As France has effectively banned British holidaymakers, and Austria has tightened up entry requirements, a lot of determined skiers are making last-minute swaps to new destinations where the atmosphere is a bit more relaxed.
Rest assured, if you want to go skiing this winter, it’s definitely possible, no matter what kind of holiday tickles your fancy.
Holiday Type: Parties and Powder
Destination: Verbier, Switzerland
Switzerland has recently relaxed some restrictions: fully vaccinated arrivals can now use cheaper lateral flow, rather than PCR, tests to enter the country.
Brits can now enter Switzerland if they are double vaccinated and have proof of a negative PCR test (not older than 72 hours) or a lateral flow test (not older than 24 hours) when boarding.
Some SkiBro staff were in Verbier last week and report that snow conditions are fantastic, and resort life is fairly normal with bars and nightclubs open, although to enter you’ll need to be both vaccinated/recovered and present a recent negative Covid test.
Holiday Type: Ski-Touring Staycation
Destination: Cairngorms National Park, Scotland
Don’t want to go through the hassle of leaving the country? Don’t fancy being near other people? Simply head to Scotland!
Scotland offers some remarkable ski touring opportunities. It takes patience, preparation, flexibility and an open mind; but when it is good it can be as good as anywhere. Backcountry skiing in Scotland allows you to see the Munros at their finest without the frustrations of winter walking.
British Backcountry is a partnership run by a pair of BASI 4 Instructors who are also GTC registered Teachers and Mountain Leaders. Together they deliver a wide range of ski touring courses in Scotland, for first time ski tourers all the way through to steep gully skiers.
Holiday Type: Chic Shopping off the Slopes
Destination: Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy
Italy’s Cortina d’Ampezzo is a chic village set amidst the stunning scenery of the Dolomites, frequented by well-to-do residents of Venice and Milan, who arrive at weekends to stay in their second homes. In addition providing the custom to sustain the high-end shops and galleries that line the cobbled streets, this also means that the slopes and numerous high-end hotels are relatively quiet mid-week—which is great both from skiing and a Covid perspective.
There are, however, a few hoops to jump though to enjoy a ski holiday in Italy, even if one is travelling on one’s private jet.
You must have proof of vaccination and a negative test to cross the border and once in resort a ‘Super Green Pass’ is required to enter public places. Bars and restaurants remain open.
Proof of vaccination or recovery is required for anyone over the age of 12 to buy lift tickets, with passes scanned at the base of the gondola (making holidays for British families with children aged 12 to 15 impossible).
Holiday Type: Budget Ski Break
Destination: Bankso, Bulgaria
Bankso is Bulgaria’s largest ski resort, and boasts a good lift system and snow making infrastructure, whilst also offering food, drink and accomodation at significantly lower prices than the Alps. It also has its attraction due to its ancient village, nineteenth century stone buildings and cobbled streets as well as its clock tower which is 150 years old.
Covid restrictions in Bankso are also more relaxed than they are in most Alpine nations, requiring Brits to present one of proof of vaccination, recent recovery or a negative test to enter.
Once in resort, there are no health pass requirements to hit the slopes or enter restaurants and bars , although masks are mandatory in public places and social distancing is still in effect.