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A general view of Châtel
|• Mayor (2008–2020)||Nicolas Rubin|
|Area1||32.19 km2 (12.43 sq mi)|
|• Density||37/km2 (97/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|INSEE/Postal code||74063 /74390|
|Elevation||1,053–2,430 m (3,455–7,972 ft)
(avg. 1,183 m or 3,881 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.
It is situated in the northern French Alps on the French/Swiss border and is a popular ski resort. Despite its development into a major ski resort, the village still retains many of its traditional alpine characteristics.
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Châtel has an extensive ski area with runs to suit skiers and boarders of all abilities. The whole village is served by a free ski-bus which gives easy access to ski lifts.
The resort is also part of the vast Portes du Soleil domain - the largest international linked ski area in the world with over 650 km of varied terrain spread across eight French and four Swiss resorts. This gives skiers and boarders an almost endless choice of runs on their doorstep.
Although famous as a winter destination, Châtel is also a very popular mountain bike resort with the ski lifts opening between June and September for cyclists. Other attractions over the summer months include numerous activities such as windsurfing and sailing (on nearby Lake Geneva), white-water rafting, kayaking, paragliding, walking or simply relaxing in the sun.
More activities also include the Fantasticable, a zip-line extending between two mountain peaks, spanning the valley of Pre-la-Joux, over the ski lifts and the restaurants at Plaine Dranse. It is only active during the summer season.
In August Chatel celebrates both the Fête de la St Laurent and the Fête de la Belle Dimanche. St Laurent is the patron saint of Châtel and the village assumes a carnival atmosphere with floats and live entertainment. La Belle Dimanche is the farmers tribute to the "beautiful sunday" and is held up in the Plaine Dranse up from the ski lift Pierre Longue.
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