It is interestingly varied, and big enough to give a real sense of travelling around between the different sectors. Snow reliability is good. Most of the runs are north or north-east facing and 80 per cent of them are above 2,m, so the snow stays in good condition. A third of the pistes are also equipped with snowmaking. Another real plus point for the area is that, unusually for a big French resort , almost two-thirds of the pistes are tree lined. While there are still some slow old drags and chairlifts on the upper mountain, these are steadily being replaced by fast chairlifts.
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One of the best things about the resort is its suitability to all levels of skiing ability. The runs, in and above a large larch forest, are on the north side of the high long ridge.
There are bowls, valley descents and high off-peak faces. Serre Chevalier has phenomenal tree skiing too and is famed for its off-piste. Slopes are colder for longer and they tend to hold onto more of the white stuff. The majority of the skiing is on the top half of the mountain and the trees protect the lower slopes. Snow making machines protect the base of the valley pistes and the grooming is consistently well done.
Snowboarders love it here too and there is a dedicated freestyle zone, located in the ski area next to Villeneuve, which is divided according to level of expertise. Beginners have easy trails next to all of the villages and separate beginner slopes up the mountain. These are generally crowd free which gives newbies ample space in which to practice. We like the green runs around the Frejus charlift. On the downside there are a number of drag lifts to contend with. Intermediates have access to long cruising trails of up to 10km in length.
At the Bachas chairlift above there are lots of pistes criss-crossing down through the larch forest. Advanced skiers and riders, particularly those who love freesking, have masses of terrain to sample including the extensive backcountry and cross-country for which a number of guiding services are available.
There are five cross-country routes in the valley of varying length and difficulty.
Piste map Serre Chevalier
Gallery Serre Chevalier resort guide - a general overview Serre Chevalier is one of those rare French gems, which is generally overlooked by the British and is certainly very under rated. Described by some as Provence in the snow with lots of small family run hotels and restaurants housed in old stone buildings. It is made up of three main traditional villages there are 13 in total spread along a 8km valley with km of mainly North facing slopes rising to 2,m. What really makes Serre Chevalier so special is the amount of genuinely enjoyable woodland and tree lined runs which cover over two thirds of the mountain. This makes it a superb resort to visit when the snow is falling or the wind is blowing - great skiing can still be had here in these conditions when many other resorts would be brought to a virtual standstill. However, of course there are a few lively bars and this is enough for us to enjoy ourselves in the evenings.
Serre Chevalier Piste & Resort Map
Ski area map
Trail map Serre Chevalier – Briançon/Chantemerle/Villeneuve-la-Salle/Le Monêtier-les-Bains