Vast, snow-sure, part of larger Paradiski ski area – and voted Europe’s most popular ski resort
La Plagne is huge with more than 225kms of slopes, but it’s also the biggest resort of the three resorts (the others are Les Arcs and Peisey-Villandry) that form Paradiski – the second-largest ski area in the world. Paradiski offers a combined 425km of slopes, served by 160 lifts, and a massive double-decker cable car, the Vanoise Express, links La Plagne to Les Arcs.
La Plagne consists of 10 mainly purpose-built villages but also more charming, traditional ones, such as Champagny. It has 70 per cent of its slopes above 2000m, so conditions are far more reliable than lower resorts, and its top lift is on a glacier at a giddy 3,250m. Its pistes stretch right down to 1,250m.
La Plagne’s appeal is broad, with great skiing and intermediates particularly well served. But there are also 37 black runs, plus sufficient off piste, steep couloirs and 1,000m-plus descents for daredevils.
La Plagne has abundant activities for non-skiers, but your proximity to each of them depends where you stay as this huge resort is scattered across a large area. The most famous non-skiing activity is the exhilarating Olympic bobsleigh run, with 19 bends, reaching speeds of up to 100kph. For airborne thrills, try hang gliding or the Super Tyro 600m-long zip line, from Aime 2000 to Plagne Centre. Riders whizz along at speeds of up to 90km, 140m above the ground. There’s also a mile-long toboggan run at Colorado Park in Plagne Centre.
More gentle activities include winter walks, snowshoeing, snowmobiling and skidoo rides. Champagny le Haut’s cross-country ski park offers 22kms of pistes through a stunning valley, a 24m-high ice-climbing tower (tuition available for both) and dog sledding. Plagne Bellecote also has an outdoor heated swimming pool, the Magic Pool, with snow on the poolside. This has a spa area with sauna, spa and steam room too.