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Pralognan-La-Vanoise

With old wood and stone hamlets, national parkland as its back garden and the mighty Grande Casse (and other 3000m+ peaks) towering overhead, Pralognan’s a beauty. Its name translates to ‘faraway land’ in regional patois, and with a small population of 700, busy city life feels another world away entirely.

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

At a glance: • Traditional ski resort • Former Olympic host • Small ski area

Great for: • Pretty resort • Quiet ski holiday • Great sports & wellness centre

With old wood and stone hamlets, national parkland as its back garden and the mighty Grande Casse (and other 3000m+ peaks) towering overhead, Pralognan’s a beauty. Its name translates to ‘faraway land’ in regional patois, and with a small population of 700, busy city life feels another world away entirely.

Pralognan-La-Vanoise Resort

While this might not be the first French resort that springs to mind (better known resorts include nearby Courchevel and La Plagne), it was one of the first around. Pralognan has over 150 years of history in the world of mountaineering and winter sports and it’s fascinating.

Positioned on the Salt Road between France and Italy, traders would cross these mountains way before ski lifts and modern equipment made it easy. The first hotel opened in 1875, fifteen years after William Mathews, Michel Croz, and Etienne Favre had famously scaled the summit of the Grande Casse. By 1907, skiing was part of daily life here - used by everyone from the postman delivering mail to children on their school runs. More and more people came to visit in summer and winter, for the healing mountain air and exciting activities available.

The resort officially opened as a skiing destination in the late thirties, keeping at the forefront of winter sports by installing what was fastest ski lift in the world in 1953. Ten years later, the Vanoise National Park was christened France’s first national park, occupying 70% of Pralognan’s land and working to preserve the natural beauty of the area. More recently, the resort hosted the curling events of the ’92 Albertville Olympics and the famous Vertical Transvanoise ski mountaineering race began in 2007.

To get here, Moutiers-Salins is the nearest train station for rail travellers, a 40-50-minute transfer to resort. Chambery airport 1.5 hours away and you can travel from Geneva and Lyon within 2.5 hours.

Stats & FAQ

Location: Savoie, France

Established: 1937

Open: December - April

Downhill: 24 runs

View our detailed Pralognan-La-Vanoise snow forecast or snow report and see all live webcams, piste maps, road and travel maps and lift pass prices. For a picture of historic snow conditions see the snow depths month by month with our Pralognan-La-Vanoise snow history.

Nearest Airport & Transfer Time:
Chambéry Airport (CMF)113km, 1.5 hours
Geneva (GVA)192km, 2h20
  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced
  • 13 runs

  • 7 runs

  • 4 runs

Top Altitude:2350m
Bottom Altitude:1400m
Resort Altitude:1400m
Longest run:
Slope Orientation:
Vertical Drop:
Skiable Vertical:
Night Skiing:No
Glacier:No

Snow Report

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  • Forecast
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Web Cam

Pralognan-La-Vanoise web cams
Downhill Runs:24 runs
Beginner slopes:
Intermediate:
Advanced slopes:
Lift Pass Price: €122.50 (adult 6 day)
Nearby resorts: Courchevel, Meribel, Saint Martin de Belleville, Les Menuires

Skiing/BoardingSkiing in Pralognan-La-Vanoise

The Prali Pralo trail is a fun piste for children, kitted out with loveable characters, tunnels and gentle bumps. The easiest runs can be found towards the bottom of the ski area, where greens like Monchus gently slope between the treeline.

Blue run skiers and snowboarders can enjoy the top heights and peak snow conditions from the Ancolie chair, where the Combe and Cretes runs stream down open mountain face.

There isn’t oodles of choice in the red department, but breaking off from green Arcelin, the Lanches piste takes you over to the Isertan area where you can ski the piste of the same name or have a crack at the slalom. For a lengthy run down, take the Genepi, set off on blue Marmottes then fork onto red Arolles, linking with Fontanettes and Combe des Bleux back to the village.

Experts have couloirs and ungroomed terrain to tackle - don’t miss the Combe des Pariettes where narrow stretches and plentiful powder await.

Snowboarders can head to the boardercross (near the Crêtes piste) which has jumps, boxes, rollers, rails and more.

Check if a ski pass still includes a day in La Plagne or Courchevel when you buy more than 6 days - this is a terrific opportunity for a day trip to experience the contrast of one of France’s biggest ski areas.

Pralognan-La-Vanoise Apres Ski

From fondue at Les Gentianes and Vallee Blanche to steak at La Cascade, the après ski here is generally more focused on food and wine than all-out parties. There are a couple of watering holes worth a stop off, like Bar du Bochor - a family friendly spot for vin chaud, coffee and hot chocolates - and Le Pachu 2000 which usually has deckchairs out by the sun terrace.

When it comes to non-ski activities however, the list goes on and on. The Aquatic and Wellness centre has a pool, gym, bowling alley, climbing wall and spa facilities we could spend all week in. You can’t come to this former Olympic host resort without a skate on the Olympic ice rink, and other wintery activities include dog sledding through pine forests, skijoring and horseback rides.

Best time to go

Best time to ski Pralognan-La-Vanoise

When is the best time to ski Pralognan-La-Vanoise?

Being below one of the biggest glacier ice caps in the Alps helps keep the area cool and snowy throughout the winter. That’s not to say these are the most snow sure slopes you’ll ever ski, but they do tend to stay in good nick from December to early April. If natural snowfall is lacking and temperatures remain low enough, 80 snow cannons cover more than half of the area.

Peak Dates

Santa Claus traditionally arrives to hand out presents to little ones over Christmas in Pralognan.

Making the last après ski of the year the best après ski of the year, New Year in Pralognan often includes a big gathering and fireworks in the centre.

Family-focussed activities and a small but snowy ski area make Half Term in Pralognan a good bet for a holiday with the brood.

On some years the famous TransVanoise race coincides with Easter in Pralognan, for an exciting atmosphere throughout the resort.

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Families in Pralognan-La-Vanoise

If your tots are too small to ski yet, the Club Neige kids centre arranges indoor and outdoor activities from arts and crafts to snowman making. For fun on the snow together, there’s a sledding area for small children at the village entrance (on the right hand side of the Petit Poucet surface lift) and another for older children by the ESF snow garden. The resort have even been known to run Q and A sessions for parents on how to get your children skiing cheerfully and confidently. Efforts are made on the mountain to keep the whole clan smiling too, with the Prali Pralo piste and an exciting boardercross course to race each other down.

GroupsGroup Holidays Pralognan-La-Vanoise

This isn’t the biggest or liveliest ski resort by a long stretch, but if you’re after quality time with friends and family it could be just the ticket. Anyone who fancies a change of scenery can take a day trip to the likes of La Plagne or Courchevel, which are sometimes covered with a six-day lift pass. Meanwhile, those who are happy to potter about the local slopes will find enough variety for each level - gentle greens to practice on, cruisey blues and reds and some challenging ungroomed black runs. In the evening, gather around the table to share fondues, drink wine and make plans for another fun day ahead.

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