To discover Chatel is to discover an area which as been shaped by its geography and by the geological forces that have worked on it over millions of years.
Chatel's location on the border with Switzerland at the start of the Northern Alps has helped to define the story of the area. From the first settlers who came into the Abondance valley to the relationships with the surrounding areas - as part of Savoie, the Kingdom Of Sardinia and since 1860 as part of France - there have been many changes over the hundreds of years that have seen the valley grow from a quiet arable collection of hamlets to an important and world famous ski destination. Tourism began therein 1880, due to the proximity to Evian and Lake Geneva. The surrounding slopes and position in a valley have meant that the population could not rapidly expand. Although thousands of tourists visit the area, along with the seasonal workers who look after them, the year round population of the town has peaked at around twelve hundred residents. Becoming a part of France in 1860, and this led to improved links to the rest of France. The transport links today are excelent, with train stations at Evian and Thonon as well as the International Airport at Geneva.
The local geology has defined the Alpine landscape, a story that can be seen in the mountains, the natural springs, the lakes and the glaciers. The Geopark Du Chablais promotes the geological landscape of the area, from lake Geneva to the mountains of Avoriaz, as well as educating about manís relationship with the landscape through the ages. The organisation helps with workshops and events as well as trips for schools and works with local partners to promote green tourism and sustainability, both for tourism and for the use of local resources.
Time (Daylight And Time Saving)
Chatel is in the Central European Time zone, moving to Central European Summer Time from the end of March to the end of October.This means that it is one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time. The longest day of the year, in June, has almost sixteen hours of daylight, whilst the shortest day of the year in December has about eight and a half hours of daylight.