Tuesday, January 25, 2022
La Plagne Travel Guide - Travel S Helper

La Plagne

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La Plagne is a purpose-built resort comprised of 11 distinct communities, each with its own distinct style and history. The ski resort is located at a high elevation, ranging from 1800m to 3250m. The spectacular Vanoise Express connects La Plagne and Les Arcs to form the Paradiski region, a huge 425km ski and snowboard wonderland.

La Plagne is located at elevations ranging from 3,250 m (10,660 ft) (on the Glacier de la Chiaupe at the peak of Bellecôte) to 1,250 m (4,100 ft) (in the village of Montchavin). La Plagne has a ski area of 100 km2 (39 sq mi), which is divided into four communes (Aime, Bellentre, Champagny-en-Vanoise, and Mâcot-la-Plagne). La Plagne offers 225 kilometers (140 miles) of slopes (134 slopes: 15 black/expert, 30 red/advanced, 72 blue/intermediate, and 10 green/beginner), as well as a major off-piste skiing region, which includes Bellecôte’s North Face. La Plagne is a modern ski resort with two cable cars: the Telemetro, which connects Plagne Centre and Aime-La Plagne, and the Vanoise Express, which opened in 2003 and travels at over 40 km/h (11 m/s; 25 mph), making it one of the fastest of its kind in the world, eight gondolas, 36 chairlifts (2 8-seater, 11 6-seaters, 19 4-seaters, and 5 2-seat

La Plagne is the world’s most popular ski resort, attracting more than 2.5 million tourists every season on average.

La Plagne info card

Resort Altitude2100m
Highest Lift3250m
Total Piste225km
Longest Run6km
Directions of SlopesN/E, S/W, N/W, N
Total Lifts105
Gondolas/Cable cars9
Chairlifts36
Drag Lifts60
Snow Parks1

Best time to visit La Plagne

La Plagne provides access to some of the greatest snow conditions in the Alps, with 70% of the Paradiski above 2000m, including the Bellecote and La Chiaupe glaciers. The artificial snowmaking here is cutting-edge, with a swarm of snow cannons and piste maintenance machinery keeping the slopes in tip-top form. All of this has resulted in a history of consistent snowfall from December to April, with the glaciers sometimes open for skiing throughout the summer months. We favor the south-facing slopes surrounding Champagny for the sunniest skiing at the start of the season. Towards the conclusion of the season, some of the finest spring skiing can be found over 3000m on the Bellecote.

La Plagne Villages & Resorts

La Plagne is a large and diverse ski resort that caters to skiers of all levels. Children are adequately accommodated for in La Plagne, with childcare in the majority of the towns, making your ski vacation in La Plagne more convenient.

In the resort, there are more than 50 restaurants to pick from, and after dinner, there are 10 nightclubs where you can dance the night away on your ski vacation in La Plagne. Other attractions available during your La Plagne ski vacation include an ice rink and outdoor heated pool at Plagne Bellecôte, as well as ten pin bowling at Belle Plagne.

Champagny is located to the south of La Plagne and provides excellent access to the ski areas above Plagne Centre and Plagne Bellecôte. It is a historic village that makes an excellent back door retreat. Les Coches (1450m) is a contemporary chalet-style resort. It offers a pleasant ambiance with its own ski school and kindergarten.

Day visits to Les Arcs are simple, particularly now that the connecting gondola has been installed. Trips to Val d’Isere, Tignes, and the Three Valleys are available for those willing to drive a little farther, and are all covered for a day with a six-day ticket.

There is a free bus that travels between Bellecotte, Plagne Centre, and Plagne 1800, making it quite convenient to go between the villages. The bus operates until midnight so that visitors may experience the nightlift in each hamlet throughout their stay, while the gondolas between Belle Plagne and Bellecote, as well as Aime La Plagne and Plagne Centre, remain open late for walkers.

Many of La Plagne’s top peaks are still accessible to non-skiers. Non-skiers may take the gondola up to the glacier, the Grande Rochette cable car up to Plagne Centre to enjoy the views and mountain restaurants, and the Telemetro cabin to Aime La Plagne with a pass.

Plagne Centre (1,970 m)

The answer is in the name when it comes to Plagne Centre; if you want to be in the center of the La Plagne world, Plagne Centre is the place to be.

Plagne Centre, the most active of the La Plagne towns, provides all you need for a fantastic trip. With grocery shops, bakery and delis, tabac, souvenir, clothing and equipment stores, ski hire, service and ski schools, internet café, and more places to eat and drink than you can get through in a week, you could be forgiven for never venturing beyond Plagne Centre, but if the urge takes you, getting out and about to other villages couldn’t be easier.

Only Bellecote has a greater concentration of runs and lifts than Plagne Centre. The new and enhanced Becoin lift is quickly opening up the Mont Albert side of the resort, with the Cretes drag at its top providing access to some amazing black lines and one of La Plagne’s greatest powder bowls. The Grande Rochete pedestrian-friendly bubble provides wonderful views, reds, blacks, and quick blue access to the mountain’s south side.

Bellecote is easily accessible in a variety of ways, including lifts to the glacier, Montchavin, and the Vanoise express to Les Arc. Plagne Centre is unbeatable for novices; it is the meeting location for most ski schools, features a beginning section with drag lift, snow garden, and the resort’s longest green slope served by its own slow speed beginner chair lift. When you’re done with the greens, go to the Colorado chair for some cruisey blues and La Plagne’s distinctive Purple Piste. Home of the Milka cow, who, if pursued, would deliver chocolate to everyone who wants it, regardless of age or ski skill!

Plagne Centre provides everything for everyone and all types of vacations.

Aime-La Plagne (2,100 m)

The settlement is dominated by a massive pointy-topped edifice that, constructed to resemble the surrounding mountain peaks, is one of La Plagne’s most recognizable features, for better or bad. It is densely packed with self-catering flats, with stores, utilities, bars, and restaurants on the ground level. There is a Spar, a tabac, souvenir and apparel stores, specialty cheese and meat kiosks, and several ski rental, servicing businesses, and ski schools.

There is an easy blue run down the hill to Plagne Centre, a choice of lengthy blues and reds down to Montalbert, and two novice ski areas with beginner draglifts in the town center. The recently renovated Becoin lift, which goes straight up from Plagne Centre, drops skiers a short blue run away and also provides quick access to the collection of black routes that drop down the back of the mountain, while from 1800 it’s a two lift link back to Aime 2000.

The nicest thing about Aime La Plagne – apart from its piste-side position – is its elevation; the lodging offers spectacular views of the valley, neighboring mountains, and Mont Blanc, and the elevation also provides it with sunlight! Because you are not in the shade of the mountains, you can enjoy the sun for much longer than in adjacent Plagne Centre, which is ideal for après-ski beverages on your balcony.

Champagny-en-Vanoise (1,250 m)

Champagny-en- Vanoise is one of the Alps’ best-kept secrets; initially a primitive agricultural community, it has evolved and expanded to become a flourishing alpine town that is occupied year round and offers a stunning tourist destination in both winter and summer.

Champagny offers everything you need, including grocery stores, bakeries, delis, small souvenir and apparel stores, various sports shops, ski rental and servicing outlets, and a theater providing English screenings on a regular basis. There are various ski schools to choose from, as well as an independent daycare center.

Champagny is an excellent place for skiers of all abilities; the cable car drops you down among a variety of blues ideal for intermediates, several red lines, some of which are incredibly difficult, many blacks including un-pisted trails, and a boarder cross course. At the top of the cable car, there is a novice area with a snow garden, and here is also where ski schools gather to begin instruction. All of these spectacular off-piste locations are available with the Champagny-en-Vanoise ‘village sector’ ski pass. Plagne Centre is one chair and two runs away from the top of the cable car for those with a La Plagne or Paradiski pass. If you’re looking for a real leg stretcher, take three lifts to Bellecote and race down to the Vanoise express over to Les Arcs, well worth a day trip but you have to be aware of your timing as it’s a long way and a lot of lifts back to Champagny at the end of the day.

To return to Champagny, you may take the cable car or two ski slopes back; however, both are extremely lengthy tricky reds, so if you’re inexperienced, take the lift. If you can ski them, Mont de la Guerre is a spectacular slope, one of the greatest in resort, and Le Bois, which is shorter but more difficult, is serviced by snow cannons to keep it open as late as possible in the season. The resort’s southern slopes are beautiful, but they are naturally the first to melt. The mountain staff do their best to keep Champagny accessible, and while the two runs right down to town may be beyond their assistance, they do ensure that the runs to and from the top of the cable car are well groomed and enjoy great coverage until the end.

Champagny is an accessible but off-the-beaten-path location for a vacation, quiet and tranquil, with access to a wide range of activities and experiences, your vacation here may be as restful or adrenaline-fueled as you prefer.

Montchavin (1,250 m)

Montchavin, a primitive working mountain community, is located at 1250m, while Les Coches Village/Ski Station is located at 1450m. Because it faces north, it retains snow for a significantly longer period of time than Champagny, which faces south.

Because of this, as well as the careful placement of snow cannons, it is possible to ski into Montchavin late in the season; if this becomes impossible, there is a cable car that runs to the nearby village and ski station of Les Coches, which at 1450m retains its snow longer and allows access to Montchavin all season.

If you purchase the village sector lift pass for Montchavin/Les Coches, you will have access to three large beginner zones at various altitudes, accessible by bubble lifts, as well as a plethora of lengthy blue and red runs, including the Mont Blanc run, which is the longest in La Plagne and is beautiful and varied from top to bottom. There are many black routes can be found if you look hard enough, as well as a boarder cross track, plenty of off-piste options, and extensive cross-country ski areas.

Montchavin is a fully functional village with everything you need for your stay, including a grocery store, bakery and deli, souvenir shops, clothing and equipment stores, multiple ski hire and service outlets, doctors (in Les Coches), pharmacy, cinema, and a well-being center with pool, jacuzzi, sauna, and massage suite, ideal for an afternoon off or at the end of your ski day.

There’s something for everyone in family-friendly Montchavin/Les Coches, with an outstanding ski area, activities, utilities, pubs, restaurants, and a touch of nightlife, you can keep yourself as busy as you like on a trip in this community that takes pleasure in its family environment.

Montchavin/Les Coches are conveniently located near the Vanoise Express, which provides access to the Les Arcs ski region.

Plagne Bellecôte (1,930 m)

Plagne Bellecote is connected to Plagne Centre and 1800 by shuttle bus, and to Belle Plagne by bubble. It’s jam-packed with lodging, restaurants, shopping, activities, and events. Plagne Bellecote competes with Plagne Centre as the center of the resort scene.

Bellecote village is unrivaled for piste access, with four chair lifts, one drag and one bubble lift all heading off to different ski areas and all within a stones throw of each other, as well as a beginner’s ski zone complete with magic carpet lift, you can really get the most out of your skiing from here.

Les Coches (1,450 m)

Montchavin, a historic Alpine agricultural village, was opened as a contemporary satellite in 1980. Family ski resort presently located in the heart of the Paradiski circuit, near to the Vanoise Express cable car, and connected to the La Plagne region by a four-person high-speed chairlift (Plan Bois). There are several enjoyable runs down through huge larch trees. Much higher-quality, mostly self-catering, lodging is available.

Montalbert (1,350 m)

Montalbert, located at 1350m on the far right side of the piste map, is a beautiful community constructed primarily in classic alpine architecture with spectacular views out over the valley.

Montalbert is now a hidden treasure on the mountain; it is several lifts away from Plagne Centre and the farthest point away from the Vanoise Express, so holidaymakers who want to explore the whole Paradiski region opt to sleep in the other towns. With the upgrade to the Becoin chair lift (Plagne Centre’s main link to Montalbert), a ride that used to take twelve minutes now takes only five, and skiers are discovering the often overlooked right half of the piste map with its beautiful tree runs, powder fields, and large cross country ski areas. Its low altitude may be an issue in low snow conditions, but its northern orientation helps it maintain its snow longer than other slopes, and the careful placement of snow cannons keeps the runs open and the hamlet accessible all season.

All of these features are available on Montalbert’s ‘village sector’ ski pass, which is certainly worth investigating. It is a three-chair link to Plagne Centre for those with a La Plagne pass, and from there the remainder of the resort is readily accessible. At the end of the day, all you have to do is take the Becoin chair up from Plagne Centre, and it’s a long blue or red run home.

Plagne 1800 (1,800 m)

Plagne 1800 is one of La Plagne’s most beautiful settlements, offering visitors a typical vision of wooden snow-topped chalets crowded around a few steep twists of the hairpin road.

The family-friendly 1800 chairlift connects the hamlet to the rest of the resort through Plagne Centre and Aime 2000, whereas the Melezes and 1800 chairlifts link the settlement to the rest of the resort via Plagne Centre and Aime 2000, respectively. The runs back into the village from the surrounding area are a mix of reds and blues, with wide highway pistes and narrower winding ones. During peak season, these runs can become busy and somewhat messy due to high traffic, but with care and a little off-piste, they can provide access to – or close to – most accommodation.

Accommodation options in 1800 vary from individual chalets and flats to full-service hotels.

1800 has a little bit of everything, and anything more you want is never far away.

Belle Plagne (2,050 m)

Belle Plagne, at 2050m, is the biggest of La Plagne’s three high altitude communities. It’s also one of the most appealing spots to stay in the area. Belle Plagne, which is pedestrianized in the center and made up of classic wood, stone, and slate buildings, will immerse you in the mountains.

The routes around Belle Plagne are wide open family-friendly blues that provide access to the children’s snow garden, novice ski area, lift to the snow park, and all the way down into Bellecote, where you have chairlift access to the remainder of the resort. Both the ESF and Oxygene ski schools have bases here, making it simple to get started with your lessons.

When you’re not blasting down the slopes or appreciating the breathtaking views from your lodging, take a moment to explore the hamlet and all its attractions. Belle Plagne boasts a plethora of facilities, including souvenir shops, food and apparel stores, various ski service and ski rental locations, and restaurants and pubs to explore at your leisure.

It’s a lovely hamlet with assured snow, and Belle Plagne is the place to be for serious skiing and serious scenery. Family friendly, wonderful restaurants, active nightlife, and a bowling alley, you can’t go wrong with Belle Plagne!

Plagne Soleil (2,050 m) & Plagne Villages (2,050 m)

Plagne Towns and Plagne Soleil are La Plagne’s two smallest villages, although they compete with Belle Plagne for the highest. They are located a short distance up from Plagne Centre at astounding snow sure heights of 2050m, providing spectacular views out over the valley to Mont Blanc.

They are tranquil, remote settlements with a tiny Spar store, a few of ski rental outlets, ski schools and adventure businesses, Plagne Villages has a tobacconist/souvenir shop, but you will need to visit one of the bigger villages for any additional shops.

The two towns are nestled among multiple blue lines that go down into Plagne Centre, from where you have full access to the remainder of the resort, allowing you to begin your day with a ski run rather than a chair lift. Returning to your lodging is a breeze since the same blue runs are easily accessible from Plagne Centre and Bellecote, and the villages are properly marked from the lifts and at forks in the runs. Both villages provide tiny beginner ski slopes, as well as a meeting location for ski instruction in Plagne Village.

Plagne Villages and Plagne Soleil offer a great alternative to the larger villages for a quieter holiday at a lower price, the necessities are there with adequate amusements available, and Plagne Centre is close by if you want it, but if you don’t, you can relax in peaceful semi seclusion and enjoy a laid back holiday with great ski access.

Skiing in La Plagne

For those who are new to skiing, there are several nursery slopes with free beginner lifts. This is supplemented by a diverse range of ski schools ready to meet your specific requirements. The slopes near Belle Plagne are especially good for novices, with the blue line connecting Les Bauches and Montchavin giving a comfortable step up in difficulty from the nursery slopes.

This is a skier’s heaven for people who consider themselves to be intermediate level. 77 percent of the runs are classified as blue or red. The run from La Grand Rochette to Champagny is a personal favorite. The main bowl of La Plagne has lots of large highway pistes for practice, and there’s an intriguing run from Roche de Mio back to Belle Plagne.

More skilled skiers will appreciate the 18km of black routes, the finest of which can be found on the Bellecotes glacier. The dark route from the glacier to Montchavin falls 2000 meters and will be difficult for anybody. There are also several options for off-piste skiing. If you really want to go serious, hire an off-piste mountain guide for a true experience and to learn how to ski in powder snow.

La Plagne’s snowboarding amenities continue to improve, with additional parks and a new boarder Cross. Terrain parks may be found at Belle Plagne, Montchavin, and Champagny. Bellcote is home to a halfpipe. The 7-3 snowpark has an unparalleled collection of modules scattered throughout a 900-meter-long freestyle course, designed in a distinctively American manner! There are lots of large open cruising sections, but there are some flat areas, so boarders may have to walk a little. Find the greatest powder fields with the help of one of the ski schools.

La Plagne Apres Ski

This is a fantastic resort for unique après-ski experiences. Spend the night in the Black Sheep Igloos, which face Mont Blanc and include a fondue supper and a breakfast wakeup call. If this isn’t your cup of tea, there’s also ice climbing and husky sledding in Champagny. The bobsleigh track, which is utilized for Olympic training, is an experience not to be missed. You may travel down it in a number of ways, but they are all certain to give you a thrill as you hurtle down at speeds ranging from 80 km/hr to 120 km/hr. Children will especially like the outdoor skating rinks and the opportunity to swim in the outdoor heated pool.

There is lots of variation in terms of bustling nightlife with 11 communities. For live sports, the Spitting Feathers pub in Plagne Bellecote is an excellent option. Not only are there three distinct happy hours beginning at 5 p.m., but a minibus can also pick you up and drop you off in any of La Plagne’s six high altitude communities.

If you’re searching for something more conventional, the Camp de Base pub at the foot of the Montchavin bubble is a local favorite. It also provides a unique beer brewed from the hill’s genepi flower. It’s incredibly tasty, but it’s also quite potent! There are 50 après ski bars and 5 nightclubs, as well as 5 movies and a bowling alley, so there is never a shortage of entertainment.

You may expect to discover the normal selection of cuisine seen in French ski resorts. There are 93 eateries to select from, many of which provide fantastic options both on and off the slopes. On piste, McCotes in BelleCotes serves a cheap burger, fries, and a drink, or if you’re searching for a Savoie specialty, Chalet des Verdons Sud above Champagny has wonderful meals with a contemporary touch.

Families in La Plagne

La Plagne is a very family-friendly resort, with 17 free lifts for novices and a variety of ski schools to pick from, making it a perfect spot for small ones on the slopes. Aside from that, there are a variety of childcare alternatives available, so adults can have a great time ripping up the mountain for a couple of hours while the kids are kept busy in a kids club. There are also a variety of off-slope activities to keep youngsters entertained, such as swimming and going to the movies, as well as special events on peak occasions such as Christmas and Easter, such as the annual Easter egg search and the theatrical visit from Pere Noel at Christmas.

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