Family Activity Weeks

Villar d’arène is the perfect base for a packed week of outdoor activities with teenagers and Tweens. The more adrenaline, the less snapchat!! A typical week could include;

Day 1 : walk up to refuge d’alpe du villar d’arene. Easy intro day to acclimatise. Lots of wildlife on route and snacks/ drinks at hut.

Day 2 : white water rafting on the durance or the romanche. Afternoon at the biopool.

Day 3: Via Ferrata in the morning, sport climbing in the afternoon.

Day 4: mountain biking – depending on ability – uplift available to the top of the galibier (easy descent), or on the lift systems of Serre Chevalier, Deux Alpes or La Grave.

Day 5 extended via ferrata day with an ascent of the Aiguille du Lauzet

Day 6 rock climbing opposite the Meije or round in Ailfroide.

Or, Days 5&6 take a two day hut walk in the Nevache, staying at some of the loveliest, friendliest huts in the alps with superb food.

For a rest day there’s a wide range of open air pools and the historic old town of Briancon.

All walking, biking and climbing guides are in the flat, and any activities can also be fully supported and are easily booked through local qualified English speaking Guides.






2014 Tour in the Alps – Forget Yorkshire!

Forget Yorkshire and see the Tour from the Col du Lauteret!

Stage 14
Stage 14

Stage 14 of the 2014Tour climbs right past appartment Chancel La Grave in Villar D’Arene on July 19th on the final 8km of the mythic Cat 1 Col du Lauteret. Whether you want to watch from outside the bar just above the flat, and soak up the atmosphere with the locals or cycle up the col to be at the finish – the choice is yours.

The peloton is expected at about 14:15 and is at km 72 of a very big day which goes on over the Izoard and ends in Risoul at 177km. This is one of only two Alps stages this year and podium café cites it as “beautiful” and “candidate for “Queen Stage”.
podium cafe


Apartment Chancel is in the ideal spot! With your own parking place, all the conveniences of the village of Villar D’Arene and the Ecrins National Park on your doorstop then there couldn’t be an easier way to see one of the prime days of this years tour. Forget Yorkshire and enjoy the sun. From the flat you have easy access to all the big cols for your own sportives – Galibier, Izoard, Croix de la fer, etc. The flat sleeps 6 comfortably and is available exclusively through our friendly local British Agents –Eurekaski.

Easy access from Grenoble / Chambery / Lyon and Turin – give it a try in the sun!!


Local shop

The shop in villar d’arene is in the main square. It’s run by gégé and his daughter and open every day. I don’t think I can remember a day when it was closed. There’s fresh bread in the morning, a selection of fresh fruit and veg, and plenty of charcuterie. He selects his wine every year with care and the cote du rhone is always excellent. A new welcome addition this year was a freezer cabinet with essentials such as frozen peas and fish fingers. If you just need the day to day essentials, there’s no need to go further.


Restaurant Trois Frenes – New Year like no other

We are usually in bed by midnight on new years eve, planning a big ski for new years day.  But this year on a whim we booked the Trois Frenes in the village for their new years eve special. 

We have eaten there lots, and its always good honest food at a great value.  Its pretty and atmospheric, and the hosts charming.  The menu isnt big, but there’s everything you would expect and its cooked freshly.  The salads in the summer are massive, and in winter there’s steak, lamb, a local dish, and a fish dish.  The kids devour steak hache or omlette and chips.

New Year – we had no idea what to expect other than to be there at 8 and there were 8 courses.  the children were whisked away to a separate table, and we sat down on a beatifully decorated long table, underneath the vaulted ceiling.  A Grenoblois ensemble played us in through the canapes, kir and entrees.  And then the main courses – Chateaubriand I will never foget.  The kids were all playing babyfoot as the conversation flowed – the other guests were so kind to our stumbling french.  After puddings, (many, and delicious) we were treated to a recital  by our hosts.  She told a wonderful tale of wolves, and he sang hauntingly of love under the meije, bring a tear to most.  We were the first to creep away at 2 am in the sparkling night, vowing to book next year.  Our New Year days was shorter, but all the better.