Between Geneva Lake and Mont-Blanc, is Portes du Soleil, one of the largest and most beautiful ski areas in the world.
One of those places that make you change philosophy in the snow. Maybe we go beyond paying so much attention to the technique to a more “travel” mode. Exploration, landscapes, doing kilometers on skis trying to save energy in each turn to see what is behind those mountains, losing the notion of whether you are skiing in France or Switzerland.
Today we are talking about a small mountain town, closely linked to neighbouring Valais (Switzerland), from the Abondance Valley to Lake Geneva. The harmony of the architectural environment shows the concern of the builders to adapt the aesthetics of the urban centre trying to find the right balance with the landscape, where the use of stone and wood stands out in the typical alpine constructions. The offer of 3-star hotels provides a modern line and level, but without excess. The decorated balconies and religious icons, with crosses, churches, chapels and oratories stand out. Châtel may have that multifaceted approach that gives it the identity of a town that has become a major tourist centre during the winter and a town full of life and tradition throughout the rest of the year, highlighting the strong tradition of livestock and mountaineering.
1. The strategic location of Châtel in the ski area of Portes du Soleil: everything is comfortable to link and return to your valley. It has direct access to the ski resort of La Chapelle-d’Abondance, as well as the Swiss ski resort of Morgins and that of Torgon, being very close to Avoriaz. It has 61 lifts: 3 gondola lifts, 19 chairlifts, 35 ski lifts, 3 draglifts and a ramp. From the top, at 2,200 meters, we have a maximum ski slope of 1,000 meters of pure fun. Only in the Châtel Liberté sector there are 7 very demanding black slopes and 23 red slopes.
2. Snow guarantee: guaranteed snow thanks to the 286 snowmakers, including modern systems that produce snow at positive temperatures. It should be noted the care of the slopes thanks to the 16 snow-grooming machines that strive every night to leave the slopes in perfect condition. The care of the snowpack on the slopes is excellent and is always appreciated, especially on low visibility days.
3. Certified ski resort with excellence in the family level, with the “Famille Plus” certification, and in History and Arts, with the national recognition of “Pays d’Art et d’histoire” thanks to its historical heritage, architecture, landscape and agropastoralism.
4. There is life in the village. There are 1,300 inhabitants throughout the year, there are 22,622 tourist beds, 24 hotels, one of 4 stars and a score of 3 stars, and more than 50 restaurants. There are certain dates when Châtel dresses in white and brings out his best clothes: the fireworks at the end of the year, its Savoie cheese tasting days, the 6-nation rugby tournament in snow with 6 international players and 6 amateur players by team, and the Big Air Night session on February 16, 2018. The Jazz and Classical Music Festival of Châtel begins to have international recognition and this year Elena Rozanova will be in charge of the artistic direction; from February 19 to 23 will take place the 4th edition of the Oxfam Wintertrail of 60 kilometers in snowshoes in the Abondance and Morgins valley; on March 18 will be held the Rock Festival of pistes with numerous concerts… A destination full of life, music, culture, history and events, which never ceases to surprise us for its authenticity.
5. Skiing in Portes du Soleil. You can glide along 600 kilometers of endless slopes, thanks to almost 200 lifts: 4 modern cable cars, 9 gondola lifts, 78 chairlifts and 300 slopes. In addition, for freestyle enthusiasts this place is a “Mecca”, since they have 10 snowparks, 2 half-pipes, 4 boardercross… Furthermore, this macro ski resort is one of the most concerned about accessibility, thanks to Dualski, Uniski, Kartski and Tandemski.