Ports of Call
Serre-Chevalier Travel Guide
Serre-Chevalier © Frederique Voisin-Demery
Situated in the Hautes-Alpes, near the Italian border, Serre-Chevalier is one of the biggest ski resorts in Europe and is made up from a string of rustic old villages, which are lined out along the valley floor. Serre-Chevalier is the most central, and the other villages include Briançon, Chantemerle, Villeneuve and Le Monêtier. The area is beautiful and unpretentious and remains popular in the summer months, when visitors can enjoy hiking, mountain biking and other outdoor activities. Serre-Chevalier is a two-hour drive from Turin, two and a half hours from Grenoble, and a little over three hours from Lyon.
Serre-Chevalier has a large ski area, with good skiing for all standards. All the main villages have gentle beginner slopes, and there are a huge number of blue and red runs for intermediate skiers. There are two challenging black descents for the more advanced skiers and there's also some excellent off-piste terrain. The snow reliability is good as most of the runs are north facing, and the lower slopes have snowmaking facilities. Over half the pistes are tree lined, offering more variety, and ensuring better visibility when it's snowing.
There isn't much in the way of shopping in Serre-Chevalier other than the usual tourist shops and ski equipment stores. There are supermarkets and basic amenities such as a post office and ATMs available.
There are roughly 100 restaurants to choose from in Serre-Chevalier, ranging from fine dining to pizza and burgers.
Serre-Chevalier has a relaxed and low-key nightlife, with a number of bars and one or two discos in Villeneuve and Chantemerle. Like many ski resorts, there is a much livelier atmosphere in the winter ski season.
Off the slopes there are a number of activities, including carriage and sleigh rides, ice skating, sledding, and taking advantage of the resorts' fitness centres and indoor swimming pools. Monêtier has a large thermal spa complex. In the summer, popular activities in Serre-Chevalier include hiking, canoeing, mountain biking, hang gliding, rock climbing and more. The resort operates four chairlifts in the summer for walkers and cyclists.
Despite its size, Serre-Chevalier has a relatively quiet nightlife, so those looking for a wild party may be disappointed.
What to see in Serre-Chevalier
Perched among the French Alps, Briançon is the highest town in Europe. The town is divided into the lower town, where the Durance and Guisane rivers meet and much of the modern amenities lie;…