05 October 2022.

Chatel, France

Chatel is a picturesque savoyard farming village situated in the Vallees d’Abondance on the French Swiss border less than fifteen minutes away by road from its nearest Swiss neighbour, Morgins.

Although Chatel is a quiet village it is far from compact. It spreads out in all directions, along the valley floor and up the lower mountain slopes. The main centre is situated by the Super Chatel Telecabine which is close to the tourist office. A frequent bus service including nine fixed routes and taking in most outlying areas operates throughout the day during winter, so getting to the lifts with skis or snowboard shouldn’t pose a problem. The service continues throughout summer albeit at about half the capacity. Both services operate in conjunction with the Abondance valley bus service that will get you to most of the neighbouring villages.

In and around Chatel there is a host of things to do including having a go on the Fantasticable Death Slide at Plaine-Dranse (only open at certain times of the year) that will have you winging along at 60mph (100kmph) suspended by a harness that is hooked onto a cable 240 metres above the valley floor. If that’s not enough for you then there is always rock climbing, snowboarding or downhill mountain-biking to try, depending on the time of year of course. And if all of these still seem too sedentary then maybe that old French favourite, boules, would prove more enthralling.

At one and a half hours from Geneva, Chatel is a suitable destination for weekend trips as well as longer stays. And with good local transport services there is no need for a car. However, having one offers the freedom of exploring further afield and would certainly mean a days’ wakeboarding or windsurfing on Lake Geneva – 50 minutes away – would be easily achievable.

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