La Plagne ski resort
About La Plagne
La Plagne is a real juggernaut of world skiing that draws in over two million visitors each year to its massive 425km (265 mile) lift-served ‘Paradiski’ region, which it shares with neighbouring Les Arcs.
The skiing at La Plagne is immense, with hundreds of kilometres of piste that’s suitable for absolute beginners and professionals alike, and includes some of the world’s best off piste terrain. The huge lift-served vertical of more than 2,000m (6,562ft) is topped by snowsure high-altitude glacier skiing and takes you down into wooded areas for great tree skiing.
Off the slopes, La Plagne was the centre for ice sports at the 1992 Albertville winter Olympics and has continued to make these the primary pull for tourists. Attractions include the chance to try out an Olympic bobsleigh run in a specially designed self-steering bob, as well as the opportunity to scale the spectacular ice climbing tower.
Despite being marketed as a single resort, La Plagne’s 10 separate base villages are as varied as its skiing. The lower and most architecturally attractive villages including Montalbert, Champagny en Vanoise and Montchavin-Les Coches, are based on original settlements, while more modern luxurious developments up to 800m (2,640ft) above include Belle Plagne, Plagne Centre and Plagne-Bellecôte.
La Plagne is located in the southeastern French region of Savoie in the western Alps, close to the Swiss and Italian borders. It is located within the Tarentaise Valley and is part of the Paradiski ski area.
On the slopes
La Plagne’s huge ski area encompasses runs of all kinds for all ability levels. Its high-altitude glacier skiing and extensive snowmaking ensures conditions are normally good throughout the season, which runs from mid-December until late April.
Intermediate skiers in particular will enjoy the variety, with the 2,000m (6,600ft) vertical drop ensuring some of the world’s longest ski runs (up to 15km/9 miles long). These begin in the vast snow bowls at the top of the ski area and continue down through the long motorway pistes to the exciting trails that cut through the forest below.
There are multiple nursery areas throughout the domain for beginners, and most resort bases have an easy route option. There are plenty of very easy green runs that provide a good choice for beginners to hone their newly found skills, while there are numerous blue runs for the slightly more adventurous.
With the vast terrain, it’s also no surprise there’s plenty of options available for advanced skiers both on and off piste. Some of the steepest terrain is in Le Biolley, while the toughest red is the 3.5km (2.2-mile) Emile Allais in La Roche.
Freestylers also have lots to keep them entertained, with terrain parks and three boardercross courses at Belle Plagne, Montchavin-Les Coches and Champagny en Vanoise.