All About Serre Chevalier

Where is Serre Chevalier?

Serre Chevalier is the marketing name for the ski and summer alpine resort based around the Guisane valley in France’s ‘high alps’ (Hautes Alpes region). You can zoom in and out of the map to see its exact location.

The main town of Briançon is at the lower end of the valley at 1200 metres altitude increasing to 1350 metres altitude where its old walled town called Cité Vauban sits majestically surrounded by smaller forts of distinction.

Travel north from Briançon and you come to the villages of Saint Chaffrey-Chantemerle (1350 metres), Villeneuve La Salle (1400 metres) and Le Monêtier les Bains (1500 metres) the alpine spa village with its fabulous thermal spa.

Le Monêtier les Bains © EurekaSKI

Le Monêtier les Bains © EurekaSKI

More recently, Serre Chevalier has been extended right up to the Lautaret mountain pass (Col du Lautaret) at 2000 metres. From here you can use the Galibier mountain pass (Col du Galibier) to reach the Savoie although this route is of course closed in winter due to the snowfall.

The Tour de France often uses the Col du Galibier in one or more of its stages. Le Monêtier les Bains is a great village destination in summer to make the most of seeing the Tour. It’s just 13km to the bottom of the Galibier mountain pass from the village.

Serre Chevalier Ski Resort

Serre Chevalier is one of France’s largest ski areas with 250km of pisted terrain and infamous off-piste and tree-skiing particularly around the highest sector of Monêtier to the right of the piste map.

Serre Chevalier © Office de Tourisme de Serre Chevalier

Serre Chevalier ski area © Office de Tourisme de Serre Chevalier

81 pistes: 14 black runs, 29 red rens, 25 blue runs, 13 green runs
8 dedicated nursery (beginner) areas
154 hectares of snow-sure pistes

Serre Chevalier Winter Opening Dates 2015-16

29 & 30 November 2015 – special opening weekend
5-8 December 2015 inclusive – special four day opening
12 December 2015 – official Serre Chevalier opening date
17-24 April 2016 – progressive closure of Serre Chevalier ski resort

Serre Chevalier - view from top of Vallons lift © Alison Hall

Serre Chevalier – view from top of Vallons lift © Alison Hall

Serre Chevalier in spring, summer and autumn

The valley quietens in May and November each year where many local shop and restaurant owners take a break and head south or spend time with family. Briançon however remains alive and attracts visitors all year round thanks to its historic routes (medieval fortresses surround the town) and its central location where you can choose to take any of the five different valleys including the Guisane (mentioned above), Durance (direction south) and the Clarée towards Italy.

Cité Vauban - the old town of Briançon © Ceryl Rowlands

Cité Vauban – the old town of Briançon © Ceryl Rowlands

From the beginning of June to the end of October, Serre Chevalier offers so much to do, whether you want to climb, cycle, walk, ride horses, raft or kayak. Have a look at our growing list of things to do in Serre Chevalier here.

Springtime in Serre Chevalier

Springtime in Serre Chevalier

Five of Serre Chevalier’s lifts are open from early July to the end of August each year. For via ferrata, walking, parapenting, mountain biking, … and enjoy lunch at one of the restaurants at altitude too:
– Prorel (Briançon )
– Ratier (Chantemerle)
– Serre Chevalier (Chantemerle)
– Casse du Boeuf (Villeneuve)
– Bachas (Le Monêtier les Bains)

Visit our Serre Chevalier section to see al our articles about Serre Chevalier and the activities and services available. Take a look by clicking here. If we have missed anything you’d like to know, please give us a shout!