With 2.5 million days of ski lift passes bought in a single season, La Plagne is one of the most popular ski resorts in the world. A French ski area on the alpine valley of Tarentaise in the Savoy region, La Plagne, together with nearby resorts Les Arcs and Peisey-Vallandry, makes up the vast ski area of Paradiski. A world-class winter sports resort.
Why is it so popular we hear you cry? Here’s why.
1) Size matters
By volume of accommodation available, as well as ski passes sold, La Plagne is the biggest ski resort in the world. La Plagne was linked to Les Arcs in 2003 by the biggest cable car in the world, the Vanoise Express, so called because it’s also one of the fastest of its kind, connecting Montchavin-la Plagne area with Les Arcs in under 4 minutes, travelling at 25 mph. La Plagne has 134 slopes to choose from – over 225km worth, with slopes for skiers of all levels through forests and glaciers: 19 black, 30 red, 72 blue and 9 green, plus a large off-piste skiing area including Bellecôte's North Face. Along with the Vanoise Express, there is a second cable car the Telemetro, linking Plagne Centre and Aime-La Plagne, as well as 10 gondolas, 31 chairlifts and 30 drag lifts.
2) Location, location, location
If you want to stay somewhere authentic, surrounded by beautiful, unspoilt nature, La Plagne is for you. A plateau, surrounded by the awe-inspiring alpine peaks, on the edge of and partially within the Parc national de la Vanoise you may even spot wildlife such as ibex and golden eagles. Despite the resort’s size, because it’s made up of 11 ski villages across three beautiful valleys, you can still enjoy that awesome ski community vibe. Choose the one that suits you best – La Plagne is all things to all people. And of course, because it’s easy to get around, you can check out what they all have to offer! With one of the best snow culture networks in the world, optimal snow conditions are guaranteed throughout the season.
3) You can give it some altitude
80 percent of the ski runs are above 2,000 metres, between the Glacier de Belle Côte (3,250m) and the apple orchards in the valleys, giving truly breath-taking views wherever you look. The six altitude resorts containing the bulk of the accommodation are all at around 2,000 metres, and are linked from 8am to midnight. All six are accessible with skis on, and interconnected by the ski slopes as well as free shuttle service. There are 4 more resorts further down the mountain.
4) It’s brilliant for beginners…
La Plagne is ideal for those learning to ski, helping beginners to progress rapidly to intermediate level and beyond. In each of the six altitude villages there are a number of runs coded violet for absolute beginners with free mini ski lifts and Belle Plagne even has a magic carpet for beginners. The slopes have a reputation for being really well maintained, with wide and spacious runs.
5) …and perfect for pros
With so many advanced level runs if you like a challenge you will not be disappointed, especially with all the backcountry trails to boot. Invest in a guide to take you off the beaten track to where the conditions are best each day – well worth it if you are in a large group. The black ski runs are not all pisted so it is a good place to try out your off-piste skills on a ski run that is otherwise marked out and monitored. The red Mont de la Guerre run is nearly seven kilometres long, from the top of the Les Verdons through some of the resort’s most incredible powder slopes right down to Champagny. The run is marked and secured for safety but not pisted.
6) You can Freestyle it
The Snowpark just above Belle-Plagne is divided into four zones by difficulty so everyone can get stuck in and have a go whatever their level. The jumps are colour graded just like the ski runs so you’ll soon find yourself working your way up! There is a Big Air safety bag so you can try more adventurous moves in complete safety, as well as a half-pipe, super half-pipe and a bordercross track plus rails, tables and bunch more fun stuff to get involved with.
7) Max out the fun
The guys at La Plagne have thought of everything to ensure your whole experience there is nothing less than awesome – even when simply getting from A to B. There’s fun for all the family with the ‘Funslope’ the longest playground slope in Europe, vertiginous thrills with ‘Vertigo’, a heart stopping glass floor on two of the Vanoise Express cabins giving epic bird’s eye views, and an amazing light and sound experience in the Tunnel of Inversens, keeping you entertained as you ski through the tunnel in the mountain connecting the Roche de Mio summit with Belle Plagne and Plagne Bellecôte.
8) Savour the Savoyade cuisine
With so many restaurants to choose from, all palates and pockets are well catered for. But when in the Alps, and especially after a hard day’s skiing, reward yourself with some of the hearty and warming dishes the region is famed for. Fondue and gooey raclette cheese are not just yummy, they’re a really fun and sociable meal to share with friends too. Also try: tartiflette, crozets, and diots sausages.
9) Apres Ski Antics
Whether you want to wind down with an ice cold Jagermeister or a hot chocolate spiked with something to warm your cockles, there are a great selection of pubs and bars to choose from, including late-night bars and video bars with karaoke and concerts, each with their own atmosphere in the various villages of La Plagne. If you’ve got enough energy left to dance the night away you can even hit the clubs.
10) So much more than skiing
There's something for everyone on the slopes of La Plagne - the action doesn't stop when the lifts do! Have a go on France’s only international bobsleigh track. Take to the skies with a helicopter sight-seeing tour or try heliskiing or heliboarding. Go mountain biking, quad biking or tackle the rope adventure park with zip wires. In summer there are watersports too, from white water rafting to kayaking, canyoning and hydrospeeding. Paragliding, paintballing, ice skating, quad-biking. snow-shoeing, dog-sledding, night time sledging, piste-basher driving, glacier walking, ice climbing, snowmobiling, outdoor swimming… La Plagne has so much to offer, the list really does go on and on!