Serre Chevalier

Serre Chevalier, located near the Italian border of France, is a ski vacation resort with a traditional, almost ‘Provencal’ charm. This excelent value ski resort has a distinctly unpretentious French ambiance, and the thirteen authentic villages that make up this ski resort, range from ultra-modern hamlets to old-style villages. Located in a big south-facing Guisane valley, between the Col du Lautaret and Brianon with the villages dotted along it, Serre Chevalier offers some of the finest skiing and snowboarding available in Europe.

The main villages are Monetier, Villeneuve and Chantemerle and they all share the same skiing which stretches along the valley. Surprisingly this lovely area is relatively undiscovered and unpopulated by tourists, even though it provides excellent value for money. The skiing is fantastic for intermediates and beginners and there is plenty of potential for advanced skiers too. Each ski resort is served by a good lift system and the villages are linked by a very efficient bus system.

Serre Chevalier has its own 250 km of pistes and another 900 km available with the Grande Galaxie Pass. It offers indirect links to Montgenèvre and the Milky Way. More accomplished skiers will get their thrills at Monetier with its deadly black pistes and a considerable variety of off-piste terrain. Two-thirds of the mountain is covered by woods and is a feast for the eyes at any time of the year. The slopes are north-facing and hold an impressive amount of snow. However, resort-level snow can be slushy as the villages are all at a lower altitude in the valley, being below 1,500 meters.

Boarders will find the terrain very much to their liking, particularly the more advanced. There is a specialist park and good off-piste areas to ride and ski. The charm of Serre Chevalier is that, being secluded, it is not very touristy. The villages are still very unspoiled and the restaurants serve good local fare. Each village has its own specialties so make sure to try as many as you can on your ski vacation. Nightlife is fairly limited, most off-snow activities and shopping is focused in nearby Briancon.