150 years of Pralognan's history

A legendary destination in the French Alps

A cradle of mountaineering and a pioneer winter sports resort, Pralognan-la-Vanoise has proved itself, over the last 150 years, as one of the French Alps' most emblematic destinations.

150 years of history and passion for the mountains

19th

The salt road and road to Beaufort made Pralognan-la-Vanoise a major stopover between France and Italy.

1860

On August 8th, William Mathews, Michel Croz, and Etienne Favre reached the summit of the Grande Casse, the 3855m high point of the Vanoise Range and the Savoie.

1875

The first hotel in Pralognan-la-Vanoise opens its doors. The wealthy come to spend their vacations in the village.

1881

The Compagnie des Guides (Guide Service) in Pralognan-la-Vanoise opens its doors.

1897

The name Pralognan earns national fame when French president, Félix Faure, traverses the Vanoise Range on a mule to observe military training exercises.

1902

Inauguration of the Félix Faure hut (today referred to as the Col de la Vanoise hut) in honor of the deceased president.

1905

Pralognan opens its first Tourism Office.

1907

Skiing becomes a part of everyday life: M. Rey, the postman, uses skis to distribute/pick up the mail and kids use them to get to school.

1911

The number of visitors in winter continues to grow; Hotel de la Vanoise welcomes its first wintertime guests.

1916

Pralognan is officially recognized for the health benefits of its pure mountain air. It becomes the oxygenation center for patients undergoing heat treatments at the thermal baths in Brides-les-Bains.

1933

The legendary north face of the Grande Casse, aka the "Italian Couloir," is first climbed by Aldo Bonacossa and L. Binaghi. It is considered one of the major ice routes in the Vanoise Range.

1953

The aerial tram connecting the village to the top of Mont Bochor (2023m) is built. At the time it is considered to be the fastest lift in the world.

1963

Vanoise National Park is created, the very first national park in France, and covers 70% of the township's land. Several trails are developed for hikers. In the park's central zone, strict regulations protect both the flora and fauna.

1982

Pralognan native, Michel Vion, current president of the French Ski Federation, becomes world combined champion in alpine skiing.

1992

Pralognan becomes an Olympic site for the Albertville Winter Olympics and hosts the curling event at its brand new ice rink.

1994

Surya Bonaly, who had been living in Pralognan-la-Vanoise for the prior 2 years, places second in the World Figure Skating Championships, the first in a long series of podium spots in world and European competition.

1996

Pralognan native, Sébastien Amiez, places first in the overall World Cup Slalom rankings. He went on to win silver medals at the 1997 World Alpine Skiing Championships and the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics.

2004

Pralognan native, Cédrik Tomio, wins the relay race at the World Ski-Mountaineering Championships, and finishes second as a team at the legendary Pierra Menta.

2007

The first edition of the Vertical Transvanoise, a spectacular ski-mountaineering race in teams of 3, the only race in France that takes place on glaciers and the only authorized race in winter in Vanoise National Park.

2013

Vanoise National Park celebrates its 50th anniversary. Praglognan-la-Vanoise hosts the Danilo Ré Memorial, a trophy for protected alpine areas that brings together 150 individuals from 6 countries to participate in 4 events: ski mountaineering, cross-country skiing, giant slalom, and target shooting.

2015

A new logo and a new dynamic for Pralognan-la-Vanoise, which both embody a rich alpine history and culture.

2016

Renovation and construction on the Pralognan-la-Vanoise recreation center is completed. More than 8000m² are now dedicated to sports, leisure, and relaxation...

A favorite spot in Vanoise National Park for hikes in the high mountains, multi-day treks, and winter sports, we are very proud of our village's rich history.
The spectacular surrounding glaciers have made Pralognan-la-Vanoise a hotbed for high-alpine rock and ice adventures, as well as mountain tourism. The hiking trails today follow in the footsteps of our bold predecessors!

A faraway land, perhaps, but a land with close ties to its European neighbors…
"Pralognan" means "faraway land" in the local Savoyard patois. Imagine a place located almost in the middle of nowhere, lost, isolated. Yet our history is filled with exchanges and contact of all kinds with the outside world.

Pralognan-la-Vanoise was a major stopover on the "Salt Road" to Italy. Imagine crossing the mountains with the tools of the time; what an epic and dangerous journey! Mule drivers also transported delicious locally-made cheeses. We bet that snacking on a copious slice of the now legendary BEAUFORT cheese must have provided quite the boost and invaluable reassurance!
The village's natural appeal quickly made Pralognan-la-Vanoise a pioneer in mountain tourism, both summer and winter.
Often compared to Chamonix or Zermatt at the beginning of the 20th century, locals have successfully preserved the area's warm and traditional character.
Today, equipped with modern infrastructure that caters to the entire family, our charming mountain village continues to offer its guests a simple and authentic experience.