Châtel is a small family resort which will give you access to the large ski area of the Portes du Soleil. It is located in the Haute-Savoie, in the Abondance valley, 40 km from Evian, next to the Swiss border and 120 km from Annecy.
Châtel, an authentic resort in Haute-Savoie
The traditional atmosphere of the resort makes it possible to spend authentic holidays, in summer as in winter. Note the “Famille Plus Montagne” label, which guarantees a welcome adapted to families and children from 18 months. Originally, Châtel wanted to launch a spa business.
This attempt was quickly aborted in favour of summer tourism. The first skiers were recorded even before 1947, when the first ski lift was built.
Despite the development of the resort over the years, the village has retained its authenticity. Nowadays, holidaymakers come from all over Europe. As for the locals, many of them still work in agriculture.
The ski area of Châtel
For Nordic skiing, Châtel offers a 40 km area, called Val d’Abondance. It is possible to practice cross-country skiing or snowshoeing on marked trails. In total, Châtel offers 44 ski lifts from an altitude of 1,100 m in the resort to 2,200 m at the top of the pistes.
For downhill skiing, two areas are available:
- The Châtel area, with over 130km of pistes for beginners and intermediate skiers.
- The Portes du Soleil area, one of the largest in Europe, with 650 km of runs, for experienced skiers.
Top rated hotels
There is no shortage of tourist accommodation in Châtel. From hotels and holiday homes to flats and chalets, you’re bound to find something to suit you in the Portes du Soleil resort. Whatever your budget or expectations.
Depending on your budget, we have selected five hotels in Châtel that offer excellent value for money. They have very good reviews from guests:
Hotel La Bergerie
This establishment is full of charm. It is located in the resort of Châtel. During the summer and winter months, a free shuttle service provides access to the ski lifts. A gym, restaurant and sauna complete the facilities.
From € 64 per night.
Hotel Eliova l’Eau Vive
A perfect location, 100 m from the ski lifts of the Portes du Soleil ski area. The architecture is inspired by the traditional Savoyard chalet. You can easily cross the border into Switzerland, which is 3 km away.
From € 70 per night.
Hotel Macchi Restaurant & Spa
The hotel offers rooms with balconies and views of the Val d’Abondance mountains. The spa features a heated indoor swimming pool, a hammam and a jacuzzi. The restaurant “Le Cerf” serves delicious Savoyard specialities.
From € 145 per night.
A beautiful hotel located 400 m from the resort, offering a panoramic view of the massif. The restaurant is inspired by local cuisine and offers specialities from the Haute-Savoie region. The free shuttle bus stops in front of the hotel and serves the whole valley.
From 78 € per night.
The hotel is located 200 metres from the church. You can take the shuttle bus to the ski slopes of Linga-Pré la Joux. A childcare centre is located nearby. Private parking is a plus. The restaurant offers traditional local cuisine where you can taste culinary specialities.
From € 87 per night.
The most beautiful chalets
For an unforgettable holiday in the mountains, we offer three chalets for rent in Châtel. They have received excellent reviews from guests:
Chalet Bises Blanches
A lovely chalet with full facilities including a barbecue, terrace, free private parking and a jacuzzi. The decoration is traditional Savoyard style. The ski lifts are nearby: 700m for the Petit Châtel cable car and 1.4km for the Crêt chairlift.
Chalet le Petit Ramoneur
This beautiful 120 m² accommodation is located 200 metres from the ski school and only 200 metres from the Portes du Soleil ski area. The chalet features 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms with shower and a terrace. You can also easily go hiking in the summer.
A sublime haven of peace, located in an old farmhouse built in 1808. You will enjoy en suite rooms, some with bath and balcony. A playground is available for children, as well as a table football. Breakfast is served every morning.
You can easily try out new activities other than downhill skiing in Châtel. This family resort offers a range of activities including:
Electric mountain biking. Two slots are available. In the morning from 9.30 am or in the evening from 5.30 pm. The second option allows you to enjoy the experience at night.
The routes are chosen according to the level and age of the participants. The activity is also supervised by a state-qualified instructor.
Ice skating. The ice rink in Châtel is open every day between December and April, from 10am to 12pm, then from 3pm to 8pm.
Equipment is available and sessions last one hour. They are held in groups of up to 7 people.
This sport allows the whole family to discover the magnificent landscapes of the Alps, as well as the local fauna and flora. We suggest a few itineraries to discover:
The Balcon de la Chapelle
From the Crêt Béni chairlift car park, follow the Plan des Feux path to reach the balcony trail. You will pass a beautiful waterfall frozen in winter. Then, you will go back down towards the Pont du Moulin. Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes.
In the hamlet of Villapeyron, park in the sawmill car park. Following the purple markings, you will cross a stream and join a forest track. It will lead you to the oratory, then the Boudîmes mountain pasture. When you arrive at Les Québales, you may be lucky enough to see some chamois. This very difficult black route is 7.6 km long.
The Petit Châtel loop
Following the purple markings, from the Tenne bend, you will go up into the forest until you reach the link between the Petit Châtel and Barbossine chairlifts. Going straight on, towards Flammet, you will come down to the left towards the village. You must continue to the right towards Rys to reach the starting point.
Ideas for activities in summer
You can head up to the top of the village to Morgins, Switzerland, for some excellent hot chocolate. The beautiful village ofYvoire is close by and we highly recommend you visit it and enjoy the good restaurants for fillet of perch. The resort of Châtel is also famous for downhill cycling on the pistes. There are many routes to follow, either by bike or on foot. A free bus is available to reach some remote parts of the resort.
For the more courageous, we recommend the Fantasticable. In a harness, you fly at 100 km/h and 240 m high over the hamlet of Plaine-Dranse. The cable is 1,200 m long and the activity can be done in pairs.
Open from 01/07 to 31/08.
La Vieille Douane
This visit allows parents and children alike to discover the cat and mouse game between smugglers and gabelous (gendarmes). Salt and oil were intensely trafficked to avoid paying customs duties. The museum presents the workings of a customs office in a playful way, with booklets and games for children. Smell boxes allow you to test your sense of smell as a customs officer. Surveys are organised during the tourist season.Opening dates: from 13/06 to 30/06 from 2pm to 6pm. From 01/07 to 31/08 Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday from 10am to 12pm and 2pm to 6pm, Wednesday and Friday 2pm to 7pm. Closed on Saturdays.Price: €4.50 for adults and €3.50 for children aged 8 to 15.Address: 1 277, route de Vonnes, 74390 Châtel
Access and public transport
Located in the Portes du Soleil, between Lake Geneva and Mont Blanc, the resort of Châtel is 20 minutes from Switzerland. It takes 1 hour and 50 minutes from Geneva airport and 45 minutes from Thonon-les-Bains station on the French side. There are many buses from Geneva or Thonon-les-Bains station.
During your holidays, you can use several free bus lines. They allow you to circulate in the village, to reach Pré-la-Joux, the ski lifts, the bike-park, the sledge runs, the Fantasticable, the dévalkart and the rollerbeam. The shuttles run every day at fixed times and are equipped to accommodate people with reduced mobility.
The Colombus shuttle runs between Châtel and Abondance in the valley, stopping at the villages of Chevenoz, Vacheresse, Bonnevaux, Abondance, La Chapelle d’Abondance and Châtel.
More information: ski resorts around Annecy