La Plagne

La Plagne is a hugely popular ski destination and with good reason. Not just one resort but a whole network of both purpose built and traditional villages in the alpine valley of the French Tarentaise region.

And with over 220kms of piste accessible from any one of these small resorts there truly is something that will appeal to everyone – from car free family friendly Belle Plagne to the high altitude resort of Aime Le Plagne everyone is catered for.

Right at the heart of the high altitude area is Plagne-Centre and like its name suggests this is the place where it all happens, bars, restaurants and great shopping are to be found in this village which is easily accessed from the other resorts via the great network of lifts that surround the area – lively or sedate each village has its own distinct feel making La Plagne the perfect ski destination.

The larger linked area of Paradiski takes in almost 425kms of slopes amounting to almost 250 runs, giving a huge amount of scope to any skier irrespective of their ability; to compensate for any potentially poor snowfall there is 20% snow making ensuring that the skiing continues even during the poorer snow conditions – this along with the 153kms of cross country and excellent off piste opportunities makes the region one of the most extensive of all the European ski destinations.

Beginners are well catered for in La Plagne with plenty of great nursery slopes close to the villages and an extensive choice of ski schools all with instructors that speak perfect English; with these fantastic facilities most beginners progress to the blue runs quickly and confidently.

Once at intermediate level there is an unbelievable amount of choice, from wide open runs to quiet tree runs through powdery snow – skiing on the Glacier de Bellecote is highly recommended with its challenging terrain. Experienced skiers may also want to head to Bellecote and attempt the 2000m drop off the north face; not the the faint hearted but an absolute must for those with adventure in their souls.

The facilities spread across the villages that make up the region are numerous and have a far reaching appeal that is suitable for almost everyone, Plagne-Centre is the place to stay if you want to be at the centre of the action but it is easily accessible from the smaller quieter villages that pride themselves on a more rustic feel.

The resort activities aren’t limited to skiing, there are some lovely winter walks whilst travelling up the mountainside in a gondola gives you great opportunity to appreciate the staggering scenery before enjoying a meal at one of the mountain restaurants. The nightlife is varied and plentiful, whether you prefer lively bars or intimate restaurants and cinemas you will be more than satisfied.

With so much choice it is difficult to choose one village above another, with their differing personalities each one has its own unique appeal; most of the available accommodation is apartment or chalet based (either catered or self catering) but there are a few good hotels spread across the region.

Carlina Hotel in Belle-Plagne is a firm favourite receiving favourable reviews year after year with its family friendly feel and excellent spa facilities whereas Plagne 1800 is the favoured chalet destination for UK based tour operators and offers plenty of smaller traditional chalets than the larger chalet hotels of the other resorts.

The ski season runs from Mid December until the end of April and with an excellent record for snow across the many varied resorts is considered to be a guaranteed snow glacier destination.

Unlike many other ski resorts there is never a total seasonal shut down across the region, as the lower altitude south facing village of Champagny-en-Vanoise offers a full programme of summer activities that make the most of the beautiful surrounding scenery.

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