recommended family holidays

la plagne resort guide, french alps

La Plagne is located in the Tarentaise valley of the Northern French Alps, opposite Mont Blanc & the Beaufortain massif.  It consists of 6 high altitude ski resorts at the foot of the slopes plus four ski villages with access to the ski area: Aime la Plagne (2100m), Belle Plagne (2050m), Plagne Villages/Soleil (2050m),
Plagne Bellecôte (1930m), Plagne Centre (1970m) and Plagne 1800 (1800m).
Plagne Centre is the heart of the resort where you will find most of the shops, bars & accommodation. It isn’t the most attractive, being purpose built, but it is the most practical location in the resort.  Much of the accommodation is ski in, ski out & the ski school meeting points are nearby.
Belle Plagne is a better choice for those who enjoy nightlife with a number of bars, restaurants & a bowling alley.  There is also plenty of live music on offer après ski.
Plagne 1800 is a more picturesque village where you will find more luxury accommodation.  Nightlife is limited but there is a free shuttle bus that links all of the villages from 8am to midnight.
The ski area is vast & is therefore a perfect destination for groups of mixed abilities & families.  You can ski the whole of the Paradiski ski area with 160 lifts and 425km of pistes which includes all 6 villages of La Plagne and Les Arcs which are linked by the Vanoise Express gondola. You can ski right up to an altitude of 3,250m making this a great destination for the whole season with plenty of snow.

Winter in La Plagne

Obviously winter is dominated by skiing. With around 130 slopes in total, 18 black, 33 red, 69 blue & 10 green there is plenty on offer for skiers of all abilities.  The snowboarders are not forgotten either with a 5 snow parks and a number of half-pipes, again to suit different abilities.
The Paradiski ski area is one of the largest ski areas in Europe and lies in the famous Tarentaise Valley which is also home to Val d’Isere & Tignes.  You have access to all of the runs around La Plagne as well as Les Arcs on the Paradiski lift pass, or you are able to buy a local lift pass if you prefer.   There are plenty of wide, open slopes, tree-lined runs & mountain restaurants for that quick pit stop or long, lazy lunch.
For those with non-skiers in their group, there is still plenty to do in La Plagne such as: open air swimming, Olympic level ski bob run, hand gliding, floodlit ice rink, skidoos, paragliding, health & fitness centre or relax in one of the spas.  Alternatively, join the weekly trip to the Val d’Isere/Tignes area or enjoy a film at the cinema.
There are a large number of ski schools in La Plagne, some of them are as follows:
  • Oxygene Ski & Snowboarding school – English speaking group or private lessons
  • Reflex Ski School – small, independent ski school with an emphasis on quality, friendly lessons
  • ESF La Plagne Ski School – the main French ski school offering ski or boarding lessons either in groups or privately.  Lessons are also held in English.  Available in several villages in the La Plagne resort area.
  • Lime Snowsports – quality lessons from British instructors

La Plagne is also a good destination for disabled skiers with one ski school specialising in disabled skiing – Antenna Handicap.

Summer in La Plagne

Activities range from the wild and fun white water rafting to the more gentle and relaxing walking. There are activities which are great for families, groups and those that you can just pop out on your own and enjoy. Whatever you decide to do there is plenty to enjoy in the mountains in the summer:
  • Canoe rafting, white water rafting, hydro-speeding & canyoning
  • Road cycling or mountain biking – cycle hire is available
  • Glacier walking or hiking
  • Helicopter tours
  • Spa relaxation days
  • Paragliding or parapenting
  • Climbing

Accommodation in La Plagne

Chalet Hotel Christina from Mark Warner – the ultimate in family friendly accommodation!  In the perfect location next to the pistes, 150m from the lifts & by the ski school meeting points in La Plagne Centre.  Offered on a fully catered basis including breakfast, afternoon tea & 3 course evening meal with wine, plus tea, coffee & hot chocolate is available at any time.  Childcare for babies from 4 months up to 12 years old is onsite in the chalet hotel & we have teamed up with Oxygene ski school who offer lessons for kids from 3 years old. Plus there is a crèche service for you to enjoy your dinner in peace & a babysitting service.
Les Chalets et Lodges des Alpages, La Plagne Soleil from MadameVacances – a collection of chalets & chalet style lodges which are all south or west facing with stunning views across the valley.   They are located next to the ski lifts and there are childcare & crèche facilities in the village.  The chalets sleep from 6 in 2 bedrooms up to 10 in 4 bedrooms & all have fireplaces, free WiFi in reception & satellite TV. The kitchens are well equipped including dishwashers or alternatively a traditional chalet style catering service is available on request.  Good value for money.
Les Chalets de Crete Cote Village, La Plagne 1800 from MadameVacances – spacious chalets, located 500m from the ski slopes & the La Roche ski lift. 3 bed self catering chalets sleeping up to 8 that are fully equipped including balcony, dishwasher, flat screen TV & DVD player.
Residence Les Cimes et Vallon, Belle Plagne from MadameVacances – a ski in ski out complex with self catering apartments for 6-8 people.  All the apartments have a fireplace in the lounge, separate entrance, timber balcony, free WiFi, flat screen TV & DVD player (for rental). Facilities in this hotel complex include spa, sauna & steam room, pool table, underground parking.
Crystal Ski in La Plagne also offers a range of accommodation in all of the villages of La Plagne.  They offer a childcare service for children from 6 months to 8 years old for those staying in La Plagne Centre. Catered chalets, self catered apartments & hotels are all available for all budgets.  An excellent choice.
Inghams in La Plagne offer an excellent choice of accommodation across all the villages plus a crèche service in Belle Plage, La Plagne Soleil & La Plagne 1800 (there is a non-ski kindergarten in La Plagne Centre). Accommodation includes half board hotels, self catering apartments & catered chalets.  They offer an accommodation only service or a full package including flights & transfers.
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Article By Lucilla Paull

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