A Summer Guide to Champéry Switzerland
Like so many others before me, I fell in love with Champéry Switzerland as soon as I set eyes on the village when I was skiing. Now back in summer, I was keen to see what else this gorgeous Swiss Village had to offer. One of 12 resort villages in the vast Portes du Soleil recreational area and also the newly formed Region Dents Du Midi area which comprises the 6 smaller Swiss resort in the Portes Du Soleil.
Table of Contents
- 1 A Summer Guide to Champéry Switzerland
- 2 About Champéry Switzerland
- 3 Champéry Summer Season
- 4 The Multi Pass for Les Portes du Soleil
- 5 Downhill Scooters (Trott en Stock)
- 6 Tandem Paragliding
- 7 Food in the Mountains
- 8 Accommodation
- 9 Champéry Resort Location
- 10 Top Tips – Champéry
- 11 Other Resorts in the Portes du Soleil
About Champéry Switzerland
With the Dents du Midi & Dents Blanches as the backdrop, Champéry Switzerland is both a postcard-perfect alpine village and a modern bike and ski resort. Situated just 90 minutes by car from Geneva International Airport, Champéry is the ideal year-round destination for hikers, bikers, skiers alike.
As a gateway to the Portes du Soleil and at the foot of the Dents du Midi, Champéry Switzerland is a very popular place for hikers during the summer period. If hiking is not your thing there is no shortage of activities during the summer period from mountain bike riding, Tandem Paragliding to zooming down the mountains on downhill scooters.
Not to mention all the yummy traditional Swiss food you can indulge in during or after your adventures. Making it a perfect spot for both families and friends for a holiday.
- In winter Champery is home to one of the worlds most dangerous ski runs, The Swiss Wall.
Champéry Summer Season
The Summer season in Champéry, Switzerland starts in early June and closes late September, with the Champéry Croix de culet cable car running during this time. There are different start and ending dates for the various activities during Summer but they are roughly open at similar times.
Whether you are hiking, bike riding or enjoying one of the other many activities, the cable cars can be used by everyone.
The Multi Pass for Les Portes du Soleil
I used a Multi Pass across the Portes Du Soleil during my summer trip to try out the activities on offer. It is a card that you can use for various activities with unlimited access to more than 60 activities in the 12 resorts across Switzerland and France.
Not to mention discounts as well on other services and businesses. You never run out of things to do.
There are different types of Multi Pass and they are super flexible, you can get them for a day, a week or even weekends. It really depends on your needs and budget.
- The Multi Pass Séjour (visitor) for those who are staying at a Multi Pass hotel
- A daily Multi Pass, for the occasional walker or hiker
- Season Multi Pass for those who live near the Portes du Soleil
The Multi Pass is ideal for those who want to make the most of the mountains without spending too much money and is great for families. Some of the activities include access to outdoor swimming pools, cable cars for walking and hiking, tennis courts and mini golf, the list goes on. The best place to get a Multi Pass is at the ski lift ticket offices.
- The Multi Pass card is offered to all the visitors who are staying in the Swiss side of the Portes du Soleil for one night or more, in the Region Dents du Midi.
What is included in your Multi Pass in Champery
- 22 lifts for pedestrians
- Indoor & outdoor Swimming Pool
- Climbing Wall
- Tennis Courts (Will need to book before you play)
- Champéry Croix de Culet Cable Car
How about some guidebooks of Switzerland
Activities that you will get a discount with a Multi Pass in Champéry
- Trott en stock (Downhill scooters)
- Bikeshop Scott (Electric MTB Hire)
- Montagne Experience (Guiding, via ferrata)
- Refuge Lapisa (Cheese making demonstration)
Downhill Scooters (Trott en Stock)
If you are looking for an adventure and something a little different, then you must check out the Trott En Stock’s rugged downhill scooters. It is a great activity and with 20 adult scooters and 6 junior scooters on site, both family and friends can enjoy the thrills of speeding down the slopes.
These are not your average scooters though and I was a little intimidated when I first saw them. They are equipped with fat tyres and suspension to absorb the impacted of the rugged terrain, as well as disc brakes, so you have control going down. To make sure you stay safe you are also kitted out with kneepads, elbow pads, helmet and gloves.
Just like MTB the 10kms of tracks are sign posted and graded at different levels, it really depends on how comfortable you are and your ability to where you want to explore. With a 1000 m descent, it is an easy way to get a maxim of thrills in the Swiss Alps.
I have to admit at first I was not sure what to expect, or if it was just for kids. I could not have been more wrong, these scooters pick up some serious speed and I had a few hairy moments zooming around the mountains. I had so much fun that I wanted to do it again and take my husband to show how great it was.
- Lift tickets are not included in your downhill scooter.
- Protective equipment eg Helmet, pads are included in your Scooter rental and are compulsory.
- Guide (with reservations) CHF 60.- per hour
- Special rates apply for more than 8 people. Check with the company before hiring.
- 2hrs – Adult CHF 30.- Child CHF 25.-
- 4hrs – Adult CHF 50.- Child CHF 45.-
- A Day – Adult CHF 65.- Child CHF 60.-
- Ask them about the route that goes straight back into town instead of getting the Télépherique Champéry – Croix-de-Culet.
- Be careful as some of the tracks are shared with other transportation like cars.
If you are up for the ultimate Adventure of a lifetime then you can’t go past trying Tandem Paragliding, where you will have 360°views of the Portes du Soleil. It is one of the most popular activities in the region and this activity is available through Val-d’Illiez paragliding school.
You will be excited and scared at the same time while taking in the views of the beautiful summits of the Alps; Massifs du Chablais, Monts du Jura, Dents-du-Midi, Le Mont-Blanc or le Lac Léman. As it is tandem paragliding, your professional pilot will not only make sure that you are ok but will make you feel at ease during your flight, all the way to your landing point.
I have been Tandem Paragliding a few times before and I just love it, especially if you have a professional pilot, who puts you at ease and makes you feel safe. So all you need to do it sit back, relax and take in the amazing views. Just remember when your pilot says run, you have to run!!!!!!!
- Your journey from the top to the landing area should take around 25-45mins depending on wind conditions etc
- 20% Discount with your Multi Pass
- Price – CHF 80.- to CHF 160.- (depending on altitude loss)
- Groups on request
Food in the Mountains
Cantine des Rives
Considered to be one of the regions most popular alpine restaurants is the inviting and rustic Cantine des Rives. It is situated at the trail end of the iconic Galerie Défago hike (open only in summer) and high above the village of Champéry. Not only does this place offer panoramic views of Champéry but the food is really delicious too.
I would have loved to try the famous Valaisan Raclette, cooked on a wood fire, and the delicious ‘Tzeudron des Rives’. However, it was super hot the day I arrived and I was not keen on having a cooked meal. Instead, I opted to have a chicken salad which was still mouth watering and full filling.
I completely understand why people love coming back here time and time again.
Feel Free to check out the reviews Cantine des Rives on Tripadvisor
- During Summer you can catch the Dents du Midi tourist train to the restaurant.
- I was there for lunch but I think it would be amazing to go to for dinner and watch the sunset.
The Croix de Culet
Situated at the top of the Télépherique Champéry – Croix-de-Culet, with views overlooking both Dents du Midi and the Dents Blanches and the Swiss Wall, is the Restaurant de La Croix-de-Culet. It is a modern Swiss restaurant with all your traditional Swiss specialities with a great terrace displaying some of the best views in the Alps.
I have eaten here a couple of times in both Summer and Winter as the views are just amazing. If you are not hungry though but still want to enjoy the views, you can also stop in there for a coffee or apres-ski.
- Even though the restaurant is on the mountain, you can just get a pass to go up on the gondola separately.
L’Alta Restaurant- Pizzeria- Wine Bar
Situated in the centre of town and on the main street is the trendy Alta restaurant, a wood-fired Pizzeria and wine bar. This is my ideal place, I love wine and I love Italian cuisine especially when they are paired together.
Not only does this place have a great selection wine and food but has some pretty nice views of the Dents du Midi. As well a friendly welcoming atmosphere. The best bit is because where it is situated this place is opened all year round.
I had delicious crumbled cheese for starter and then a mouth water risotto paired with local Swiss wine. This is definitely a great spot to come in the afternoon after a day of exploring, to relax, take in the surrounds with a glass of wine.
- If you don’t want to sit in that is not a problem, you can also get take away from here.
Le Nord Cafe
Another great option is Le Nord Cafe Restaurant, which is situated in the centre of Champery village underneath Le Chalet de l’Atelier is the cosy Le Nord Cafe restaurant. It is definitely one of the best places to eat in town and it is easy to see why, with its selections of fondue and other traditional Swiss food. My problem was deciding on what to have and when I did choose(steak tartare with salad), I was not disappointed.
I had dinner at the restaurant during my time in the winter period. However, Le Nord Cafe Restaurant was part of my ‘Evening Meal Deliveries’ service while I was staying at The Lodge Champéry by Mrs Miggins during summer. I had an a la carte meal for two from Le Nord Cafe restaurant, that included delicious fresh and tasty Steak tartare.
This was definitely not your normal meal delivery for sure and it was so good that I could have easily had it every night.
- If you are going to the Restaurant, I definitely recommend booking as it only has two sitting times 11:30 to 14:00 and 18:30 to 21:30.
If you are looking for a Luxury Ski Chalet apartment and some of the most stunning views of the Swiss Alps, then The Lodge Champéry by Mrs Miggins is definitely the place for you. I stayed here during my time in the Summer season and I just loved everything about it, especially my own private jacuzzi.
Not only does it have everything you want from a luxury ski chalet apartment but it has the Dents du Midi & Dents Blanches as your backdrop. It is also in the prime position, 1-minute walk to the Télépherique Champéry – Croix-de-Culet and to the supermarket
Full Review Here – The Lodge – Champéry by Mrs Miggins, A luxury Ski Chalet Switzerland
Le Chalet de l’Atelier
I stayed at the charming and stylish Le Chalet de l’Atelier while I was on my ski safari across France and Switzerland skiing through the Portes du Soleil area. Situated in the centre of Champery at the foot of the Dents du Midi and within 1 mi of the Croix de Culet Cable Car, is in an ideal location.
There are only 4 rooms in the chalet hotel and it has two restaurants, The Lounge Bar and the L’Atelier Gourmand. The Lounge Bar serves cocktails and tapas and the L’Atelier Gourmand serves a Gastronomy menu, considered to be one of the best in town.
Full Review Here –A traditional Swiss stay at the Le Chalet de l’Atelier Champéry
Geneva is the closest international airport and is only an hour and a half away from Champéry Switzerland via car. Making it an easily accessible resort to get to in Europe, especially for a weekend break.
The best way to get to Champéry Switzerland is either via transfer (Shared or private) or car. All vary in price depending on what you can afford.
I have been to Champéry a couple of times and it has always been via a transfer through the tourism office. There are not as many transfer companies in the summer as during the winter season, however, there are still good ones available.
Top Tips – Champéry
- 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. I think they also have hotspots to.
- Take the little courtesy train that goes from the main gondola the Croix de Culet Cable Car to the centre of town, instead of walking.
- Trips to other Swiss Resorts (Morgins, Les Crosets and Champoussin) are free from Troistorrents with your Multi Pass card.
- Head to the Palladium Sports and Cultural Centre which offers a variety of other activities, like swimming pool and indoor rock climbing.
Other Resorts in the Portes du Soleil
If you are interested in discovering more of the Portes Du Soleil in either Summer or Winter, you can check out my following articles. All are great options for a ski weekend trip with friends or with family.
- Sunrise Hike and Breakfast on an Alpine Farm – Morgins, Switzerland
- Top Things to do – Morgins, Switzerland
- A Summer Guide – Morzine, France
- Champéry Ski Resort (Also known as part of the new Région Dents du Midi ) – Champery, Switzerland
Thank you for reading this article ‘A Summer Guide to Champéry Switzerland’, I hope it helped you to decide where to go for your next action-packed Summer Holiday.
Champéry Switzerland is definitely a great all year round resort in the Portes Du Soleil
Remember that you need to get some good Hiking Boots before your next adventure.