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High in the mountains, at 1053m a.s.l, right next to the Swiss border, and not far away from Lake Geneva, lies a charming little Alpine ski village called Chatel. Despite tourist expansion, this small village retained a classic Alpine vibe. In Chatel, you’ll find only a few streets, shops, hotels, and restaurants. Despite that, the village will offer you many breathtaking views and outdoor activities. Would you like to learn more? Keep reading and discover the best things to do in Chatel, France all year round.
Chatel is located in France, in the Northern French Alps, right next to the Switzerland border, in the Haute-Savoie department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. Thanks to its close proximity to Lake Geneva, Mont Blanc, and Switzerland, Châtel is a great place to stay for a few days and slowly discover many nearby amazing places.
It depends on what you want to do there. If you are a skiing enthusiast – visit Châtel in winter. But if you prefer activities like hiking, mountain biking, or paragliding – any other time of the year will be perfect for visiting.
Things To Do In Chatel, Alpine Ski Village In France
Interesting fact: Châtel became a popular destination around the 50s’ when former Olympic ski champion, Roland Macchi, chose this then-unknown village as the place for a ski school. Not long later, in 1953 first of many ski lifts in the area, Super Chatel, had been installed.
Streets of Chatel, France
While in Chatel take a nice stroll around the village. Admire traditional chalets, visit small craft shops, buy delicious Abondance cheese, and admire spectacular views over the Alps on every step.
Old Customs House – La Vieille Douane
One of the other things you can do in Chatel is to visit the Old Customs House, La Vieille Douane. Inside you’ll learn about the game of cat and mouse that happened between the smugglers and the customs officers (gabelous) across the border between France and Switzerland. All are very richly documented and presented in a friendly, illustrated way. Entrance is paid: adult €4.50, child €3.5 (November 2022). Current opening hours are available on the chatel.com website.
Église Saint-Laurent de Châtel
If you’re a church person – you can also visit a church Église Saint-Laurent de Châtel. The church dates back to 1908 and is classified as a Historical Monument.
Summer activities in Chatel, France
Mountain biking MTB
In summer Chatel turns into a popular destination for biking, hiking, and paragliding enthusiasts. Chatel’s Bike Park is dedicated to MTB lovers and is located in the Pre la Joux sector, accessible by the Pierre-Longue and Rochassons chairlifts. Park offers 20 tracks, adapted to all levels. There are also lifts for cyclists, open from June to September. On chatel.com you can check the details, as well as the pass prices.
Your other option to discover Chatel and the nearby areas is to try paragliding with qualified instructors. You can choose from 3 offers, which mostly vary by flight duration and altitude. To learn more about options and prices visit chatel.com website.
Another great thing to do in Chatel in summer is to try Fantasticable, a zipline that offers unforgettable flight over Plaine-Dranse, at a height of about 240m, with a speed of almost 100 km/h. The Fantasticable operates all the summer, from +- middle of July to the middle of September, and it’s available to anyone whose weight is between 35-120kg. It can be done alone, or in a duo flight. To learn more about Fantasticable, its open hours and prices visit chatel.com website.
Winter in Chatel, France – skiing
Skiing enthusiasts will love Chatel during winter. Since the 1970s Châtel has been part of Portes du Soleil – a very popular French-Swiss ski domain. Chatel ski resort extends across Super-Châtel / Barbossine and Linga / Pre la Joux / Plaine Dranse sectors linked together with Portes du Soleil and Gabelou chairlifts.
Chatel Ski Pass
In Chatel you can choose from two Ski Passes:
- Châtel Liberté Ski Passes, which covers slopes in Chatel (Barbossine, Super-Châtel, Linga, and Pre-la-Joux) and La Chapelle d’Abondance on the French side, and Torgon and some in Morgins in Switzerland. There is a total number of 82 slopes, 63 lifts, and about 130km of skiing.
- Portes Du Soleil Ski Passes, which covers all of the 12 resorts of the Portes du Soleil ski area, in all 308 slopes, 209 lifts, and 600km of skiing
For more information, and prices visit chatel.com website.
Portes du Soleil Multi Pass
The Portes du Soleil Multi Pass is a card that allows you to enjoy 60 activities in Chatel and Portes du Soleil free of charge or with great discounts. With the Multi Pass you’ll have access to ski lifts, and places like swimming pools, tennis courts, and many cultural sites. You can choose between Multi Pass Day (€12 per person per day) and Multi Pass Season (€80 per adult 26+ years old, or €60 for younger people 5-25 years old, for the entire summer and autumn season). To learn more visit chatel.com or skipass-chatel.com website.
How to get to Chatel, France?
Where to park in Chatel, France?
There’s a nice big inside parking lot available in the village center, right next to the church. It’s free during the summer season.
To Chatel, France by bus
You can also get to Chatel By bus. For example, the journey from Thonon-les-Bains will take about 1h10min and will cost €8. From Geneva, the journey will take about 3h with change in Thonon and will cost €12-14. From the nearest Abondance village, it’s only a 20min drive.
Things To Do In Chatel – Summary
If you are an active, sports person you won’t be disappointed with your visit to Chatel in France. Take your bike, ski, or hiking shoes and enjoy the area no matter the season.
Restaurants, accommodations, and map
Check out various recommended places below.
Where to eat in Chatel?
Here are your best, high-rated options in Chatel: