Champéry resort overview
A stunning setting at the base of the Dent du Midi, Champéry is one of the oldest and prettiest ski resorts in Switzerland. On the Swiss side of the huge Portes du Soleil ski area, the slopes are high above the village with access from the iconic cable car or the fast quad lift just up the road. Charm and character is the big appeal here, with wonderful restaurants and old wooden chalet-style buildings in the trees winning over the lack of ski in, ski out accommodation. A relaxed village vibe far removed from the purpose-built ski resort ambience of neighbouring Avoriaz. And, at under a two-hour drive from Geneva airport, it makes weekend skiing in Champéry all the more appealing.
Skiing in Champéry
The slopes are accessed via a cable car from the village or a fast quad chairlift a free shuttle ride away up to the slopes of Planchaux. There are no slopes back to Champéry so you will have to take the cable car back down the mountain at the end of your day or utilise the free buses that run in the area from various access points. The local Champéry-Les Crosets region has enough skiing for a weekend and there are easy links into Avoriaz. From there, you can make your way around the massive Portes du Soleil ski area, which provides more than enough skiing for even the most avid mile-munchers. Many blues in the area could easily be classed as reds, so a word of warning for beginners there. This ski area is more suited to intermediates but, given the scale of the skiing, there's still plenty for everyone.
Champéry gives you easy access to the Portes du Soleil, escaping the huge crowds and long links from neighbouring resorts such as Morzine. A much more leisurely entrance to the 650km of pistes included on the lift pass that won't leave you queueing your weekend away.
Champéry tends to be more of a low key après scene based around the hotel bars and decent food rather than boisterous drinking and table dancing. That being said there are a few late night venues and, particularly if you’re skiing with a group, there's more than enough life here to have a good time. Our senior sales guy described the après scene when he visited last season as "'discretely rocking', quiet on the surface but fun underneath" and we like the sound of that.
A few nights a week the bar at the top of the gondola from town stays open throughout the evenings (La Croix de Culet), a great après option up the mountain with great food. There's also plenty to do off the slopes with a great sports and leisure complex as well as an outdoor pool and ice rink, you could even try your hand at a spot of curling.
What we like:
- A stunning town surrounded by impressive scenery
- Ski over the border for lunch in France and dinner in Switzerland
- Short transfers and easy access from Geneva (under 2 hours)
- Part of a huge ski area in the Portes du Soleil (650km)
- Plenty to do off the slopes and a relaxed atmosphere around town
- There is no ski in, ski out accommodation as the slopes are only accessible via the cable car
- There are a handful of drag lifts within the immediate area, something to watch out for if you're learning to snowboard
- With South-East facing slopes the snow can struggle in very early and late season - it's worth checking the forecasts first if you plan to travel at this time
- There is night skiing on some slopes around Les Crosets twice a week