Meet La Plagne, France. Is this the perfect winter skiing destination?
As summer draws to a close, taking with it the long, dry days, balmy nights and the infuriating swarms of wasps, we are greeted with the inexorable march of autumn, with its panoply of wet, windy days. After autumn, as by now you probably know, comes winter, and winter can be a long hard slog, which is precisely why you need a winter holiday.
Now the word perfect is quite the boast; you simply can’t get away with slinging around superlatives in such a fashion without some hard evidence. So read on to discover why La Plagne may be the perfect ski destination for a winter holiday.
La Plagne itself is a ski area situated in the alpine valley of Tarentaise (Savoie) and forms the Paradiski, one of Europe’s largest ski areas, with the neighbouring resort of Les Arcs. Europe has many gorgeous ski areas to offer but La Plagne has many unique features for the whole group to explore and enjoy.
La Plagne is made up of eleven unique villages, each with its own distinctive character. Each village is a self-sufficient mini resort. The villages themselves fit into two subgroups, with seven located in a broad bowl at altitude and above the treeline, and four villages, which are authentic and not been purpose built like the other seven, at lower altitude.
Visitors enjoy the best of both worlds as cozy alpine ski-villages offer a rare atmosphere reminiscent of traditional Savoyard hamlets that are complemented by large surrounding ski areas. Take Champagny En Vanoise for example; this ski-village rests on a preserved valley which is listed as one of the must-see natural sites of France due to its sheer beauty and boasts close links to Vanoise National Park – the oldest national park in the country and a brilliant setting for cross-country skiing.
Chow down on cheese fondue in a traditional Montagnard restaurant, unwind in one of the many deep nature spas and experience the pure thrill of La Plagne’s famous Olympic Bobsleigh Track on a bob raft with the entire family or ride solo on the speed luge.
For those who are looking for that extra little something on their holiday, La Plagne hosts an array of unique events such as Fete De La Musique – a charming free musical extravaganza which spans the music genres and sees every nook and cranny attended with live music from teenage rock bands to professional jazz players. There’s also sporting events aplenty, be it an ice-climbing competition or the famous Tour De France.
La Plagne benefits from a range of easily accessible transport links with nearby airports including:
Many accommodation providers offer transport services from the above airports to La Plagne.
Plenty of powder?
Yes sir. La Plagne’s ski runs are situated at an altitude of between 2000m and 2700m, which means the majority of these north facing slopes are snow-sure. Even if the snow is not forthcoming, La Plagne manages to keep its pistes in great condition with plenty of artificial snow when required. This should satisfy the needs of even the most hardcore skiers.
With plenty of snow falling on La Plagne’s pistes, most of the high altitude villages enjoy ski-in, ski-out status, which means your day on the slopes starts the minute you leave the chalet.
The ski slopes themselves include:
– A comprehensive and varied range of intermediate pistes
– Excellent off-piste opportunities
– Good nursery slopes
– Picturesque wooded runs
– A cable car link to Les Arcs
Ski schools and guides
There are plenty of ski schools and guides in the area to help you make the most of your La Plagne winter holiday, whatever your ability. For children there are instructors for beginners who take the time to build a sense of camaraderie with the group and remain positive and encouraging throughout.
There are also plenty of options for more advanced skiers, such as the Oxygène school in Plagne-Centre which stretches the abilities of intermediate skiers by seeking out plenty of tricky terrain, whilst Evolution 2 in Montchavin and Reflex in 1800 both enjoy good reviews.
What else is there to do?
If you fancy a day away from the slopes then you will not be stuck for things to do. La Plagne boasts a huge range of attractions, from snowshoeing, which lets you enjoy the breath-taking beauty of the alpine scenery at a more tranquil pace, to helicopter flights over the slopes. If you are an insatiable adrenaline addict, why not test your fearlessness against La Plagne’s very own bobsleigh track, or perhaps a spot of ice driving is more your bag?
If you’re considering chalet holidays in La Plagne, you’re certainly not going to be short of authentic alpine accommodation to stay in. With oodles of charm and character, many of the chalets come with cosy lounges, open fireplaces and even games rooms for bigger groups. Some even go the extra mile and install a hot tub, allowing you to relax with some bubbles and a glass of something after a hard day on the slopes. And If that’s not your perfect winter holiday, then you’re pretty hard to please!
About The Author: If you’re thinking about booking a ski chalet in La Plagne, take a look at Snowchateaux’s selection of charming, chocolate box chalets. Perfect for groups and families, snowchateaux chalets offer all the modcons and comfort you need for an unforgettable winter break.
Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons