Famous French ski resorts Val d’Isère & Avoriaz will open to skiers this weekend, joining already-open Les 2 Alpes.
Val d’Isère and Les 2 Alpes are both usually open for summer skiing each year, and were in 2020 after the first pandemic lockdown eased. A third French area, Tignes, is due to open the weekend after next.
Avoriaz is just re-opening half-a-dosen slopes and a terrain park for this coming weekend only as part of a celebratory mood as it opens for summer operations including mountain biking, golf and many other activities.
At Val d’Isère the lifts open for summer skiing on the Pisaillas glacier with access via the road over the Col de l’Iseran, which opens for cyclists on the same date. A huge amount of snow fell during May at this high altitude and conditions are at their very best.
Athletes, along with recreational skiers, share a total of six pistes that will be open from 7am each day until midday. Three of these runs are reserved for team training and the other three are open to all. A maximum of 600 people are allowed to buy tickets each day.
The French freestyle moguls team will be in action here from Monday 14 June. Women’s GS takes place on 22 and 23 June and Men’s Slalom and GS from 24-27 June.
The Val d’Isère summer ski season lasts for four weeks to the start of July, Les 2 Alpes and Tignes aim to stay open later in the summer, conditions permitting.
“For this abnormal season, skiers benefit from an exceptional special offer: €290 for the season (discounted from €350). Passes can be bought on the spot and, at the moment, individual skiers are not required to book in advance,” a resort spokesperson said, adding,
“All skiers must wear masks when queueing, as well as when travelling on the lifts. However, you don’t have to be masked while actually skiing – just breathe in the pure mountain air and enjoy the stunning views.”
French resorts were open through the winter but ski lifts were closed. Rules were relaxed in mid-May and la Clusaz opened for a free skiing weekend towards the end of last month to celebrate.
France is on the amber list at present for travel from the UK meaning people must take virus tests and self-isolate for 10 days on return, with the possibility to reduce to five days with extra tests showing negative results.
There are also numerous and ever-evolving rules on what happens to Brits arriving in France on the French side, but one step forward today (June 9th) is that Britons who have received both doses of a Covid vaccine may travel to the country from June 9, and will no longer need to provide evidence of a ‘compelling reason’ for their visit.