The Portes du Soleil prepares to welcome in the 2020/2021 ski season

The world’s oldest cross-border ski and MTB destination, the Portes du Soleil, is gearing up for the 2020/2021 ski season, with lift passes on sale and work well underway to ensure that a safe and healthy holiday can be had by all those that are able to travel to the region this year. As winter fast approaches, the local authorities are working closely with accommodation providers, restaurants, bars, and lift companies, to safeguard the wellbeing of all visitors and to enable lifts to operate at full capacity and as scheduled.

Covering the Alpine areas of French Chablais and Swiss Valais, encompassing two countries and 12 resorts, the Portes du Soleil’s will provide the perfect snowy escape for all those wanting to reconnect with loved ones and to once again enjoy the great outdoors. With ski slopes set to be in operation from early December to late April (with holidaymakers encouraged to check the precise opening dates of their chosen resort), there is ample time for both seasoned skiers and those new to winter sports, to explore the whole region.

To ensure that everyone can make the most of the Portes du Soleil this winter, a number of special measures will be in place throughout the area. The region’s resorts have committed to a quality control pledge, not least Avoriaz 1800, which is the first French resort to be awarded the ‘SafeGuard’ label by Bureau Veritas France. The label provides a guarantee that the resort respects the protective sanitary protocols put in place by the authorities and those recommended by the World Health Organisation, while also ensuring appropriate training for resort workers. For their part, the ski area’s Swiss resorts have signed up to Switzerland Tourism’s Clean & Safe initiative, which encompasses the stop-Covid measures that all tourist accommodation and lift companies have to follow. On both sides on the border, guests will be asked to wear a mask in accommodation communal areas, in the waiting areas and on the ski lifts, and a number of social distancing rules will be put in place. Hand sanitiser will be widely available, and holidaymakers are advised to book ski passes online, meaning they can beat the queue. Lift capacity will remain at 100%, avoiding congestion, but the lift companies will follow all the rules set out by the local and national governments.

Situated between Lake Geneva and Mont Blanc, the huge ski area boasts 600km of riding and 209 lifts. What’s more, the Portes du Soleil, or ‘Gateway to the Sun’, enjoys an annual average snowfall of nearly eight metres, with the region a flurry of activity throughout the winter. For those wishing to make the most of their time on the slopes, one convenient Portes du Soleil Ski pass is available, providing access to the whole region, giving holidaymakers complete freedom to ski where and when they please. The 2020/21 prices have now been announced, with adult passes set to cost €59 per day and €44 a day for children. Six-day adult passes will cost €295, while six day passes for children will cost €221. Those that prebook their lift pass by 31 October 2020 can save up to 15%, and there are further discounts of up to 15% on family bookings when made online. For full details on these and other ski lift pass incentives, visit the dedicated ‘offers’ page on the Portes du Soleil website . What’s more, reassuringly, those that pre-book their ski passes of between 3-15 days by 19 December 2020, will be entitled to a full refund if they need to cancel their trip for any Covid-19 related reasons, up until the day before they depart.

The region’s special location means that visitors can enjoy the best of the French Alps and Swiss Alps, with the option to literally ski from one country to the other. With a varied choice of slopes and terrain, just about every discipline of ski and snowboarding is possible in the Portes du Soleil, allowing for genuine adventure on the slopes, combined with the most spectacular scenery. The area is also home to 30 special ski & board zones, including snowparks, border-cross and ski-cross, that cater to all abilities and a variety of tastes. And as the closest major ski area to Geneva airport, the Portes du Soleil enjoys an edge over other Alpine regions, with a transfer time of just an hour to the French resort of Les Gets.

More news from the Portes du Soleil

Ski Joering is a must for anyone that visits the traditional French mountain village of Abondance this winter. New for this season, thrill-seekers wearing skis hold on tight to a special harness as they are pulled along the pistes by a horse or pony, creating an incredible sensation of speed. Participants do not need to be expert skiers, with the pace of the experience controlled by the rider, meaning they are free to go as fast as they dare.
Costs €50 pp / £45.50 pp
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Experience an enchanted evening walk in the heart of the Portes du Soleil this winter with Alta Lumina. Imagined and created by the Moment Factory, the interactive journey in the French resort of Les Gets, plunges visitors into a fantastic world where they enjoy a unique immersive adventure. As night falls in the depths of the forest, participants follow the one-kilometre illuminated trail, with a series of pictures that tell a story linked to the history of the territory, using lights, fluorescent imagery, and interactive sets. The brand-new concept is a first in Europe and will debut this winter, remaining open all year round.
Cost: €19 pp / £17.50 pp
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Holidaymakers in search of peace and serenity can escape to the picturesque hamlet of la Sarre near Les Gets where they will find the ‘Chéry Dôme’. The extraordinary new accommodation is perfect for those who love the great outdoors and want to get close to mountain wildlife. With a magnificent view of Mont Blanc and the surrounding peaks, it is the perfect place to reconnect with nature and to experience a unique adventure under the stars. Sleeping two to four guests, the dome benefits from all mod cons including Wi-Fi, electricity, a toilet and, of course, a wood burner, perfect for those wanting to enjoy an aperitif or a delicious Savoie fondue.
Cost: A night’s stay is priced from €185 / £169 for two people.
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