Wide view of two skiers on high mountain piste at Praz de Lys Sommand, French Alps.

Praz de Lys Sommand

Haute-Savoie, French Alps

Praz de Lys sits on a peak-fringed plateau in the Massif du Chablais above Tanninges in Haute-Savoie, between Geneva and the Portes du Soleil ski area.

Proximity to the international airport at Geneva and TGV rail stations high-speed services from Paris and London into Thonon or Aigle (Switzerland) make this friendly village one of the most accessible downhill and cross-country ski destinations in the French Alps.

Group of skiers on gentle piste above village and forests at Praz de Lys, French Alps.

The Ski Area

When deciding where to spend a day on the pistes skiers from the Arve valley between Geneva and Tanninges have plenty of choice, so the fact that so many of them head for Praz de Lys tells you something about what’s on offer here. Both Praz de Lys and its lift-linked neighbour Sommand sit on sheltered plateau, so you’ll find safe debutant terrain around both villages.

The groomed intermediate terrain is surprisingly varied and tops off at almost 2000m, amid the kind of stunning scenery (particularly on the 3.2km-long Le Lac blue piste) that makes skiing here a memorable experience. There are also some enjoyable red- and blue-graded plunges down through the tree-line. The lift system, while not exactly built for speed, is nevertheless efficient enough, the Haut Fleury four-seat chair hauling skiers to 1980m in a single, leisurely hop.

The link over to Sommand is easy enough, and there’s more memorable scenery along the way. Sommand’s local terrain sector is more modest, but feels a world apart and makes an agreeable pause for a lunch break. Coming back you have a choice of two chairlifts.

There are bigger ski areas out there, but skiing here gets to you, thanks to the beauty of the setting and a welcome sense of friendliness.

Resort Information

Altitude : 1250m - 2000m
Praz-de-Lys Sommand
Pistes Total:
50 km
Praz de Lys pistes
7 Green
28 Blue
14 Red
6 Black
Ski Resort Lifts : 23
1 Magic Carpets
15 Draglifts
7 Chairlifts


Wide view of front de neige, Praz de Lys ski village, French Alps.

The Ski Village

For the most part Praz de Lys is refreshingly low-rise, in respect for beauty of the surroundings. Yes, it’s small, but service-wise there’s just about everything here you’ll need for a stay – just be aware that at present the nearest ATM cashpoint is down in Tanninges.

The majority of the accommodation and services are set beside Praz de Lys 1450’s modest front-de-neige, whose drag-lifts serve novice/ski school terrain. Intermediates, however, can ski to the nearby Brésy drag-lift, which drops them above the chairlifts of Les Moliettes, for access to the highest (and lowest) terrain and to Sommand.

Staying There

Value for Money Accommodation Dining Out Nightlife Village Charm


Young family walking to ski school area at Praz de Lys, French Alps.

Why go skiing in Praz-de-Lys Sommand ?

Intermediates looking for somewhere a little different will find it in Praz de Lys, along with some sensational scenery. Not that it’s all tame – there are one or two quite long, entertaining reds here, plus six blacks. Otherwise it’s mostly aimed at fans of blue-graded cruising.

Much of the terrain is accessible by chairlifts, and snowboarders will appreciate a boardercross area.

Novices are well catered for, with safe and accessible debutante areas. Add the value on offer and you’ll see why it appeals to young families.

Nature lovers can explore a network of groomed cross-country pistes for most levels, plus marked circuits for walkers.

Skiing There

Beginners / Families Intermediates Advanced / Expert Mountain Scenery


Snowpark suitable for learners and intermediates with jumps, boxes and rails.
1 Snowboarder Cross

Cross-Country Skiing

One of the biggest and best cross-country areas in the Alps.
60km Cross-Country and Nordic Ski Trails


  • The resort has been awarded the "Tourisme et Handicap" label for access to people with reduced mobility and learning disability.
  • Welcoming resort with its own Fest'hiv at the start of the winter season for people to try out handisports.
  • Majority of lifts are accessible to sit-skis. List available on the resort website.
  • The ESF ski-schools in Praz-de-Lys and Sommand have sit-ski and tandem ski equipment with specialist instructors in Alpine and Nordic skiing.
  • The Tourism Office can loan "wheelblades" which easily fit onto wheelchair wheels making it easy to enjoy the thrill of being on snow.

icon-smileyYes please...

  • Safe family ski station in superb setting with relaxed ambiance.
  • Activities for all ages.
  • Exceptional cross-country skiing opportunities.
  • Secure beginners slopes separate from main downhill ski runs and adjacent to village amenities.
  • Varied downhill skiing with stunning scenery.

icon-frowneyYes but...

  • Relatively low altitude means uncertain snow conditions.
  • Limited choice of accommodation.

icon-winkingOur Tips

  • For access to the pistes at Praz de Lys, drive to Les Moliettes (free parking).
  • Take time to enjoy some of the proposed walking itineraries.
  • Take cash! The village has recently lost its cashpoint.


Practical Information

Tried and testedLes Soldanelles

Exterior view of Les Soldanelles ski apartments at Praz de Lys, French Alps.

Les Soldanelles is on the edge of the village with easy vehicle access and parking. To the front, there are panoramic views over mountain and forest and the cross-country pistes and waymarked pedestrian routes pass in front of the residence. The shops are a few minutes walk with a supermarket and chemist plus a few restaurants.

The safe and secure learners area where there are several easy pistes served by draglifts are close by. Although there is access to the downhill ski slopes from here, we chose to drive to Les Molliets to access the chairlifts which serve Praz de Lys and its neighbour Sommand via some easy blue pistes.

We stayed in a delightful, light and pleasantly furnished apartment which had those lovely views from the south facing balcony. Sleeping up to 6 with bunk beds, a twin bedroom and a double sofa bed, it could be a tight squeeze but was perfect for two or a small family. It's quite well equipped and about to receive the updating which had already begun in other apartments. There's a swimming pool and fitness room open to residents all day.