Chatel in the summer


We all love summer in the Alps – long evenings on the balcony, lush green mountain walks, an abundance of wildlife, lazy days by the pool, the list goes on… But what is on offer for children?  The answer is – plenty!

During the summer, Lac de Vonnes is a hub of activity with trampolines, pedalos (or paddleboards for older children), miniature horse and chariot rides around the lake, and of course refreshing ice lollies.

Another hive of fun can be found at Pre La Joux, which offers mountain biking, a bike park and Go-Karting for older children.  Or, why not whistle down the mountain on the family friendly bob-luge which provides bags of fun for all ages? You can take a short, but exciting, trip up the chairlift to find yourself at Plaine Dranse, where you can easily find some nice spots to grab some lunch in the mountains.

A little further afield some delightful child-friendly walks can be found. Just over the border into Switzerland you will find the They valley which offers a gorgeous shady walk on a hot day. Wind your way across the stunning river, through the trees and over the bridges. Picnic areas and paddling areas are scattered along the route.

If you fancy a day out, Chatel is only a short drive to both Lac Leman and Lake Geneva (the name changes depending on which country you are in). On the Swiss side you’ll find Aquaparc which is great for thrill seekers and offers a lovely outdoor water play area for children, this does come with a price tag though. On the French side you can relax at Thonon Plage which is cheap as chips and has a variety of pools (including lake swimming); there are also shady areas and sunbathing spots on the huge grassy bank surrounding the pool complex.  Of course, you may wish to stay local and take a dip at Forme d’O in the centre of Chatel with its indoor and outdoor pools it is particularly well equipped for younger children who can enjoy playing on the slides and with the fountains. Special baby swimming sessions take place on a Sunday.

Don’t forget that at the centre of Chatel itself you’ll find the ever-appealing carousel with horses, elephants, cars and a princess carriage, which never fails to put a smile on children’s faces (except the time my 6 month old niece went on and screamed the whole way round!). Close by you’ll find a range of welcoming cafes and restaurants for a bite to eat or a refreshing drink; my personal favourite Le Hors Piste is just next door.

Depending on when your stay is, it is always worth checking the local tourist information site for special events run over the summer. Full festival mode takes over on Bastille Day (14th July), with entertainment and fireworks around the lake. In early August your children can try to catch sweets from the colourful and traditional floats which tour the village for the Fete du St. Laurent (Chatel Childcare is hoping to offer face-painting at this year’s event). Later in August, visit Plaine Dranse for Belle Dimanche, where you will find a huge variety of local wares on offer, as well as activities ranging from fishing to harnessed tower building.

In addition to all of the above activities you can delight in mini-golf, tennis, pitch and putt, a high-wire tree course (and a low one for ages 2 and over), petit-trainwhite water rafting,  museums… the list can go on and on.

What’s more, new for 2018 Chatel Childcare is on hand to look after your children to give you some relaxing or thrill-seeking adult time safe in the knowledge that your children will be having just as much fun as you are. Daytime nannying (at your holiday base or out and about), evening babysitting, a helping hand with younger children whilst you take the older ones somewhere more adventurous, all of these can be catered for with a huge amount of flexibility. Get in touch today with emma@chatelchildcare.com

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