Pralong, a touch of Lapland Pralong, a small piece of wintery heaven in the heart of the Val des Dix.
You don’t need to go to polar regions to experience the “High North”. It can be found less than 30 minutes from the Valais capital via an easily accessible, cleared road. The road stops, as though at the end of the earth, in this village with few inhabitants at the foot of the Grande Dixence Dam. Every winter, time seems to stand still in this snow-covered village. Remote chalets, a small chapel, a snowy forest, a large, immaculate white plateau…a real postcard-like setting. The Dixence River clears a passage in the middle of the ice and frosted trees. It looks like Lapland!
The locals know it well and go for their Sunday walk in this peaceful and wildly enchanting place. Stroll along the winter footpaths by the river, step on the thick blanket of snow on the snowshoe trek paths, follow the imprints from cross-country skiing. All of the Northern pleasures can be found in Pralong. This Nordic area has an intimate setting and is perfectly maintained, with routes for beginners and skating slopes for ambitious cross-country skiers. If you have never tried snowshoe trekking, this is the ideal place to learn as it is suitable for all levels with its flexible layout. A small loop brings you to the Tsippis Plateau and its mayens (buildings found in the Valais mountains) weighed down under thick snow. It’s magical!
This winter, going for a walk will lead you on the trail of wild animals. This is a great idea for a family outing, to learn to observe the signs of nature. Before arriving in Pralong, there is a small ski tow in Leteygeon. It is normally open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the weekend and every day during the school holidays, according to the snow conditions. The residents know this iconic location well, which brings back so many memories. It’s often here that they first learned how to ski before heading to the ski area of the Masses-4 vallées. This small T-bar ski tow is ideal for young beginners. It requires a token fee and is run by a team of local volunteers. Isn’t that lovely?! It offers a friendly and intimate atmosphere to help our little darlings try out their first slopes.
Pralong also has a traditional mountain inn where you can try regional cheese dishes, meat with the Fleur d’Hérens label or for a holiday in the quiet atmosphere of this part of the world. You will be welcomed by Verka and Valentina, two sisters from the East who fell in love with this small piece of heaven. That’s understandable!
These wilderness lovers are visiting Pralong and would like to tell you all about it:
• Valentina from the blog Awwway - Pralong, le Val des Dix en raquettes a neige
“The landscape around us is completely natural and magical. We can walk through snow-covered fir trees, via lovely small Tsippis chalets, against the backdrop of the Grand Dixence Dam. Walking towards the dam, we are under the impression that we are walking towards the end of the earth. We are alone with our snowshoes, the snow and the mountain.”
• Tatiana, ya pas le feu au lac, a blog by a Swiss expat
We stopped off here, in the Val-Des-Dix, to have a coffee in a lovely inn. I really loved the area, with the chalets in the snow, the forests, the frozen river and the natural air!