One of the biggest ski resorts in the region, Serre Chevalier is set in a valley in the Hautes-Alpes department, which comprises 12 characterful villages and one town, and is packed with opportunities for skiers with plenty to do off piste.
Briançon – the highest town in France – is set at one end of the valley, with the three main villages, Monêtier, Villeneuve and Chantemerle, at the other and the smaller villages dotted in between.
Surrounded by neighbouring villages and resorts, Serre Chevalier is a lively resort, with plenty of appeal to every level of skier and holidaymaker. It’s known for its warm welcome to families, brilliant, reliable sunshine and air quality and excellent skiing conditions.
For those who enjoy their break so much they are thinking of buying a property in Serre Chevalier, there is a mix of gîtes, chalets and modern apartments, many situated in the upcoming Cristal Lodge residence with direct access to the slopes and spectacular west-facing views.
Living in Serre Chevalier and things to do
Enjoy exceptional skiing from the beginning of December to the end of April. 250km of slopes and 57 ski lifts at altitudes of up to 2,800m make this perfect for all the family with the resort holding the Families Plus certification. There are plenty of slopes for all levels and learning and training zones and a snowboarding area complete the picture.
In the latest weather report, Serre Chevalier as always had reliable snowfall – and at the end of this year’s ski season the snow report said that it had reached an impressive 418 cm depth.
Perfect weather conditions coupled with the idyllic setting and the chance to ski in tranquil larch forests make this resort an attractive choice. There are plenty of other snow-related activities including ice climbing, dog sledding and tobogganing.
It’s also perfect for winding down with no shortage of spas, swimming pools and yoga studios scattered around the resort to help you relax after a hard day’s skiing.
While there is no single central area, you will find all the everyday amenities that you would expect dotted conveniently throughout the resort, from medical centres to barbeque and picnic areas to clubs and day-care for the children.
You can see why 18,000 people choose to stay in the various villages and towns as permanent residents, as living in Serre Chevalier provides a lot more besides its first-rate winter sports facilities.
Culture and lifestyle in Serre Chevalier
What makes Serre Chevalier really special is the variety of activities on and off piste and the number of traditional villages to enjoy. A day out in any of these will offer cosy restaurants, bars and cafés, local shops and a welcoming ambience.
Sitting on top of a hill, the town of Briançon – the highest town in France – is a UNESCO World Heritage site thanks to its fortifications built by Vauban, the famous military engineer. Discover churches and houses in the local style nestling amongst the narrow-cobbled streets, or simply stop at a café and enjoy the relaxed and welcoming atmosphere of this beautiful old town.
Other cultural highlights in Serre Chevalier include the Art Sacré Museum in the St Pierre Chapel, Monêtier, with its collection of religious artefacts, the Centre for Contemporary Art in Briançon and the Faure-Vincent Dubois Museum in Cervières which shows life as it was for peasant families in past times.
Venture into the nearby Ecrins National Park for walking trails set in spectacular scenery, or the Alpine Botanical Garden in Monêtier to enjoy beautiful local plants and flowers.
Investment potential in Serre Chevalier
If you like the area so much that you are considering buying a property in Serre Chevalier, you’ll be pleased to know that €134 million worth of upgrades are due over the next three decades. These include improvements to the lift system, the creation of artificial snow and investment in snow groomers to keep the slopes in top condition. Such investments are only the beginning, with popularity steadily rising, and these plans set to take it to even greater heights.
Transport to Serre Chevalier
The nearest airports are Turin (Italy), one hour and 50 minutes away, and Grenoble (France), a transfer of two hours and 15 minutes. You can book a private transfer or take public transport links to Briançon, and onward buses from there to the resort.
If you’re coming from the north there’s a direct train service from Paris to Briançon, including an overnight train.
For drivers, the A51 motorway from Grenoble, Lyon or Marseille will get you to Serre Chevalier. From Turin or Lyon, you can take the A43 motorway through the Frejus Tunnel.
The resort’s sheer size and scope of snow-related and off piste activities make this a sound choice, with families enjoying a warm welcome. As a tourist or someone living in Serre Chevalier, you will have a world of opportunities on your doorstep. All tastes are catered for, whether you’re a highly experienced skier seeking an adrenalin buzz, or prefer a more sedate style discovering the myriad of pretty mountainside villages and retreats – it’s up to you to set the pace.