About Family Holidays in La Plagne
La Plagne is a very popular choice for family ski holidays - it's great value for money, it has purpose built family accommodations and family leisure complexes, and there are plenty of gentle ski slopes that are ideal for learning to ski.
La Plagne is made up of six distinct holiday villages. Aime la Plagne (2100m), Belle Plagne (2050m), Plagne Villages/Soleil (2050m), Plagne Bellecote (1930m), Plagne Centre (1970m) and Plagne 1800 (1800m). All are pedestrianised with ski-in ski-out accommodation or offer direct access to the ski slopes. You can take a shuttle bus (free, running every 15-20 minutes) between villages so you can easily enjoy the entertainments in each resort. There are also three outlying villages within the ski area - Champagny, Plagne Montalbert and Montchavin-Les Coches. These are smaller, traditional villages that offer a more tranquil ski holiday. They are also lower-lying than the resort villages and have their own local ski pass you can buy which are better value than the whole area ski pass - ideal for beginners.
Wherever you stay in La Plagne, make sure that your accommodation, ski hire and ski school meet-up points are all in the same locality so that getting to your ski school or the ski lifts is not too arduous - important when you are carrying more than one set of skis! Have a look at a Map of La Plagne Ski Area to see how everything is connected.
Accommodation for families
Taking the family on a ski holiday can be hard work so finding good family-friendly accommodation is essential to making life that little bit easier. Each resort in La Plagne has a small selection of hotels, chalets and apartments, many of which are family friendly.
Ski-in ski-out accommodation can be found in the higher resorts of Aime La Plagne (where you will also find Club Med complex which has it's own childcare facilities), Plagne Villages & Plagne Soleil, La Plagne 1800 and Belle Plagne. The other resorts of Plagne Bellecote, Plagne Centre and Plagne 1800 are all at the base of a selection of ski lifts so you are never going to be too far away from your first ski run. Ski school can meet you in any of the resorts, but the main meeting areas are La Plagne Centre, Plagne 1800 and Belle Plagne. Self catering apartments are plentiful in all of the resorts, and for chalets, the biggest selections are found in Montchavin and Plagne 1800.
Plagne Centre is the biggest and liveliest of the resorts, with Plagne Bellecote also being a major hub consisting mainly of apartment accommodation. Aime La Plagne is also one big distinctive apartment block. Belle Plagne is a more attractive resort, with traditional wood, stone and slate buildings, and fewer highrises. Plagne Villages & Plagne Soleil are smaller & quieter places top stay with plenty of apartment accommodation. Plagne 1800 is a much prettier place, with traditional wooden chalets nestled on the mountainside.
The villages of Montalbert, Champagny and Montchavin are quieter and have a more traditional feel. They are located at each corner of the La Plagne ski area and all are connected to this main area by ski lift. The new Vanoise Express double-decker cable car goes from Montalbert to Les Arcs ski resort, so if you are looking for the maximum amount of skiing, then it's a good place to base yourself.
Also see: Where to Stay in La Plagne
Lift passes for families
Various family ski passes are available - essentially every family member pays the child's rate. Children under 5 ski for free (you still need to get them a pass - take some ID to the ski pass office to obtain one) and there are special beginner and pedestrian passes available. Take a look at our Ski Lift Pass Prices page or Lift Pass Offers for further information.
Also see: Ski Pass Options in La Plagne
Ski schools for families
If you have designs on raising the next Shaun White or Chemmy Alcott, then getting your kids into ski school as soon as possible is going to be a priority! Ski schools will take children from three years old. If you want to teach your kids yourself, you can find out more about the nursery & beginner ski areas in La Plagne in our guide. All ski equipment (and sometime ski clothing) can be rented at the ski hire shops in La Plagne, either when you arrive or you can book everything online in advance. First time skiers will need a helmet, mittens & goggles in addition to skis (poles are not initially needed for kids), and make sure the children have enough layers on to stay warm. Remember to apply sun cream to their faces before they start and place a snack in their pocket, just in case.
For 3 & 4 year olds, the focus is on having fun in the snow and games are used as part of the teaching process. Their ski pass is free, just go to the lift pass desk with some ID to obtain the ticket. For children aged 5 and above, you can enroll them in courses according to their level, from beginners to good skiers who are nearing competition level.
There are several ski schools in each village offering ski lessons for children. They offer full & half day sessions with English speaking instructors and have dedicated areas for your kids to learn how to snow plough, stop, turn and glide. Your child's first experience on skis will be in a 'snow garden' where they can build their confidence whilst interacting with fun inflatables & characters, and by playing games. A 'magic carpet' travelator makes it easy for them to be taken up the slope, and drag lifts on the neighbouring nursery pistes will be introduced when they are ready. Three year olds and first-timers are likely to be satisfied with half day sessions, and all kids receive a medal at the end of their course.
Ski schools cater mainly for weekly courses, so if you are here for only a few days then you will need to enquire at reception when you arrive to see if there is any space for your kids on the days you are in resort. The alternative is to hire a private instructor for your dates.
Also see: Childrens' Lessons in La Plagne
Ski areas for families
La Plagne forms a part of the famous Paradiski ski area, with over 425km of pistes, a modern ski lift infrastructure and superb snowparks. Each resort has it's own beginners areas with gentle slopes and slow drag lifts. You will find Magic Carpets and kid-friendly slopes in Plagne Centre, Belle Plagne and Plagne Bellecote. In addition, at the nursery slope in Montalbert there is a small children's snow zone with life sized models of fairies and dragons, a play area and music. With the lowest nursery areas being at 1800m, you are guaranteed good quality snow to learn on. You can find out more about which slopes are the best for beginners in our Beginner Ski Areas in La Plagne Guide.
There is a large snowpark located above Belle Plagne that includes modules for beginners, intermediate and advanced skiers and snowboarders. Even if you are not tempted in yourself, it can be great fun watching when there are competitions on. There is also a ski & boardercross track, a half pipe, a pro half pipe and a big air bag. You can be filmed if you scan your ski pass at the start. A new area called the Fun Slope is located under the Arpette lift from Plagne Bellecote. A cross between a boardercross and slope style course, it's going to be a popular one with the teens.
You can buy reduced price ski passes for the nursery areas, please see the Beginners Ski Pass section on our Lift Pass Prices page.
Also see: Ski Areas in La Plagne
Activities for families
During the winter, if the kids are only skiing for half a day, then there are plenty of other activities available in La Plagne to keep them happy. There are dedicated sledging zones at Plagne Centre, Plagne Villages & Soleil, Montchavin, Champagny, Belle Plagne, Montalbert, Plagne Bellecote and Plagne 1800. A kind of communal sledge known as Snake Glisse is available at Montchavin, Montalbert and Plagne Centre. For those above 140cm, there is a dedicated luge track called Colorado Ride above Plagne Centre - sledge and helmet are provided!
There is an outdoor ice rink at Plagne Bellecote and a covered one in Les Coches. You can rent skates and it's suitable for adults and children. Sticking with the ice theme, you can take an overnight stay in an authentic igloo, just up from Plagne Villages. Dinner & breakfast are included. And at the top of Plagne Bellecote by the glacier, there is an ice grotto filled with ice sculptures (bear in mind this is at an altitude of 3400m, so not suitable for babies).
There are indoor swimming pools in Plagne Bellecote (you will also find an outdoor pool here!) and Montchavin, both offer swimming lessons for children and aqua-fitness classes. Other activities you may like to consider for your children include snowman building, snowball fun, and if you want a real treat, try Husky dog sledding where the little ones from the age of 5 can ride in a passenger sledge with you. There is an indoor bowling alley in Belle Plagne which also has an amusement arcade, and cinemas in Bellecote, La Plagne Centre and Champagny.
For adults that aren't quite so sure of the skiing, there are a number of spas you can try for some indulgence, as well as fitness classes, or perhaps some snow shoeing or winter walking trails. Pedestrian ski passes are available at a reduced rate so you can join the rest of your group up in the high mountains for lunch and spectacular views.
During the school holidays there will be plenty of child friendly events to explore. At Christmas, you can enjoy festive markets, parades, shows and Santa. Plenty more child friendly events are added to our events calendar throughout the ski season, so please do check it when you arrive.
Summer holidays in La Plagne are all about being active and there are a wealth of activities on offer here for all ages and members of the family. Our dedicated Guide to Summer Activities in La Plagne includes a section specifically on kids' activities with information on horse riding, short family hikes, high ropes courses, where to go swimming, nature parks, and numerous other fun things that will help make your family holiday as unique and memorable as possible!
Also see: Family Activities in La Plagne
Some of the ski hire shops in resort will rent out 3 wheel buggies, and there are childcare companies who can also provide all the things you need for babies and toddlers.
Children under three may be too little to try skiing so some help with child care is essential if you plan on skiing yourself. The main winter establishments to help with childcare include the ski schools who cater for children who are three years and older. You can book your child in for full or half day programmes and lunch can also be provided for an extra charge. Each village has good childcare options, children's ski schools operate in each resort and independent nanny agencies are also available. Both of these should be booked well in advance of your holiday. Have a look at our childcare listings page for more information or you can contact the local Tourist Offices for a list of available babysitters. NB There are several municipal crèches in the area but they are generally reserved for French residents, so we have omitted them here.
You may find that the main sports centre of each town host a kids club during the summer holidays, normally from 1st July to 30th August, with activities such as swimming, climbing, tennis, basketball, ice-skating, etc. and organised hikes & picnics.
School holiday dates
France divides its school holidays into a regional timetable to ensure that the entire country doesn't go on holiday at once - however this staggered system can mean that some months (particularly February) can be busy from beginning to end as one region after another arrives in resort! Planning ahead can help you avoid the crowds...
- Zone A - Caen, Clermont-Ferrand, Grenoble, Lyon, Montpellier, Nancy-Metz, Nantes, Rennes & Toulouse
- Zone B - Aix-Marseille, Amiens, Besançon, Dijon, Lille, Limoges, Nice, Orléans-Tours, Poitiers, Reims, Rouen & Strasbourg
- Zone C - Bordeaux, Créteil, Paris & Versailles
Top tips for families with children
If the thought of taking your family on a ski holiday fills you with trepidation, have a read of our Making the most of your Family Ski Holiday article. It has loads of useful hints and tips about holidaying with kids in a ski resort and will hopefully put your mind at rest!
Location: La Plagne Region