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Ski Holidays | Lakes Holidays | City Breaks | Mountain Holidays
Serre Chevalier ski area
Serre Chevalier is located at the foot of the 2,491 m high mountain of the same name on the edge of the Les Écrins National Park, southeast of Grenoble. With a total of around 250 kilometers of slopes, Serre Chevalier is one of the largest ski areas in Europe.
1) General information about the Serre Chevalier ski area
- 250 kilometers of slopes and 62 lifts
- Altitude between 1,200 m at the valley station and 2,800 m at the mountain station
- Total length of slopes 250 km, including 138 km green and blue slopes, 80 km red slopes and 32 km black slopes
The Serre Chevalier ski area in the Hautes-Alpes region is one of the largest ski areas in Europe. Due to the different altitudes, Serre Chevalier offers picturesque slopes for beginners and fast, steep slopes for skiers.
The places in the ski area also have everything that is necessary for the perfect skiing holiday: modern shopping facilities, numerous leisure activities, varied gastronomy and cozy village flair.
The highest place is the small town of Briançon at 1,300 m. There are a total of 250 km of slopes in the Serre Chevalier ski area, which are generously accessed by 62 lifts; including 34 drag lifts, 21 chair lifts and 7 cable cars.
Winter sports enthusiasts can easily get to the 138 km of green / blue, 80 km of red and 32 km of black slopes.
In Serre Chevalier, the average snow depth in 2017 from January to April was 180 cm at the mountain station and 20 cm at the valley station. The highest snow depth ever recorded was 2.25 m. In the months of January to April, snow falls on an average of nine days per month and the sun shines on average between seven and eleven hours a day from October to April.
During the entire winter season, Serre Chevalier is characterised by a high level of snow reliability and excellent slope conditions. Average daily temperatures during the winter season are usually around or below freezing point. This is why our experts give the Serre Chevalier ski area four and five stars respectively for the two top evaluation criteria “lifts and cable cars” and “guaranteed snow”.
2) Serre Chevalier trail map
3) Skiing in the Serre Chevalier ski area
With a single ski pass, winter sports enthusiasts can enjoy the 250 kilometers of slopes at an altitude between 1,200 m and 2,800 m. In the Serre Chevalier ski area, the 62 lifts transport winter sports enthusiasts from the Briançon, Chantemerle, Villeneuve / La Salle-les-Alpes and Le Monêtier-les-Bains valley stations to the slopes.
The lift systems are characterized by short waiting times, easy access and the latest in convenience. The highest place in the Valley of Diversity, as Serre Chevalier is often called, is called Briançon and is over 1,300 m high. In the valley of the Guisane are – after the Mont-Blanc group – France’s highest mountains.
Due to the geographical location and the average number of around nine snow days per month in winter, the ski area has a high level of snow reliability, which is supported by artificial snow if necessary.
The expert rating shows how varied the Serre Chevalier ski area is. There are numerous offers for beginners, experts and freeriders, and the snow parks receive an expert rating of five stars. In 2008 the ski area received the “Family Plus” award, which underlines how well Serre Chevalier is suitable for winter holidays with children.
The black marked routes such as the descent from the Casse du Bœuf to Villeneuve or the descent to Chantemerle are something for advanced skiers. The ski area for beginners is also located around Villeneuve.
Easy areas in the village, one of them in the immediate vicinity of the Aravet gondola valley station, and an easier blue run that leads from the summit of Serre Chevalier into the valley, offer ample opportunity to refine your skiing skills.
All four snow parks of the Serre Chevalier ski area are located in Villeneuve – a true paradise for freestylers, mogul slope fans and snowboarders. Here, too, the division into areas for beginners and advanced learners is perfect. The MélèZone offers a special experience. All modules in this fun park are made from local larch wood.
Another highlight in the Serre Chevalier ski area is night skiing. Every Thursday evening, the red “Vauban” piste shines in colored lights. Evening skiing is possible on Tuesdays and Thursdays on the illuminated green slope “Mickey” in Villeneuve.
The 40 km of well-groomed trails deserve special mention, all of which offer an easy to medium level of difficulty. They are available for both skaters and classic styles. Cross-country skiing through picturesque larch forests or along the banks of the Guisane has a high recreational value.
Four of the total of eight trails lead directly through the village of La Salle-les-Alpes, but are directly connected to the remaining four routes in Le Monêtier-les-Bains. This results in interesting excursion options through the winter landscape in the Serre Chevalier ski area, where Nordic sports enthusiasts can explore the entire valley.
4) Expert evaluation
A total of eleven different criteria are included in the expert rating for the Serre Chevalier ski area. With an average of 4.4 out of 5 possible stars, the overall result is one of the best available in the Alpine region. The guaranteed snow, but also the good orientation with the help of a piste map, information boards and signage as well as the varied gastronomy contribute significantly to the good evaluation results.
5) Off-piste activities
Winter vacation doesn’t just mean skiing in charming surroundings. The Serre Chevalier ski area offers numerous exciting activities away from the slopes. In addition to ski schools, where even the youngest can learn to ski in a playful way, there are some toboggan runs and of course the possibility of renting sleds.
The proverbial charming French gastronomy takes care of the physical well-being of winter sports enthusiasts. Hungry skiers will find rustic huts and mountain restaurants throughout the entire ski area, such as “Le Bercail” with its crackling fireplace at the Aravet middle station above Villeneuve, “Café Soleil” at the new “Ratier” cable car in Chantemerle or “Le Peyra Juana” “On the valley run to Le Monêtier-les-Bains, which is considered the most atmospheric ski hut in the entire ski area.
The large sun terrace of the “La Grotte” bar at the foot of the slopes in La Salle-les-Alpes is also very popular. Whether as a short break between the runs or as the start of a varied nightly entertainment, it is the perfect place to enjoy the French “savoir-vivre”. La Salle-les-Alpes and Chantemerle are considered the center of après-ski.
Bars and restaurants await guests on the Place de l’Avaret in the center of La Salle-les-Alpes. In the clubs and discos in both places, après-ski often begins in the afternoon and continues into the early hours of the morning. Serre Chevalier receives three stars for this from our experts.
An insider tip for holidaymakers who love quieter restaurants with regional cuisine is the district of Le Bez in La Salle-les-Alpes. But in the other villages you can also discover small restaurants that offer special specialties. So the Serre Chevalier ski area is definitely worth a trip to the French Alps from a culinary point of view.
If you want to challenge your luck, you can do so in the Briançon Casino. There is also a cafeteria where you can eat well and cheaply. Tip: The enchanting little town is the perfect setting for a shopping excursion, with lots of small shops and boutiques to discover. Holidaymakers who have decided on a holiday home or apartment in the Serre Chevalier ski area will find supermarkets with a wide range of goods in all of the towns.
There are also larger shopping centers in Briançon. The main town of the region can be easily reached from Serre Chevalier by car in ten to fifteen minutes.
Further activities in the Serre Chevalier ski area are offered by the 10 km of high altitude and 25 km of winter hiking trails as well as snowshoe hikes or romantic horse-drawn sleigh rides. Serre Chevalier also caters for adrenaline-pumping activities such as driving a car on bare ice, kite skiing or paragliding. Indoor activities include bathing in the 4,500 m² XXL thermal baths in Le Monêtier-les-Bains with hot springs, indoor tennis or squash, laser games and bowling.
6) Places in the ski area
The region around the Serre Chevalier ski area consists of more than 13 villages as well as the small town of Briançon near the Italian border. The lively Villeneuve / La Salle-les-Alpes, the typically French ski resort Chantemerle and the rustic Le Monêtier-les-Bains are some of the better-known places. Romanesque churches and medieval houses, which give the impression that time has stood still here, characterize the idyllic places.
Briançon is always worth a trip. The small town with roots in Roman times is located at the foot of the 1,854 m high Col de Montgenèvre and, at an altitude of 1,326 m, is France’s highest city. You can visit the citadel and the fortifications Fort des Salettes, Fort des Têtes, Fort du Randouillet and the Pont d’Asfeld, which have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site of the fortifications of Vauban since 2008.
A special adventure is a ski tour in Les Écrins National Park, which stretches from Briançon in the north to Gap in the south. With the Barre des Écrins in the Pelvoux massif in the center of the park, the southernmost four-thousand-meter peak in the Alps awaits ambitious skiers.
7) Arrival in the Serre Chevalier ski area
There are a number of ways to get to Serre Chevalier in the Hautes-Alpes. From Germany there is a well-developed motorway connection via Trier, Luxembourg, Metz, Dijon and Lyon to Grenoble. From here country roads lead to the ski area. Before leaving, you should read the latest information on the condition of the respective Alpine passes.
Some passes are closed in winter so bypasses are set up. In addition, motor vehicles must have suitable winter equipment including snow chains. There are enough parking spaces available for holidaymakers on site, depending on the current snow conditions.
You can travel by train to Grenoble train station. Buses are available to cover the distance of around 115 km to the ski area. Alternatively, you can also travel by train via the Italian city of Turin, which is around 130 km from the ski area. There are bus connections to Briançon and further into the Guisane valley to the ski resorts, and timetable information is available from the local transport company.
The nearest airports are in Grenoble (approx. 115 km), Turin in Italy (approx. 130 km) and Lyon-Saint Exupéry (approx. 200 km). For the onward journey, public transport is available as well as car rentals that arrange winter-proof rental cars.
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