Summer Guide of Top Things to Do
Chatel Village is not just a winter destination, it is equally as fun in the summer too, with ziplining across the alps, zooming down the mountain on the toboggan to mountain bike riding between France and Switzerland. Not to mention all that yummy French food, cheese and wine that is available.
Your options are just endless especially in regards to outdoor activities, making it hard to decide on top things to do and best places to eat. This cross-border resort village of Chatel is the ultimate summer destination.
Table of Contents
- 1 Summer Guide of Top Things to Do
- 2 Chatel Summer Season
- 3 The Multi Pass for Les Portes du Soleil
- 4 Fantasticable (Zip lining across the Alps)
- 5 Hiking for afternoon tea at Alpage de Barbossine
- 6 Bobluge (Also known as the Bob Sledge)
- 7 Devalkart and Rollerbe
- 8 Accommodation
- 9 Food Heaven on the Mountain
- 10 Resort Location & How to get there
- 11 Tips
- 12 Other Resorts in the Portes du Soleil
Chatel France was my last stop on my press trip across Portes du Soleil’s vast and varied area, during the summer period. I have been to Chatel France on numerous occasions during winter and it has become one of my favourite places to ski. So going in Summer really intrigued me and I was excited to see what Chatel France had in store for me over the next few days.
Read More – Skiing Chatel Ski Resort France
Pretty and relatively unspoiled, the Chatel Village definitely has a very French feel and look about it, especially with the chalet style hotels dotted around the resort. If forms, part of the Portes Du Soleil area, interlinking 12 resorts across France and Switzerland.
Even though it is famous for being part of the 650kms of ski runs in the Portes du Soleil border cross region. Chatel France is also a great place to visit during the summer season, especially with access to the Mulit– Pass. With a wide range of activities on and off the mountains using a Multi-Pass, and with a large selection of restaurants and pubs to cater for your needs, there is something for everyone.
Chatel Summer Season
Just like the other resorts in the Portes du Soleil, the Summer season in Chatel France starts in early June and closes late September. There are different start and ending dates for the various activities during Summer but they are roughly open at similar times.
Lifts that are Open in Chatel
Whether you are hiking, bike riding or enjoying one of the many other activities, the cable cars can be used by everyone around Châtel and the Portes du Soleil
- Super Chatel Cable Car
- Pierre Longue Chairlift
- Morclan Chairlift
- Rochassons Chairlift
How about some guidebooks on Portes du Soleil
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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 France and Switzerland. Not to mention discounts as well on other services and businesses.
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.
- Check to see if you are staying in a ‘Multi Pass’ accommodation and you can get a pass for as little as 2€ (or 2.5 CHF) a day.
- The Multi Pass is FREE for children under the age of 5 years old, with proof of age.
What is included in your Multi Pass in Chatel
- 22 lifts for pedestrians
- Pool Center “Forme D’O”
- Outdoor Skating Rink
- Tennis Courts
- Village Road Train
- Loy Mini Golf
Activities that you will get a discount with a Multi Pass in Chátel
- Fantasticable (Zipline)
- Stand up paddle
- Chátel Adventure (Tree Climbing Tracks)
- Refuge Lapisa (Cheese making demonstration)
- Parc de Loisirs de Loy (Pitch and Putt)
- La Vieille Douane (Visitors centre on smugglers)
- Summer Bobsled Run
- Cinema Morclan 2000
- Pedal Horses (Lac de Vonnes)
- Spa wellness entrance
- Facials Forme d’O
Fantasticable (Zip lining across the Alps)
When I was first asked if I wanted to try the Fantasticable (zip line), during the winter season I thought that sounds amazing. It was not until I arrived on my skis and looked down the zipline with the clouds coming in that I got too scared and did not do it.
When I returned during the summer, I was asked again but this time I had my husband with me, so I sent him instead!
Strapped into a harness in a laying position you fly like a bird with speeds of between 8o to 100kmh along two separate lines up at 240m above the hamlet of Paine-Dranse Portes Du Soleil.
Don’t worry if you miss it in summer because it is also open during the winter season, however only one line is opened and not both. If you are wondering how can you do this with skis and snowboard they will follow you on the line in a transportation carrier.
- 10% Discount with your Multi Pass
- Prices – Solo Flight from €36 – Duet Flight €72
- Only the first cable is opened during the winter period and your skis and board will be attached to you.
- Weight Restrictions – Due to safety – The minimum weight is 35kg, maximum weight is 150kg.
- If you don’t have a car, a shuttle from Pré-la-Joux runs every 1/2 hour from 9:30 am to Plaine-Dranse. Access to the Fantasticable by the Rochassons chairlift.
Taking off on the Fantasticable
Hiking for afternoon tea at Alpage de Barbossine
Chatel France has nearly 90klms of marked walking trails and over 850kms in Portes du Soleil area, linking both the French and Swiss resorts. Chatel is a very popular place for hikers, especially with the variety of routes and difficulties. If you love hiking and French food then you are going to enjoy this hike to Barbossine farm.
You will meet a mountain guide and the rest of your group at the Tenne, before departing for your hike. From there your guide will lead you along paths up the mountain and stopping at various points to take in the scenic views over the mountains and of Chatel Village.
Before arriving at Barbossine high pasture to meet Corinne and Emmanuel David and learn about the famous formage d’Abondance and life on a high pasture farm. Then afterwards have a traditional delicatessen, cheese and jam with the French Alps as your backdrop.
- Open – Everyday from early July to late August
- Duration – 3-4hrs depending on walking abilities
- Price – Adult: 19 €, Child: 2.50 to 10 €
- Discount with your Multi Pass
- Make sure that you wear hiking shoes or good walking shoes, as you will be walking on uneven ground and through fields.
- Take a bottle of water, as there is nowhere to get any until you reach the farm.
Bobluge (Also known as the Bob Sledge)
Who does not love taking a ride on a toboggan or as it is known in Chatel France as the Bobluge. Ride a toboggan down the 650 metre run and enjoy yourself as you corkscrew all the way down to the bottom of the run with speeds up to of 7 m/s. On your way up will pass through the woods and take in the panoramic view before you set off.
Fantastic fun for the young and old. The best bit is the more runs you do, the less it is going to cost per ride down, so they only thing you going to have to worry about is holding on tight as zooming around those bends.
- 1 run – 4,30 €
- 3 runs – (+1 free) : 12,90 €
- 5 runs – (+2 free) : 21,50 €
- 10 runs – (+4 free) : 42,60 €
- Open – Everyday from late June to early September
- Times – from 10 to 12.30am (time reserved for groups) and from 1.30 to 6.30pm
- Children under 1 m 25 (4 ft 1) must be accompanied by an adult
- Children under 80cm/2.63 ft are not allowed.
- Discount with your Multi Pass
Devalkart and Rollerbe
If you are wanting more adventurous rides down the mountain after Bobluge, then how about either the Devalkart (Go-Karts) or the Rollerbe? Either is great options for having fun on the mountain and are situated right next to the Bobluge, making it a perfect adventure combination.
You are pulled up the hill via the ski tow pole while you are seated in your kart. Once at the top, then it is a fun ride (race) back down the hill before you do it all again. The best bit is that you can do whatever speed you like but don’t worry because they don’t go super fast.
Prices for both Devalkart and Rollerbe
- 1 run : 2,30 €
- 3 runs (+1 free) : 6,60 €
- 5 runs (+2 free) : 10,90 €
- 10 runs (+4 free) : 21,30 €
- Opened – Everyday from early July to late August
- Times – 10am-12.30am / 1.30pm-6.30pm
- Activity open to children aged 10 and over
Chatel France has a variety of accommodation spread out in the village from a hostel to luxury chalets. Most of the main hotels are centrally located but don’t be discouraged to stay further out especially up the mountain in chalets and apartments.
There is a regular bus service that covers the whole of Chatel Village 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.
Le Tremplin Hotel
I stayed at the lovely Le Tremplin Hotel, located on the main road and 5 – 10 minutes walk from the bars and restaurants in town. It was a cosy hotel that with a nice restaurant and bar/lounge area that was a great spot, especially in the morning when having the complimentary breakfast.
My room was a good size with a comfortable double bed and all your mod cons like tv etc. As well as a lovely little balcony with two outdoor chairs that were great to relax on in the afternoon and take in the views over Chatel village
The service at the hotel was lovely as well and they were very helpful and chatty.
- If you stay here during winter the ski bus stops right outside making it handy if you don’t want to carry your ski equipment far.
Logis Hotel Les Triolets
During winter I stayed at the cosy Logis Hôtel les Triolets which was 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. 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.
Food Heaven on the Mountain
It is not a trip to Chatel France without sampling some of the local fresh food, like the formage abondance. I was on half board, so I only ate out a couple of times but, as I have said, I have been to Chatel a few times during winter before. Below is a recommendation for Dinner, if you are looking for local produce.
Restaurant le Vieux Four
If you love traditional French food and cheese specialities like Raclette and Tartiflette, then le Vieux Four 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.
- Try the Fromage abundance cheese melted for the main meal. It is cheese heaven.
Resort Location & How to get there
The closest international airport is Geneva which is roughly an hour and a half away from Chatel France. 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 Chatél France, buses, private transfer, shared transfer and via hire a car all vary in price depending on what you can afford.
I have been to Chatel a few times over the years via a transfer through the tourism office and by hiring a car with friends. There are not as many transfer companies in the summer as during the winter season, however, there are still good ones available.
As I was with the tourism during this trip, I was picked up and I did not use one of the transfer companies. However, previously I have used the following company Alpybus which were fine.
You can also hire a car on either the French or Swiss Side at Geneva airport. Just remember that there are tolls and that the road can get a little windy going up the mountain.
- 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.
- If you want to always stay connect so you can show everyone how much fun your having think about renting a pocket wifi.
- Chatel is right on the French-Swiss border, pop over to Morgins Switzerland if you have the time
- Try the Standup paddle, kayak or trampo-élastique at nautic place
- Check out the Aquatic centre and cool down in the pools with the kids.
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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.
- Chatel Ski Resort – Winter Guide – Chatel, France
- What to do in the Summer – Les Gets – France
- A Summer Guide – Morzine, France
- Champéry Summer Guide (Also known as part of the new Région Dents du Midi ) – Champery, Switzerland
Thank you for reading this article ‘Summer Guide Top Things to Do Chatel France’, I hope it helped you to decide where to go for your next action-packed Summer Holiday.
Chatel France 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.