About La Plagne & its Surroundings
La Plagne is made up of 6 high altitude resorts located in the Tarentaise area of the Northern Alps: Aime la Plagne (2100m), Belle Plagne (2050m), Plagne Villages/Soleil (2050m), Plagne Bellecôte (1930m), Plagne Centre (1970m) and Plagne 1800 (1800m).
Plagne Centre is, quite obviously, the heart of the resort where you will find all that you need in terms of shops, bars and accommodation. It can never be accused of being the most attractive sector of La Plagne, but it is purpose built and therefore a practical location. Many of the apartments can be classed as ski in ski out and ski school meeting points are located nearby. This is where you will find necessities such as cash points, the Tourist Office, the main pharmacy and the medical centre. Accommodation is often slightly cheaper in Plagne Centre too, due to its utilitarian appearance and plethora of apartment blocks.
Belle Plagne is a good venue for nightlife as there are a number of bars and restaurants as well as a bowling alley. Live music is a popular draw for the après ski crowd and you’ll find food to suit most tastes.
Plagne 1800 is more of a picturesque village, for those who prefer to retire to somewhere a bit more scenic after a day on the mountain. This is where you will find more of the luxury chalets and chocolate box buildings that you might expect from a mountain resort. Nightlife is limited, but the free shuttle bus provides a convenient link to other villages.
All 6 villages are linked by free public transport between 8am and midnight.
Although you are sure to find plenty to keep you occupied in La Plagne a few day trips to the nearby villages is highly recommended:
Champagny en Vanoise (1250m) is a beautiful and traditional mountain village in the Valley of Champagny le Haut. Known as the Gateway to the Vanoise National Park it is a great location for summer outdoor activities and a likely place for spotting local wildlife such as ibex and vultures. During the winter it is one of the main settings for cross-country skiing and other Nordic activities. While you are there don’t forget to visit the Church of St Sigismond, which dates from XVII century. The Alps very own Tower of Pisa was built on gypsum, an unstable rock that over the years has caused it to lean to one side. Free tours of the church and the ancient lanes are organized by local expert Christiane, contact the Tourist Office for details
Plagne Montalbert (1350m) is a charming village on the edge of the forest. It has retained its Savoyard feel and most of the buildings are constructed in traditional materials of wood and stone. Although not a lively nightspot, it does have its own atmosphere with a small selection of bars and restaurants and regular local events taking place throughout the year. The Superga Chapel, a miniature copy of the Superga Sanctuary in Turin is well worth a visit for history buffs. Relics from the past include the XVIII century bread oven and water mill; guided tours are organized by the Maison de Montalbert.
Montchavin (1250m) has an authentic Alpine charm. It is the lowest of the Plagne villages, and therefore not quite as snow sure, but many of the residences are ski in ski out. An old farming village, you can still ski down through the village orchard, stopping for lunch at one of several delightful restaurants.
Les Coches (1450m) is less picturesque than the other villages, being purpose built, but it still has a pleasant ‘village’ atmosphere. The Vanoise Express cable car gives access to Les Arcs and the wider Paradiski area.