La Plagne Ski Resort Guide & Reviews Skiing, Apres-Ski, Things to See & Do in La Plagne
La Plagne ski resort is a collection of 11 different hamlets in the heart of the Tarentaise area of the French Alps. Each mini ski resort has its own character and advantages, so when put together to form La Plagne, there really is something for everyone.
There is a good mix of visitors to La Plagne so you won’t just hear English voices on the lifts and the resort offers excellent skiing without the ‘chi-chi’ of some of the neighbouring resorts.
La Plagne Ski Area Guide
La Plagne itself offers skiing and boarding from 1250m to 3250m (the higher runs are on the Chiaupe Glacier underneath the Bellecote summit), with 225km of runs and 153km of cross country skiing spread over 130 pistes including 10 greens, 70 blue, 34 red and 16 black runs.
If you’re worried about snow cover, there are 359 snow canons covering 39km of key pistes that ensure pistes back to resort and linking runs stay open as long as possible.
The ski area at La Plagne is nicely varied and has enough to keep everyone happy. You’ll often hear snowboarders complaining about all the flat sections around resort, but as you get to know La Plagne you’ll know when these are coming up so you’ll learn to keep your speed up when it matters!
|Key information (whole area)|
|Season||Dec - April|
|Apres ski||Lively and fun|
Ski holidays in La Plagne - since the launch of the impressive Vanoise Express double decker cable car at Montchavin, skiing here went to another level. La Plagne has been linked to the Les Arcs ski area for several years now to form "Paradiski", one of the largest ski areas in the world. So, if you enjoy cruising around on different runs all day and all week for that matter, this is the place to come.
Beginners and children are very well catered for with kids’ clubs at key points so parents don’t have to trek far to drop off or pick the kids up. There are also ski schools with bases in each resort too, so you can get everything arranged locally, saving you time and effort.
If you’re looking for wide, motorway pistes that aren’t too taxing you’ll love La Plagne. One of our favourites is Arpette back down into Bellecote where experienced skiers and boarders will enjoy the accessible off piste as well.
Expert skiers will have to do some work to find the best off piste, but seek and you shall find…we’re talking Col du Forcle and off the Colosses lift. There are black runs to have a go at as well, but our advice for good skiers and boarders is to buy a Paradiski lift pass so you can roam around the whole area.
For beginners and lower intermediates, the La Plagne lift pass will be fine for a week. If you fancy maybe just a day over in Les Arcs you can opt for the Paradiski Decouverte pass which gives you one day over the other side. For the full monty it’s the Paradiski Integrale pass which allows you to go anywhere – but be warned it is expensive.
To keep the boarders sweet, La Plagne has invested heavily in freestyle with two halfpipes, an excellent snowpark and boardercross. And if you spot a teeny freestyle skier throwing down 1260s, that might be local legend Kevin Rolland, multiple X Games freestyle skiing champion.
Things to See & Do
A few suggestions of what to do apart from skiing...
- Visit the ice grotto on the Chiaupe glacier underneath the Bellecote summit. Open both winter and summer you can walk right inside the ice!
- Go ice climbing – the impressive man-made ice tower in Champagny en Vanoise is a real challenge. Have a go sessions are held throughout the winter season with a guide and all equipment included – just bring a lot of stamina and determination!
- Try the Olympic Bobsleigh track - this is the real deal, not some leisure sledging track. You can pay good money to throw yourself down the track in an individual bob or an automatic one for four. The ultimate is a ride in a real racing bob with a professional driver at the helm. Hold on tight!
La Plagne Après-ski
Après-ski in La Plagne, especial;ly in the centre, is very lively and good fun but is expensive for most visitors, so eating in and getting an early night ready for the skiing the next day is very popular. There are bars and a bit of nightlife around the villages but most of action is in Plagne Centre.
Villages of La Plagne
Ski holiday accommodation in La Plagne is certainly varied as the ski resort is made up of 11 mini hamlets each with their own style and character. Some are old traditional villages, others are classic 70s style high rise residences and there are more modern, prettier developments too. Each area has plenty of holiday rentals varying in quality and price but there is enough choice to suit all budgets.
Traditional La Plagne Villages
These villages are steeped in history and tradition and offer classic chalet style accommodation. Each village provides direct access to the pistes.
- Les Coches – 1450m
- Champagny en Vanoise – 1250m
- Plagne Montalbert – 1350m
- Montchavin – 1250m
Purpose-built La Plagne
- Aime La Plagne – the highest of all the resorts at 2100m has excellent access to the slopes, but is not that pretty
- Belle Plagne sits at 2050m and is often cited as the prettiest of the resorts in La Plagne, it’s a newer, cuter development with an alpine village feel and pistes that go right through the middle of resort
- Plagne Villages/Plagne Soleil 2050m; two of the newer developments in La Plagne. Soleil enjoys the sunshine late into the afternoon – perfect for aperitif on your balcony!
- Plagne Centre 1970m is La Plagne HQ. Again, if you like big concrete residences you’ll love it, but it is also where most of the ski in/ ski out chalets are located plus the apres-ski is very lively
- Plagne Bellecote 1930m is a bit of a concrete jungle, but gives access straight up to the Bellecote glacier area
- Plagne 1800 is built on the site of a former lead mine, hence one of the best apres ski bars is called La Mine!
Our view on ski holidays in La Plagne
Ski holidays in La Plagne will be whatever you want it to be. If you like quaint, sleepy alpine villages you've got them. If you want to literally ski right to your front door there's plenty of that too. The resort by itself is big, so combined with Les Arcs, the ski area becomes enormous and far more than you could ever explore in a week of skiing.