The largest ski area in the Southern French Alps, the beautiful destination of Serre Chevalier, turns 80 years old this winter. (Picture Top Copyright: Agence Zoom)
With 250km of slopes spreading across the mountains above a choice of mountain villages and the historic walled mountain town of Briançon, Serre Chevalier (pictured below), not only looks to its long heritage to deliver its character and identity, but also to the future with a strong commitment to renewable energy sources and sustainable development. (Picture top credit Agence Zoom).
Truly Caring For the Environment
Serre Chevalier has a long history of doing its best for the environment, it comes naturally to the families who have lived here for generations …since long before we knew about climate change. But now they are taking things to another level, increasingly generating green energy through solar, hydro and small wind power facilities all actually on their local mountains, with demanding targets to increasingly operate from this home-produced power, delivering a remarkable 30% of their energy from on-site renewable power generation by 2023. The aim then is to cut the resort’s carbon footprint by 50% by 2030.
The 250 km of piste at Serre Chevalier spread across a vast 410 hectare area and include something for all levels (13 black, 29 red, 26 blue, 13 green). There’s a world class 1500 metres of lift served vertical climbing from 1300 up to 2800 metres, with 80% of the terrain above the snowsure 2000m altitude mark. Besides the hundreds of kilometres of classic ski terrain you’ll find a Snow Park, BoarderCross course, the FunnyCross for family fun and the fabulous MélèZone with loads of wooden features to bounce off. Almost 60 modern lifts are installed to whisk you up the slopes and whilst snow cover is normally abundant the resort also boasts an average of 300 sunny days a years.
There’s a huge range of things to do besides ski and board in Serre Chevalier, whether you have non-skiers in your group or are looking for apres-ski or alternative activities yourself. New this season is a giant zipline which will allow you to whizz through the air at over 100kph (pictured below, image credit Thibaut Blais ) and a great idea from Eastern Canada, the Sugar Shack. In Canada they pour maple syrup on snow to form all-natural lollies, here it will be local honey, yum!
Back to speed, this time on snow, and there’s mountain karting to try or the equally thrilling Devalbob down a 4-kilometre sled run through the forest. There are dozens more alternative activities available, from snowshoeing and snowmobiling to a visit to an igloo or there’s an ice rink and even an indoor skate park.
Unlike many French resorts which are just about skiing, at Serre Chevalier you also have the choice to dive into to the region’s rich heritage if you wish. Make a visit to the Cité Vauban in Briançon, classified as a UNESCO world heritage site, which it’s also possible to see from the ski slopes. The famous “gargouille” is a must-see too and you can take a guided tour with the Heritage Service. This winter will also see a number of special celebration through the season to mark the 80 year anniversary.
All This And A Spa Resort Too
Away from the snow it is worth noting that Serre Chevalier has a whole other identity as a year-round spa and wellness resort. The Grands Bains du Monêtier Spa has an array of wellness facilities and offers a fabulous menu of spa treatments too. The naturally hot water here is rich in minerals and the perfect place to unwind and soak your tired ski muscles. Really it’s hard to make yourself leave again once you venture in! The resort also boasts a superb Aquatic centre and there are swimming pools in numerous properties. Perhaps round the day off with an evening at the Briançon Casino and enjoy its gaming tables and slot machines.
Or Travel to Serre Chevalier with InTheSnow
InTheSnow is running our first ever ski holiday for readers, to Serre Chevalier, in association with Club Med. Hosted by our Managing Editor Henry Druce who has previously hosted trips for the Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph the week-long trip will run from 20 to 27 March, 2022.