All you need to know about ski holidays by train

La Plagne - village

There are ten villages spread around the ski area, and they vary in look and feel.  At 1970m. Plagne Centre still has an unmistakable ’60s look, and what it lacks in charm it makes up for in convenience and accessibility, with the best range of services plus multiple ski-lift access to other areas.

Aime La Plagne, at 2100m, has high-capacity, high-rise apartment accommodation designed (like its contemporaries elsewhere) to further the French aspiration of making the pleasures of the mountain accessible to everyone rather than the privileged few.

Champagny-en-Vanoise (1250m) brings a more traditional mountain village style into the mix. Since its creation, Champagny has grown significantly but has managed to retain its chalet feel.
Much the same applies to Montchavin la Plagne (1250m), which has transformed itself from a mountain hamlet into a fully-fledged ski village.

Plagne Bellecôte (1930m) has larger buildings and accommodation, while Montalbert (1350m) and Plagne 1800 have chalet-style architecture that offers a popular alternative to the first-generation developments nearby. An authentic mountain village built around its Baroque chapel, Montalbert is bordered by forest at 1350m altitude and would be ideal for those wanting to try out alternative activities such as walking or dog-sledding. Popular with families, Plagne 1800 particularly good for beginners, with its relaxed atmosphere and easy access to nursery slopes.

At 1450m, Les Coches is an attractive development too. Belle Plagne and Plagne Soleil, located at 2050m, are the newest villages built in more traditional Savoyard style. Of the two, Belle Plagne is the more visually-attractive proposition, while its counterpart is closer to activities and services around Plagne Centre.

Accommodation

You have plenty of choices when deciding where to stay, and the Tourist Office has helpfully divided the resort into High-Altitude, Villages and Valley sections.
Accommodation at 2100m, Aime la Plagne is within the huge building which houses apartments, shops and services, with ski-in/ski-out access. Its advantages are amazing views and unlimited doorstep-skiing opportunities.

Plagne Centre, is dominated by apartment accommodation, though there are a couple of hotels. It’s busy, with plenty of action both on and off the slopes.
Plagne Bellecôte, perched at 1930m is a high-rise village of apartments most suited to active skiers and boarders who want to make the most of everything the mountain has to offer. The other villages - Belle Plagne (2050m), Plagne 1800, Plagne Soleil (2050m) and Plagne Villages have a more traditional, relaxed ambiance.Ski specialist Erna Low  (0844 879 2903) offers various quality apartments in high altitude Belle Plagne.

Alpine Elements (020 3642 3207) and Ski Beat (01243 780 405) are among many companies offering a choice of catered-chalet holidays in Plagne 1800, all accommodation being close to the slopes or offering doorstep skiing.  Families also like Plagne Soleil because of its proximity to ski schools and shops, and the easy runs back to the resort.  Inghams (01483 79 11 11) offers chalet-style apartments, one building having doorstep skiing, the other being ski-in/ski-out. Inghams offer free child places, a half-board option, and child-care facilities.  

In Montalbert, The Hotel Club Les Sitelles (+33 4 91 00 96 49) is surrounded by forest and has views of Mont Blanc. It has fairly spacious rooms, on a bed & breakfast or half-board basis, a panoramic restaurant and a new wellbeing area. Mountain Heaven (0151 625 1921) has good catered and self-catered chalets in Montalbert in a range of sizes to suit couples, families or groups, and you can elect to be close to the slopes or in a quieter location with magnificent views.

Montchavin (1250m) has an authentic old village centre with some charming chalet accommodation, and nearby Les Coches is a little higher at 1450m. Virtually traffic-free, and with views to Mont Blanc (along with convenient access to the Vanoise Express and the Paradiski ski area), they are popular family destinations with superb ski access. Snow Chateaux (0208 1333 244) has a selection of luxury ski-in/ski-out chalets in Les Coches, all in Alpine style and with an impressive list of facilities.

Champagny (1250m) is at the gateway to the Vanoise National park, and is sited in a superb natural valley setting on a south-facing slope. It’s a good base for cross-country skiers, although you can also access the higher altitude ski area via cable-car. You won’t find large-scale apartment buildings here, but quality self-contained accommodation, privately-rented apartments and chalets, plus a couple of small hotels. Peak Retreats (0844 576 0170) offers luxury apartment accommodation in Champagny with panoramic views of the village and valley. Free shuttle-buses access the lifts, as the accommodation is a little way from the village centre. Peak Retreats also has accommodation in Montchavin and Les Coches.
 

Ski/snowboard equipment hire

Each resort within La Plagne will have a choice of hire shops, so choose an outlet located close to your accommodation. Your tour operator or accommodation-provider will no doubt be pleased to advise you and may well have an arrangement with a supplier to offer a special discounted price.
Names like Skiset , Sport 2000 and Intersport are popular, renting up-to-date equipment and providing pre-booking services in English. Low-cost Ski Republic offers two-for-one deals, helmets, and gives a 7th day free. Independent shops are often affiliated to Skimium so you can pre-book online. You’ll also see the French chain Twinner which offers pre-booking online in English.
 

Non-ski activities

With such a diverse range of non-ski activities you won’t be stuck for choice. Adventure-lovers can try helicopter rides, paragliding, glacier-walking, bobsleigh, quad-biking, snow-scooters, a zip-line, ice-diving or ice-climbing and an ice tower. Other activities include husky dog-sledding, snowshoeing, guided walks, spa and wellbeing, swimming, ice-skating, nights with meals in an igloo, driving a snow-groomer, airboard and more. There’s also a cinema, bowling, and an indoor climbing wall, along with plenty of shopping opportunities, with a wide range of sports and fashion stores, plus regional wines and foods to enjoy.

Childcare

Run by ESF, each resort village has Piou Piou nursery classes for children from 3 years of age, where toddlers will take part in fun group activities on skis for part of the day. Book in advance on the ESF website. Resort “garderies” or crêches will look after children from a few months old to around 12 years of age, providing meals, activities and sleeping facilities for afternoon naps. Contact details can be found on the La Plagne website.

Crystal  (0871 231 2256) features accommodation with family rooms, free child places, kids clubs and one-parent savers.
 

Paradiski piste map

Ski area
Village Altitude
1800
m
Ski Altitude
1250 - 3250
m
Pistes
425
km
Green Runs
169
Blue Runs
121
Red Runs
67
Black Runs
35
Total Runs 234
Terrain Park
6
Cabin Lifts
11
Chair Lifts
64
Drag Lifts
52
Total Lifts 169