Find the Chalet of your dreams
One of the gateways to the Espace Diamant ski area, Praz-sur-Arly is a pretty, family-friendly resort just 4km from the hustle and bustle of Megève.
Praz-sur-Arly has 35 km of groomed trails across 26 pistes, with 12 lifts and is great for beginner and intermediate skiers, but with Chamonix and Megève within easy reach, there’s plenty of challenge for the more experienced.
There’s plenty to do outside the ski season too, with walking and bike trails suitable for families and the more adventurous, as well as many more activities.
You’ll enjoy some impressive scenery too, with views of Mont Blanc, and as Praz-sur-Arly has the Famille Plus label, there’s great childcare and a programme of entertainment for all ages in summer and winter.
The village has a good selection of shops, restaurants and a large supermarket. However, if you’re looking for Michelin-starred fine dining and great apres-ski you may have to travel to Megève - here the emphasis is purely on traditional restaurants and family fun.
Praz-sur-Arly is one of the Val d’Arly’s four village resorts - the others are Flumet, Nôtre-Dame-de-Bellecombe and Crest-Voland. Between them, they boast 120 km of pistes (21 greens, 38 blues, 34 reds and four blacks), but the fun doesn’t stop there. They are connected to the Espace Diamant, which includes Les Saisies, and gives you a total of 192 km of pistes, 81 ski lifts, 162 slopes, five snowparks and six boardercross courses.
Most of the slopes are wide and tree-lined and ideal for beginners and intermediates. There are a handful of blacks for the more experienced, as well as good off-piste and snow touring.
Don’t expect a sophisticated lift system in Val d’Arly - chairlifts are stationed in each village to take you up the slopes.
If you’re not a skier, or if you just fancy a break, there are plenty of other activities to try. There’s sledging at the bottom of the slopes in Praz-sur-Arly, or you could look for chamois on a snowshoe hike. Ice-skating and dog-sledding should also be on your must-do list!
The fun doesn’t stop when the snow melts. Great hiking, biking and hot air ballooning are just some of the many reasons you should visit Praz-sur-Arly in the spring, summer and autumn.
The village is also well-known for its cheese-making - why not visit a farm, meet the cows and taste some of the produce?
If you love to swim, you’ll be spoiled for choice - there’s a wonderful swimming lake and aqua park. Mini-golf, tree-top adventure courses, fishing, paragliding, white-water sports and running with huskies are also on the agenda!
The Belles leisure park is a great place to spend a few hours with the children
Praz-sur-Arly is the centre of hot-air ballooning in the French Alps. Flights leave from the village all year round - it’s a wonderful way to get a great view of the mountain tops!
Skiing and boarding are the main activities that bring guests to chalets in Praz-sur-Arly in the winter, and in the summer, hiking, biking and climbing are the most popular. But when you stay at an OVO Network property, there is so much more to see and do.
Hot air balloon flight Praz-sur-Arly is the perfect place to try a flight in a hot air balloon, which can be arranged at any time of the year. You’ll enjoy stunning views of the highest Alpine peaks, including Mont Blanc, from the serenity of your basket. Flights cost from 270€ for an adult. And if you visit in January, you could be part of the International hot air balloon festival, when balloonists from all over the world converge on Praz-sur-Arly for a weekend of flying, workshops and demonstrations. Even if you just watch from the ground, it’s a spectacular sight!
Snowshoe trekking There are two marked circuits in Praz-sur-Arly which are dedicated to snowshoe trekkers: The Evettes Circuit will take you through forests with beautiful views of the Aravis mountains, whereas the Cassioz and Thouvassières circuit take you through the surrounding hamlets with views of the Arly valley. If you want to tackle it alone you can pick up a map at the tourist office, but if you’d prefer to go with an expert, guides can be arranged.
Dog sledding Sit back and enjoy the ride in a sled pulled by huskies or take the reins and drive the dogs yourself! It’s a wonderful experience for adults and children, and the musher will take time to introduce you to the dogs and tell you a little bit about them. If you’re visiting in the summer you can still enjoy some time with the huskies by signing up for dog trekking!
Snow sports Guests who come to Praz-sur-Arly in the winter come mainly for skiing and snowboarding, but there are plenty more sports to enjoy in the snow. Try scooting down the pistes on a single-ski yooner, or have a go at speed-riding - a cross between skiing and paragliding! Wing-jumping is a great alternative for children - it’s skiing with a wing attached to your back. There’s no chance that you’ll take off, but you will enjoy some new sensations!
A view of Mont-Blanc Summer or winter, while you’re in Praz-sur-Arly it would be a shame not to get a good look at France’s highest mountain. Less than an hour’s drive will get you to Chamonix, from where you can get the cable car to the viewing platform at Aiguille du Midi. Steel your nerves and take a step into the void - a completely transparent viewing box - it makes a great picture! If you can drag yourself away from the stunning views here, another cable car will take you to the Italian side of the mountain.
Making a splash In the summer, there’s no better way to cool off than in the water - and there are plenty of opportunities to do that in Praz-sur-Arly. You could take a dip at the swimming lake opposite Mont Charvin - there’s a free beach and public swimming area, and an Aquaparc with inflatables, an assault course, trampolines and towers. This costs 11€ per hour and is open to children over 5 who are able to swim. If you’d rather stick to a swimming pool, head for Le Palais in Megeve, which has indoor and outdoor pools, waterslides and paddling pools.
Via ferrata This Alpine adventure is a great day out for families with older children - it combines hiking and climbing on a trail cut into the rock face. You’ll wear a helmet and be clipped to the trail at all times to ensure your safety, but you’ll still need a head for heights!
Mountain golf Whether you’re a keen golfer or a beginner, you’ll love the challenge of a mountain course. The gentle slopes of the 18-hole par 72 Mont d’Arbois golf course (8km) is a great introduction, with an altitude of over 1300m. The course is open daily - check the website for times, which differ according to the time of year.
Canyoning thrills Children looking for adventure will find it canyoning - scrambling, climbing, jumping and swimming down mountain streams, rivers and waterfalls. You’ll be accompanied by a mountain guide, who will ensure your safety at all times. This thrilling experience is open to children over the age of 10, as long as they can swim and are not afraid of a 4m jump.
Take to the skies Book a flight for the best view of the mountains (and the most amazing photographs). The single engine planes, piloted by mountain professionals, have panoramic canopies so you don’t miss a thing, and you’ll get a running commentary through your helmet. Flights are available summer or winter (the planes are fitted with skis in winter) but you’ll need to book 24-48 hours in advance. It’s a good idea to do this at the start of your holiday, so that you can rearrange your trip if the weather is bad.
Don’t fancy cooking? There’s a huge choice of restaurants in and around Praz-sur-Arly. Here are some of our favourites:
Restaurant les Sapins (47 Route de Megève, Praz-sur-Arly, tel +33 4 50 21 90 07) This family-run restaurant in the centre of the village has a great choice of reasonably-priced, home-cooked food. You’ll find some local specialities such as croziflette and fondues, as well as salads and burgers. Vegetarians are catered for, although with cheese featuring heavily, vegans should check before they book. Children up to the age of 8 can choose a main course, a drink and a dessert for 12€.
Restaurant Les Ronins (9 route de Megève, Praz-sur-Arly, tel: +33 4 50 21 90 31)This Michelin-recommended restaurant serves a fusion of French classics with Asian influences,, such as Angus beef hanger steak with crying tiger sauce. A 25€ menu is offered daily, with three courses such as a soup, a fish or meat main course and a dessert. It’s wise to book as the restaurant is popular, and the dining room is not big (there is however plenty of room on the terrace). Do save room for dessert!
K-Bane Praz (Route des Varins Front de Neige, Praz-sur-Arly, tel: +33 4 50 58 76 07) Situated in a quiet spot at the foot of the pistes, this cool place to hang out is a great choice for lunch whether you’re out skiing or hiking. It’s not always easy to find an inside table, but there’s plenty of room on the sunny terrace. As you’d expect, there are local dishes, burgers and crepes as well as a dish of the day made with tasty seasonal ingredients. In the evenings you may find live music, and there’s often a barbecue on the weekends.
Auberge du Bonjournal (La Trefleannaise, Praz-sur-Arly, tel: 33 4 50 55 80 41) Simple food is cooked well at this mountain restaurant, but what really sells it is the panoramic view of the mountains. Enjoy tartiflette, omelettes, salads etc but save room for the wonderful homemade desserts - lemon meringue pie, blueberry tart, tarte tatin … Book ahead.
Chez Sachi (229 Route des Thouvassieres, Camping Les Pres, Praz-sur-Arly, tel: 33 6 33 02 70 18) If you can’t face another fondue or indeed anything cheesy, here is the antidote! Tokyo-trained sushi chef Sachi Kozakura serves up beautifully-presented platters of maki, nigiri and sashimi as well as hot dishes such as gyoza and noodle bowls. You can also try okonomiyaki - a savoury wheat pancake with a variety of ingredients cooked on a hot plate. You could even sign up for one of Sachi’s sushi-making courses!
Pizz’Mountain (26 Route des Bellevarde, Praz-sur-Arly, tel: +33 4 50 91 99 19) If you’re just looking for a quick dinner for the kids after a day on the mountains, this popular takeaway could be just what you’re after. Situated at the foot of the slopes, you can call in your order so that your food is ready to pick up when you arrive. There’s outside seating if you’d rather eat on the spot. The menu is extensive, and gluten free bases are available. If you’ve room for a dessert, there are ice creams, tiramisu or perhaps a Smarties pizza?
There are plenty of shops and services to meet your holiday needs in Praz-sur-Arly - as you’d expect from a mountain resort, you’ll find sports shops where you can rent or buy equipment. There’s also a good bakery, Boulangerie le Montagnard, where you can pick up your morning croissants and pastries as well as 30 varieties of bread and homemade chocolates. You’ll also find a newsagent, gift shop, an organic supermarket, a delicatessen and a Sherpa supermarket. There’s a large Intermarche on the edge of the village if you need to do a big shop.
But if it’s retail therapy you’re looking for, you are probably better heading for Megève where you’ll find all the designer labels, souvenirs, galleries and jewellers you could wish for!
Bus services - The village has two regular bus services which run all year round - get your tickets online or at the tourist office. They run between the village and Sallanches, and the village and Megève.
Train - The two stations closest to Praz-sur-Arly are Sallanches (17km), which is served by a bus service, and Albertville (30km).
Plane Geneva airport is the closest international airport to Praz-sur-Arly. There is a Ouibus service every two hours in winter to the village.
A free shuttle bus runs in the village through the winter season (10 stops). During the school holidays it runs every eight minutes, and outside the holidays it runs every 30 minutes.