Discovering Chatel can be much more rewarding when learning something of its history - both the legacy of its fifteen hundred year old history and the story of how this impacts what is still to come.
Work is always continuing to improve the experience for visitors. Recently this has included the new link between Linga and Super Chatel, making access far easier and faster than it had previously been with one new piste and two new chairlifts. The chairlift linking Linga with Lindarets, and therefore Avoriaz/Morzine/Les Gets has also been upgraded in recent years. In order to improve the skiing experience further the amount of snow making facilities have also been improved. For mountain biking, a new run opened in 2016 designed and built by Belgian rider Nico Vink.
The first chairlift in Chatel was the Vonnes chairlift, which opened in 1948. For the next twenty years work continued with more lifts being built on Super Chatel, including the first Chatel gondola. It was also at this time that the first link between Chatel and Switzerland was built, the Chalet Neuf drag lift. From 1967 to 1984 the Linga area began opening up. This meant that Chatel could now link to Avoriaz and the area that would become the Portes Du Soleil. A high speed chairlift on Super Chatel also provided improved access to Switzerland. Chatel was now set to be placed at the heart of the Portes Du Soleil. From 1985 more lifts have been built and the Super Chatel gondola has been upgraded. In 2015 the Gabelou and Portes Du Soleil chairlifts opened to link Super Chatel and Linga together.
The Early History Of Chatel
The first settlers in the Abondance valley were a group of Burgundians who had been forced to leave their lands by the Huns in the fifth century. They brought with them their arable culture as well as their Catholic religion. In the sixth century the Burgundian King Saint Sigismund placed the valley under the control of Augustinian monks who attempted to build a priory there. The area became part of France when Savoie was annexed in 1860 and first looked to tourism when a hotel was built in 1880.
Some of the events held in Chatel serve the purpose of bringing visitors to the town - such as mountain bike events and the comedy festival while others, such as the cheese fair and the autumn fair celebrate the history of the town, with local cheeses and the traditional descent of the cattle from the mountain pastures.