Passy / France
Alpine Town of the Year 2022
Facts & Figures
Passy is a commune of 11,319 inhabitants, located in the Mont Blanc region. With a surface area of 8,003 ha, it stretches from the banks of the Arve at an altitude of 542 m to the summits of the Fiz chain at an altitude of 2,804 m. Located due south, facing the Mont Blanc range, Passy offers a privileged setting for the practice of numerous mid-mountain activities, both in summer and winter. The commune includes four major tourist sites – the family ski resort of Plaine-Joux, the Passy lake, the Jardin des Cimes and the Passy-Sixt nature reserve. Its cultural and architectural heritage, both modern and contemporary, is exceptional, notably the church of Notre-Dame-de-Toute-Grâce on the Plateau d’Assy. Passy also has baroque religious buildings characteristic of the Mont Blanc region.
Passy has the particularity of being a tiered commune, comprising six hamlets, each with its own characteristics. The valley is occupied by a preserved agricultural area as well as vast economic zones. The hillside is essentially residential. As for the Plateau d’Assy, situated at an altitude of over 1000 metres, it was one of the largest European climatic resorts in the 1930s and until 1970. With the reorganisation of the regional health map, it lost its medical vocation and became a place for permanent residents. It was to become the gateway to tourism in Passy.
The commune hosts many sporting, cultural and heritage events: the Tour des Fiz trail, the Mont Blanc international triathlon, the International Mountain Book Fair and the Séchieux festival.
Both the public authorities and the population are highly mobilised on the issue of environmental preservation, aware of the exceptional natural wealth of which they are the guardians.
The jury said…
The reasons for this choice are the role that the town has taken and can take on at the local level in its immediate environment, but also at the regional level, given its strategic geographical position as a passage site from Geneva to Italy and Switzerland, motorway and Mont Blanc tunnel.