Châtel resort guide & reviews Ski area, apres-ski, things to see & do in Châtel
Châtel is a small traditional Savoyard ski resort with around 1330 permanent residents. It is full of character and charm and is a very popular French tourist destination but surprisingly, not well known outside of France for the time being! Skiing started in Châtel in 1947 after the first lift was installed and has been gaining in popularity ever since.
Châtel is one of 12 lift linked resorts in the Portes du Soleil ski system that together, provide a massive 650km of pistes spanning resorts in France and Switzerland.
One of the best features of the Portes du Soleil resorts is there is a good mix of resorts to choose from the big and busy to the more refined. Châtel fits in to the latter and is a perfect resort for family ski holidays.
Spa & wellbeing
There is one spa in Hotel Mamotte that is open to the public and the Institut Clair Moment offers beauty treatments.
The creche in Châtel takes youngsters during the winter season from 3 months to 6 years and is open daily from 8am to 7pm. The Tourist Offices organises lots of events for the children throughout the summer and winter seasons from outdoor adventures to nature trails.
|Key information (whole area)|
|Longest run||6 km|
|Cross country||40 km|
|Season||Dec - April|
|Apres ski||Relaxed & Informal|
Châtel & Portes du Soleil ski area
Châtel's local ski area is not small with 83km of pistes including 5 blacks, 16 red, 17 blue and 11 green runs and is actually more than enough if you do not fancy touring les Portes du Soleil. There is also a snowpark and boardercross. Châtel is also blessed with some excellent runs that weave through the lower forests that are great fun for all levels of boarder or skier.
With 140 green and blue slopes across the Portes du Soleil, there is no shortage of beginner slopes. In Les Gets, the first batch of greens are at the top of the Chavannes Express lift which you get from the center of the resort. To get back, there are some wide and gentle blues.
Châtel is an intermediate skier paradise with almost too much to choose from. You can ski clockwise or anti-clockwise around the Portes du Soleil taking in resorts such as Avoriaz, Morzine and Champery in Switzerland. If you dont fancy touring around the Portes du Soleil, there is some challenging terrain in the Mont Chery area in Les Gets with some tough reds and blacks.
If you want to stay in the Châtel area, advanced skiers should head over to the Linga section which has steeper north-facing slopes and is also the gateway to Avoriaz. Elsewhere around the Portes du Soleil, there are some very challenging runs with 25 very long black slopes including the famous "Wall" in Avoriaz with moguls as high as an adult!
Abondance, La Chapelle d’Abondance and Châtel have linked their cross-country trails so there are now 40km of tracks by the side of the River Dranse ranging in altitude between 900 and 1500m.
For snowboarders, there are 10 snowboard and terrain parks and 1 superpipe across the Portes du Soleil area. In Châtel, there is the Smoothpark at Super-Châtel and boardercross. Whatever your level, there is something for everyone to enjoy and the facilities are there to help improve your technique in a safe and controlled environment.
Things to see & do
- Air boarding - high speed inflatable sledge!
- Ice skating
- 40km of winter walking and snowshoeing trails
- Dog sleighs
- Ten-pin bowling
- Ice fishing in the Vonnes lake
Après-ski in Châtel is fairly relaxed and quieter when compared to some of the other resorts in the Porte du Soleil area such as Morzine and Avoriaz. However, don't be fooled in to thinking the place is a graveyard - far from it. There are some great bars and clubs and the après-ski kicks off on the slopes around 3pm and continues in to the early hours at the nightclub.
Featured ski ChaletsSee all rentals
Our view on Châtel, Portes du Soleil
We think Châtel is an ideal ski resort for family ski holidays. With lots of gentle pistes on your doorstep, tree lined runs and good links to the other resorts in the Portes du Soleil, Chatel offers plenty of ski terrain for all abilities. A few suggestions...
If you are a competent skier then the "Wall" is a must and is actually less scary than the chairlift down the side of it!
Each Wednesday, there is a farmers market where you can buy the local speciality cheeses from Abondance and local dried meats
If you like Châtel being a quaint and charming traditional alpine resort then also quite similar is the beautiful ski resort of Les Carroz in the Grand Massif ski area of Haute Savoie and Canazei in the Italian Dolomites. Both resorts offer exceptional opportunities for touring with many connected resorts under one lift pass.