La Plagne is the ideal family resort with it’s variation of small villages, cruisey pistes and access to the whole Paradiski area which connects to Les Arcs via the Vanoise Express. Whilst a tranquil holiday is the order in La Plagne, don’t be fooled. Look in the right places and you’ll find covert terrain, a cacophony of apres ski and an olympic adrenaline kick. Intermediate skiers and snowboarders will be at home here on the rolling wide open pistes, while the more adventurous can explore the glacier terrain or hide out in the trees of Montchavin and Montalbert.
Paradiski is covered by over 420 kilometres of piste with 130 plus operating lifts between La Plagne and Les Arcs. Depending on which village you are starting your day at and the conditions on offer the skiing is unending, a world famous trait of the French Alps. The bulk of the area sits above 2000 metres, making the snow as reliable as your chalet host flirting for drinks when they stumble upon you in Scotty’s Bar.
When the sun pops and the wind drops, Bellecote Glacier is calling with it’s substantial black runs Le Rochu and Bellecote starting from an eye popping, nose bleed inducing, 3,417 metres. On a good day you could ski right down to Montcharvin at 1250 metres. La Plagne’s famous off-piste area goes into full effect here on the Face Nord, which can be viewed best from the Les Arcs side of the mountain. There is the odd couloir to scout out for the brave. It is essential to hire a guide for these areas.
If the clouds are dumping and visibility is an issue then it is advisable to get out to the satellite villages in La Plagne, the village diversity is what makes La Plagne great. There is exceptional skiing to find in amongst the trees that will give the definition you are craving in a white out. You could also have a look around the Arpette chair lift for some fresh tracks in the morning.
La Plagne’s villages all tender viable options for apres ski, including reach for the sky feel good music and cosy local hideouts. For those staying high up, La Mine Bar in Plagne 1800 recaptures the villages mining roots with it’s decoration and live music. Don’t miss the opportunity to experience the different areas of the resort via the late lift openings and free bus service.
La Plagne Centre is the command post for after hours activity with Scotty’s bar offering local bands, cheap eats and a laid back atmosphere; you can almost ski right through the front door to join the beer pong. The Mouth Bar might be a safe bet to find some seasonaires burrowing down, hiding away from the real world and Igloo Igloo will warm you up, maybe wait until sundown to strip down to your thermals.
Remember to make a trip around the lower altitude villages, it is a nice change to finish your skiing down in Les Coches or Montalbert before taking the free bus back after a few beers. The Last One Pub in Les Coches is a spiriting place during happy hour and La Tourmente Bar in Montalbert is a rustic local cosy den.
Sitting in the Tarrentaise Valley and the Vanoise National Park you will find the usual barrage of Savoyarde style restaurants with no shortage of cheesy calories. Le Pizzburg is helping fill burger sized whole in everyones stomach one hang over at a time, especially for those on a budget in La Plagne Centre. Take an evening to find your niche around Aimee 2000’s striking nature or the simple farming village Montcharvin.
Olympic pride beams through La Plagne from the 1992 Winter Olympic bobsled track. This experience is a rare opportunity the world over and the ice course offers experiences including pretending you are part of a four person bobsled team, with a professional driver of course. Follow in the footsteps of those iconic Jamaicans who competed in their second Olympics after the ultimate 1988 underdog story portrayed in ‘Cool Runnings’.
La Plagne is truly a ski and snowboard resort that you can shape to suit your needs. A perfect choice for a group with varied tastes and abilities, which is why families thrive in the nestling villages of La Plagne. Float along the pristine pistes, bury yourself in powder or get lost in the woodwork with a vin chaud.
Resort review by Eliot Prince
La Plagne / Montalbert Accommodation
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