Chatel Ski Resort France – A Resort On the Up

Chatel Ski Resort France

A Resort On the Up

As the summer holidays come to an end and the first lot of snow starts falling in the French Alps, you know it is time to think about booking your winter holiday (if, you haven’t already). The cross-border ski resort of  Chatel, France is definitely one of those places you should consider looking into for your next winter holiday.

Panoramic view of the snow covered ski runs

At the top of the Chatel slopes with Switzerland in the background

Pretty and relatively unspoiled, the village of Chatel definitely has a very French feel about it, especially with the chalet style hotels dotted around the resort. It has so much to offer, from skiing in two countries experiencing different terrain, zip lining across the Alps, to having free wifi in most of the resort. This is great to share your trip on social media and make your friends envious!

snow covered valley of Chatel

Photo provided by Chatel Tourism (Jean-François Vuarand )

If that doesn’t convince you, Chatel Ski Resort  France also forms part of the Portes du Soleil ski area, interlinking 12 resorts across France and Switzerland giving you access to over 600kms of ski runs. It is considered to be one of the biggest ski areas in the world, meaning there is something for everyone, from a complete beginner to seasoned skiers. Chatel Ski Resort was my last stop on my ski safari on the French side of Portes du Soleil’s vast and varied ski area.

Ski Runs & Area

With Chatel being right on the French-Swiss border the ski passes can be really flexible, depending on your experience, comfort and budget. You can get a lift pass for the Chatel, France & TorgonMorgins Switzerland area or the whole Portes du Soleil.

Ski run signpost at the France-Switzerland border with Alps in the background

At the cross border of France and Switzerland

The Chatel Ski Pass also covers Châtel (Barbossine, Super-Châtel, Linga and Pre-la-Joux),  La Chapelle abondance Switzerland and some of the Morgins in Switzerland too (Corbeaeu sector)


  • Please note though if you want to ski over to the Avoriaz Ski Resort, you will need to get the Portes du Soleil pass.
Fresh snow covered trees

Fresh snow Chatel France

A quick overview of  only the Chatel Ski Resort Area

  • Chatel has two separate parts, Super-Châtel/Barbossine and Linga/Pré-La-Joux / Plaine Dranse
  • 61 Ski lifts & 73 ski runs
  • Plenty of on and off piste skiing, especially through the forest after a fresh dump of snow
  • 2 Snowparks 
  • Night skiing every Thursday from 7.30pm-9.30pm at Linga slope
Sunny day on the ski fields with skiers on the drag lift

Skiing across the top of the slopes Chatel France

Fantasticable (Zip lining across the Alps)

I am not going to lie, when I was first informed that Chatel Tourism wanted me to try the Fantasticable (similar to a zip line), I thought what is that? it sounds fun. When I looked it up, I thought wow that looks scary, exciting and insane, all at the same time.  I also thought any adventurous person like my husband would love to do this.

Ziplining across the snow covered mountains

Photo provided by Chatel Tourism (Thiebaut )

Strapped into a harness in a laying position you fly like a bird with speeds of between 8o to 100kmh along a line up at 240m above the hamlet of Paine-Dranse Portes du Soleil. Now, you may be wondering how can you do this with skis and snowboards? Well, you do not have to worry, as they will follow you on the line in a transportation carrier.

Don’t worry if you can’t do it winter because it is also open in the Summer and it involves two lines for double the fun.

Zip lining across the Alps in summer

Zip lining across the French Alps Chatel France

Hire a Ski Guide for half day

One of the things I love about being on a press trip is that you get the opportunity to ski with some great local skiers. They are usually happy to show you some of the hidden gems and the best the resort has to offer. If you are anything like me, you also get to learn new techniques too which is just an added bonus.

French Alps view from the chairlift

Overlooking the French Alps from Chatel Ski Resort

Whether you are an experienced skier, a complete beginner, a group or a family, getting a guide can be a great idea for everyone. My guide in Chatel Ski Resort was Paul who was an instructor from ESF, a company that is based all over the French Alps. We had a great day together, he took me to areas that I had not skied before, helped me polished my skiing skills and overall made me an even more confident skier.

A selfie on the chairlift with my ski instructor

A selfie with my Ski Instructor Chatel France

Location

The closest international airport is Geneva, which is roughly an hour and a half away from Chatel Ski Resort . Making it super easy to get to and great if you want to go for a weekend trip. Due to this there are numerous ways of getting to Chatel, buses, trains, private transfer, shared transfer all vary in price depending on what you can afford. 

You can also hire a car on either the French or Swiss Side at Geneva airport.


 I have been to the resort a few times and I had previously used the following company Alpybus.  You can also check out the Getting Here’ on the tourism website which has great information. 

Overlooking snow covered Chatel village from the chairlift

Overlooking Chatel Village from the chairlift

Accommodation

Chatel has a variety of accommodation spread out in the village from a hostel to luxury chalets. Most of the main hotels are situated in the centre but don’t be discouraged to stay further out especially up the mountain. There is a regular bus service that covers the whole of Chatel that is FREE and they depart near the Super Chatel Gondola. If want to stretch your legs it should only take you about a 15-25min walk to get to most accommodation spots.

I stayed at the cosy Logis Hôtel les Triolets well located in between the Super-Chatel gondola and Petit Chatel lift and only a 10minute walk up the hill from the centre of town. If you didn’t want to walk from the village, then there is a FREE local bus that stops outside the hotel.

The outside of Hôtel les Triolets

Logis Hôtel les Triolets Chatel Ski Resort France

It was a really lovely family run hotel with an indoor pool and views across the village from the front of the hotel. The owners were super nice to me and even though I struggled with my French and their English, we were still able to work everything out. I had a comfy room with a small balcony that overlooked chalets on the mountain behind the hotel. It was a half board hotel and the views from the restaurant overlooking the village were beautiful.

Ski Chalets scattered up the hill

The view from my balcony , Chatel Ski Resort

Food Heaven on the Mountain

It is not a trip to French Ski Resort without sampling some of the local fresh food. I was on half board, so I only ate a couple of times but, as I have said, I have been to Chatel Ski Resort a few times before. Below is my pick for Dinner off the mountain and lunch on the mountain

Empty deck chairs for skiers to enjoy the view of the Alps

The Deck Chairs at La ferme des Pistes, Chatel France

Off the mountain – Restaurant le Vieux Four

If you love traditional French food and cheese specialities like Raclette and Tartiflette, this place is definitely for you. Located in the centre of town and only a 2 minute walk away from the Super Chatel gondola is le Vieux Four.  It’s a cosy, rustic family run restaurant with an interesting interior to match. This place was definitely a gem, with its great food and really lovely service.

Tip: Try the Fromage abundance cheese melted for the main meal. It is cheese heaven. 

Melted cheese dish at  le Vieux Four  in the Chatel Village

Melted Cheese at le Vieux Four  in the Chatel Village France

On the mountain – La ferme des Pistes

Situated near the top of the TC du linga gondola in the Linga / Pré-La-Joux area is the la ferme des pistes. It is a great spot for lunch or a drink, especially in the spring sun with the views down the valley and overlooking the ski slope.

relaxing deck chairs outside the restaurant

Relaxing on the slopes with a drink Chatel France

The first time I went to la ferme des pistes was a couple of years ago when the two new chairlifts opened up and linked all the ski area. We only stopped for a few drinks but since then I have been back a couple of times for local lunch specialities. The food is good, the prices are reasonable and the kir royal really good.

Tip: It gets really busy for lunch, so try to get there early to get a seat.

Melbtravel enjoying apres ski

Enjoying the Apres ski Chatel Ski Resort

Tips for staying in Chatel Ski Resort

  • We all need WIFI and if you can’t find any, you can go to the tourism office and use the wireless access for FREE.
  • Check out the Aquatic centre if you want to take a break from Skiing or want to do something different with the kids.
Outdoor heated pool

The Aquatic centre Photo provided by Chatel Tourism (Thiebaut )

  • You can buy your lift pass online to miss the queue and pick it up from the ski office or they can send it to you. You can also recharge it online too.
  • Children under the age of 5 can ski for FREE
  •  Chatel is right on the French-Swiss border, pop over to Morgins Switzerland if you have the time
Skier stopped at the French-Swiss border

Border crossing from Chatel France to Morgins Switzerland

 Recommend

Chatel is a pretty, traditional French ski resort with beautiful chalet style hotels. I will definitely keep going back time and time again. The atmosphere is relaxed, I love that you can ski in two countries and there are plenty of places to eat and things to do. It is also easy to get around especially now with the two new chairlifts interlinking the resort and the free bus. Also, it is only just over an hour to Geneva airport, which means it is great for a long weekend with family or a group of friends.

 

Booking.com

 

Thank you for reading this article, I hope it helped you to decide where to go for your next ski trip. Chatel Ski Resort  is truly a beautiful place to ski. If you are interested in discovering more of Portes du Soleil area you can read my post about Morzine Ski Resort and Les Gets Ski Resort

Skiing down the wide flat ski run towards Chatel

Skiing down the slopes Chatel France

Have you been to Chatel Ski Resort or Portes du Soleil before? I would love to hear your experiences in the comments below.

Disclaimer: Even though I was invited by the Chatel Tourism office  All views are my own and based on my own experience.

 

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Looking over Chatel Ski Resort

 

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60 Comments

  1. It does look stunning with the gorgeous mountain scenery, white snow and blue skies! I have never actually been skiing, I’d like to do a couple of lessons to see if I like it, then would probably go on that Fantasticable!

  2. I think for me one of the advantages of this resort seems to be the combination of beautiful scenery with a small and charming town, it doesn’t look as ugly and modern as some places seem to look. And of course, being in France, you cannot beat the food!

  3. What an informative guide on Chatel. I have heard of the resort but I never knew it was on the French / Swiss boarder. I could definitely try that Zip line.

  4. I came across your Chatel post when I was reading your Morzine piece & thought I would check it out. I have not heard of Chatel before but it looks like a great place to ski.

  5. You’ll gasp when you read this, but I’ve never been skiing, never! But if I had to choose, Chatel looks like a good choice. I definitely wouldn not do the ziplining, I’m too scared, but would love to try skiing. Good tip about buying the pass online, and about the free bus, that’s very good to know.

    1. Don’t worry I didn’t do the zipline either, I chickened out at the last minute 🙂 You should definitely try skiing it is so much once you know what you are doing 🙂

  6. O wow! I don’t ski, but that zip lining sounds amazing. My friends can go skiing while I enjoy activities like that 🙂 I also love it when resorts have free wifi. It really makes it easier for visitors who don’t have local data.

  7. Wow, I had no idea they had snow so early! We try to go see snow at least once a year since it doesn’t snow where we live (SoCal). This looks like the perfect place for a ski vacation!

  8. Chatel looks so charming! I would love to visit. I haven’t been snow skiing, so I don’t know how I would do with that. I can water ski, though! I think I would like the zipline. And the aquatic area looks really relaxing. I would definitely try that cheese dish. That looks like heaven. I have another destination to add to my dream list now!

  9. I’ve been wanting to try my hand (or legs) at skiing for a number of years now. The thing is my husband is totally uninterested. In it. This post could be a gamchamger though.

  10. Chatel is definitely looking like a white wonderland. The place looks so enchanting with its white carpet of snow. I can see that this place is a great place for skiing too, and I think one other nice thing is probably lesser crowds. Hope to get to this part of the world one winter morning.

  11. This would be my absolute dream to visit and ski in Chatel! What a glorious resort – looks like there are plenty of trails to keep all levels occupied. It looks absolutely gorgeous too. And I would totally be flying across in that zip line too! That would be the most freeing feeling – if you did that first thing in the morning you’d be super amped for a hard day’s skiing! Gorgeous. Hope to visit one day.

  12. We’ve skied Chatel every year for the last decade. A wonderful family resort with a good variety of slopes for all levels of skier. Wonderful place!

  13. Chatel looks absolutely precious! The photo of the village with the church spire rising out of it looks just like a postcard. We love skiing; do you know if there are ski schools for kids in Chatel? It looks like it would be a great family holiday destination in summer or winter, the biplane would definitely be the first thing to do when I got there!

  14. I’m about to tell you something pretty wild: I’ve never been skiing in my life. I want to try someday! When I do try, this is literally the place I want to learn. Look at all those views!

  15. I am not a fan of skiing or the cold. Funny because my little sister actually lives close by here in Tignes! She drives and fixes the snow ploughs haha. She did manage to get me there in the summer though and I LOVED it. I much prefer it when the white stuff isn’t there. I really wish I could love skiing as it looks amazing in your pictures, everything looks so nice covered in snow. That Zip line looks amazing though! Maybe I could go and just do that every day while my friends ski haha.

    1. I was in Chatel in Summer as well and it looked completely different. I ended up liking it just as much then especially doing the hiking. I have skied through Tignes but not stayed there yet. I would love to though. There is a nice spa and pool in Chatel that people use when they don’t ski

  16. I’m mesmerized by your pictures. Looking at all that snow makes me want to plan a trip to Chatel right away. I would love to go skiing and devour that gourmet spread at rest. Thanks to you, Chatel has gone straight up on my bucket-list. Cheers!!

  17. Ohh.. This scene reminded me of the days spent in London while pursuing my PG! I had so much fun with my friends and we did so many snow activities back then!! 🙂

  18. Skiing is still one of my bucket-list. I am still planning for it and scheduling my vacation. Hopefully my leave will be approved. I envy your photos and experiences, soon I will have it experience too!

  19. Chatel looks like a stunning snowy resort with skiing and chalet living facilities. I would like to do zip-line over beautiful Swiss Alps. Living in French chalet styled hotels must a memorable experience.

  20. I have never tried skiing bit I would love to some day. The zip lining adventure over the Alps seems pretty amazing, now that I don’t think I will say no ever. The ski resort looks pretty amazing, it is so pretty!

  21. Those snow-covered trees and the swimming pool convinced me, Melissa! Chatel looks amazing. I am not sure I would dare try the zip lining though – must be freezing cold in winter too, no?

  22. I really need to try skiing! I have never actually been properly skiing but tried dry slopes and hated it as a kid. Would love to visit this area though, the resort looks simply gorgeous!

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