The train beats flying by a mile

Resort:  La Plagne
Journey:  Eurostar + TGV
By:  Duncan Humphrey

"We went Standard Premiere to Paris, and then first class on the TGV down to Aime la Plagne.  It's fantastic. You forget how good it is, travelling by train. We were the only people in our chalet who arrived anywhere close to expected because everything else was delayed with traffic and long transfers. All sorts. You think the trains is taking a bit longer but it's not. And it's very relaxing. Especially getting into La Plagne, or Three Valleys, or Tignes - anywhere round there is a nightmare with half-term transfer traffic. And we were just whizzing past it.  The train beats flying by a mile.

Arrived at La PlagneArrived at La PlagnePhoto: Duncan Humphrey

"The Paris Metro is trying to get rid of its paper tickets, so we try to use the buy-it-in-advance onto your smartphone using the RATP, and that generally worked, although the children need to have their own tickets, you can't do four on one phone. Plus it doesn't yet work for iPhone, only for Android, which seems crazy. You can still get a carnet of paper tickets at the moment though.

"On the TGV - which was a double-decker - we went upstairs on the way there, and downstairs on the way back. The view is better from upstairs, although you have to lug your luggage up there.

"For the transfer from Aime la Plagne station to the chalet, when the chalet used to be operated by Ski Bug, they would pick us up. Mountain Heaven didn't offer a transfer, so we emailed a number of taxi companies, and the taxi companies only got back to us a couple of weeks before our departure, so it felt like the final piece of the jigsaw. We used a company called Aime taxis, who were good - everything on time, fantastic really.

"You can get the chalet booked a year in advance. Then the Eurostar. Then the TGV. And then the taxi.

"In the resort, New Gen ski school have been fantastic. The children learn in smaller groups than in ESF or Oxygene, The skiing in La Plagne is fantastic. There are some busy spots, such as Bellecote, that you don't want to be caught in caught late afternoon because there's a lot of people trying to get back across the mountain. But you can navigate your way to quieter slopes.

The village of Plagne 1800 is nice as a base, and the chalet was in a prime location right opposite the Melezes chairlift and the ski school and ski hire place. Mountain Heaven delivered excellent service and hearty meals. We'd use them again. A catered chalet with the kids as well, just means you can relax in the evening. Three course meals, wine included. It's not the cheapest option, but is is just so relaxing.     

"We've been by train a few times and we'll always come back to taking the train."

Some of the groupPhoto: Duncan Humphrey