La Plagne Ski Resort Guide
Forming part of the huge Paradiski area along with Les Arcs, La Plagne is a unique ski resort in that it consists of 10 separate parts. These villages are scattered throughout a gentle plateau backed by the steep Bellecote mountain. Although it has been accused of lacking a single identity, La Plagne’s villages more than make up for this with their individual character – making it possible to find a perfect base in La Plagne whatever your preferences.
In the surrounding valleys traditional farming villages such as Champagny en Vanoise and Montchavin provide a quiet rustic charm perfect for families and fans of chalet holidays. The remaining resorts have been purpose-built at varying altitudes and while they have been accused of featuring ugly high-rise blocks, the beautiful surrounding scenery and views more than make up for this. Much of the accommodation is apartments and while there are currently no 5* hotels or Michelin star restaurants in resort, there has been a positive move to create more luxury buildings in recent years.
With close to 54,000 beds available throughout the different villages there are plenty of accommodation options – but if you are visiting La Plagne then a fair amount of planning to find the right hotel, chalet or apartment in the right part of town is crucial. The nightlife in most cases is of the quieter variety, although local amenities have been described as first class. Another unique element of La Plagne is the chance to use the 1,500m long bobsled run from the 1992 Albertville Winter Olympics. Four person sleds are available with or without a professional driver, and for those that are brave enough there is also the option to take part on a skeleton bobsled.
Skiing in La Plagne
La Plagne has 225km of local pistes surrounding its multiple villages. These mostly consist of wide and gentle runs which are best suited to intermediates and families. The high altitude (the Bellecote glacier tops out at 3,250m) ensures excellent quality snow throughout the winter season. The facilities for children and beginners around La Plagne are excellent with a number of small violet-coded pistes available with free lifts. Progression past these learner lifts is also made easier than in other resorts due to the well-maintained green pistes in the local area.
More advanced skiers and snowboarders will also find plenty of challenging terrain on both the La Plagne and Les Arcs sides of the Vanoise Express lift which connects Paradiski. Black runs with long, steep descents can be found easily while there are large areas of fantastic off-piste available with a local guide.
While the Paradiski as a whole area may lack the cohesion of other large interconnected areas like The Three Valleys (Meribel, Val Thorens, Courchevel) or Espace Killy (Tignes & Val d’Isere) – there is still plenty of great skiing and snowboarding to be found here. Much like when selecting accommodation in one of La Plagne’s villages, a little preparation in planning a skiing route will prove invaluable.