La Plagne, France

La Plagne is just one area in the popular Paradiski resort, which also includes Les Arcs. The area contains 10 villages, six at high altitude (Aime la Plagne, Belle Plagne, Plagne Villages/Soleil, Plagne Bellecô, Plagne Centre and Plagne 1800), and four at low altitude (Champagny en Vanoise, Plagne Montalbert, Montchavinop and Les Cochesop).

The biggest and liveliest of these is Plagne Centre, but whichever village you choose to stay in, you will be able to enjoy fantastic views over La Vanoise national park.

La Plagne is a modern, purpose-built, car-free resort, and is packed full of excellent amenities for holidaymakers. Diverse skiing combined with reliable snow and numerous off-piste options make La Plagne a very popular resort. The resort also has the distinction of being the venue for the bobsleigh in the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville.

How to Get There

By Air

The easiest way to reach La Plagne by air travel is to fly to either Geneva or Chambery airports, which are 90 miles and 70 miles away respectively. From either of these airports, you will be able to take a bus service to Aime, and from there take a local bus to La Plagne.

A slightly less popular option is to fly to Lyon, located 120 miles away. You may wish to consider this option as the journey to the resort will not take longer than three hours by road.

By Train

Take a high-speed TGV train from Paris to Les Arcs, which is a three-hour journey. From Les Arcs you can easily catch a bus or taxi to La Plagne.

Alternatively, take an overnight Eurostar train from London to Bourg St. Maurice, which goes via Paris or Lyon. From there you can take a train or bus to the resort.

By Car

Head towards Albertville on the motorway, and then take the N90 to Moûtiers. Continue on the N90 to Aime and then head towards La Plagne from there. If you drive all the way from Calais, the distance is about 600 miles and will take just under 10 hours.

Who The Resort Caters For

The numerous good-quality ski schools in La Plagne make it particularly suitable for beginners and families with young children. The most popular ski schools are: Bureau des Guides, Ecole du Ski and Evolution 2. However, there are plenty of others available in the resort as well.

There are enough activities on offer in La Plagne to keep everyone occupied. Numerous cafés and restaurants can be found across the resort, and fairly good nightlife is available in La Plagne Centre and Belle Plagne. Overall, there are 10 nightclubs, 40 bars and 60 restaurants.

There is also an outdoor heated pool and sauna in Plagne Bellecote, a bowling alley in Belle Plagne, and a huge bobsleigh run in Plagne 1800. Walking opportunities are endless and ice-skating and squash facilities are also available.

Snowboarders are well-catered for with a huge snowpark consisting of a half-pipe and a freestyle run of over 900m. There is also another large snowpark in Les Arcs called Apocalypse, consisting of green, red and black runs.

What accommodation does the resort offer?

La Plagne has a few hotels but these are outnumbered on a large scale by apartments, many of which are small and basic. Most apartments are near to ski shops and malls and are connected by walkways.

A few recommended hotels include Les Montagnettes in Belle Plagne and Les Hauts Bois in Aime la Plagne. Plagne Soleil also boasts a number of modern chalets to choose from. In the lower villages, there are a few 2-star hotels but the overall options are quite limited.

Slope Information

A large variety of slopes are on offer in La Plagne and they cater for skiers of all levels. Peisey Vallandry boasts the best slopes for beginners, whereas Aiguille Rouge is more suitable for advanced skiers. Col des Frettes and Col du Grand Retard contain slopes suitable for all.

The skiing area is extensive at about 138 square miles, and is spread out over an altitude of between 1,250m and 3,250m. There is a total of 140 miles of slopes, and these are made up of 15 black, 30 red, 72 blue and 10 green runs.

The snow is reliable and there are good nursery slopes for beginners. Alternatively, there is some fabulous off-piste skiing available on the high Bellecôte glacier, which provides a real challenge for advanced skiers. All of the popular slopes are connected by the Vanoise Express lift, which is one of the fastest and largest gondolas in the world, carrying up to 2,000 people per hour.

Resort Vitals

  • Altitude: 2,100m-1,800m
  • Total amount of runs: 140 miles
  • Longest run: 6.2 miles
  • Lifts: 111
  • Highest lift: 3,250m
  • Vertical drop: 2,000m
  • Advanced runs: 6%
  • Intermediate runs: 84%
  • Beginner runs: 10%
  • Cross country: 56 miles