WEsayOne to go to for the skiing rather than the architecture. Good varied bars and restaurants. Probably the best value of the La Plagne villages. New 'on the slopes' child friendly chalets with childcare.
Set high in the magnificent Savoie French Alps, dominated by the mighty Mont Blanc, La Plagne is one of the most famous and exciting high altitude ski areas in the world. One of the first purpose-built resorts in France, La Plagne comprises ten ski centres, each with shops, restaurants, ski schools and children's village, with direct access onto the ski area. The villages are well-connected and gondolas and a bus service run between them. Skiing has taken on a new dimension with the introduction of the Vanoise Express cable car combining the two areas of Les Arcs and La Plagne on the Paradiski lift pass.
La Plagne boasts possibly the biggest single resort lift system in the world and has superb and extensive runs for all grades of skiers and boarder. Beginners can slowly find their feet on the 11 green slopes, before progressing to the more gentle blues and try their hand at a bit of off-piste before the week is up. Intermediates can clock up the miles, whilst experts can take on some truly terrifying off-piste. Paradiski is vast but its intricate network of variously graded runs mean almost all levels of skier can take themselves from one end of the resort to the other and return back to their chalet with a real sense of achievement.
Plagne Centre is where it all started forming the focal point of subsequent development, standing at an altitude of 1970 metres above sea level in the centre of the ski area, surrounded by woods and bathed in sunlight. The chalets in this area enjoy convenient access to the skiing. The main skiing here is all between 2,000 and 2,700m. Main access to the slopes is via the Grand Rochette Funiplagne cable-car, which whisks you up to 2,500m. From the top there is a whole host of options, from steepish, crowded reds to wide scenic blues. The other main lift out of Plagne Centre is the Becoin chair up to Biolley at 2,350m, which gives access to a steep red back down or to some more daunting blacks.
In terms of apres ski Plagne Centre is one of the better villages in La Plagne with a choice of bars and clubs including Le King Cafe and Le Must Disco. In its numerous malls you will find a wide variety of shops, restaurants and other sources of amusement. The resort stands in a superb natural setting, with a view across to Mont Blanc. It is the place for innumerable sporting and leisure activities, with something to suit all tastes.
New for 2016/17
A new 6-seater chair lift, Les Envers, is being constructed out of the valley between Le Fornelet, the low peak above Montalbert, and Plagne Aime 2000, further improving access from Montalbert to the central resort areas. This is more or less in the same place as the Coqs chair, removed some years ago. Presumably the lift co has realised that sending everyone down the tricky blue run to La Roche wasn t such a great idea after all. The runs on the glacier will no longer be groomed, increasing the area s appeal for adventurous skiers (and meaning these slopes can be opened more quickly after a dump). A family fun run will open at the top of the St Jacues blue piste, in the Bellecôte sector. Chauffe Marcel will open slopeside above 1800 sounds a bit like a Folie Douce ( best sound system in the Alps ). A steeper than usual zipline will open, descending from Plagne Aime 2000 to Plagne Centre; special braking system at the bottom it says here! Work will commence on a major development of Plagne Aime 2000, to include a 5-star hotel and an aqua-leisure centre.
New for 2015/16
A 10-person gondola replaced the two old lifts out of Montalbert, out on a limb at the western extremity of the ski area, greatly speeding access to Plagne Centre and the rest of the area.
New for 2014/15
The chairlift out of Bellecôte for Plagne Centre was replaced by an eight-pack of huge carrying capacity. The Arnica run down the Colorado chair at Centre was adapted to suit novices (but is still blue). The cable car between Centre and Aime was renovated.
New for 2013/14
The inadequate double chair at Les Bauches was replaced using the hardware of the Coqs quad chair that linked Montalbert to Plagne-Centre. You now get to Centre via the lower La Roche chair, which has been upgraded to a six-pack. The two long black runs from the glacier, closed some years back, have been reopened. A long new toboggan run was created at Bellecôte, down the Arpette chairlift.
New for 2012/13
The Biolley sector was revamped, with a six-pack replacing the Becoin chair, the Biolley chair and three drags. The pistes have been modified in front of Plagne-Centre and the slalom stadium, and a new beginner zone has been created. The Traversee double chair, which accesses the red run on the glacier area, was replaced by a quad.
- Extensive and varied intermediate pistes
- Superb off-piste
- Great beginner slopes
- High and reasonably snow-sure
- Extensive choice of resort villages
- Wooded runs of lower satellite resorts are great in poor weather Cable car link to Les Arcs