at the crossroads of Europe and 3 countries : France, Switzerland and Italy...and at the center of a region with incomparable sites !
Châtel is a typical Savoyard village in Haut-Chablais. Its geographical location is privileged because beyond the borders of its territory and within a radius of 100 km, many excursions await you in the incomparable and grandiose sites of the French, Swiss and Italian Alps :
- Morgins, 3 km away, is a historic Valais summer and winter resort. Nestled at an altitude of 1300 m on the Franco-Swiss border with the Val d'Abondance, it has been seducing for more than 200 years with the typically Swiss aesthetics of its chalets and the variety of its soft and colorful landscapes, imbued with a unparalleled romance. Its tourism developed from the 1820s thanks to its source of ferruginous red water with recognized appetizing and healthy virtues. Morgins also has under the mountain of Chésery, a wonderful natural phenomenon giving rise to the Cascades des Fontaines Blanches which spring from the ground at an altitude of 1700 m. Nearby, in the exceptional setting of the Vallon de They, grazes one of the most beautiful cattle breeds in the Alps, the Hérens breed, with a harmonious and impressive posture (Switzerland).
- Champéry, 20 km away, is a renowned historic resort among the oldest in Switzerland. It is located in the Val d'Illiez at the foot of a fascinating geological wonder, aesthetic emblem of the Portes-du-Soleil and made up of the majestic Dents-du-Midi. It is a 3 km long mountain range comprising 7 summits and culminating at 3258 m altitude. Champéry is also the first Olympic site in Valais. A real postcard of a typical Swiss village, the charm of Champéry also lies in the unique architecture of its more than a century-old chalets, featuring a large wooden cross carved into a balcony and surmounted by characteristic whistle roofs (Switzerland).
- Abondance, 10 km away, is the former capital of the administrative canton of Val d'Abondance and its flamboyant Gothic Abbey is a jewel of medieval religious art. It is classified as a "Historical Monument". Also labeled "French Heritage Museum", La Maison du Fromage d'Abondance, backed by the maturing cooperative cellar and its interpretation centre, reveals all the specificities of this exceptional cheese and the particularities of this territory shaped by agropastoralism (France).
- Les Salines de Bex-les-Bains, 25 km away, is a unique historical site in Switzerland for the extraction and marketing of mine salt. It forms a huge underground labyrinth of about 50 km, made up of sculpted shafts and galleries that visitors can explore on foot. A small train also transports tourists to the heart of the mine, the first gallery of which was dug in 1684 (Switzerland).
- The Gorges du Pont-du-Diable, 30 km away, is a historic geological site, classified and integrated into the Unesco World Geopark. In an exceptional forest environment, this unique ensemble offers a striking image of the power of the erosion of the Dranse de Morzine which rushes into a deep crack dominated by an imposing arch. The visit begins with a stroll through the Parc Sylvestre, a magnificent beech forest that leads you to the entrance to the gorges. Fascinating staircases, suspended walkways, vertiginous walls and potholes follow one another. The visit can be completed by the Pas du Diable, the new glass structure which offers guaranteed thrills 50 m above the Dranse and under the Arche du Diable (France).
- Les Bains de Lavey-les-Bains, 30 km away, is a renowned spa center in the Canton of Vaud. Located in the valley at the foot of the Dents-du-Midi and the Dents-de-Morcles, it is fed by the hottest water source in Switzerland (Switzerland).
- The Labyrinte Aventure d'Evionnaz, 32 km away, is the largest permanent labyrinth in the world. With its 25,000 m2, it is the dream place for adventurers of all ages. More than fifty attractions await you, including a thirty-meter high tower to spend an unforgettable moment with your family (Switzerland).
- Socialite Evian-les-Bains, shopping Thonon-les-Bains and sporty Amphion-les-Bains, each located 39 km away, are renowned thermal and climatic towns on the French Riviera of Lake Geneva. Evian-les-Bains organizes the prestigious women's Grand Slam golf tournament every year on its mythical course and its Palais Lumière Museum hosts remarkable exhibitions of paintings and works of art. In Thonon-les-Bains, tourist, cultural, commercial and student life intersect with dynamism and the emblematic Château de Ripaille of the Maison de Savoie, listed in the inventory of "Historic Monuments", watches over its famous adjoining vineyard. In Amphion-les-Bains, in a green park bordering the lake, the Cité de l'Eau is a large modern covered aquatic complex which welcomes athletes from the various national and international teams (France).
- Lake Geneva, 39 km away, is a real inland sea (it is the largest alpine lake and the largest freshwater lake in Western Europe) ideal for contemplation and water sports. Preserved from concrete, its banks are home to several sensitive natural areas and a Natura 2000 classified area.
The CGN (Compagnie Générale de Navigation), more than a century old, sails on this emblematic lake, the most prestigious fleet of Belle-Epoque paddle-wheel boats in the world. With its 8 legendary ships, the CGN was classified as a "Historic Monument" of national importance in Switzerland on June 17, 2011.
Cruises are also unforgettable on the historic boat "La Savoie", the only replica of a 19th century freshwater galley typical of Lake Geneva with its lateen sails. To date, it is the largest heritage boat rebuilt identically in France, allowing us to imagine with nostalgia what maritime transport must have looked like over the past centuries.
- Les Rochers-de-Naye, 40 km away is a peak above Montreux. Hold your breath and board this train that climbs, climbs, and climbs some more. Nothing scares it, neither the steep slopes nor the snow. At the Rochers-de-Naye, at over 2,000 metres altitude, what amazing scenery! Lake Geneva in all its glory. Don’t leave the place without saying hello to the marmots, the mascot of the Alps. A tip: it is said that this is where the real Santa Claus spends the winter. (Switzerland).
- Le Bouveret Swiss-Vapeur-Parc, 40 km away, is the largest miniature railway route in Europe with real steam locomotives and scale train replicas. There are also the railway buildings essential to the operation of the trains (rotunda, stations and depots) but also a village with its bank, its church and its shop as well as two bodies of water and numerous works of art. Located on the shores of Lake Geneva, this magical universe represents a small piece of idealized Switzerland that can be explored by train or on foot (Switzerland).
- Montreux-Vevey, 40 km away, are international seaside, cultural and economic cities of the Vaud Riviera. Chic and Belle-Époque, they are renowned for their music, jazz and comedy festivals, the Chaplin Museum and the many international training institutions. Nearby, the Château de Chillon, the former residence of the Princes of Savoy, classified as a "Historic Monument", is an architectural gem set on its rocky islet by the lake (Switzerland).
- Les Gets, 42 km away, is a major Portes-du-Soleil resort. Its golf course enjoys an exceptional panorama facing Mont-Blanc. Its mechanical music museum exhibits the most beautiful European collection of mechanical musical instruments (750 pieces), true historical treasures (France).
- Martigny, 45 km away, is an ancient Gallo-Roman city at the foot of the Alps and on the Col-du-Grand-St-Bernard road, renowned for its orchards on the banks of the Rhône. The essential Gianadda Foundation Museum exhibits the most prestigious works in the world and a permanent exhibition on Leonardo da Vinci (Switzerland).
- Les Diablerets, 48 km away, is a renowned mountain resort and a mecca for adventure sports. Its imposing Glacier 3000 is one of the most famous in Switzerland. At an altitude of more than 3000 m, it offers 2 major attractions: the Alpine Coaster, which is the highest rail toboggan run in the world, and the Peak Walk, which is the only suspension bridge in the world that connects two peaks ( Swiss).
- Avoriaz, 50 km away, is the winter sports resort which occupies the central position of the Portes-du-Soleil. It is a successful so-called 3rd generation integrated resort, built ex-nihilo in 1966 on an alpine pasture in Morzine. Almost supernatural, the resort of Avoriaz perched at an altitude of 1800 m on the edge of a cliff, is today classified as "Heritage of the 20th Century" for its unusual architecture which merges with the impressive rocky panorama which surrounds it. . Its name is still inseparable from the International Fantastic Film Festival which it hosted from 1973 to 1993, thus giving it worldwide fame. It is a car-free and entirely pedestrian resort (France).
- Yvoire 50 km away, named "The Pearl of Lake Geneva", is a medieval village erected as a sentinel on a promontory on the shores of Lake Geneva, classified among "The Most Beautiful Villages of France". Its seigneurial castle shelters in the old kitchen garden, a Labyrinthe-Garden-of-Cinq-Sens, classified "Remarkable Garden of France" for its concept on the art of the closed gardens of the Middle Ages (France).
- Zoo Alpin des Marécottes, 54 km away, is a symbol park of the Alps, the highest in Europe. In a purely natural setting in the middle of a larch forest, you will discover most of the representatives of our fauna living or having lived in the Alps. Attached to the zoo, the astonishing alpine swimming pool cut into the rock is full of poetry (Switzerland).
- Samoëns, 60 km away, is a summer and winter mountain town which is distinguished by the richness of its heritage. Its alpine botanical garden La Jaÿsinia is classified as a "Remarkable Garden of France". It was donated by Marie-Louise Jaÿ. It is planted with more than 8,000 mountain plants from around the world (France).
- Sixt-Fer-à-Cheval, 68 km away, is a village classified as a "Grand Site de France". On its territory is the largest natural mountainous alpine circus forming a limestone hemicycle of 4 to 5 km in development, with walls 500 to 700 m high, crowned by peaks approaching 3000 m in altitude. In spring, more than thirty waterfalls fed by melting snow spring from its cliffs (France).
- The VerticAlp Emosson at 70 km, its historic funicular is the steepest in the world. The Châtelard Amusement Park promises you a spectacular and unforgettable experience. Three installations on rails, unique in their kind, transport you to the remarkable natural site of the Emosson impressive dam caught, at an altitude of nearly 2000 m, facing the grandiose and mythical panorama of Mont-Blanc. Then set off to explore the most beautiful dinosaur tracks in Europe, visible as soon as the snow melts! This site was discovered in 1976 by geologist A. Bronner and this deposit dates from the Trias (-200 million years) (Switzerland).
- Gstaad 70 km away, is a pretty mountain village, known in high society circles for being a posh ski resort, a very chic place of rest and relaxation frequented by crowned heads and wealthy families of the aristocracy and the European upper middle class (Switzerland).
- Geneva, 70 km away, is the largest Swiss cross-border metropolis. It is located on the shores of Lake Geneva and its water jet is emblematic. It is the largest international cooperation center in the world due to the large number of head offices of international institutions and organizations (Switzerland).
- The Lac Souterrain du Saint-Léonard, 76 km away, is the largest natural and navigable underground lake in Europe. Unusual and mystical, it is located under the vineyard in the heart of the Valais Alps (Switzerland).
- Lausanne, 80 km away, is a Swiss seaside resort and business resort on the shores of Lake Geneva. It is distinguished by the large number of international institutions linked to sport and by its Olympic Museum. The city is also home to major universities and prestigious international colleges (Switzerland).
- Gruyères, 80 km away, is a small medieval town perched on a hill and with picturesque architecture straight out of the Middle Ages. It is located in the heart of the region bearing the same name, a real postcard of rural Switzerland and home of the famous cheese. Nearby, the world of chocolate opens its doors to you at the Maison Cailler and the cheese dairy offers guided and fun tours (Switzerland).
- Chamonix, 85 km away, is the world capital of mountaineering at the foot of Mont-Blanc. The Aiguille du Midi, the Montenvers rack railway and the Mer de Glace are the major must-see sites (France).
- The Col du Grand Saint-Bernard at 90 km (el. 2469 masl), is a mountain pass made famous by Napoleon Bonaparte and which allows the passage between the Swiss Valais and the Italian Val d'Aosta. Its hospice and its pedigree dogs are renowned (Switzerland/Italy).
- Annecy, 110 km away, is a renowned alpine and seaside resort for leisure and business. Its lake is recognized as the purest in Europe. Prefecture of Haute-Savoie, this city of the Princes of Savoie deserves its nicknames of "Pearl of the Alps" and "Radiant Venice of the Alps". Its Venetian carnival and Christmas in the Alps are major unmissable events. Annecy also hosts the major international Italian film festival as well as the animation film festival.
- Aosta 120 km away, also nicknamed "The Rome of the Alps" is the symbolic capital of Val d'Aosta, an autonomous French-speaking province with special status in Italy at the foot of the Col du Grand Saint-Bernard. This Roman and medieval city is surrounded by the highest peaks in Europe. Dynamic and bilingual, she cultivates her alpine singularity mixed with bewitching Dolce Vita. It is famous for its arts and crafts, its atypical gastronomy, its fairs and its important folk markets (Italy).
This list is not exhaustive with regard to the historical, heritage and geographical richness of our region. Good visits !