We came back to Chatel for our third stay, and our second in the Fermes de Chatel. The residence is very conveniently sited in the village centre. The main lift to the Super Chatel ski area is behind the residence, so some of the east facing apartments are shadowed by the lift buildings.
Super Chatel ski area
If you have a choice, go for a west facing apartment which has views over the village and the valley. There are balconies, but the only downside is that they are not separated. The apartments are extremely comfortable and well designed, and an added bonus for drivers is that the underground parking is included. The village is very pretty, and there are several bars, restaurants, and shops close to the residence. One highlight for children is meeting Beethoven the St Bernard, who sits (or dozes!) outside his shop!
Beethoven the St Bernard
As we are in our 60's we only ever plan to ski if snow conditions are perfect. So we have our own raquettes (snow shoes) and make the most of the walks on offer. Snowshoeing is a great way to enjoy the mountains, as you move at a pace which allows you to enjoy the scenery more than when whizzing downhill on skis. You can often reach places that you can't go on skis!
We enjoyed three great walks.
Dents de Midi
For the first, we took the main lift up to Super Chatel, and then followed a trail up to Portes de Culet. There is one restaurant about half way, before the steep climb up to an amazing viewpoint at Pointe de Bellevue. The views of the Dents de Midi are superb. The total length is about 4.5 miles.
Chatel from Le Morclan
For the second, we took the bus to Petit Chatel and got out where the bus turns. A three hour circular circuit takes you high up to the Col du Saix with great views over the valley. There is a restaurant on the way. We also tried an alternative, which runs across the steep slopes of Le Morclan on a narrow path to reach the Super Chatel ski area, from which you can walk back down to the village. The views up the valley over the village towards Pre La Jou are stunning. Both alternatives are about 4.5 miles.
An old house at Pas de Morgins
The third is a great walk for a day when the mountains are in cloud. We walked up to the Lac de Vonnes, then climbed up through the woods of the Pas de Morgins to the Lac de Morgins. A level walk along the frozen lake crosses the border into the Swiss village of Morgins, the starting point for numerous walking trails along the river, through the forest or up to join the Chatel routes at Portes de Culet.
There is definitely plenty to see on a pair of raquettes!
This is a Guest Blog by our client David.