Serre Chevalier Vallée Briançon, or Serre Che for the inner crowd, is a valley on the border between France and Italy in the region of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur. It’s particularly known for its year-round sunshine and the historic city of Briançon that is part of the valley. This season is a particularly festive one because it has been 80 years since they opened the very first cable car that turned the valley into a skiing paradise. I recently spent some time in the valley and this is why you should visit
XXL Ski Area
80% of the slopes are located at more than 2,000 meters for optimal snow cover. The high altitude and the extensive snowmaking network can guarantee great snow conditions all winter long. A third of the entire ski area is covered by the network of snow cannons, and that network itself features a stunning 410 hectares of marked runs.
That means 250 km of slopes, 59 lifts, 81 runs of which 13 black, 29 red, 26 blue, and 13 green ski runs resulting in the largest ski area in the Southern French Alps.
The XXL Zipline
Ready for a thrill?
The Giant Zipline of Serre Chevalier opened this year! The zip line has a 300m vertical drop bringing you from 2,491m to 2,193m above sea level. That is 1,1 kilometers of descent in just over one minute with a speed close to 100 km/h! You can leave your skis in a safe place next to the zipline and take the chairlift back up. The zipline is also accessible for people that don’t ski. You can find all the information and prices here.
XXG (Extra Extra Good) Gastronomy
There are no nasty overpriced frozen pizzas with a coke in Serre Chevalier. In the valley, you can find many charming, and reasonably priced, restaurants serving French specialties with friendly service. What pleasantly surprised my taste buds was the great food we had in the altitude restaurants on the slopes. These were my favourites:
- Café Soleil (next to the télécabines Ratier): Their on the spot minced steak haché is to die for. Also, their tartiflette is world famous in Serre Che.
- Le White (down from Café Soleil, next to télécabines Ratier): This restaurant has a more upscale vibe, with great food! The beef soup was perfect to warm up with after a morning ski session.
In the valley:
- Aux Planches (Grand Hotel, Chantemerle): Their fried “langoustine balls” were the absolute winner of the dinner. They also offer a solid tartiflette and they have a great wine list.
- 16 Ame: This bistronomie offers gastronomic food in a relaxed atmosphere, and the menu découverte changes along the offering of the day.
I had an incredible time at Serre Chevalier and I’m certain you will as well. All information about the ski area can be found on the website of Serre Chevalier.