A guide to La Plagne
La Plagne is a collection of small, purpose-built ski resorts and traditional villages located on the edge of the Vanoise National Park. Each resort/village is separate from one another (although they are linked by ski lift and shuttle buses) and each has their own character and ambience. It's renowned as a family-friendly resort, with a good selection of beginner pistes and ski areas, as well as those for the more advanced skier or snowboarder.
The purpose-built resorts are found at high altitudes (1800m to 2100m) so most of the accommodation is ski-in ski-out. They all have a good choice of apartments, chalets and hotels, restaurants and nightlife. The more traditional villages of Monchavin, Montalbert and Les Coches lie at lower altitudes (1250m to 1450m) and have their own local pistes as well as being linked to the wider La Plagne ski area. In addition, La Plagne is part of the famous Paradiski ski area which combines the ski areas of both La Plagne & neighbouring Les Arcs, joined together by the Vanoise Express cable car.
Getting around the resorts is easy thanks to free shuttle buses and a great network of ski lifts, some of which are also open at night to help visitors get from their accommodation to try different restaurants, shops and bars in the neighbouring resorts.
Skiing in La Plagne
La Plagne has a total of 128 pistes with 9 green pistes, 67 blue pistes, 33 red pistes and 19 black pistes, plus there's around 80km of cross-country skiing, a half pipe and a toboggan run. These are accessed by a network of 94 lifts (see the piste maps). La Plagne is predominantly known for its suitability for beginners and intermediates, thanks to the wide choice of green and blue runs throughout the different sectors of the resort.
Since the Vanoise Express cable car was built connecting La Plagne to Les Arcs, the skiable area for visitors to La Plagne was increased to a whopping 425 kilometres. For the more advanced or expert skiers, there are in the region of 50 red pistes, 16 black pistes plus an infinite amount of off-piste that can be left untouched for days after a snowfall (unlike many other resorts). There is also a great snowpark called 7 Cube which caters for all levels.
Also see: Ski Areas in La Plagne
Things to Do in La Plagne
The Olympic bobsleigh track is La Plagne's stand out attraction and any daredevils coming here in winter should definitely give it a try! Other attractions include the Ice Grotto at the top of the Plagne Bellcite glacier, a zipline adventure park (Cascade de Tyrolienne) and the Super Tyro 600 metre zipline from Aime 2000 to Plagne Centre. Other winter sports include winter walking trails, cross country skiing, husky dog sledding and ice skating. There are swimming pools in Plagne Centre, Plagne Bellecote and Montchavin.
There is also a bowling alley in Belle Plagne and cinemas in Bellecote, La Plagne Centre and Champagny. Many of the hotels have spa facilities that you can book even if you are not staying there. Although you are sure to find plenty to keep you occupied in La Plagne, a day trip to the nearby traditional villages of Champagny en Vanoise, Plagne Montalbert and Montchavin are highly recommended.
Also see: Sports & Activities in La Plagne
Events in La Plagne
A number of freestyle and freeride ski competitions take place in the ski area in the winter months whilst the summer attracts a number of trail running and cycling competitions.
Also see: Main Events in La Plagne
Where to Stay in La Plagne
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). All of the villages are linked by free public transport between 8am and midnight.
La Plagne Centre is the original resort and is a bustling village with lots of accommodation & excellent access to the pistes. La Plagne 1800 is an attractive village set in the trees with a good choice of catered chalets for your ski holiday. Belle Plagne is a pretty, family friendly village with great access to the slopes. Aime La Plagne is a quiet village with ski in / ski out accommodation high on the mountainside. Plagne Soleil & Plagne Villages are more like suburbs of Plagne Centre with quiet nightlife but excellent piste-side accommodation. Les Coches is a traditional mountain village with good value accommodation. Montalbert is a picturesque village with family-friendly accommodation. Montchavin is a Savoyard style village with easy access to the Paradiski area. Champagny en Vanoise is a quiet alpine village with cheaper accommodation options.
Also see: Where to Stay in La Plagne
Restaurants in La Plagne
The choice of restaurants in the villages of La Plagne seem endless, there's literally something to suits everyone's tastes and budgets from fancy French restaurants to burger bars and pizzerias.
Also see: Where to Eat in La Plagne
Nightlife in La Plagne
Belle Plagne is a good venue for nightlife as there are a number of bars and restaurants as well as a bowling alley, although each of the villages has its own attractions. Live music is a popular draw for the après ski crowd and you’ll find something to suit most tastes.
Also see: Nightlife in La Plagne
Travelling to La Plagne
La Plagne is located in the Savoie region of France, in the Tarentaise valley. It benefits from being on the edge of the Vanoise national park, an area of natural beauty and wildlife which attracts plenty of summer visitors as well as those coming here to ski.
The nearest airport for La Plagne is Chambery, situated 144 kms (2hrs) away. From here, you have a number of different methods of transport to choose from to get you up to resort. If you can’t get a flight to Chambéry, the next best options are Grenoble (211kms), Lyon (222kms) or Geneva (225km); all of which are serviced by a number of the major airlines.
Also see: How to Get to La Plagne