The year 1961 was one of many historic moments. JFK became President of the United States, the Soviet Union launched the first man into space, and most importantly, the ski resort of La Plagne was born …
Now, 60 years later, La Plagne has become one of Europe’s most popular resorts. Part of the Paradiski range in the Tarentaise Valley of France, La Plagne is easily accessible by plane, train and car, and offers 225km of well-groomed pistes and a collection of beautiful, friendly Alpine villages with unique personalities.
Plus, this winter it’s incredibly easy to book your perfect holiday in La Plagne. The La Plagne Travel Agency (laplagneresort.com) is a one-stop-shop for accommodation, transport, insurance and lift passes, with everything grouped together in one booking. The only issue you’ll have is choosing which village to visit!
Here’s our guide on where to start …
La Plagne is an exceptional ski area for beginners, intermediates and families, thanks to a huge variety of wide, well-groomed pistes and top-quality ski schools. Plagne Bellecôte, Belle Plagne and Plagne Centre all have nursery slopes around the resort centre itself, ideal for brushing up on your turns before you venture into the main ski area.
Plagne Bellecôte offers the largest of these areas, with plenty of amicable blue runs that gently roll into one another. Beginners should also be sure to explore La Plagne’s CoolSki Zones – areas specifically for learning to ski with free lifts, marked circuits and progressive open slopes.
You can even wear a coloured beginner’s bib so others take more care skiing around you. Beginners lift passes in La Plagne offer great value too – from just €37pp (around £32) per day.
Quieter villages such as Plagne 1800, Belle Plagne, Montchavin, Les Coches and Champagny are highly popular with families, thanks to their slower pace of life.
On the slopes, younger skiers will find a world of entertainment in the famous Buffalo Park. Just a chairlift away from Plagne Centre, this exciting zone is an exhilarating adventure through the Wild West and has added an additional fun slope this winter!
Meanwhile, children aged 3–5 can enjoy the snow kindergarten in Plagne Bellecôte, a snow-filled play area to enjoy while they learn the ropes.
Off the slopes, don’t miss the Deep Nature Spa in Belle Plagne, where children can accompany their parents into an amazing water world. Explore the outdoor water trail with incredible views of the snow-capped mountains, or unwind with a child–parent tandem massage.
Teenage skiers are in for a treat in La Plagne, with five impressive freestyle zones across the Paradiski, along with boardercross tracks, a snow park and an airbag in Belle Plagne and a mini half pipe at Bellecôte.
For those looking to get into snowparks, Montalbert is the place to go, while off-slope adrenaline can be found at France’s only bobsleigh track, the Giant Spaghetti Bob Raft.
New for 2021: Stay at the brand new mmv Hotel Club in Plagne Aime 2000, an impressive new hotel with family suites, kids’ clubs and even a climbing wall! Older kids will love the hotel’s Teens’ Squ@t, a teens-only area that allows older kids to chill out and enjoy their evenings, with sofas, games consoles and speakers!
Though very much geared to families, the Paradiski area also offers a great choice of off-piste lines and difficult slopes for the more advanced skier or snowboarder.
The ungroomed Bellecôte Glacier provides experts with challenging, powdery routes to play on, including a dramatic 2,000-m off-piste descent from the north face. Mogul fans must ski the “des Bosses” run (which literally means “ski the moguls”), and will find further mogul fields at Verdon Sud and at the top of the Traversée chair lift. The area’s best black runs can be found at Le Biolley and Montchavin/Les Coches, and some fantastic steep terrain lies off the back of the Grand Rochette and Les Verdon.
New for 2021: Take on an enthralling evening of ski touring with Oxygène – climb up to an altitude restaurant for dinner, before skiing back down with headlamps.
Ahead of its 60th birthday, La Plagne has certainly developed a taste for fine food with a range of unique new foodie opportunities available this winter.
Our favourite has got to be the Aperitif Escape Game, where delicious local aperitifs are brought directly to your home – but you have to crack the codes to unlock the cooler and get to them!
Coming a very close second favourite is the new “just like home” culinary experience at the Chalet du Plan Bois, where guests dine in slippers. After wearing ski boots all day, we can’t think of anything better.
There are plenty of other restaurants you simply can’t miss in La Plagne, including UNION in Plagne Montalbert, La Cantine in Plagne 1800 or Le Refuge, one of the oldest restaurants in La Plagne and full of Savoyard character.