Wintersports in La Plagne, France

I love the feeling of gliding down the slopes, the crisp air rushing past my face as I carve through the snow. Whether I'm snowboarding or skiing, there's nothing quite like the exhilaration of being on the mountain.

Having started skiing and snowboarding since the age of 6 and now being 31, I've had the opportunity to explore various ski resorts in Austria, France, and Italy. With two decades of experience under my belt, I'm excited to share insights and tips from my own expertise in this blog!
Bart van Heulen

I’ve had the pleasure of visiting La Plagne and its surroundings around five times now, and for me, it truly embodies the ultimate skiing and snowboarding experience. Part of its allure lies in its location within the Paradiski ski area. This ski area, nestled in the heart of La Plagne, is, in my opinion, one of the best ski areas in the world, and that’s not just an empty claim. It truly has everything you could ask for – from beautiful wide beginner slopes in blue and green to the steepest black runs, as well as off-piste possibilities. I’ll delve into more detail about this later! Keep reading below to find out why this place is so fantastic.

La Plagne Centrum bij avond

The location and size of La Plagne

La Plagne, along with Les Arcs, forms the megaresort of Paradiski. Both areas are extensive enough to offer a complete holiday experience on their own, and the Vanoise Express, connecting the two, might feel a bit like an added feature. Nevertheless, this doesn’t diminish the qualities of either area. In La Plagne, especially, beginners, intermediate skiers, and freeriders will find plenty to enjoy. Here are some statistics to give you an idea of the magnitude of this incredible area:

  • Over 425 kilometers of ski slopes varying in difficulty, suitable for both beginners and advanced skiers.
  • Approximately 141 ski lifts, including gondolas, chairlifts, and drag lifts, ensuring efficient access to the slopes.
  • The ski area ranges in altitude from about 1,200 meters to over 3,250 meters, providing good snow conditions throughout the winter season.
  • Due to the altitude and extensive network of snow cannons, Paradiski is generally snow-sure throughout the ski season.
  • Modern amenities such as ski schools, childcare facilities, restaurants, après-ski activities, and accommodations of various levels.

Keep in mind that the precise statistics may vary depending on the most recent season. It’s always a good idea to check directly with Paradiski for the latest information.

Snow reliability and season

La Plagne, located in the French Alps, is known for its good snow reliability throughout the ski season. Due to the high altitude of the ski area, ranging from about 1,200 meters to over 3,250 meters, and the extensive network of snow cannons, most parts of La Plagne are generally snow reliable from December to April.The ski season usually begins in December and runs through the end of April. The best snow conditions are often found in the months of January, February, and March, when most precipitation falls and temperatures are ideal for maintaining good snow quality. Of course, snow conditions can vary from year to year depending on weather conditions. It’s always a good idea to check the snow forecasts and current conditions before heading out to ski or snowboard in La Plagne.

The Paradiski ski area

The Paradiski ski area, situated in the French Alps, is renowned for its vast terrain, diverse slopes, and excellent snow conditions. It encompasses three major ski resorts: La Plagne, Les Arcs, and Peisey-Vallandry, offering a combined skiing and snowboarding experience unlike any other.

With over 425 kilometers of interconnected ski slopes, Paradiski provides a wide range of terrain suitable for all levels of skiers and snowboarders, from beginners to experts. The ski area boasts a variety of runs, including gentle slopes for beginners, challenging black runs for experienced skiers, and extensive off-piste opportunities for those seeking adventure.

Paradiski is equipped with modern lift systems, including gondolas, chairlifts, and drag lifts, ensuring efficient access to the slopes and minimal waiting times. Additionally, the high-altitude location of the ski area, ranging from approximately 1,200 meters to over 3,250 meters, contributes to excellent snow conditions throughout the winter season.

Champagny en Vanoise skigebied Paradiski

De best slopes of the Paradiski area

There are three slopes that really stood out for us, I’ll list them for you below!

  • The ‘Aiguille Rouge‘, a descent of over 7 kilometers long and one of the only four slopes in the Alps with a vertical drop of more than 2000 meters, not only shines as a showcase of Les Arcs but is also widely regarded as one of the best slopes in the Alps. The cable car to the 3225 meters high peak of the Aiguille Rouge can be busy, but the relatively limited capacity ensures that the descent is not too crowded. The descent begins with a fairly short steep section that can be avoided by taking a narrow path, both of which lead to the Glacier du Varet, almost always covered with perfect snow and ideal for wide turns. The upper part of the slope is black/red. Soon the descent narrows again and follows the mountain on the right, with expansive views over Arc 2000 on the left. This section is classified as black, although it is not difficult unless it is icy. The slope then follows the mountain ridge for some time before turning to the right, revealing the ski area of La Rosière across the valley. The descent then widens, the last more open section of the slope, but it can become busier as skiers arrive at the Lanchette chairlift from the center of Arc 2000. From here you enter the more wooded part of the descent, where you can choose between continuing on the Aiguille Rouge, the most direct route down, or the more scenic detour ‘Lys’, a picturesque “blue” path that adds at least a few more kilometers to this fantastic descent. Either way, you end up at the charming, rustic village of Villaroger, from where you return to Arc 2000 via three old chairlifts. Although these lifts can be frustratingly slow, they help to minimize the crowds on the slopes and maintain the peaceful rural atmosphere of this most remote part of the Les Arcs ski area.
  • The ‘Combe‘, located at the far edge of the Peisey-Vallandry area. This descent is often overlooked, which is again why you should do it, wonderfully quiet. What starts as a wide, usually quiet red slope through the trees, ends on a gentle scenic path with fantastic views of La Plagne. There is also a delightful pit stop ‘La Ferme’ just below the slope with panoramic views from the terrace. Due to the location of this slope on the south side of the mountain, it can sometimes be a bit icy. So I suggest taking this slope around lunchtime! Then it’s always good.
  • The ‘Les Sources‘ One for the skier with above-average skills! Don’t be fooled by the easy start: Les Sources combines the relaxed feeling of a blue slope with a more challenging part, making it overall classified as a red slope. The 4-kilometer descent is ideal for building confidence, improving technique, and enjoying a challenge, but it still offers enough speed for experienced skiers and snowboarders.

Restaurants and other facilities

In France, après-ski isn’t as central as it is in Austria, but it’s renowned for its culinary experience in the villages and towns. This holds true for La Plagne as well. In La Plagne, for example, there’s a small pizzeria that makes truly amazing pizzas. My friends and I visit here daily when we’re around because you can simply take them away and enjoy them in your apartment. Grab a few beers from the nearby Spar supermarket, and you’re all set. You’ll also find several good restaurants if you fancy dining out. Just bear in mind that ordering here may take a bit longer, as is often the case in restaurants during winter sports. It can also be handy to learn a few basic French words, as this is generally highly appreciated by the French staff. It can definitely work in your favor! As for après-ski, it’s quite disappointing in La Plagne. It’s never really been a big thing in France as it is in Austria, but there is one exception in this area! If you’re on the blue piste Aollets-Variante towards La Plagne Centre, you can’t miss La Bergerie. Apart from having a great restaurant and a snack bar for quick bites, the roof is often raised here from 3:00 p.m. If you’re familiar with the concept of La Folie Douce, you’ll feel right at home here. DJs, fireworks, live performances, and abundant flowing champagne. Don’t arrive too late because the party ends at 5:00 p.m., but after your descent, you can continue the celebration in the village.

What else is there to do in the La Plagne area?

In addition to skiing and snowboarding, La Plagne offers a range of other winter activities. Explore the snowy surroundings on snowshoes, walk along the marked trails, and admire the winter beauty. Or enjoy a fun sledding experience for families. For those who prefer not to be on the slopes, there are peaceful hiking trails to discover the beautiful nature. Go ice skating at a local ice rink, relax after an adventurous day in the snow in the wellness facilities of the accommodations. Also, immerse yourself in some culture such as historical sights and artisan villages, and experience the rich history and culture of the region. La Plagne offers an inviting mix of activities, perfect for a varied and unforgettable winter sports holiday!

Where do i book my wintersports holiday?

For booking, I often turn to a platform I frequently use for booking winter sports trips: Sunweb. This company has never disappointed me and always offers great deals, often including the ski pass. This way, you don’t have to organize it separately on-site, saving you time! This allows you to focus on what you came there to do: winter sports!

Hopefully this information was usefull to you

And that concludes it. Have you been on a winter sports trip to La Plagne yourself and do you have experiences you’d like to share with us? Or do you perhaps have other tips or additions to my above story? Please let us know in the comments under this blog! I value your input and would be happy to incorporate new and additional information into the text. Thank you in advance for your efforts and contributions!

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