A unique environment
Above Serre Chevalier rise the mountains of the Ecrins National Park and the area’s main asset is its climate, which is both Mediterranean and alpine in influence. With its protected environment and its clean and pure air, far from the traffic and the pollution of big cities, it has become a haven of health and well-being for its visitors.
There is a friendly atmosphere in the Guisane valley. This small valley opens its doors to tourists, without losing a sense of its traditions. Its permanent population are mountain folk at heart with an affinity for the south, a friendly smile for their visitors and a real sense of ’well-being’. In the Guisane valley you’re not just a tourist, you’re a guest.
As the winter winds blow in from the east, huge drifts of snow build up here. Yet the bad weather doesn’t stay for long, and as the clear blue skies return mountain lovers ski and board the slopes of the immense plateau that overlooks the right bank of the Guisane river. It is mostly north-facing and drops down towards Briançon just after the Pic du Prorel (2572m).
With its superb forests of centuries-old larches and a huge variety of pines, the ski area offers extremely varied and athletic skiing and boarding through valleys and coombs, from tree-lined pistes to wider, more open runs.
In this high-mountain environment you can ski or board from one slope to the next, from cosy runs through the woods that meander through and between the trees and each other. Also on offer in Serre Chevalier are some exceptional off-piste runs where the more extreme riders will feel at home.
A good skier in Serre Chevalier can cover more than 6000m vertical metres of descent in a single day.
Cross-country skiers are also catered for in Serre-Chevalier. The resort has a ’real’ cross-country track that winds its way along the bottom of the valley, running through the villages and larch forests, and which holds a quality label from the French cross-country skiing association.
History has left Serre Chevalier with a rich heritage and it acts as a beacon for the cultural identity of the region. Among the visible signs of this identity are the guardian-like 15th century clock towers built in the Lombard Romanesque style that appear in virtually all of hamlets in the valley.
Serre Chevalier is also blessed with natural hot springs that have been bubbling away in Monêtier les Bains (Serre Chevalier 1500) since the dawn of time.
This is currently the only resort in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region able to offer its customers a naturally heated swimming pool. The water rises to the surface at 44°C and cools as it is used in the outdoor and indoor pools (36°C) as well as individual tubs. It retains its healing properties and is beneficial in the treatment of rheumatism and skin conditions, and most of all it’s a great way to relax and recover at the end of the day. At night and during the day, there is nothing nicer than taking a relaxing dip in a hot tub while taking in the magnificent views of the surrounding glaciers, peaks and larch forests.