Chatel Ski Resort France – A Resort On the Up

Skiing Chatel Ski Resort France Portes du Soleil

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 skiing as it is a resort on the up.

Panoramic view of the snow covered ski runs
At the top of the Chatel slopes with Switzerland in the background

Chatel Ski Resort

Pretty and relatively unspoiled, the Chatel Ski Resort 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!

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.

snow covered valley of Chatel
Photo provided by Chatel Tourism (Jean-François Vuarand )

If you or someone you know is unsure about what steps to take before going skiing with a Pacemaker or Defibrillator (ICD). Then this article Travelling with a Pacemaker or Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD), covers all aspects.

Ski Runs & Pass Area

With the Chatel Ski Resort 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.

The Chatel Ski Resort 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.

Make sure that you have the right travel insurance so your mind can be at ease when you are hitting the ski slopes in the Portes du Soleil. Compare the best holiday insurance for FREE

Fresh snow covered trees
Fresh snow Chatel France

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

How about these Ski Goggles for your next trip

        

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.

Don’t forget your GoPro for all those action shots while flying high above the French Alps.

Ziplining across the snow covered mountains on the Fantasticable, Chatel
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.

Outdoor winter activities France Skiing La Clusaz Ski Resort France  Read More –  Non-Ski activities across the Portes du Soleil

Tip

  • It is also open in the Summer and it involves two lines for double the fun.
Zip lining across the Alps in summer on the Fantasticable
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.

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

Rock the Pistes Festival

If you only ever attend one ski festival in your lifetime, then it will have to be Rock the Pistes. It is an annual music festival spread across the entire Portes Du Soleil ski area, held over a period of a week. Each resort hosts a series of both indoor and outdoor events, with the draw card being the on-piste concerts.

Read the full review of Ski Rock the Piste Festival where I have given tips and useful information on the music festival.

The festival provides the perfect opportunity to ski or snowboard while enjoying music from international acts from around the world, like Rag’n’Bone man. The best bit is the concerts are absolutely FREE and are included in your ski pass.

I was lucky enough to attend Rock the Pistes this year for a few days and to experience exactly what it is like to attend a concert at high altitude in Portes Du Soleil. I had such a wonderful time, the atmosphere was electric, the bands were great and the views across the Alps as the backdrop were stunning. There is no doubt in my mind that this one of the best ski festivals in Europe.

Tip

  • Most of the concerts start in the afternoon after lunch. So if you don’t want to miss out on skiing, get up for the first run of the morning. Then you get the best of both worlds, skiing and music.
  • Ski racks are provided at each concert venue on the slopes, as skis and snowboards must be removed for the concerts.
  • The lifts will stay open half an hour later than usual during the week of the music festival.

A 360 in the VIP area at Rock the Pistes Festival

Accommodation in Chatel

Chatel Ski Resort 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 Ski Resort that is FREE and they depart near the Super Chatel Gondola. 

Logis Hotel Les Triolets – 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 an FREE local bus that stops outside the hotel.

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.

Ski Chalets scattered up the hill
The view from my balcony, Chatel Ski Resort

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.

Mountain Food

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


Where to eat 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

Where to eat 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.

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

Getting to Chatel

Airport – 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. If you like to get a FREE, easy and fast comparison of flights to Venice, then try out Skyscanner’s flight comparison site.

Due to this, there are numerous ways of getting to Chatel Ski Resort, buses, trains, private transfer, shared transfer all vary in price depending on what you can afford. 

Car hire – You can also hire a car on either the French or Swiss Side at Geneva airport. Compare different car hire companies and rates on a FREE car comparison site before you go.

Overlooking snow covered Chatel village from the chairlift
Overlooking Chatel Village from the chairlift

Top Tips for 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.
  • 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 your lift pass 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
Non ski activties in Chatel Ski Resort France
The Aquatic centre Photo provided by Chatel Tourism (Thiebaut )

Would I Recommend Chatel Ski Resort

Chatel Ski Resort 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.

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

Discover the Ski Resorts in Portes du Soleil

Discover other Ski Resorts in France, feel free to read the following. All are great options for ski holidays.

⇒ Before attending you have obtained your ski holiday travel insurance before you leave.

Skiing down the wide flat ski run towards Chatel
Skiing down the slopes Chatel France

Stopping in Geneva before or after your ski holiday then there are plenty of activities to do. Or maybe simply want to take a break from skiing.

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

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Looking over Chatel Ski Resort

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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63 thoughts on “Chatel Ski Resort France – A Resort On the Up

  1. Avatar
    Claire says:

    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. Avatar
    Kavey Favelle says:

    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. Avatar
    Eric Jones says:

    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. Avatar
    Mick D says:

    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. Avatar
    Followingtherivera says:

    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.

  6. Avatar
    Candy says:

    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. Avatar
    Courtney Andrews says:

    What a breathtaking place! Can you believe I’m 30 years old and have never been skiing?! I have been telling my husband that I want to go soon. France is on my bucket list 🙂

  8. Avatar
    Maggie says:

    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!

  9. Avatar
    Stacey Billingsley says:

    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!

  10. Avatar
    Ola says:

    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.

  11. Avatar
    Sandy N Vyjay says:

    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.

  12. Avatar
    Juliette | Snorkels to Snow says:

    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.

  13. Avatar
    David H says:

    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!

  14. Avatar
    Hannah says:

    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!

  15. Avatar
    Laura Nalin says:

    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!

  16. Avatar
    Claire Summers says:

    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.

    • melbtravel
      melbtravel says:

      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

  17. Avatar
    Aditi says:

    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!!

  18. Avatar
    Ankita says:

    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!! 🙂

  19. Avatar
    Anosa says:

    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!

  20. Avatar
    Yukti says:

    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.

  21. Avatar
    Suma says:

    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!

  22. Avatar
    Jurga says:

    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?

  23. Avatar
    Katie says:

    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!

  24. Avatar
    Lynn says:

    We normally ski in Austria but two years ago we booked self catering accommodation in Chatel. Needless to say, we are returning in December to Chatel and the same accommodation that offers indoor-outdoor pool, sauna & steamroom. The village is stunning and slopes are great. Chatel offers great value for money and the scenic drive from Geneva airport is worth the trip. Can highly recommend!

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