One of the world’s most popular ski areas—for good reason—La Plagne truly has something for everyone. Vast and varied, its skiable area is 100km² with altitudes ranging from 1250m to a towering 3250m. As well as 134 groomed slopes, La Plagne also has fantastic off-piste skiing on the north face of Bellecôte. If that’s not enough to keep you entertained, it’s part of Paradiski and is connected to neighbouring Les Arcs by The Vanoise Express—one of the world’s fastest gondolas.
La Plagne has 12 resorts and base villages, each with its own characteristics. The lowest altitude is Plagne 1800, which has charming wooden buildings and a vibrant nightlife, while the highest is Belle Plagne, a breathtaking 2,100m above sea level. This large, family-friendly resort is one of the most popular places to stay, with easy access to the beginner and children’s areas as well as excellent views across the mountains.
If you enjoy big, bustling resorts, look for accommodation in Plagne Centre—the heart of La Plagne. If you prefer your resorts more tranquil, however, look at Plagne Villages and Plagne Soleil. They are both small and peaceful and sit at a high altitude among a number of blue runs, so it’s easy to ski down into Plagne Centre.
La Plagne has plenty to keep you entertained off the slopes. One of the most exciting attractions is the 1,500m-long Olympic bobsleigh run. There are three ways to take on the 19-bend course, one of which involves joining a professional racing driver—be prepared for speeds of up to 120kph.
After whizzing down the hillside by ski or bobsleigh, you can unwind in La Plagne’s chilled out après-ski scene. The liveliest bars are in the larger villages, Belle Plagne and Plagne Centre. There are some interesting watering holes in the smaller towns too, though, such as Bar La Mine in Plagne 1800, which has live music most evenings and a wide selection of bottled and draught beer if craft is your thing.
Fans of fine dining should head straight for UNION in Plagne Montalbert, a new venture from British Michelin-starred chef Phil Howard, formerly of The Square in Mayfair. His seasonal menu features mouth-watering dishes such as Beaufort and ham croquettes, roasted cashew hummus and salmon rillettes with English muffins.
In resorts with the size and reputation of La Plagne, there’s always something new going on. These are our top picks for the upcoming ski season:
La Plagne’s new Over the Moon experience is a unique and romantic way to spend an evening: sleeping under the stars in a converted piste basher. Parked at an altitude of 2400m, the luxury cabin gives you a sweeping view across the mountains with a rooftop window for star gazing. It’s fitted with a queen-sized bed, so there’s plenty of space to kick back and relax while taking in the exceptional panorama.
The cabin has its own private bathroom, complete with a spa bath for soothing ski-sore muscles. It’s also equipped with free Wi-Fi so you can keep in touch with friends and family while relaxing in a remote location. Arriving at the piste basher is luxurious too, with a chauffeur-driven Jaguar dropping you off at the base of Plagne Bellecôte—timed perfectly so you reach the cabin just in time for sunset over the peaks.
The Subli’Cimes festival takes place around Easter and has lots of events geared towards family fun. It’s complemented by springtime skiing, with warmer weather and longer days, and unofficially brings the season to a close.
The five senses-themed 2019 event is set to run from 10-18 April, with events spread across five peaks ranging from 1970m to 2700m high. In previous years, the five stations have included child-friendly events such as dinosaur-themed activities, as well as adult attractions like mountaintop hot tubs, DJ tents and spa treatments.
The activities are free and open to everyone, and the peaks can be reached via the blue runs by skiers. Four out of five can be reached by cable car so the non-skiers in your party can get involved too.