Champery is a cozy mountain village in French-speaking Switzerland, located on the very border with France. Together with 11 other resorts, it is part of the vast Portes du Soleil ski area, and is also considered one of the best weekend resorts in all of southwestern Switzerland. There are more than 650 km of trails of different difficulty levels (from green trails for beginners to black ones for extreme sports), very beautiful nature and a very developed tourist infrastructure – from discos to outdoor heated pools.
When is the best time to go
The ski season in Champery starts in December and lasts until the end of April. The winter here is very mild – the air temperature rarely drops below -4 °C. February is considered the most successful month for skiing, as this is the time when the most snow falls. However, at other times, snow cannons easily cope with the lack of snow cover, so there are no interruptions.
Summer in Champery is warm and sunny: in the lowlands the air temperature reaches +27 °C, in the mountains it is pleasantly cool, up to +18 °C. See ANDYEDUCATION for education and training in Switzerland.
How to get to Champery
The nearest international airport to Champery is in Geneva, 100 km away. There is a train from Geneva to Champery with a change in Aigle (about 10 minutes). The whole journey takes about 2 hours, the ticket costs 35-65 CHF.
Many local hotels include airport transfers in their rates, so check this before you travel. In any case, the transfer can be ordered directly at the airport. The most budget option for a company of 4 people is 250-300 CHF.
You can also get to Champery from Zurich, but it’s long and not very convenient: 3.5 hours by train and at least 2 transfers.
Compared to the rest of ski Europe, hotels in Swiss resorts are quite expensive. Prices for a room in a four-star hotel near the ski lift start from 160 EUR per night for two. Staying in a “treshka” costs from 130 EUR per night, but the most budget options run out pretty quickly, especially during the season. For the most unpretentious, there are hostels – from 50 EUR per day per bed, this option is often chosen by young people who spend all day on the slopes, and only come to the room to spend the night and change clothes before the disco.
Alpine skiing in Champery
Champéry is only a small part of the vast Portes du Soleil ski area. The boundaries between the slopes of the zone are very arbitrary, especially since it has a single ski pass for all resorts, and this is a total of 300 km of marked trails.
There are approximately equal number of slopes of all difficulty levels – green, red, blue and black. The highest point is Mount Moset, 2277 m above sea level, the peaks of Sur-Grand-Conche and O are slightly lower: 2149 and 2152 m. On the northern slope of Mount Moset there is already another resort – Morgins, Val d’ Ilya. For convenience, these three resorts are often combined into one, although each has its own characteristics, natural and infrastructural.
In total, Champéry has 58 pistes with a maximum vertical drop of 1237 m, 35 lifts (of which 16 are chairlifts, 20 are rope tows and one funicular) and several snow parks. There are tracks that work until late at night, on some of them the day pass is valid until 22:00.
An adult ski pass for the entire Porte du Soleil area costs an average of 61 CHF per day, a children’s one – 46 CHF, a subscription for 6 days will cost about 305 and 229 CHF, respectively.
Entertainment and attractions in Champery
All entertainment in this resort is mainly related to various sports, especially winter ones. There are ski and snowboard schools, a sports center with an ice rink and a hockey box, a curling center, an ice climbing section, a heated outdoor pool, a fitness center with a sauna and physiotherapy, a squash room, and paragliding courses. A hockey school is open for children and adults on Mondays, for young guests (from 3 to 7 years old) there is a mini-club with educators and ski and snowboard instructors, and in the summer there is a children’s pony camp where you can learn to ride.
Not far from Champéry, an ornithological center and a cable adventure park in the forest were built (can be visited during the warm season). An ancient spring with healing water, a cheese factory and a family workshop are available all year round, where bells have been cast for 9 generations in a row.
The resort has more than 40 restaurants, cafes and bars for every taste. Most of them serve French cuisine – simple peasant or high author. For example, in La Buvette des Clavets you should try fondue, smoked meats and cheeses, and in Chalet Rosalie you can try trout, which you can catch yourself in the pond near the chalet before that.
The town periodically hosts festivals of classical and rock music, and once a year – a film festival dedicated to films about the mountains.