Neighbouring resort Val d’Isère is literally translated to English as ‘Valley of the Isère’, which is the river that runs through the town and past Les Brévières. The river is 178 miles long and orginates from glacier melt above the town. The Isère eventually makes its way through the provinces of Savoie and Isère to join up with the Rhône.
There have been traces of man’s presence around the area that date back to the Neolithic or stone age. The very first confirmed inhabitants were called “Ceutrons”, a small Celtic population that populated the area from around 700-400 BC. The Ceutrons were warriors at heart, were frank and loyal people, addicted to agriculture and the care of herds; fearless as much as farsighted and clever, but still good and hospitable. The most notable local evidence of their time in the area, is a stone circle at Col du Petit-St-Bernard, built across the border.
The town received parish rights in 1637 and the parish church, which is still a landmark in the town centre and was built in 1664 (Chalet Eterlou is older that that Church too!). Sovie was ruled as a duchy and the then called Savoy, experienced its first episode of annexation from France from 1792 to 1814. In 1815 it was returned to the Piemont-Sardaigne kingdom along with Nice.
In the 1930’s Val d’Isère was considered one of the best places for skiing and with the construction of the road leading to the Col du I’seran mountain pass (the highest in Europe) in 1937 it enabled the resort to be fully operational after the Second World War.
For over half a century Val d’Isère has been considered the capital of alpine skiing and has hosted numerous events over the years and still does.