Chamonix lifts up and running with new safety and hygiene measures in place – and there are free activities for visitors
by Lulu Sheard
Skiers and snowboarders have had some encouraging news from Chamonix for the coming season when the resort announced that several lifts in the French ski resort have opened again for the summer after being closed due to Covid.
The Compagnie du Mont-Blanc lift operator was the first lift company in France to reopen after lockdown (in mid-May).
The company has invested €300,000 in safety and hygiene measures to protect its customers and employees. Now all its lifts and cog railways are running as normal, with the Aiguille du Midi lift currently transporting between 3,000 and 4,000 passengers daily.
Since the beginning of July, despite the fact that all major events have been cancelled, Chamonix has still been attracting visitors. Many French families have chosen the wide-open spaces of the mountains rather than heading for beach destinations, with 80% of the resort’s visitors being from France as opposed to the usual 50%.
The Haute-Savoie resort is also still welcoming a number of European visitors, including people from Britain, Belgium, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Germany.
Self-catered holidays are proving more popular this summer, but even hotels have recorded an increase in occupancy compared to the same time in July and August last year. The glorious weather has lent a hand in easing the pressure on restaurateurs as guests have been able to enjoy alfresco dining.
To help support local businesses, the Chamonix Valley tourist office is hosting a multitude of free activities this summer, including e-mountain biking, river rafting, tree adventure park, guided hikes, Merlet animal park, wildlife walks, pony rides, introduction to paragliding, Sophro’treks and foraging for edible plants. The programme has seen a significant rise in holiday bookings, with all guests in the valley able to sign up for the activities through the tourist office or their accommodation providers.
For more information on Chamonix, which next year celebrates the 200th anniversary of the the creation of the Compagnie des Guides de Chamonix, go to: www.chamonix.com