La Chapelle-d`Abondance

The peaceful mountain village of La Chapelle d'Abondance is situated between Châtel and Abondance in the Abondance Valley. It shares the same rich cultural history as its neighbouring villages with a strong agricultural background and a commitment to retaining its architectural look and cultural heritage while establishing itself as a well-run and well-connected ski resort. This north facing ski resort is known to be particularly quaint in character with a varied selection of its own pistes.

Location

La Chapelle d'Abondance lies at the heart of a traditional farming valley in Haute-Savoie below the  Mont de Grange (2432 m) and the Cornettes de Bise. Only 90 minutes from Geneva airport, 30 kilometres south of Lake Geneva, a 20-minute drive from Thonon with its abundance of shops, cultural events and the beaches of Lac Leman it offers a truly accessible location. At an altitude of 1020 metres it is also part of one of the largest ski areas in the world, the Portes du Soleil, and it has direct access to its own ski slopes. The valley is an area of spectacular mountain beauty year round and the local area offers wide variety of activities from hiking, biking, swimming and golfing in the summer to every conceivable winter sport.

The History

The local area has a history dating as far back as Roman times but it was the more recent arrival of monks (circa 1108 AD) that defined the culture of the area. The monks constructed an abbey (circa 1400 AD) and started to produce local cheese which the region is still known for today. In 1990 the area was awarded the AOC label (Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée) for the local cheese it produces and in 2003 the "Vallée d'Abondance" was awarded the official title of Land of Art and History by the French Ministry of Culture and Communities in recognition of communities who actively work to support, preserve and share their cultural heritage with others. As a result La Chapelle d'Abondance has an abundance of exhibitions, guided tours, themed trails and woodworking workshops all aimed at introducing visitors to the rich local history.

Properties

The Abondance Valley has not allowed large-scale property development and new builds are in keeping with the historical look and feel of the area. And the local area does have a very specific and beautiful aesthetic. The original farmhouses are built in a traditional style that is unique to the valley and built for a specific function. The farmhouses are large, they normally have two or three magnificently decorated balconies running across the frontage of the building and they are normally built on three levels so that the local famers could store food, animals and supplies during the long winter months. The stone base contains the store rooms. On the first floor balcony the dwelling house is separated from the stables by a long corridor whilst the balcony on the upper floor would be used to dry the harvest. At the rear of the building the slope of the ground would normally allow direct access from the fields to the hayloft in the roof.

La Chapelle d'Abondance also has more conventional ski chalets and apartments, offering incredible views, with modern amenities and great accessibility. La Chapelle d'Abondance brings much to the table when considering a property purchase.

Access to slopes

La Chapelle d'Abondance has the bonus of its own local pistes and its inclusion in the vast Portes Du Soleil. The local pistes are north facing and very quiet and provide fantastic facilities for those new to skiing. There are plenty of ski schools and gentle nursery runs for those who have found their feet. There are also a good variety of red runs all set within this stunning mountain location. For the more adventurous the new 6-seater lift gives access to the pistes of Mont de Granges where challenging skiing can be found, as can an abundance of powder. Switzerland is also incredibly close by and can be accessed by a gondola and three chair lifts into the pretty Swiss village of Torgon. It is also possible to access the Portes du Soleil  via the Panthiaz telecabine or ski towards Super Chatel.
Nordic Skiing is also popular in the area and the valley has 35 km of Nordic Skiing linking Chatel, La Chapelle and Abondance. There are also horse-drawn sleigh rides, sledging and husky dog sleds. In summer, the network of more than 450 miles of marked paths provide walkers with the opportunity to explore the entire region including the border between France and Switzerland.

Local Amenities

The village has all the local amenities one could need. From restaurants, cafes, supermarket, boulangeries, patisseries, boucheries and delicatessens to the more practical pharmacy, doctors and an osteopath. There is also lots of specialist food shops where you can enjoy the regional produce the Valley of Abondance is famous for. Thonon and Geneva are easily accessible for anything else you may need.

Getting there

By train

You can take the Eurostar and TGV from London to Cluses changing at Paris.

Cluses train station is just over an hour away.

Thonon train station is approximately 20-30 minutes away

Flying

Geneva Airport is about 90 minutes away and is the most convenient. There are regular transfers during the season but these can become more expensive out of season.

You can also fly into Turin, Chambery, Lyon though transfer times are longer.

By car

Paris is a 6 hour drive.

Calais is 8 hours 30 minutes.

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