On the Swiss border, the chalets of Châtel perpetuate the identity of the Abondance valley, labelled ‘Country of Art and History’. This label emphasises the authenticity, traditions, expertise, housing and gastronomy preserved in this territory. Orientated around the welcome of holidaymakers and winter tourism since the beginning of the 1950s, Châtel has not lost its soul. By way of proof, the Châtellans remain likely to be employed in agriculture (around thirty families) with several hundred Abondance race cattle.
But Châtel moves with the times and its skiing area evolves each year to offer the best of the Portes du Soleil to fans of winter sport: the new Rochassons chairlift, air board, smooth park, ludosportif trail for families...
A linking thread between the past and the present, Châtel is also invested in environmental protection with, amongst others, cleaner snow groomers, a network of shuttles to promote greener travel and a proposed wood-burning furnace for the town.
When one walks around Châtel, leisurely, the valley opens up to the majestic Dents Blanches... these peaks exercise an irresistible fascination and call one to the exploration of the mountains. It’s for this reason that the village of Châtel has many themed trails (the trail of water, of birds, of the Châtellan...) allowing everyone to become better acquainted with the mountainous environment, before committing themselves to more sporting activity on high-altitude hikes or climbing.
But Châtel is also one of the major downhill mountain biking destinations, with its Mountain bike park, made up of 19 tracks, all maintained by a 'Bike Patrol'; a park recognised by the professionals of the sport to the extent that it regularly hosts major competitions like the European Downhill Cup.
As Châtel offers a great variety of pastoral activities for families, for thrill seekers, it is impossible to leave the village without having tried the big thriller: le fantasticable. Comfortably secured in a harness, you fly over the village of Plaine Dranse at nearly 100 km per hour, at a height of up to 240 metres! Hold on!