There is so much to love about La Plagne – the famous ‘Manhattan in the Snow’ lies at altitudes of 1800m to 2050m, with pretty, traditional villages nestling between the slopes at around 1250m. The resort is known for its vast ski area, Paradiski, which has 425km of runs, 70% of which are above 2000m. And Paradiski celebrates its 20th year this year so you can expect some special surprises too.
This year, you really can get up close and personal with the highest peaks at 3,000m thanks to the new Glaciers gondola. And since 60% of La Plagne’s runs are greens and blues, mostly on the edges of the sites and villages, the resort is ideal for beginner and intermediate skiers. More experienced? Don’t worry – there are 53 red and black runs too. Indeed, some are even the stuff of legend, such as Le Mont de la Guerre, a red ungroomed run that winds down towards Champagny-en-Vanoise for more than 6km and a 1,100m vertical drop.
La Plagne’s bobsleigh track was built for the 1992 Winter Olympics and for a truly unique experience, you could try piloting a bobsleigh yourself. The full-day experience, supervised by professional pilots, includes two thrilling descents per person in a two-person competition bobsleigh (once as pilot, once as passenger).
More gentle activities include Nordic skiing or snowshoeing. Get off the beaten track at the remarkable stone pine grove at Plagne Villages and the Versant du Soleil, the south-facing slope on the opposite side of the valley from the ski area (not a ski lift in sight). Or head to Plan Bois Village to truly escape and unwind. Perched on a montagnette (small mountain) in the heart of the La Plagne ski area, you can use it as a space to relax, a basecamp for a day or two or enjoy an original overnight stay.
Eat, Sleep, Relax
There’s a huge choice of accommodation here, from holiday villages to hotels to chalets. Looking for a romantic break with a difference? Why not spend the night in a snow groomer? No, seriously. Retired from active duty, it now boasts a queen size bed, glass roof and dimmed pink lighting, and can be found at the top of the Arpette, 2385m high in the mountains, overlooking Mont Blanc.
Dining, too, comes in many forms here so you’re bound to find something to suit. At 3000m above sea level, at the top of the brand new Les Glaciers gondola you will find the cosy refuge, Le Sixième Ciel, which will serve sweet and savoury snacks to enjoy inside or from a front row seat on the terrace as you make the most of the panoramic view of the Vanoise glaciers. Back in the centre of Longefoy, if you’re looking for a gourmet evening, try L’Autrefoy, which combines a grocery store, café, wine and spirits cellar (with a tasting area!) and a bistrot with a menu of bold flavours.
On the environmental front, La Plagne also encourages visitors to leave their car behind – the resort is served by three train stations and a bus network and you can board with your ski equipment. Other green initiatives include second-hand skis and outfits and a repair and rewear service via Belle Plagne Sports.
Events in 2024
Jan 20-21: Combe Bénite Ski Touring Race – two events as part of the French Cup and the French Youth Championships.
Jan 26-28: 20th Edition of La Gorzderette – an unusual event that brings together 500 mountain enthusiasts of all kinds around the ice tower in Champagny-en-Vanoise for a convivial weekend, including a wacky multi-activity competition.
Mar 18-24: IBSF Para Sport World Cup – for the second time, La Plagne will host the Para Bobsleigh World Cup.
April 6-11: Subli’cimes – a little piece of spring madness, Subli’Cimes is an event for both skiers and non-skiers to enjoy.
April 15-20: The Challenge des Moniteurs – this ESF ski instructors’ French Championship includes 40 races (downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, ski-cross and more) with around 2,000 instructors competing.
At a glance
Ski until April 28
225 km of pistes at an altitude of 1,207m to 3,167m.