Champery

Ski Resort in Switzerland

Introduction

Ideally situated just 90 minutes by car from Geneva, Champéry is both a postcard-perfect alpine village and a modern ski and bike resort. One of 12 resort villages in the vast Portes du Soleil recreational area, Champéry is the ideal year-round destination for hikers, bikers, skiers and epicureans alike.

Champery is the western gateway to the Portes du Soleil ski region and one of the oldest Swiss ski resorts. At an altitude of approximately 1050 meters, nestled at the base of the Dents du Midi and the Dents Blanches, this “chocolate box” resort has preserved it’s character over the years but has an active programme of development and modernisation.

While not ski-in ski-out, Champery is still a good resort for skiers of all abilities apart from, perhaps, absolute beginners. The access is to 209 lifts serving 430 pistes over 650km of skiing. Every statistic shouts vast.

Apres ski tends to happen back at the hotels but the restaurants are excellent and offer plenty of choice. For the hard core insomniac, there are late night clubs and bars and there's a wide range of activity for the non-skier in and around Champery.


Champery info card

Resort Altitude1050m
Highest Lift2277m
Total Piste650km
Longest Run7km
Snow Parks1


Best time to visit Champery

Stretching between Mont Blanc and Geneva, a special microclimate brings a bounty of snowfall to the Portes du Soleil. The current figure for average snowfall at Avoriaz is a massive 800cm (giving Val Thorens a run for its money). When that needs a helping hand, 694 snow guns keep all lower pistes covered. One of the perks of a ski area this colossal is that you can hunt about for the best conditions and if the Swiss side is suffering, the French will often be good.

If quirky events take your fancy, head here in March when the Rock the Pistes Festival fills the hills with the sound of pop-rock and stomping ski boots. Concerts are held at strategic spots around the ski area and you ski down to them with your normal lift pass. Also in March, the Chavanette Session hits the hills above Champéry, when competitors go head-to-head hurtling down the dreaded Swiss Wall. A local ex-ski racer wins it every year.


Champery Village

The village of Champery sits on two roads beneath the spectacular peaks of the Dents du Midi. The lower, newer, through road runs up to the Telepherique. The more recent constructions in Champery border the lower road and it passes the Palladium (the National Ice Sports Centre); but generally there’s not a lot to look at.

The higher road which passes through the village of Champery itself in contrast is pure Swiss "Chocolate Box" charm. Old and beautifully maintained wooden chalets, restaurants and shops blend seamlessly into everything you would expect of a Swiss Alpine ski resort.

Tourism in Champery dates from 1857 and the Swiss Ski School in Champery was founded in 1932 making it one of the older ski resorts in Switzerland. Development has been pretty much continuous but, with one extraordinary exception, in complete sympathy with the architectural heritage. The non-profit Fondation du Patrimoine Champerolain, founded in 1933, works hard to maintain not only architectural heritage but also the cultural history. There's plenty for you vultures and amateur historians here.

Champery is not big; everything and anything is within an easy 10 minute walk so park the car, if you have one, and forget about taxis. Start from the fountain at the bottom of the village where the purity of the water is recorded for posterity in granite, take in the beauty of the clock tower, pop into the delightful shops and finish at the ultra modern Mitchell's to quench your thirst.

The clock tower by the way is, perhaps, evidence of the small French influence in Champery. The clock strikes the hour when the clock face still show 5 minutes to the hour! Not quite the legendary Swiss accuracy on time.


Champery Ski Resort

Lounging with coffees in cosy cafés, you get the feeling there’s nowhere Champéry’s locals would rather be. It’s hard to imagine that one of the world’s biggest ski areas sits just over the way. Hop on the 125-person cable car, zoom up and over the town and you’re in the Portes du Soleil, with 650km of runs and 200+ lifts splayed across the Swiss-French border. With big-timers like Avoriaz, Morzine and Les Gets to tempt you into France – don’t forget to bring euros as well as francs.

There’s no doubt you’re in Switzerland here. A 100-year-old, wooden-seated railway rolls through town, past balconied chalets and on an achingly picturesque journey through the Rhone Valley. Somehow, while only taking minutes to cross, this little wooden town crams in a clock tower, open-air museum, thermal baths and even a nightclub or two… It’s not hard to see why those locals are so laid-back. Super friendly too ? they make a habit of “bonjouring” you like long-time neighbours. Ask them which of the jagged mountains above are the “Dents du Midi” and which the “Dents Blanches”, if you don’t already recognise them from a few rather famous paintings.

You could hole up here for eternity, but the rickety railway beckons, leaving every 30 minutes for the fairy tale chateau at Aigle and the markets and plays at Monthey. The only problem with Champéry’s that you can’t do everything at once...


Skiing in Champery

Champéry is not ski-in/ski-out - you need to take the 5-minute telepherique to reach the Portes du Soleil - but no one’s complaining. That’s what keeps the village so wonderfully authentic, and soon enough the 650km of one of the biggest ski areas on planet earth sits before you. If 209 lifts sound like more than you can handle, opt for a cheaper lift pass to just the neighbouring Swiss villages of Les Crosets, Champoussin and Morgins – between which you’ll find 35 lifts and a network of blue, red and black pistes.

There are better resorts in this massive ski area for first time skiers (like Les Gets) and from the top of the Champéry cable car, a steep narrow path to the pistes might put a newbie off. But wobbly second-weekers will cope, and this area is packed with benign blues to push you to reach your potential. Earn serious bragging rights schussing between all 12 of the resorts in the Portes du Soleil from a quiet Swiss base.

There are 100km of blues and reds on the Swiss side of the ski area alone and you could write a book about the possible intermediate circuits in the wider area. See what all the fuss is about at Pre La Joux in the Chatel area or the They Valley to Morgins, and be sure to spend an afternoon lunching at Avoriaz before trying the Loop – just take the chairlift over the Swiss Wall to make it back in one piece. Night skiing twice a week provides further thrills letting you enjoy these spectacular hills after dark.

Any discussion of the expert skiing at Champéry starts and ends with the Swiss Wall. Orange rated as it’s too dangerous to be a black, this drops 400m in just a 1000m stretch and racks up moguls of up to 2m, putting it on many a ski-before-you-die list. Between the reds, the blacks, the off-piste and the heli-skiing – banned on the French side but not here in Switzerland, one week is definitely not enough time to do it all.

Thanks to the Superpark at Les Crosets (possibly one of Switzerland’s best), boardercross at La Foilleuse and all the parks at Avoriaz, boarders and freestyle skiers are well taken care of.


Champery Apres Ski

Tiny Swiss towns with little red trains aren’t the places for flaming Sambuca and mountain madness, for that you’re better off in Morzine. Champéry, however, has perfected the art of little wooden bistros and low key cafes, full of hearty mountain fare that’ll put you to sleep before you can think about a night out. Let your taste buds enjoy the fact you’re at the border of France and Switzerland in mountain restaurants like Le Toupin, the closest thing to heaven for a cheese fan, and don’t miss popular little Le Nord.

The après hotspot is undoubtedly Mitchell’s, the sleekest sports bar we’ve laid eyes on to date. For all who make it through the food comas, La Crevasse nightclub puts on a good show.

Off the slopes, Champéry's biggest attraction is the Palladium sports hall, where you’ll find a gym, ice rink, curling rinks and swimming complex under one rather attractive roof. Don’t miss an afternoon floating about in calcium and magnesium enriched waters at the Therms Parcs. This should prep you for adventures out in the great outdoors, like cross country skiing, paragliding and snowshoe walks (on a massive 400km of marked paths in the PdS). Astronomy fans, take the planetary trail at nearby Morgins on a night hike. Sledging is also popular with a 4km (2.5 mile) run in neighbouring Champoussin and you can up the ante with snow kiting or ice climbing late at night in Grand-Paradis. When all the options in town start to overwhelm, hop on the rickety train and take a day out to Montreux on Lake Geneva, the turreted medieval castle at Aigle or the Roman remains at Martigny.


Families in Champery

Champéry's intimate village and kiddie-friendly facilities make it a top choice for families and, to up the fun, the resort has special weekly itineraries with things like introductions to curling and walks around the village solving the puzzle of the "enchanted piste".

The Swiss Ski School operates a mini club for children aged between 3 and 7 years, with weekly slalom races that are lots of fun. Instructors with the Red Carpet Ski School teach tots aged 3 - 6 through a clever combination of fun and games. They also offer special family ski packages with an instructor who’ll make sure everyone has a blast together, no matter how varied the abilities.


Group Holidays Champery

Easy access to the Portes du Soleil and an authentic Swiss village to ski it from are a fantastic combination for a group ski trip. And if this 650km ski area doesn’t have something for each member of the party, we don’t know where does. Though very first timers may prefer a resort on the French side of the ski area, Champéry’s a charming base for all who’ve graduated bunny slopes.

For a sleepy town, it sure has a lot of quirky activities to keep you busy and a not half bad nightclub, La Crevasse. Between group paintball battles, frozen waterfall climbs and horse rides through the trees, you’ll work up quite the appetite for raclette parties at the Blue Yurt or igloo evenings at Grand-Paradis.

Transportation - Get In

Champery is about 60km from Geneva airport as the crow flies; by road it’s a little further. Sion airport is equally convenient at a little over 40km. The Swiss train network is extremely convenient if you don’t want to use the roads.


By car

There are three options to reach Champery by car from Geneva, the longest distance usually being the quickest in time.

The best route is probably to follow the north shore of lake Geneva on the A1 and the A9 staying in Switzerland for the whole journey. This is about 130km and ought to take about 1 hour 40 minutes.

The other option is to travel south of lake Geneva through France on either the D22 or the D1005. Both of these routes are under 100km but will take longer at between 1 hour 50 minutes and 2 hours.


By train

Trains run from Geneva Airport on a regular basis. Ideally get a direct train to Aigle but it may be necessary to change at Lausanne depending on scheduling and the time of day. At Aigle cross the platform and board the AOMC which runs up to the village. There are two stops in Champery, the Village and the Telepherique so it's worth checking which is nearer your accommodation.

Accommodation & Hotels


Property Location: Hôtel National Resort & Spa is centrally located in Champery, walking distance from Champery-Croix de Culet Cable Car and close to Galeries Defago Trail. This 4-star hotel is within close proximity of Champery Ski Resort and Grand Paradis 1 Ski Lift.

Rooms: Make yourself at home in one of the 16 guestrooms featuring free minibar items. Complimentary wireless Internet access is available to keep you connected. Private bathrooms have complimentary toiletries and hair dryers. Conveniences include phones, as well as safes and desks.

Amenities: Relax and unwind with massages, body treatments, and facials. If you're looking for recreational opportunities, you'll find an outdoor pool, a spa tub, and a sauna. Additional amenities at this Belle Époque hotel include complimentary wireless Internet access, concierge services, and babysitting/childcare (surcharge). You'll be on the slopes in no time with the complimentary ski shuttle.

Dining: Take advantage of the hotel's 24-hour room service. Quench your thirst with your favorite drink at a bar/lounge.

Business, Other Amenities: Featured amenities include limo/town car service, a computer station, and complimentary newspapers in the lobby. A train station pick-up service is provided at no charge, and self parking (subject to charges) is available onsite.

  • WHAT KIND OF HOTEL
    • Guests say it is the perfect hotel for a city trip.
  • GOOD TO KNOW
    • Stylish hotel
    • Comfortable beds
    • Friendly service
    • Friendly atmosphere
  • HÔTEL NATIONAL RESORT & SPA SUMMARY
    • With an excellent TrustScore of 95, this hotel is one of the top 9% in its city. Guests highly recommend it because of its rooms, service and Vibe.


Property Location: Located in Champery, Le White is in the mountains and convenient to Champery-Croix de Culet Cable Car and Galeries Defago Trail. This 4-star hotel is within close proximity of Grand Paradis 1 Ski Lift and Champery Ski Resort.

Rooms: Make yourself at home in one of the 26 guestrooms featuring minibars and flat-screen televisions. Complimentary wireless Internet access keeps you connected, and cable programming is available for your entertainment. Private bathrooms have complimentary toiletries and hair dryers. Conveniences include phones, as well as safes and desks.

Amenities: Take in the views from a terrace and make use of amenities such as complimentary wireless Internet access and ski storage. The complimentary ski shuttle makes getting to the slopes a breeze.

Dining: Enjoy a bite to eat at a coffee shop/café, or stay in and take advantage of the hotel's room service (during limited hours). Quench your thirst with your favorite drink at a bar/lounge.

Business, Other Amenities: Featured amenities include luggage storage and an elevator (lift). Free self parking is available onsite.

  • GOOD TO KNOW
    • Good management
    • Beautiful architecture
    • Stylish hotel
    • Friendly service
  • LE WHITE SUMMARY
    • This hotel has an excellent TrustScore of 91. Guests highly recommend it because of its rooms, service and breakfast.


Property Location: Located in Champery, Hotel Suisse is in the historical district, minutes from Champery-Croix de Culet Cable Car, and close to Galeries Defago Trail. This ski hotel is within close proximity of Champery Ski Resort and Grand Paradis 1 Ski Lift.

Rooms: Make yourself at home in one of the 40 guestrooms. Rooms have private balconies. Complimentary wireless Internet access keeps you connected, and cable programming is available for your entertainment. Bathrooms have bathtubs or showers and hair dryers.

Amenities: Take in the views from a terrace and make use of amenities such as complimentary wireless Internet access and babysitting/childcare (surcharge). This hotel also features ski storage and a fireplace in the lobby. You'll be on the slopes in no time with the complimentary ski shuttle.

Dining: Grab a bite from a snack bar/deli serving guests of Hotel Suisse. Quench your thirst with your favorite drink at a bar/lounge.

Business, Other Amenities: Featured amenities include express check-in, express check-out, and complimentary newspapers in the lobby. Planning an event in Champery? This hotel features 753 square feet (70 square meters) of event facilities. A train station pick-up service is provided at no charge.

  • GOOD TO KNOW
    • Friendly service
    • Great reception
    • Comfortable beds
    • Professional service
  • HOTEL SUISSE SUMMARY
    • This hotel has an excellent TrustScore of 89. Guests highly recommend it because of its service, rooms and breakfast.


Property Location: With a stay at Le Chalet de l'Atelier in Champery, you'll be near ski lifts and minutes from Champery-Croix de Culet Cable Car, and close to Galeries Defago Trail. This ski chalet is within close proximity of Champery Ski Resort and Grand Paradis 1 Ski Lift.

Rooms: Stay in one of 4 guestrooms featuring flat-screen televisions. Complimentary wireless Internet access keeps you connected, and cable programming is available for your entertainment. Private bathrooms with showers feature complimentary toiletries and hair dryers. Conveniences include safes and complimentary bottled water, and housekeeping is provided daily.

Amenities: Make use of convenient amenities, which include complimentary wireless Internet access and ski storage.

Dining: Satisfy your appetite at one of the chalet's 2 restaurants. Quench your thirst with your favorite drink at a bar/lounge.

Business, Other Amenities: Free self parking is available onsite.

  • WHAT KIND OF HOTEL
    • Guests say the hotel is perfect for a romantic getaway.
  • GOOD TO KNOW
    • Great reception
    • Beautiful architecture
    • Friendly service
    • Stylish hotel
  • LE CHALET DE L'ATELIER SUMMARY
    • With an excellent TrustScore of 94, this hotel is one of the top 16% in its city. Guests highly recommend it because of its rooms, service and breakfast.

 


The hotel has everything you need for a comfortable stay. Facilities like free Wi-Fi in all rooms, Wi-Fi in public areas, valet parking, car park, airport transfer are readily available for you to enjoy. Designed for comfort, selected guestrooms offer television LCD/plasma screen, mirror, private entrance, slippers, sofa to ensure a restful night. Access to the hotel's massage, garden will further enhance your satisfying stay. Discover all Champery has to offer by making Art.Boutique.Hotel Beau-Sejour your base.

  • WHAT KIND OF HOTEL
    • Guests think this is a family-friendly hotel.
    • Guests say the hotel is perfect for a romantic getaway.
  • GOOD TO KNOW
    • Great reception
    • Great desserts & fruits
    • Beautiful architecture
    • Stylish hotel
  • ART.BOUTIQUE.HOTEL BEAU-SÉJOUR CHAMPÉRY SUMMARY
    • With an excellent TrustScore of 94, this hotel is one of the top 9% in its city. Guests highly recommend it because of its service, rooms and food.

Ski Area

The Swiss region of the Portes du Soleil ski area, on the western side, is big – 165km of pistes - and the whole Portes du Soleil area including the French side is vast. With most of the skiing above 2,000m, the snow is usually reliable. There is something for nearly every level skier here but please read our thoughts on absolute beginners in Champery.

Champery is not a ski-in ski out resort per se. To reach the pistes, it's necessary to ride the Telepherique cable car up for the village in the morning. It's possible to ski to Grand Paradis down the gloroius Pointe de Rapaille red run at the end of the day but it's then a short bus ride back to Champery itself.

To do the Portes du Soleil justice you need to be on the first gondola up from Champery and the last Gondola home. Lunch, for the serious skier, can be a luxury if you're going to cover the distances available.

The four Portes du Soleil villages on the Swiss side - Champery, Les Crosets, Champoussin and Morgins - are all interconnected by blue, red and black pistes but theres little green piste skiing. There are 15 mountain restaurants, 35 lifts and glorious scenery. All on a single lift pass which also covers you for the skiing in France.

There's a superpark underneath the TSD Crosets lift , afunpark at the top of the TK Combes lift and a Micropark under the TS Grand Conche.

And, of course, there's the infamous Swiss Wall running down from the TS Chavanette lift. For the faint of heart, it's possible to ride this lift down, rather than ski the Wall, which affords great photo opportunities.


Champery Beginner Skiing

It’s important to make the distinction between beginner and absolute beginner in Champery. At the top of the Telepherique it’s necessary to descend a short but quite steep and narrow path to the pistes. If you’ve never skied before, Champery is not an ideal resort to start; Les Gets in the Portes du Soleil would be a better choice.

For beginners comfortable on blue slopes, Champery is the gateway to the large Swiss area of the Portes du Soleil and on into the French. There aren't many green runs on the Swiss side but the blue runs connecting the villages on the Swiss side are well graded and marked.

The long blue runs to the bottom of Sepaya in Champoussin would be a good way for a beginner to start a ski trip from a Champery base and practise skills but, realistically, the Portes du Soleil is so vast it possible to find skiing for beginners across the whole area.

One word of caution; to ski over to Avoriaz for lunch is a great thing to do. But it's a long way back and, to avoid the red Brochaux run, you need to take an extra lift - Lechere - or be sure to ride Stade and then ski to the bottom of Chananette. Don't over eat, allow enough time for the return journey and don't get too tired.


Champery Intermediate Skiing

As we’ve said elsewhere, intermediates can ski the Portes du Soleil for days without skiing the same run twice.

The network of red and blue pistes in the Swiss Portes du Soliel alone covers 100km. Add in the French side and you have 650km of pistes all well graded and signed for the intermediate skier. There are virtually limitless choices.

Here's a suggestion. From the Telepherique, ski down to the Mossettes Suisse and ride it to the top. Ski down to Les Lindarets and then ride the Chaux Fleune. From here work your way down to Linga on the outskirts of Chatel. Riding the lifts and skiing back to Les Lindarets will put you at the bottom of Lindarets chair lift which will take you into Avoriaz for lunch. A morning in a paragraph and still there's the whole Portes du Soleil to explore.

Ultimately, the area is about size so why not try one of the "circuits" - well marked day long ski safaris taking you around the whole system.


Champery Advanced Skiing

Have you done the Swiss Wall? It’s not possible to have a conversation about advanced skiing in the Portes du Soleil without the Swiss Wall being mentioned. The Wall is one of the longest, steepest and bumpiest runs in Europe and deserving of at least one descent by advanced skiers.

The Swiss Wall in French is Le Pas de Chavanette which is a clue to it's whereabouts in this vast area. From the Telepherique, keep left and work across to Ripaille 182. From here, the Chavanette will take you to the wall.

If you enjoy bumps, the drag lift track up from Les Lindarets is now a long run with a near perfect gradient. Watch out though, as once you're halfway down there's no alternative but to continue.

But the Portes du Soleil is so much more than bumps. There are black and red pistes in abundance, (many paired with runs to the same point for intermediate skiers), to keep advanced skiers busy. And the off piste opportunities in the Portes du Soleil are almost limitless.

As always, it's best to get a guide for off piste skiing. The Portes du Soleil is not without avalanche risk (read the signs) but a ski guide will help you get far more out your off piste skiing experience.


Champery Boarding & Freestyle

There are three snowparks on the Swiss side of the Portes du Soleil and seven parks in total in the region.

The largest is the Superpark underneath the TSD Crosets lift which has a wide variety of kickers, jibs and rails - http://www.superpark.ch. The layout changes from year to year and the Freeride Company provides training in the park.

Other terrain parks in the Portes du Soleil worth a visit are the 600m park at Morgins, the 300m park at Champoussin which has two lines and the new 500m long SnowPark Freeridezone at Torgon.

Ski lifts & pass


Champery Lift System

The lift system on the Swiss side of the Portes du Soleil comprises 35 lifts of 2, 4, 6 and 8 seats. To reach the hub of the lift system from Champery it’s necessary to ride the Telepherique gondola up form the village. This departs every 30 minutes or so and carries 120 people.

Queues around the Swiss side are rare but you might encounter more people around Avoriaz and on the French side generally. And, given the modern construction of the lift system, a queue is unlikely to be more than 5 minutes anyway. The 8 seater lifts move over 4,000 people per hour and the smaller lifts are equally efficient.


Hourly tickets

Peak seasonLow season
AdultSenior*Teenager**Child***AdultSenior*Teenager**Child***
From 11 am
CHF54.00 ($53.87)
CHF43.00 ($42.90)
CHF46.00 ($45.89)
CHF36.00 ($35.92)
CHF47.00 ($46.89)
CHF37.00 ($36.91)
CHF40.00 ($39.91)
CHF31.00 ($30.93)

Day tickets

Peak seasonLow season
AdultSenior*Teenager**Child***AdultSenior*Teenager**Child***
Day ticket
CHF60.00 ($59.86)
CHF51.00 ($50.88)
CHF51.00 ($50.88)
CHF43.00 ($42.90)
CHF52.00 ($51.88)
CHF42.00 ($41.90)
CHF44.00 ($43.90)
CHF35.00 ($34.92)
2 Days
CHF117.00 ($116.73)
CHF94.00 ($93.78)
CHF99.00 ($98.77)
CHF78.00 ($77.82)
CHF101.00 ($100.77)
CHF81.00 ($80.81)
CHF86.00 ($85.80)
CHF68.00 ($67.84)
3 Days
CHF167.00 ($166.61)
CHF134.00 ($133.69)
CHF142.00 ($141.67)
CHF112.00 ($111.74)
CHF145.00 ($144.66)
CHF116.00 ($115.73)
CHF123.00 ($122.71)
CHF97.00 ($96.77)
4 Days
CHF214.00 ($213.50)
CHF171.00 ($170.60)
CHF182.00 ($181.58)
CHF143.00 ($142.67)
CHF185.00 ($184.57)
CHF148.00 ($147.66)
CHF157.00 ($156.64)
CHF124.00 ($123.71)
5 Days
CHF257.00 ($256.40)
CHF218.00 ($217.49)
CHF220.00 ($219.49)
CHF182.00 ($181.58)
CHF224.00 ($223.48)
CHF179.00 ($178.58)
CHF190.00 ($189.56)
CHF150.00 ($149.65)
6 Days
CHF308.00 ($307.29)
CHF246.00 ($245.43)
CHF262.00 ($261.39)
CHF206.00 ($205.52)
CHF267.00 ($266.38)
CHF213.00 ($212.51)
CHF227.00 ($226.47)
CHF179.00 ($178.58)
7 Days
CHF345.00 ($344.20)
CHF276.00 ($275.36)
CHF293.00 ($292.32)
CHF231.00 ($230.46)
CHF298.00 ($297.31)
CHF239.00 ($238.45)
CHF253.00 ($252.41)
CHF200.00 ($199.54)
13 Days
CHF523.00 ($521.79)
CHF418.00 ($417.03)
CHF445.00 ($443.97)
CHF350.00 ($349.19)
CHF452.00 ($450.95)
CHF362.00 ($361.16)
CHF384.00 ($383.11)
CHF303.00 ($302.30)

Season tickets

Season ticket

Dec 9, 2016

-

Apr 23, 2017
Pre-selling
AdultSenior*Teenager**Child***AdultSenior*Teenager**Child***
Season ticket
CHF1,117 ($1,114.41)
CHF894.00 ($891.93)
CHF949.00 ($946.80)
CHF748.00 ($746.26)
CHF1,005 ($1,002.67)
CHF805.00 ($803.13)
CHF854.00 ($852.02)
CHF673.00 ($671.44)

Activities & Things to do


Summer

There are over 800 km of walks to choose from here. There is a 40 km long trekking circuit round the Dents-du-Midi - the wild limestone massif between the Val du Trient and Val d'Illiez - which takes three to four days to complete, well away from all roads and villages. The bike park has over 300 km of marked tracks to suit all abilities. The tourist facilities also include a horse-riding centre, tennis courts, indoor and outdoor swimming pools etc.

On the high plateau of Barme at 1500 m, young and old can practise climbing. In this enchanting place, which is also ideal for family outings, woodland walks or mushroom gathering, there is a 40 m high limestone cliff with marked climbing routes of varying degrees of difficulty. The people of Champéry indulge their love of tradition and craftsmanship by staging numerous local festivals, and they gladly invite visitors to discover folk dances performed by the village ensemble.


Winter

Cable-cars and chair-lifts lead from Champéry into the skiing area of "Portes du Soleil", one of the world's largest continuous skiing areas. Within it, there are 14 different areas for skiers and snowboarders – 6 in Switzerland and 8 in France – with 209 lifts and 650 km of prepared slopes available to them. There is also a snowpark to meet the needs of freestylers. Not only that, but the adventurous can also try their hand at ice-climbing, snow-shoe walking or paragliding, or prove themselves on skiing tours or sledging runs. The village also has an indoor ice rink and a curling hall which are open all year round.

The ski slope at Pas de Chavanette – often simply called "Le Mur Suisse" (the Swiss Wall) – is one of the steepest in the world. Although it is only a kilometre long, the descent covers a difference in altitude of nearly 400 metres, with gradients of up to 50 degrees.

Restaurants & Nightlife


Champery Mountain Restaurants

There are over 90 mountain restaurants in the Portes du Soleil – you’ll need a good three months to try them all. The first you’ll encounter is La Croix-de-Culet in the Telepherique complex and the furthest is Chanterelle way past Les Gets

The mountain restaurants in Portes du Soleil get busy so it's usually a good idea to reseve in advance and plan your days route accordingly.

But there are plenty of self service establishments and you won't go hungry.

A trip from Champery to Avoriaz is always a pleasant day and the choice in the main street of this space age resort is extensive. Try the small but excellent Salle de Manger perhaps.


Champery Restaurants & Bars

The apres ski scene in Champery isn’t busy. But this is compensated for the bars and restaurants later in the evening.

As you come off the Telepherique, the Le Gueullhi and Le Jonquille just over the road are convenient for the day's debrief on the huge distances you've covered. Just up the hill past the car park, Mitchell's, with it's four TV screens broadcasting in four languages and it's modern décor is another après ski spot.

But it's later when Champery comes into it's own. The ubiquitous pizza is, of course, easy to find but the restaurants in Champery generally have seen the arrival of younger go-ahead chefs in recent years and c21 on the main street boasts a Michelin star.

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