The best way to get to Champéry is to take the Aigle-Ollon-Monthey railway line. For over one hundred years this little train has wound its way through a sublime panorama. After crossing the Rhône valley, the cog railway tackles the slope, on the Valais side. And in the end, you arrive at Champéry, clinging to the mountainside, between two giant pairs of 'Teeth', the Dents Blanches (‘White Teeth’) and the Dents du Midi (‘Teeth of the South’).
In the narrow main street of Champéry, the typical façades huddle against historic nineteenth-century buildings, like the National Hotel. It exudes a cosy, warm, friendly atmosphere, peppered with real gourmet food and wine finds in the award-winning restaurants of the resort.
Within minutes, the cable car transports you from the village centre to the skiing area and you are then in the heart of the Portes du Soleil. Lovers of beautiful strolls in the open air, to return to Champéry, get started with the magnificent Ripaille-Grand Paradis trail: over 15 km of descent by a gentle slope, with the discovery of typical farms and local fauna.
Across the border in the Portes du Soleil, it’s a little like passing through a mirror: once on the Swiss side, everything is alike... but different. One orders decilitres of wine, installs oneself on terraces stamped ‘Henniez’ (Swiss mineral water) and makes the most of the peaceful environment.
At Champéry, although the summer atmosphere is very sporty, this sweet life is full of possibilities at every moment: whether on the Barme plateau, in the heart of a hamlet worthy of Heidi where young and old can practice climbing; in the BikePark.ch, mountain biking paradise, with its 300 km of marked out trails that anybody can take according to their level; or in the heart of the village, where little boutiques and cafes speak to your material comforts.
And even to cultivate one’s mind in Champéry, it’s enough just to stroll about. In fact, The open-air museum ‘Champéry 1830’ presents a retrospective of village life in the nineteenth century (political and domestic life, hay culturing, woodwork, emigration, tourism...), in the form of a comic book, whose original panels are displayed in the village street.