All you need to know about ski holidays by train

Serre Chevalier - introduction

Serre Chevalier differs from many French ski resorts of its size in several ways: most of its slopes are tree-lined, locals are friendly and welcoming, hotels and apartments outnumber chalets and it’s very affordable.

With 250km of pistes, it’s also one of Europe’s largest ski resorts, yet is still relatively unknown in Britain – avoid visiting during French school holidays and you’ll find it relatively uncrowded.

Serre Chevalier Vallée (often abbreviated to Serre Che) is the collective name for the historical town of Briançon and 13 small villages and communes in the long, narrow Guisane Valley. Located in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region of France, it’s further south than most French resorts, near La Grave, Alpe d’Huez and Les Deux Alpes.

Briançon and three of Serre Che’s villages (Chantemerle, Villeneuve and Monêtier les Bains) provide direct access to the ski slopes, along with accommodation, restaurants, bars and shops. The free ski bus express and village buses link the villages but only until 5pm and 5.30pm respectively.

There is skiing for all levels in Serre Chevalier, with two large nursery slopes, extensive beginner and intermediate terrain and acres of accessible freeriding opportunities.

The long ski area is well linked by lifts, meaning confident skiers can traverse the entire ski area in a couple of hours. Furthermore, buy a 6-day pass and you can ski for a day in Les Deux Alpes, Alpe d’Huez, Puy-St-Vincent and the Milky Way.

Highlights

  • Large, varied and attractive ski terrain – long, tree-lined red and blue slopes and excellent off-piste opportunities
  • Prices are significantly lower than in French resorts of similar size further north
  • Friendly locals, many of whom speak English

Lowlights

  • The busy road that links, and often bisects, the villages
  • The bus services between the villages stop too early to make travel between them easy in the evenings

Serre Chevalier piste map

Ski area
Village Altitude
1200
m
Ski Altitude
1200m - 2830
m
Pistes
250
km
Green Runs
25
Blue Runs
33
Red Runs
42
Black Runs
15
Total Runs 115
Terrain Park
3
Cabin Lifts
8
Chair Lifts
21
Drag Lifts
37
Total Lifts 66