers looking to head off-piste for the first time. Located between the Cornebois and Combe chairlifts, it’s equivalent to a blue run and is packed with lots of natural little jumps, drops and valleys to play on.  

For the more advanced we would recommend heading to one of the many controlled off-piste zones in the Portes du Soleil such as the Torgon Freeride, which enables you to ski some amazing off-piste in a safe way.

Famous Ski Runs

The Swiss Wall at Avoriaz is a terrifying black run that begins at the top of the Chavanette chair lift at 2217m. You start off in Avoriaz but after the 400m downhill run, you’ll find yourself in Champéry in Switzerland – hence the name. It’s the beginning of this black run which makes it so notorious – there’s even a sign at the top saying “for experts only”. The top is so steep you cannot actually see what lies ahead.

Our Favourite Ski Runs

— Greens —

Châtel is a very picturesque tree-lined resort, with a great selection of terrain for beginners.  The ski area at Pre La Joux is a brilliant starting point with easy access to a selection of drag lifts leading to wide gentle slopes, and for young skiers a fantastic ‘magic carpet’ allows easy ups on a covered conveyor belt system.

Once these runs have been mastered, move onto our favorite green run – ‘the Bellete’, a 3km path that gently zigzags through the trees from Plaine Dranse back down to Pre La Joux, providing a scenic and fun ski experience for beginners.

— Blues

Chatel is part of the huge Portes du Soleil domain - the largest linked ski area in the World, boasting 122 blue runs!  Now that is a huge amount of intermediate skiing and it’s virtually impossible to ski every run in one week. 

Our favorite blue run is from the top of the Chaletneuf drag lift (part of the Chatel ski area but actually in Switzerland.) It’s a super easy wide blue, ideal for early intermediate skiers that rolls and turns through the trees back to the bottom of the drag. There are several different routes on the same run so you can try a few and then relax with a drink at the conveniently located restaurant half way down. From the top of the drag enjoy incredible views of Mont Blanc and see if you can spot Lake Geneva below you on the way down!

— Reds —

With 100 red runs to choose from in the Portes du Soleil it’s hard to pick one favourite – so here’s 3:

Linga (Chatel) – Top to bottom is 1000 vertical meters so without stops it’s a real leg burner.
La Chapelle to Torgon – Ski fresh corduroy all day on this hidden treasure of a run that is always quiet.
Le Stade (Avoriaz) – A perfect pitch to practice carving, and the snow is always amazing.

— Blacks —

Unknown by many British skiers, Châtel and the Portes du Soleil are a hidden gem for advanced skiing. 

There are currently 32 black runs in the Portes du Soleil with the most famous being the ‘Swiss Wall’, which drops down from Avoriaz into Les Crosets. The Wall, as its name implies, is very steep and usually full of thigh-high moguls, so be careful - it’s not for the faint hearted!

T
Top Tip

"Every Thursday evening
between 19.30 & 21.30
there is night skiing
at Linga with floodlights
and music."


THE LARGEST LINKED SKI AREA IN THE WORLD

Châtel offers an extensive terrain that's perfect for intermediates 

Ski Your Heart Out

The cross-border ski area of the Portes du Soleil has an international reputation, offering you the very best skiing in twelve resorts, 197 high-tech ski lifts and 285 pistes: ski your heart out. With the Portes du Soleil “hands free “ ski pass you can ski, in Châtel, Avoriaz, Morzine, Les Gets, Saint Jean d’Aulps, Montriond, Abondance and La Chapelle d’Abondance on the French side, and at Morgins, Torgon, Champoussin, Les Crosets and Champéry on the Swiss side. 

Châtel sits between two sectors of the main Portes du Soleil circuit –the massifs of Super-Châtel and Linga. Both areas offer a great mix of open and wooded slopes. Directly above the village is Super-Châtel that is accessed by a gondola or 2 stage chair to lovely, easy, open slopes. You can start the Portes du Soleil circuit clockwise from here heading to the Swiss resort of Morgins. Or head north to the slopes of Torgon with its fantastic views of Lake Geneva. From here you can ski down to Linga and start an anti-clockwise tour of the ski area. 

 

Looking for a challenge? 

The best steep runs (on and off-piste) are in the Linga & Pré la Joux area and there is a serious mogul field between Cornebois and Plaine Dranse. The Barbossine black run, going down Super-Châtel, is a great run – long, steep and a little narrow and tricky at the top. Châtel also offers good lift-served off-piste so hire a guide and enjoy exploring. 

 

Beginners and intermediates paradise

Don’t miss the great run from Tête de Linga into the next, deserted valley of La Leiche. The Portes du Soleil is intermediate skiers’ paradise and the Linga and Plaine Dranse have some fantastic reds and don’t miss the Torgon sectors, which has some wonderful runs down from Tête de Tronchet. For beginners and those wishing to build confidence there are good areas at Pré la Joux and there are also nursery slopes at village level when the snow is good. 

Chatel is linked to the huge portes du soleil terrain
WINTER PLAYGROUNDChâtel is linked to one of the largest ski areas in the world

On busy days it’s worth
trying the uncrowded
slopes of nearby La
Chapelle-d’Abondance
and Torgon

Expert Tips

JO CONNER

 Chalet Neuf du Tenne / Owner & Chalet Manager 

Has skied Châtel for 20 years and now lives in resort with her young family

Best cafe

There are lots of lovely spots in the village to grab a morning coffee. If the snow is falling, I like the cosy alpine atmosphere in the bar of the Hotel Macchi - great coffee and big leather armchairs to sink into. On a fine spring morning, grab a croissant from the boulangerie and head to the sunny terrace outside La Poya. 

Best boutique

For ski and mountain gear I would say Twinner in the middle of the village - they also have a great and high-tech boot fitting service if you’re looking to get new ski boots.  For gifts to take home go to the ‘Poterie Savoyarde’, a lovely local pottery shop with beautiful handcrafted items.

Best mountain restaurant

La Cremaillere in the ‘goat village’ below Linderet has to be the best place for a long lunch on the hill. The ‘a la carte’ is excellent but we always go for one of the specials, written on boards around the restaurant and usually including slow cooked meats, amazing chanterelle mushrooms, and the best sauté potatoes you’ve ever had! Combine with a good bottle of rouge when the snow is falling outside and settle in for the afternoon. For rustic mountain food Chez Denis at Plaine Dranse is great. The authentic farm building is full of charm with the names of Denis’ cows etched on the back of each chair, and there’s a simple but delicious menu featuring local cheese, potatoes, mountain ham, and really well dressed salad – yum!

Best village restaurant

It’s hard to beat Le Fiacre, which offers a broad menu including delicious steaks served on sizzling stones, Savoyard specialities, and really good pizzas – something for everyone! There’s always a busy, vibrant feel and the service is second to none. 

when I'm not skiing

Chatel has lots to offer for non-skiers, especially if you want to get outside and enjoy the amazing environment and scenery. If I’m not skiing I love putting on a pair of snowshoes and heading off for a hike with the dog.  There are various routes but my favourites are the trails just above the village at Petit Chatel / Super Chatel.  It’s a really peaceful way to enjoy the mountain and actually a great work out too.

Favourite après

The Avalanche pub is always lively and has regular live bands playing, and the Nazca bar offers DJs and cocktails. First and foremost though Chatel is a family resort so don’t come here if you’re looking for a wild party scene.. It’s more ‘Champagne in the hot tub back at the chalet’ than dancing in your ski boots until dawn! 

Favourite ski run

For zooming about on-piste the ‘Linga’ in Chatel is such a great run – it’s a tough, north facing red with 1000m descent and great views of the village and valley below. If you like to ski fast on beautiful groomed pistes then you’d love it! From the bottom I take the new lifts linking Linga and Super Chatel and ski back home (or to work more usually!). If we’re with the kids, they love the gentle off-piste area of the ‘Donkeys’ between the Cornebois and Combes chairlifts above Plaine Dranse. With lots of hidden valleys and little jumps it’s a unique snowy playground for intermediate skiers.

Favourite chalet

Well because it’s our family chalet and we were involved in the conception and build, I have to say Chalet Neuf du Tenne. As well as great facilities like the pool, and stylish spacious living areas, the best thing is the chalet’s position at the highest point in the resort. The views simply cannot be beaten, and it’s great to be able to ski right back to the door from the Super Chatel pistes. I also love the interiors at La Folie; it’s such a beautiful chalet with gorgeous old wood and chic alpine styling throughout. 

Top tip

For intermediate skiers and above take a ‘skiing day trip’ around the Portes du Soleil on ‘the circuit’. Through 8 different resorts and 2 countries it’s a unique tour starting and ending in Chatel without taking off your skis.  That’s what we love about this area – discovery skiing with over 650 km of pistes to explore and a different route every day. 

Did you know?

Chatel offers world-class skiing and really easy access compared to a lot of other resorts. It’s just a 90 minute transfer from Geneva airport, so it’s ideal for those travelling with children. 


The view from Chalet Neuf Du Tenne
BREATHTAKINGThe view from Jo's Chalet - Neuf du Tenne
Chatel things to do for non-skiers
WALKING IN A WINTER WONDERLANDJo loves to explore the trails on her days off

Food & Drink

Châtel Restaurants


CHEZ-BABETH restaurant in LE-VIEUX-CHALET

Chez Babeth, Le Vieux Chalet  

+33 (0) 450 733 877

Run by Babeth, a larger than lift character in a chalet straight out of Hansel & Gretel to be found at the top of the Pierre Longue chair in Pre la Joux. Good food in a unique environment. Savoyard specialities and do try the Tarte Tatin with cinnamon ice cream.

 

 

Chatel's Restaurant LA FERME DES PISTE

La Ferme des Piste 

+33 (0) 450 813 581 

A lovely restaurant in the Linga area with a large terrace for sunny days. Local dishes as well as a good menu of classic French bistro. Cosy interior with open fireplace.

 

 

LA CREMAILLERE mountain restaurant Les-Lindarets

La Crémaillère 

+33 (0) 450 741 168 

Located in Les Lindarets between Montriond Lake and Avoriaz in a small village where the goats wander around totally at ease, La Crémaillère is an old mountain chalet restored and converted into a fine restaurant at 1470m.

Chatel's CHEZ-DENIS is a favourite

Chez Denis

+33 (0) 450 733 629 

This authentic Savoyard restaurant has a pretty small menu, which is mainly cheese related (they produce their own cheese). They specialise in about a dozen different mountain dishes, which are generally made from the same basic ingredients of cheese, potatoes & dried meats. This is perfect food for warming you through after a cold mornings skiing. The interior is cosy and welcoming with a lovely atmosphere. This is also one of the few restaurants to serve a single person fondue. This is the last restaurant on the left at Plaine Drance set a little way back from the piste.

 

 

La Terrasse 

+33 (0) 450 741 617

The numerous restaurants in the little hamlet of the Goat Village are generally all pretty good, but this is one of my personally favourites. As the name suggests, it boasts a panoramic terrace with fantastic views when the weather is good, although the inside is charming and warm when its not. The owner David is always friendly and welcoming, he provides an excellent menu full of tasty dishes. It is right in the middle of the Goat village just down from Lindarets.

 

 

LE VIEUX FOUR restaurant

Le Vieux Four  

+33 (0) 450 733 056

This warm, rustic restaurant housed in an old farmhouse (1852) delights its guests with its authentic ambience. Admire the figurines nestling in the stable manger, while enjoying delicious cuisine from the Savoie region.

Dining at La Poya in Chatel

La Poya 

+33 (0) 450 811 934 

La Poya is the local name for the seasonal migration of the herds to the summer higher altitude pastures. Located in the heart of the resort, this restaurant serves tasty, traditional recipes in which local ingredients are the stars of the show. The restaurant offers a number of delicious specialities and a great plat du jour. It’s the perfect place to recharge your batteries after a hard day on the slopes.

 

 

Eat at L ENSOLEILLE near Chatel

L’Ensoleille

This aptly named, imposing chalet enjoys a sunny location in the valley. The cuisine focuses on traditional Alpine fare, including delicious Tomme cheeses made in the valley and charcuterie salted and dried by the owner himself. 

 

 

Traditional fare at Chatel's LA-TABLE-SAVOYARDE

La Table Savoyarde 

+33 (0) 450 813 750

A simple restaurant in the resort serving Savoyard dishes – no frills but good food and friendly service. 

Chatel's LE FIACRE restaurant

Le Fiacre

+33 (0) 450 733 046

A friendly family restaurant run by Jean François, Patricia and their two sons, situated in the centre of the village. This is a large, popular restaurant that serves, amongst other dishes, great wood-fire pizza and a local Savoyard speciality, Bertoud that is made with Abondance cheese. 

FLEUR-DE-NEIGE restaurant in Chatel

Fleur de Neige

+33 (0) 450 732 010

The lovely restaurant of the Fleur de Neige Hotel in the centre of town. Great food, friendly service and reasonable prices for a very good standard of food. We ate here in the summer and had fantastic food on the set menus at 28 euros – you can’t really get much better than that. 

Luxury ski holiday dining at Les Cornettes

Les Cornettes

+33 (0) 450 735 024

In a typical Savoyard chalet in the neighbouring village of La Chapelle d’Abondance is Hotel Les Cornettes, which has been run by the same family for 5 generations. This is traditional local cooking at its best or you could try the weekly Savoyard evening at 'Papy Gaby’s Farmhouse', part of the same establishment which is complete with waiters in traditional costume. The restaurant is recommended by both Michelin and Gault & Millau so well worth the 5km drive.

 

 

Apres Ski


AVALANCHE après ski bar chatel

Avalanche

A popular, friendly après ski bar in the main resort. It has a great dance floor and resident DJs and live music. 

 

 

Chatel's Nazca bar for apres ski

La Nazca

In the Vonnes area, this friendly bar is open all day and is a great place for coffee on the sunny terrace but its also a good meeting place for an aperitif after skiing with a ‘happy hour’ between 17.30 – 18.30. The bar stays open late into the night with regular live music and DJs.

Apres ski at Isba Bar in Chatel

Isba

Celine and Charlotte run this popular bar that offers free wifi, theme nights and it shows all major sporting events.

Bar La Godille drinks in Chatel

Bar La Godille ‘Chez Popeye'

A lively bar in the centre of Chatel serving a good selection of beer and choice of wines. There are numerous special events all of which is overseen by the manager, ‘Popeye’.

Non Skiers

This family orientated resort has plenty to engage all beyond skiing. 


Ice skating rink in Chatel

Ice-Skating 

Magic on the ice
 

Châtel has a lovely outdoor skating rink, which is open every day except Saturday from 14.00 – 18.00 (longer in school holidays). Skate rental is at the rink. When weather conditions are right, there is also a second natural ice rink open on the lake.

Chatel has a bowling alley

Bowling

Family fun night action
 

Le Chaudron is a modern bowling alley with 4 computerised bowling lanes as well as pool table, table football and sport shown on giant screen. It is open from 5pm and there is also a snack bar selling pizza and Paninis.

Chatel cheese making tour

Cheese Making 

A slice of local history
 

This area is famous for its chesses, in particular Abondance. Every Thursday morning there is a visit to a local farm where cheese-makers Annick and Philippe show you the production process, followed by a chance to taste the end result. The trip leaves at 9.15 and the price includes the shuttle bus to the farm.

Chatel has 2 cinemas

Cinema

Movies in the mountains 
 

There are two cinemas in the resort – Le Chamois and Le Morclan. Both have a weekly programme with daily screenings of the latest films including films in English. 

Chatel ice fishing

Ice Fishing 

Eskimo style 
 

Frozen in its shroud of ice, the Lac de Vonnes is full of hidden surprises and thrills. In the depths of winter, you can fish for trout. All you have to do it make a hole in the ice... and immerse yourself in a world of silence. Available for children aged from 6 yrs (accompanied by an adult), this activity is supervised by a qualified instructor. The sessions are scheduled every Tuesday and Wednesday from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. All equipment is provided, & booking is at the Tourist Office. 

Laser quest in the snow - Chatel

Snow Laser 

Kids will love this 
 

A new activity in Châtel, you can play laser games outdoors dodging behind giant inflatable obstacles. A great group activity that can be organised to take place either during the day or at night and is open to all from 7 years up.

New swimming centre in Chatel

Forme d’O 

Swimming pool & spa
 

Châtel’s new aquatic centre, which opened in July 2014, has 3 pools (indoor & outdoor) and spa facilities including sauna, hammam, hot tub and relaxation area. There is also a small gym and during the season there are a number of fitness classes on offer including aquagym and aquabike.

Chatels museum

La Vieille Douane 

Step back in time
 

The Old Custom House has been turned into an interesting museum detailing the history of trade (and smuggling) along the Franco-Swiss border in particular trade in tobacco, salt, cheese and coffee. It also looked at the history of the illegal brewing of the area’s potent eau de vie.

Toboggan in Chatel

Tobogganing

Downhill fast fun 
 

Châtel offers a number of ways of sliding down the hill including ‘Yooner’ which consists of a seat, a shock absorber and a ski. You are 20cm above the snow and you can carve turns on the descent. Meet at the closing of the slopes to go down the Pierre-Longue chairlift slope. Bring your ski helmet – yooner is provided.  Or why not try Snake-Glisse, which is a string of small sleds joined together like railway carriages as you snake down the piste – the engine driver is a ski instructor. Alternatively go airboarding - whizz down the slope stretched out on an inflatable bodyboard. You’ll need a helmet, because this will blow your mind! 

In addition Châtel does offer several more traditional sledging areas - The Pré-la-Joux area is made up of two separate and safe sledging runs: one for 2 to 6-year-olds and the other for children aged 6 and over, a themed and play path and a game area. This is a great place where all the family can enjoy playing together in the snow. It is easily accessible from the village by the free shuttles, admission is free. Another area is Sous-Vonnes: again located close to the village centre on the Nordic area it's accessible on foot. Or go the Super-Châtel sledging run: which you access by cable car (charged) and a 15mn walk. 

Chatel has beautiful snow walks

Snowshoe walks

Walking in a winter wonderland
 

There are 80 km of walking trails in the area allowing you to make the most of the beautiful scenery even if you’re not a skier. These range from short 1h walks to more rugged 4-5h hikes some of which cross the Franco-Swiss border. There is a comprehensive guide & map available from the Tourist Office or there are a number of guided walks. Some of the trails involve taking a lift up and there are pedestrian tickets available on the Petit-Châtel and Pierre-Longue chairlifts, the Super-Châtel and Linga gondola lifts. There is also a great themed family walk called L’Eterlou, which is a fun educational trail about the environment and the animal and plant life in the mountains. Follow this looped trail, situated in Pré-la-Joux next to the sledging runs, and a dozen panels will guide you around, helping all the family to answer a variety of questions.

Chatel's rock festival on the mountain

Rock the Piste Festival 

Unique music experience
 

18th - 24th March 2018 - Rock the Pistes is one of the events of the season in the Portes du Soleil. A music festival spread across the entire ski area, each resort hosts a series of indoor and piste-side concerts so you literally have to ski to some of the venues and party-on in your ski boots. And the best part is: the festival is included in the cost of your lift pass, which some might say means it’s absolutely FREE. Past acts have included Rag’n’Bone Man, the Klaxons, Caravan Palace and Chinese Man.

Cross country skiing in Chatel

Cross-country Skiing

Tranquil skiing
 

There are 12 km of marked and maintained trails in Châtel – these are really pretty going along the river and around Lac Vonnes and on the lower slopes of Linga but they are though slightly low in altitude. There are more trails around La Chapelle d’Abondance, which is easily accessed by local bus taking the total up to 40 km. The Tourist Office produce an excellent guide and map to the area and there are a number of instructors at the various ski school if you want to learn or brush up on your technique. 

Shopping

Châtel has a good selection of shops with an obvious bias towards shops supplying ski equipment and clothing – there are 19 ski shops in total.  


There are 2 mini-markets or grocery stores in the centre of Châtel and the main supermarket is the Intermarche on the road from Pre La Joux / Linga to Chapelle d'Abondance. The supermarket stocks pretty much everything from clothes to small household appliances to local produce and wine. 

Wednesday is market day in Châtel – this is a bustling market of local producers, which takes place in the centre of the resort (Place de l’Eglise) between 8.30 and 12.30 

For local produce including dried meats, local honey & jams as well as the best of the region’s cheeses & especially local star, Abondance visit Les Delices de Châtel where Christian will offer you the benefit of his local knowledge. Or visit Jean-Marc and Francois at La Cave à Sosse for great food gifts to take home with you.

If you’re looking for a local souvenir or gift to take home, then visit Les Poteries de l'Ermitage where Sophie has a wonderful selection of locally made pottery. All hand-painted with several designs made into everything from candlesticks and mugs to lamps and serving dishes. Or for interior design items to take home your own ‘alpine chic’ visit La Lavandiere on the Route du Linga. 

If you’re looking for high-end fashion boutiques, you may be disappointed – although a trip to Geneva. Evian or Chamonix is easy to organise and will definitely give you a retail therapy fix. For more casual clothing and a good selection of après ski wear, most of the ski shops will have a small selection but Twinner on Route de Vonnes has a great range of brands including Oakley, Icebreaker, Roxy and Odlo. 

Shop the Chatel market
TO MARKET Wednesday is market day in Châtel
Shopping for treasure - Les Poteries de l'Ermitage
Traditional treatsShop for a local souvenir at Les Poteries de l'Ermitage

Escapes

Châtel and the Portes du Soleil is truly an Alpine sport enthusiast’s playground, but should you wish for a day off the mountain there is so much in the local region to discover and experience. The area is best explored by car, whether private or chauffeur driven, and you will find here our suggestions for the best the region has to offer. 


Geneva Excursion 

Just 1h 30m journey by car why not spend the day exploring Geneva? With top chocolatiers, jewellers and boutique fashion outlets all in a stunning lakeside setting. Geneva Old Town is well worth a visit; wind through the cobbled streets and soak up the ambiance in one of the many little cafés on the picturesque squares. There are museums and galleries to visit and the famous St Peter’s Cathedral. Make your way to Bourg-de-Four Square, the oldest place in Geneva, location of the old Roman market place and now full of exclusive shopping opportunities and more cafés.

 

Yvoire Excursion 

At just under an hour’s drive away from Châtel the medieval town of Yvoire on the shores of Lac leman makes for a lovely day out. Explore the historical town at your leisure, seek a little retail therapy in one of the boutiques, and treat yourself to an indulgent lunch at one of its many fine fish restaurants.   

 

Évian les Bains & Lausanne 

Évian is a beautiful spa town on the shores of Lake Geneva (Lac Leman), and of course home to the famous mineral water of the same name. You can visit ‘the source’ in the town centre (on ‘Avenue des Sources’!) and fill up your bottle for free, as well as discovering something of the history of this famous water. The town is also home to the largest themed Casino in Europe. The nicest part to explore is along the waterfront with the pretty quays, and of course views across the lake are beautiful, it’s a great spot for a nice lunch. Equally the thermal spas are world famous and a lovely day can be spent here.  

Whilst here you can also take the passenger ferry across the lake to visit Lausanne in Switzerland, known for being an international centre for sport 

hosting the International Olympic Committee, the Court of Arbitration for Sport and 55 international sport associations. The Olympic Museum here is well worth a visit, but really the round trip on the ferry admiring the beautiful lake is a treat in itself. Évian is just one hour from Châtel by car. 

 

Aiguille du Midi - Chamonix 

Just under 2h drive away is the famous mountaineering town of Chamonix. In 1955 the 2 stage cable car to the top of the Aiguille du Midi was first constructed, and today it can get you from the valley floor to the top station at 3,842m in under 20 minutes.  Once at the summit, there is much to do, even for the non-skier who doesn’t fancy tackling the 20km Vallée Blanche off-piste itinerary! You can admire the magnificent panoramic views from one of several terraces, dine in the restaurant/café at the top and visit the ‘Musee de L’Alpinisme Pointe’ – a museum dedicated to mountaineering. If you have a real head for heights visit the latest attraction ‘Step into the void’, a glass box suspended above a 1,000m vertical drop. 

If you are a keen off-piste skier then the Vallée Blanche must surely be on the ‘to do’ list if conditions are right – though hiring a local guide is essential as the route is glacial. 

 

Mer de Glace & Montenvers Train - Chamonix 

Since it was discovered in 1741 by two English explorers, William Windham and Richard Pocock, the Mer de Glace glacier has become one of the world’s most visited natural sites.At 7km long and with a surface area of 40 km2, it is France’s largest glacier, extending from an altitude of 3900m to 1400m. The width of the glacier varies between 700m to 1950m and the depth of the ice averages around 200m but is as much as 400m thick in places.  

The train journey itself is a joy, but from here you can access the ice caves or ‘grotto’ by a small gondola lift (or via a footpath if you fancy the leg stretch) and then a flight of approximately 300 steps. It is recommended to buy a combined ticket for the return train and gondola trip, plus entrance to the caves. The Vallée Blanche itinerary also finishes just above the glacier, so it’s a great spot for people watching! 

Visit Yvoire from Chatel
Historical YvoireLocated on the shores of Lac leman
ÉVIAN LES BAINS casino
ÉVIAN LES BAINS CASINOThe largest themed Casino in Europe

Transport

Fly luxury with Swiss Air

by air

We recommend flying with our partner airline Swiss,
who will carry your ski gear for no extra charge.  

Closest airport:

Geneva (GVA): 1h 45m / 76km

SkiBoutique works with a number of taxi firms to provide shared, private and luxury road transfers from the airport to Châtel. 

Travel by train

By Train

The train is less convenient for Châtel than for the resorts in the Alps, but if this is your preferred mode of transport the fastest route is to take the Eurostar to Lille and then change to the TGV Lyria service to Geneva, and to arrange a transfer from there to resort. There are no direct trains to the resort or close by. 

Travel by car

By Car

If you choose to drive to Châtel from the UK it is a straightforward 846 km journey from Calais, on average taking approximately 9-10 hours including some stops en route.Châtel Centre co-ordinates for your satellite navigation system are:  

Lat: 46.269966
Long: 06.840753

*Please be aware that Sat Navs are not always accurate and particularly in winter they will not show Alpine road closures so please check the route chosen

Costs

Ski Related Costs

Ski equipment hire

Bronze - EUR 106
You like discover the mountain with equipment that’s safe
and easy to use.

Silver - EUR 118
You prefer to ski with comfortable high-performance equipment which allows you to take full advantage of the ski area on offer. 

Gold - EUR 217 
You only ski with the newest and best equipment
each season, for enjoyable high performance skiing.

Lift pass

Châtel 6 day adult pass - EUR 199
Portes du Soleil 6 day adult pass - EUR 260 

Please note that there is a family lift pass that offers savings on the individual prices quoted above.

Ski tuition

Private lesson - EUR 65 per hour + 5 EUR per additional person
All day guiding - EUR 350 

Ski School Group Lesson - £200 pp for 5 morning X2hrs per session

 
General

Out & about

Bottle of Veurve Clicquot        EUR 95
Small beer                EUR 5
Bottle of house wine            EUR 20
Vin chaud/Gluwein            EUR 6
Hot chocolate            EUR 4.50                
Cup of coffee                EUR 4.50
Glass of coke            EUR 4.50
Pizza                    EUR 15