Serre Chevalier = lasting memories for everyone that visits. We thought we’d let our guests do the talking in this section about spring, summer and autumn…
Mark & Kirsty
Holiday dates: 8-14 June 2011
Stayed at: La Guisane
For: Annual walking/hiking holiday
Kirsty and I travel to the Alps almost every summer for two weeks of hiking, looking for new trails to explore. This year it was the Serre Chevalier valley.
We arrived on June 8th, 2011, a few weeks earlier than normal and the weather cooperated. Our stay was for 6 nights, as it turned out we should have stayed for the full two weeks. Our apartment in Monêtier les Bains (La Guisane) was perfect, very spacious and of the highest quality finishes. Good views of the mountains, and enjoyed the well stocked DVD collection (The Italian Job – original with Michael Caine).
With two excellent National Parks at our disposal, we had endless trails to choose from. Our first day, we drove into the Ecrins National Park and hiked up to the Glacier Blanc. The Refuge du Glacier Blanc was already open for the season and more than two dozen climbers were out on the glacier itself.
The second day we tried to hike/climb our way to Dôme du Monêtier via Pas de l’Ane; too much snow at Col des Grangettes, had to turn around but it was worth it. Another worthwhile hike is up at Le Grand Area, with wonderful 360 panoramic views. From here you can choose to do a couple of circle routes.
One of my favorite hikes starts at Fréjus (we drove up and parked here) and hiked straight up past the highest ski run. Reaching the ridge line we continued along a beautiful high ridge circle route (great views of the Ecrins National Park and Dôme du Monêtier) taking us to the Col de la Pisse and returning back to Fréjus via Col de la Ricelle.
Our trip was too short, much more to discover here in the Serre Chevalier valley. Thank you Melanie, looking forward to our return.
My husband, young son, and I stayed in the Aclot apartment in Serre Chevalier for a long weekend in June 2011.
We chose Serre Chevalier since we had never been to the Alps, and it’s very convenient to get to from Lyon where we are currently living. We thought the area was absolutely gorgeous and the drive through the mountains was spectacular.
The apartment was fantastic – very cosy, beautifully decorated, and with stunning views of the mountains. The two bedrooms were spacious and the en-suite bathroom was gorgeous. The balcony was a great spot to relax and enjoy the view.
We really enjoyed the pool at the apartment and the wonderful new kids playground down the street. In terms of location, you can’t go wrong – we found that it’s a great spot for outdoor activities such as hiking or cycling, exploring Briancon, and relaxing in the hot springs in the village.
I can’t wait to go back and would highly recommend this place for a getaway anytime of year!
We were returning to Serre Chevalier for the third time, and not one of those times has been in the winter season!
The weather was lovely, and so fresh with the mountain air. We rented an apartment on the ground floor of Chalet E and it was perfect; very smartly and comfortably furnished, with a terrace where we could sit out all day. The pool was great too – it’s a really good size which I appreciate as I am a fitness swimmer.
We did a couple of good walks, one up into the mountains, across the alpine meadows strewn with flowers and back down to Les Guibertes village (not that far in kilometres, but the metres upwards are quite a challenge) and along the river Guisane to the next village (Le Casset) one beautiful evening.
There are fabulous places to eat in Monêtier les Bains, and our favourite (and quite reasonable we thought) was Le Kawa – very friendly and great food. However, a treat was a meal at Le Chazal in Les Guibertes, not to be missed!
If you’re a history buff, there is so much to explore both in Briançon and locally. We thoroughly recommend Serre Chevalier for spring, summer or autumn.
What can I say about our apartment stay in Monêtier les Bains in the resort of Serre Chevalier, and how well we were looked after by Mel Crosby at EurekaSKI? In short, Brilliant!
If you’re reading this and you’re an experienced skier, then you probably don’t need me to explain the benefits of Serre Chevalier being high in the Alps and having north-facing slopes. For the rest of us however, this means winter’s have good consistent snow that the sun doesn’t ruin, giving a more reliable ski experience.
If you’re an avid cyclist, you won’t need me to tell you either that in the 2011 summer, the Tour de France ran three mountain stages on the roads in the area – and it is a mecca for road riders wanting the challenge of the hills. If off-road or downhill mountain biking is your thing, it is useful to know that in the summer season the ski lifts have hooks to take your mountain bike up into onto the snowless slopes to use the downhill ski runs as trails. We filmed the guys doing it from the ski lift and it looks like great fun without the uphill slog!
We hired an apartment via Mel and we are going back! She looked after our every need and the apartment was amazing. She really was a friend away from home. Heated floors, a real open log fire (not that we needed it), two loos and a kitchen full of cooking gear meant that we wanted for nothing. Our apartment had a garage for storing bikes and equipment and the complex had its own heated outdoor pool, sauna and steam room (or hammam as it’s known here). What was difficult to gauge from the internet was how close the apartments were to the beginners’ slopes and lifts – literally 200 yards!
We were also a minute from the village and a minute from “Les Bains”, the volcanically-heated indoor/outdoor public spa pools that you gain access to for about 17 Euros each. We went and it was well worth the money. It is a cathedral to steam and hot water. Amazing hammams, differing temp plunge pools and indoor and outdoor hot pools with submerged Jacuzzi benches greeted us. We swam through the plastic curtain to outside and lay there on a Jacuzzi bench in the sun and the warm water just staring at the Alps towering up in front of us for ages. It’s the best way to take them in I reckon, a great experience.
We were smitten by the charm and unfussed natural beauty of the old village. It’s geared up for tourists sure, but we felt it hadn’t been spoiled by it. The old Alp buildings are in a Swiss-style and we wanted to move into every one. The old winding streets that lead down to the river are a treat. We found the food to be to a great standard here also and counted three wood-fired pizza ovens in the restaurants making the kind of crispy tasty Italian-style pizza we love.
We can’t wait to return!