The Passportes du Soleil is happening again from the 24th – 26th June 2011. This event is now so popular that the have added an extra day of racing on the Friday.
There are still some places available but they are going fast so don’t wait too long. You can register online on the Passportes du Soleil website.
For those who don’t know, the Passportes is a fantastic mountain bike trek taking in the whole of the Portes du Soleil. The route ranges from 1000 to 2250m in altitude, and covers terrain in both France & Switzerland.
The 80 km circuit use 14 lifts. There are also optional climbs for those (crazy) riders wishing to cycle up hill.
There is always a real festival feel to the event, with music and bike shows in many of the resorts. There are also lots of refreshment stops along the way where you can feel up on energy drinks and snacks, or if you prefer, sausage cheese and wine (not recommended for too early in the day).
All in all, the Passportes is a great day out and as someone who has done it 5 or 6 times, I thoroughly recommend it.
The is also the usual Pass’Portes Mountain bike Show which in 2011 will be held in les Gets.
As usual accommodation in Chatel for this weekend is booking up quickly so contact us soon if you need somewhere to stay. We should be able to find you some self catered or hotel accommodation.
Come and pit yourself against Europe’s best bike playground!
People seem to be getting bored of the beach, and more often they turn to the mountains for their summer holiday. However, whereas a week on the beach in the med can be quite easy to pack for (swim wear, flip flops, sun cream), there are a few more things that you should consider bringing on a summer mountain holiday. This list should help to get you started:
1) Sun Protection: because mountain resorts are often at altitude, the sun can be a lot fiercer than at sea level. It is therefore a very important to pack high factor sun cream and good sunglasses. Also, don’t forget that if you go hiking on a glacier, the snow will reflect back the sun in all directions, so you may get sunburnt in areas you weren’t expecting (for example under the chin).
Also, don’t forget a good after sun balm, so that you can help your face recover from a day of fierce sunshine and dry air.
2) Waterproofs: Although the weather is usually sunny & warm in the French Alps, because of the geography of the area, it is not uncommon for late afternoon thunderstorms to build. It is better to be prepared and protected!
3) Pack clothing layers: part of the attraction of holidaying in the mountains is the ability to do things such as jump on cable cars and get whisked up to the mountain tops. However, it is often cooler at the top of the mountains than at the bottom, so it is good to have a few layers in your back pack so you can adjust your clothing to suit the temperature. Also, evenings can sometimes be a bit chilly which means that sleeping in a hot room isn’t a problem, but it is worth having a sweater handy so you can continue to sit outside after the sun goes down.
4) Speedos (for men only): If you are holidaying in France, it is worth remembering that French swimming pools don’t allow swim shorts, and will only allow “Speedo” type swimwear. So if you do want to cool off in a French swimming pool, forget your baggies and don the tight shorts instead. You never know, you might enjoy it! If Speedos really aren’t your thing, there are plenty of mountain lakes which don’t restrict bathing costumes.
5) Water bottle: when hiking in the mountains, especially on sunny days, it is very easy to get dehydrated. Avoid this by carrying adequate water, either in a water bottle or in a hydration pack.
6) Sturdy walking shoes/boots: You don’t need to by stiff leather walking boots, but if you are planning to do some walking in the mountains, it is worth having some decent walking boots/shoes/trainers. Goretex will stop your feet from getting wet in case of being caught in an unexpected thunderstorm.
7) Mountain rescue insurance: This is very important, and often overlooked on summer holidays. If you are on a trail on the mountain and twist an ankle, the only way down may be by helicopter. If you don’t have travel insurance which covers mountain rescue, this could be a very expensive flight! Don’t worry if you haven’t got mountain rescue insurance, most resorts offer this for about a euro a day (usually under the Carte Neige scheme).
The mountains do make wonderful summer holiday destinations, and there is none of the boredom which can set in after day two of lying on the same beach in the med!
If you are planning your next summer holiday look no further than the green mountain peaks of Chatel. Set in the picturesque Valley d’Abondance, Chatel has plenty to offer outdoor enthusiasts and families looking for an alternative to the beach.
Chatel, a small village nestled in heart of the Portes du Soleil area between the picturesque lake Geneva and the high alpine range of Mont Blanc, provides an excellent choice of activities to keep the whole family entertained.
The village itself is a beautiful picture postcard alpine village surrounded by high peaks. In recent years Chatel has graduated to a three star flower rating and the floral displays throughout the village are spectacular and add colour and ambiance to the place.
Chatel’s facilities include its own outdoor pool, fishing lake, bob luge run, high flying “fantasticable” fly line, golf, archery and mini train. In order to make the most out of your holiday this summer there is now the offer of the Portes du Soleil “Multi Pass” which allows unlimited activities each day for just 1€ per person per day. This is great value for money and allows you to access many of the most popular attractions in the area.
The Multi pass allows access to the following for 1€ a day.
* 4 swimming pools and 2 lakes, the Les Gets swimming lake and the picturesque lake Montriond
* 25 mountain lifts for hikers
* 5 cultural sites, including the Abbey in St Jean D’Aulps, the Mechanical toy museum and the Abondance Abbey
* 9 tennis courts
* 2 ice rinks
* 3 tourist road trains
* The inter resort bus shuttle service
* 850km of foot paths.
The Multi Pass will allow you to make the most out of your stay in the fabulous Portes du Soleil.
Using the chair lifts as a pedestrian in summer allows you to reach the high peaks and provides a great starting point for some breathtaking views and challenging walks. Local walks are well sign posted and are easily followed using local maps. You can plan a day on the mountain to lead you to many of the local mountain refuges serving fabulous local food and drinks. There are plenty of walks for all abilities from little ones and those who may be a little unsteady to seasoned alpine hikers. The lifts allow you to explore and discover the Alps in a way that is accessible to all.
If you are looking for a more relaxing way to enjoy the mountains then there are delightful picnic spots by local rivers, lakes and waterfalls. Again most beauty spots are within easy walking distance and are well located on local maps. The local French markets up and down the valley provide a feast of delights to embellish your picnics serving local cheeses, meats and wine along with other local produce.
For a more thrill seeking adventure there are plenty of river sports located along the River Dranse; rafting, kayaking, hydrospeed and canyoning are just some of the sports on offer at the local white water sports adventure centres. Many of these centres also offer guide for rock climbing in the local area.
If it is a beach retreat you are looking for on your holiday then look no further than the sunny spots on lake Geneva, within a 40min drive from Chatel you can be sitting on a fabulous sandy or pebbly beach with all the amenities and activities you will find at a coastal resort. Boats and pedalos can be hired and many of the beach areas provide outdoor pools, playgrounds and restaurant facilities to make you day out fun for all the family.
The festivals, live music and outdoor events throughout the summer calendar provide an insight into the cultural and diverse community that is Chatel. The resort will leave you wanting to return to explore the undiscovered areas which are ready and waiting for your future visits.