Serre Chevalier Ski Holiday Resort
A much underrated ski area by us Brits, but really popular with French skiers and boarders. If you have visited Serre Chevalier before, you will know that it is an amazing ski area offering tree line skiing as well some wide open pistes suitable for all abilities.
The Serre Chevalier ski area is an amalgamation of four villages all linked by lifts, the largest being Briancon which is actually a large town. The old part of Briancon is fortified and a really interesting morning out with its traditional shops and restaurants.
The village of Chantemerle is the next stop up the valley, and in the village centre is a charming little area of shops, pubs and restaurants close to the lifts and the majority of the accommodation. Across the main road (accessed by an underground tunnel) is a good selection of hotels and apartments that offer excellent value for money accommodation.
Villenueve is probably the busiest and most fun for après ski and has excellent connections for accessing the extensive ski area.
And finally the village of Monetier, the highest of the four and also the prettiest and quietest, with a number of excellent quality and value for money accommodations. Monetier has a thermal spa with indoor and outdoor pools with saunas, steam rooms, and relaxing areas with music and a waterfall.
The skiing extends to over 250 kms of pisted runs with a good selection of green, blue, red and black runs making this an ideal area for mixed ability groups. Trees cover almost two thirds of the mountain and because of this it is an excellent area for when the weather is poor. The lifts out of the villages are all modern and fast but there are a few areas higher up that are not so up to date and quite old.
For beginners there are nursery slopes in all four areas of the Serre Chevalier valley, and the resort offers a good quantity of progression slopes at all four areas.
For intermediates Serre Chevalier offers a huge range of pisted runs with the ability to get around the resort and cover a big area without any nasty surprises. The Cucumelle is a lovely long red that is on the edge of Villeneuve and a firm favourite of ours.
For experts there are plenty of good challenging runs but with nothing too steep. For those seeking off piste challenges there are a large range of options with the La Voie Jackson route from the top of the Yret chair in Monetier a must do (Snowfinders would stress that clients should only go off piste with a recognised local guide).
There is a first class ski school, New Generation, in the village of Monetier, and Gavin Crosby the Head of New Generation in Serre Chevalier comes highly recommended as an inspiring and fun instructor.
Lots of bars, with Villeneuve being the busiest for apres ski fun. The Grotte offers live music happy hour prices and good bar meals .Off slope activities include ice driving, ice skating, hot air balloon flights, spa baths, and the opportunity to drive a "piste basher" (piste grooming machine). The town of Briancon is worthy of a days visit with its ancient fortifications.
A much under rated resort seldom considered by the Brits. Having skied here many times we cannot understand why this area is not more popular than it is. With 250 kms of pisted runs this is the fifth largest area in France. It is also very noticeable to those who normally ski in the Three Valleys, and some of France`s better known resorts, how friendly the locals in Serre Chevalier are. Big ski area, quality skiing, unpretentious.