The Ski Resort
La Plagne is actually 10 villages rather than one ski resort and these villages are part of the Paradiski ski network with the villages situated between 1,250m and 2,100m (the skiing rising to 3,250m).
The La Plagne ski area is a great place for family ski groups, beginners and intermediates and here at Chalet Ski we highly recommend it accordingly. Whilst there are some good off-piste runs, it is however a limited area on-piste for advanced skiers. This said, the double decker Vanoise Gondola that links La Plagne and Les Arcs allows experts to ski Les Arcs, which is included with the Paradiski ski pass. Here expert skiers can ski the more challenging on-piste runs under the l Aiguille Rouge.
This is certainly not to say however that La Plagne is not a great resort for real experts as the off-piste here is outstanding and as La Plagne is predominantly frequented by beginners and intermediates, fresh tracks are nearly always the order of the day off-piste, long after more infamous resorts (e.g. Chamonix) have been skied out.
La Plagne consists of 10 villages at various altitudes. For ski convenience the high resorts offer typically good ski in ski out locations that are also generally snow sure, but they lack charm being purpose built. The lower ski resorts bring a great deal more charm and character but at a lower altitude. The 10 villages of La Plagne are Champagny en Vanoise (1,250m), Montchavin (1,250m), Plagne Montalbert (1,350m), Les Coches (1,450m), Plagne (1,800m), Plagne Bellecote (1,930m), Plagne Centre (1,970m), Plagne Soleil sometimes referred to as Plagne Villages (2,050m), Belle Plagne (2,050m) and Aime La Plagne (2,100m - see Google map below):
View La Plagne Villages - Paradaski in a larger map
La Plagne villages are just 45 minutes (approximately) from Bourg St Maurice where you can get a direct ski train at weekends (night or day train) from St Pancras (Eurostar).
Off Piste Skiing
The run down to Champagny is one of the Chalet Ski teams favourites. Being a predominantly beginners to intermediates ski resort, generally this off-piste run known as the Mont de la Guerre has great powder and is gentle and wide at the top before becoming tree line most of the way down thereafter. Our tip is to make sure you allow enough time to stop for a well earned lunch in the pretty village of Champagny (see Google map right) to round off a great day off-piste.
The Bellecote is however one of the best known off-piste areas and is legendary, if at times a little daunting too to put it mildly. Try telling your friends at the top of one or two of these runs that La Plagne is only a beginners and intermediates ski resort.
If you are looking for a more gentle introduction to off-piste skiing then you may want to try the ski areas below Le Tougne.
The main ski schools in La Plagne are ESF, and Oxygen. There are many others with Reflex and Antenne also being popular with British skiers.
Snowboarding for beginners in La Plagne and early intermediates is ideal as there is a large array of gentle blue runs. For good intermediate and advanced snowboarders this becomes somewhat problematic as there are quite a few relatively flat pistes. This said, the off-piste is awesome and tree line skiing is great too.
Fantastic for beginners
Good for intermediates
Generally a sunny resort
Not expensive in resorts
Limited expert skiing on-piste
High resorts lack charm
Crowded runs peak weeks
Ski Resort Map
Ski Piste Map
Getting Around the Ski Resort
There is a bus service that links the 10 various villages during the day and early evening but thereafter taxi services prevail and can be expensive. The resorts are very well served by the list system and are generally close by some public transport is rarely needed.
La Plagne has its own bobsleigh run situated between La Plagne 1,800m and la Roche and a must is the Taxi-Bob, assuming you can deal with the 3-4g and speeds of 60mph! Horse and husky drawn sleighs are popular as is the ice-karting. There are helicopter flights and ice climbing for the adventurous is also possible.
There are two outdoor ice rinks and tobogganing areas too for children. Snowshoeing is also ideal in la Plagne and you can either hire your own and enjoy a day at your leisure or subscribe to a guided tour.