Guided tour of the Old Customs House

more pictures

    The adventures of the local smugglers, in the mountains of Chablais, from the 18th century to the end of 1950s, represent a real heritage nowadays.

    The old customs house has been converted into a cultural tourist attraction, showing visitors a different side to this border region. Children and adults will find this a fascinating trip back in time, learning about the game of cat and mouse that went on between the smugglers and the customs officers (known as ‘gabelous’) in the mountains of the Portes du Soleil before the advent of winter sports. Packed with anecdotes, local witness accounts and customs archives, the Old Customs House provides a picturesque, entertaining and richly documented and illustrated account of our local history. And there are lots of surprises in store!

    New temporary exhibition: “The Old Customs House celebrates its 10th anniversary”.
    From its construction in the 1920s to the departure of the last customs officers in 2009 and the first visits to the interpretation centre, a lot has happened at the Châtel customs house! For the 10th anniversary of its opening, the Old Customs House has many surprises in store for you, as well as a brand new temporary exhibition looking back at the history of the building and the brigade that occupied these premises!

    Groups are welcome all year-round on advanced booking.

    Outside the guided tour times, the Old Customs House is open to the public.

    Read more

    Customer base

    • Children
    • Special rate for jobseekers
    • Special rate for disabled people


    From 01/09 to 31/10/2022
    Schedules of guided tour on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday between 3.30 pm and 4.30 pm.

    From 18/12/2022 to 30/04/2023 between 2 pm and 6 pm.
    Closed Monday and Saturday.

    Adapted Tourism

    • Accessible for self-propelled wheelchairs


    From 01/07 to 31/10/2022
    Adult: 6.50 €, Child : 3.50 €, Group adults: 3.50 €, Group children : 3.50 €.

    From 18/12/2022 to 30/04/2023
    Adult: 6.50 €, Child : 3.50 €, Group adults: 3.50 €, Group children : 3.50 €.

    Free entry for children < 8 years.
    Child entry valid for 8 - 15 years.
    Group rate available for > 10 people.

    Payment method

    • Carte bancaire
    • Chèque
    • Chèque Vacances
    • Espèces


    La Vieille Douane
    1277, route de Vonnes
    74390 Châtel

    Characteristics :

    • Environnement
    • Mountain location
    • Ski resort
    • Waterside
    • Lakeside or by stretch of water

    Spoken languages

    • Langue
    • German
    • English
    • French
    • Italian
    • Dutch