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Ski Holidays | Lakes Holidays | City Breaks | Mountain Holidays
Châtel ski area
The Châtel ski area is part of the attractive Portes du Soleil ski region in the French Alps. Winter sports enthusiasts can expect a first-class offer in the quaint mountain village. Beginners and experts alike get their money’s worth on a total of 84 kilometers of pistes at an altitude of 1,100 m to 2,200 m. At the same time, the place offers those seeking relaxation a lot of rest and relaxation.
1) General information about the Châtel ski area
- Part of one of the largest ski regions in the world
- family-friendly atmosphere
- Snow-sure location
- excellent snow park for freestyle lovers
The Châtel ski area is located around the village of the same name in the Vallée d’Abondance in the northern Savoy Alps and is part of the extensive Portes du Soleil ski region on the French-Swiss border. With its 12 ski stations and around 580 kilometers of slopes, the Portes du Soleil ski region is one of the largest in the world. In terms of landscape, the “Gates to the Sun” also have a lot to offer.
In all ski areas in the region, guests experience a breathtaking mountain panorama. On nice days this includes a view of the nearby Mont Blanc with its imposing 4,807 m and of Lake Geneva.
At the same time, the Châtel ski resort scores with its fantastic location at an altitude of 1,191 m and modern facilities. This includes 39 lifts and 84 km of slopes, 43 km of which are blue and green, 29 km red and 12 km black.
There is also a varied snow park for freeriders and freestylers, as well as a wide network of cross-country ski trails and winter hiking trails. Leisure skiers and families with children in particular feel at home in the Châtel ski area with its offers specially tailored to these target groups. Châtel received the “Famille Plus” label for the good quality of the individual offers.
When it comes to guaranteed snow, skiers in the Châtel ski area can usually expect unadulterated skiing pleasure with deep snow-covered altitudes. In the lower regions, snow cannons help if necessary, so that the winter sports season here usually lasts from mid-December to the end of April.
Winter sports enthusiasts can look forward to an average snow depth of 100 cm in the mountains and 40 cm in the valley. This has also convinced our experts, who give the Châtel ski area four out of five stars in the areas of “snow reliability” and “lifts and cable cars”.
Another special feature of the Châtel ski area are the many hours of sunshine each year. The region rightly deserves its nickname Portes du Soleil. On average, the winter sports area impresses with six to seven hours of sunshine a day and enables skiers, snowboarders and winter hikers to enjoy eventful days with good visibility.
2) Châtel ski area map
3) Skiing in the Châtel ski area
In Châtel, skiing fun literally begins right on the doorstep. For example, the valley station of the neighboring Super-Châtel is right in the village. In addition, a regularly commuting ski bus brings winter sports enthusiasts to the Linga and Pré la Joux lifts around 2 km away in no time at all. The “Châtel” ski pass also includes the slopes of La Chapelle d’Abondance as well as Torgon and Morgins in Switzerland.
With this large selection of slopes with different levels of difficulty, variety and a good mood are guaranteed. Whether a leisurely descent through the mountain forests or an exuberant deep snow adventure, in the ski paradise of Châtel and the Portes du Soleil, guests experience their individual winter sports dream. If you want, you can try the speed run on the blue Bellevue slope in Super-Châtel / Chalet Neuf.
For freestylers, there are plenty of interesting challenges to master in the “Smoothpark” in Super-Châtel. In addition to classic kickers, rails, slide boxes and hips, the “Smoothpark” offers opportunities for boarder cross. The quarter pipe and the big airbag promise special fun. Winter sports enthusiasts can also purchase the “Portes du Soleil” ski pass in addition to the “Châtel” ski pass. This means that you can enjoy the entire ski paradise with its 12 stations to the fullest.
Another highlight is the offer for children. Children’s clubs with animation are just as much a part of the program in the Châtel ski area as the ski playground, the children’s ski schools or the ski kindergarten for the youngest. In addition, there are practice slopes specially reserved for children with a child-friendly structure and changing requirements.
The “Mauve Milka” piste, where children can learn interesting things about nature and its inhabitants around Châtel, is extremely successful. Our experts award four stars for this special service in the “Beginners” and “Families & Children” categories. The offers for “experts & freeriders” and the snow park even achieve the full five stars.
Cross-country skiing is also very important in Châtel. The ski area has eight cross-country trails of various lengths and degrees of difficulty with a total length of over 40 km. There is a special beginner’s route and a biathlon trail below. Cross-country skiers can explore the entire Vallée d’Abondance here.
Four of the cross-country trails start directly at the ski resort and thus offer easy access. Experts experience a special challenge on the red “Grand Circuit” trail. It is the longest of the routes offered and leads from Châtel over to La Chapelle d’Abondance.
4) Expert evaluation
The Châtel ski area is extremely child and family-friendly. Together with the high level of snow reliability and the excellent connection to the Portes du Soleil ski region, this is what the experts think, giving the winter sports resort an overall rating of 4.3 stars. The test report for the Châtel ski area consists of the categories top evaluation criteria, evaluation criteria for special interests and other evaluation criteria. These sub-areas are included in the overall rating with their respective weighting.
5) Off-piste activities
“Small but nice” is the motto for après-ski in the Châtel ski area. Many cozy bars and restaurants in the area offer attractive opportunities to end the evening. Our experts award three stars in this category. Mountain restaurants, huts and gastronomy are also well received by the testers. Here, Châtel receives four stars.
A popular meeting place, for example, is “L’Avalanche”. With regular events such as live music, DJs and theme parties, this location especially attracts younger partygoers. Facilities such as “Le Sloopy’s”, the “Nazca Bar” and the “Lion d’Or” offer further possibilities for celebrations.
At Christmas time, the Châtel ski area is all about the Advent atmosphere, sparkling lights and the magic of Christmas. Because at “Châtel Christmas” in December, Christmas markets, concerts, children’s entertainment, cinema and stories transform the mountain village into a glittering winter wonderland. A real insider tip for winter sports enthusiasts who want to get in the mood for the holidays.
In contrast, the annual “Rock des Pistes” festival is all about rock and pop. The crème de la crème of the French and international scene meets at this time on the ski slopes for an impressive festival with free concerts. This is a unique opportunity to celebrate the end of the season once again.
In addition, a total of nine winter hiking trails invite you to leisurely walks and extensive snowshoe hikes. Ice skating, ice stock sport, ice fishing or swimming in the Aqua Center “Forme d’O” built in 2014 are also on the program. The mini snow karts and snow body boards also promise exuberant pleasure.
6) Locations in the ski area
The mountain village of Châtel impresses with its traditional, rustic charm, which it has retained to this day. Chalets with wood paneling and traditional farms with ornate wooden balconies line the paths. For this, the municipality was given the title “Pays d’Art et d’Histoire” (Land of Art and History). Since 1985, this award has been given to localities that are actively committed to preserving their architecture and their cultural heritage.
Those interested can experience a piece of Alpine tradition in the local cheese dairy. Here you can watch the cheese being made. The company’s products are served in the surrounding restaurants as cheese platters or fondue. Another place of interest is the “La Vieille Douane” information center about the smuggling trade in the mountains. Here visitors get an insight into the cat-and-mouse game of the customs officers with the local smugglers’ gangs. Furthermore, the listed church of St. Lorenz in the historic town center is worth a visit.
The neighboring town of Abondance has another cultural highlight with its old abbey from the 12th century.
The nearby Lake Geneva also attracts with numerous excursion destinations such as the magnificent castles of Chillon and Aigle. There is also Thonon-les-Bains, about 30 km away, with its fishing museum, an exhibition about Stone Age settlements on the lake and numerous interesting places to stop for a break. Meanwhile, wellness lovers can indulge their hearts’ content in the thermal park in Val-d’Illiez, Switzerland.
7) Arrival in the Châtel ski area
Since the Châtel ski area is located in the middle of the mountains, the easiest way for winter sports enthusiasts to travel there is by car. Via Munich you can take the A96 motorway towards Lindau and then via Bregenz onto the A1 to Zurich and Bern. From there you can take the A9 and A12 motorways to St. Triphon and up to Morgins and Châtel.
For car-free travel by train, the train stations Monthey and Aigle on the Swiss side and Thonon-les-Bains on the French side are ideal. From there, the journey continues comfortably by rental car or taxi to the Châtel ski area. There is also a bus from these three train stations to the ski region and the mountain village.
It is also possible to arrive by plane. There are very good connections from Germany and Austria to Geneva Airport, which is around 80 km away. Alternatively, the airports of Annecy-Meythet in approx. 110 km or Chambéry in 160 km away are suitable.
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