Châtel is considered to be a first generation ski resort with the arrival of skiing in 1947 and the first ski school opening in 1948 by the father of the future French champion, Francoise Macchi. Morclan and Super Châtel was developed first, with Linga developed in the late 1960’s followed by Pre La Joux and the links to the Portes du Soleil. Since then, the resort has grown and improved and many more residents have moved in but one of the best things about Châtel is that it’s roots are still here.
Châtel, like many ski villages was once solely dependent on agriculture – rearing cows and producing delicious cheese. This is still a big part of Châtel and the way of life in the Abondance Valley and the village is very proud of their heritage and that this still exists today. It is often the case that skiing took over the alpine villages and the farms and cows moved out. Chalet Cannelle is an original Abondance farmhouse dating from 1808 and even today there are traces of it’s farming days inside and out.
The village remains largely traditional. There are no concrete high rise buildings and pretty much all of the shops, hotels and restaurants are owned by local people. Many of them have been handed down from generation to generation for over 100 years. Châtel is much less known about that the neighbouring areas of Avoriaz, Morzine and Les Gets due to past restrictions on big tour operators in the area, helping to keep the businesses local and personal.
During winter, the cows are tucked away from the snow and it is all about the snow sports. Châtel skiing is fantastic – suitable for all levels from complete beginners to off piste and touring and with excellent links to the rest of the Portes Du Soleil. You can find more information on skiing and snowboarding in Chatel here.
For the summer, the cows are all over the valley and the mountains with their distinctive bells filling the alpine air. Walking, cycling and all sorts of activities can be enjoyed in Châtel during the summer, find out more on the Chalet Cannelle website.