25 May 2004

Riding and sunbathing in the same day
What are you doing this summer? Contrary to popular belief, there is loads to do in summer in Val d'Isère! The glacier opens on 26 June with the resort officially opening on July 3rd. Just imagine skiing or boarding all morning followed by basking in the sun all afternoon. There is a much more relaxed vibe in Val in the summer season, pavement cafés and restaurants spring up outside your favourite winter restaurants, and the sun shines & shines until late in the evening.

Walking and wildlife
The walking in and around Val d'Isère is fantastic. The Solaise and Bellevarde mountains are right on your doorstep, you can either brave the ascent or take the more leisurely way up in the comfort of the chairlift - you won't believe how different it all looks in the summer! Head just out of town and up to the Sassiere, walk along to the lake and you are virtually guaranteed not only marmottes in abundance but also chamois and if you are lucky, you might catch sight of eagles or our very own pair of bearded vultures, complete with a wingspan of over two metres!

Bikes, rafting, kayaking, parapenting, climbing
If you prefer travelling on two wheels, you are again spoilt for choice. Road bikes eat up the kms up here and should you feel the urge to head up to the Col de Iseran, you will be rewarded for your efforts with a certificate from the Tourist Office… just remember to pop in on your way up so that they can record your time. Val d'Isère are continuing to make an investment in mountain biking (or VTT as it is known out here). Last year they held a stage of the French championships and its reputation as a VTT destination is fast catching up with more well known resorts in the area.

If you fancy something more adventurous, you are again in the right place. Never tried a 'Via Ferrata'? Val d'Isère has two. Evolution 2 specialise in whitewater rafting, kayaking or parapenting. Val is also a popular stopover for Motor Cyclists on their way across the cols into Italy, a truly amazing journey.

Summer skiing

Obsessed by the white stuff and just can't face six months without putting some turns in? The Val d'Isère glacier (known as the Pissaillas Glacier) opens on the 26 June. The snowmaking in the area was greatly improved last season and it will be great to have skiing on our doorstep once again. The glacier in Tignes opens on the 19 June and it will be business as usual for the racers and their coaches who are always present. If you fancy doing a bit of training yourself then the development centre are running performance courses and check out Visit R21 for specific race and Eurotest training.

Offroad, film festival, chess, fishing and petanque
The 21st Annual 4x4 Festival is taking place from 14-22 August. Take your ultimate vehicle for a test drive on the slopes of the Bellevarde, there are 4000 hectares reserved for the event to get a preview of the latest models. Other festivals include a Nature & Environment film festival (12-15 July), a flower market, the French National Chess Championships,
a couple of Fishing Competitions, a couple of Village Fetes and the archetypal French Petanque Tournaments. See, told you the summer was rather more chilled!

Soccer and Golf tournaments
From the 9-11 July we have Beach Soccer. Teams of 5 players play barefoot on the sand - not only is a carnival atmosphere promised with dancers & DJ's but Eric Cantona is also going to be in attendance. The Pro-Am Ski Golf Tournament arrives July 24-25 for a quick round on Europe's highest golf course. The tourist office are promising "An original and subtle cocktail combining physical condition, concentration and accuracy". We can't wait...

For more information on Val d'Isère in Summer and a full list of Val's events, visit the Tourist Office website, For more information on Beach Soccer or the Tignes Pro Am Golf Tournament, visit the website of the Tignes Tourist

Report from Antonia Lee Bapty - Natives Resort Reporter in Val d'Isere
W ith Redeye - Natives reporter official beanie sponsor

Antonia is marketing manager for Snowtec and partners Precision and Snowfun

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