Châtel is a traditional village resort that has a strong Swiss feel to it – not surprising considering its proximity to the Swiss border and the fact that it forms part of the extensive Franco-Swiss Portes du Soleil ski area. It has a lively centre, with a good range of restaurants, bars and shops to keep everyone happy! In the winter, the resort hosts 49 ski runs (including 5 black, 16 red, 13 blue and 15 green) and 44 ski lifts. Snow boarders and free stylers can enjoy plenty of challenges in the Snow Park, whilst children are well catered for with excellent facilities, ski schools and special runs. Other activities available include a skate rink, snow shoe trails, ice diving and paragliding.
In the summer the resort becomes a mountain biking paradise, with many of the lifts equipped to carry bikes to the top of the tracks. A network of walking and hiking trails, most of them easily accessible for families, offer the ideal way to explore the mountains and enjoy panoramic views over the ranges and as far as Lake Geneva. Other activities worth checking out are: summer bobsleighing and downhill go-karts and scooters; paragliding; swimming in the outdoor pool; horse riding; fishing in the lake; rock climbing and via ferrata; white water rafting and canyoning; forest adventure courses; and the famous Fantasticable – a sort of giant zip wire!
Châtel remains a thriving farming community (38 working farms and 800 Abondance cows) which means that the village still works to a pleasing rural timetable. Enjoy the sound of cow bells or the spectacle of the transhumance, when cows and goats are moved up to their summer pasture. Taste the delicious Abondance cheese and other local specialities, either at the weekly market or in any of the great restaurants.
For more details, check out the tourist office website: www.chatel.com