31st International Montgolfiades, Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 January 2022
With its ideal aerological conditions, in just a few years the resort of Praz-sur-Arly has become THE place for hot air ballooning in the mountains in France. Hot air balloon flights are possible year-round, thanks to Gérard Issartel and the Alpes Montgolfière team. And, for one weekend in January, a real international ballooning festival awaits you in our little village!
Why a hot air balloon meeting in Praz sur Arly?
In 1990, professional air meeting organizers came to Praz and discovered a large flat area devoid of any construction at the entrance of the village. For them it was the ideal spot for hot air balloons to take off. A year later, the first meeting took place with 12 balloons invited for the event. As of the following year the staff of the Tourist Office organized the event themselves.
In the last 29 years, we have had many well-known male and female Flight Directors for this event: Guy Garcia, Daniel Dupuis known as “Papy”, Jo Roulet and Alain Paris. Flight Director for several years, Jo Roulet, national trainer, is the French reference pilot for mountain flying. This year’s flight director, Alain Paris is also the pilot of the Paris hot-air balloon (the Generali Atmospheric Observatory) and as well as Flight Director for the Lille meeting. The Transalpine Challenge began in 2004, the objective being to cover the longest distance in one flight in the heart of the Mont-Blanc Range. In 2006, the TF1 team flew over Mont Blanc and landed in Italy! It has always been possible to inflate the balloons during the week. Several French champions have come to Praz to fly during the Montgolfiades. In 2014, French champion Laure De Coligny was interviewed for the TF1 8 o’clock news in a film shot in Praz sur Arly. The balloons were unable to take off only four times during the Montgolfiades weekend – in 1993, 1999, 2015 and 2018 – because of weather conditions.
A SPECIAL OCCASION
In 2013 for the film “Salaud, on t’aime“, the Director Claude Lelouch shot images during the weekend and filmed a sequence with Johnny Hallyday in the Praz-sur-Arly hot air balloon. Claude Lelouch, Patron of the Montgolfiades, is a secondary resident in the village!