La Plagne is a winter wonderland, multifaceted, well-connected ski resort
La Plagne has long been a favourite destination for British skiers and boarders. The resort today is spread over 11 sites, all with different personalities. Seven of these are purpose-built altitude resorts that sit between 1,800-2,050 metres and were built from scratch between the 1960s and 1990s. The other four are more traditional villages at an altitude of 1,250 metres, that existed before the ski area was created but are now connected to it by lifts and ski slopes.
The Ski Area
This winter La Plagne’s huge ski area is better than ever with the unveiling of the all-new Les Glaciers Gondola after many years of planning then construction, providing access to a redesigned ski area at the top of the ski area; Live 3000
It’s not just any ski area either. Already boasting one of Europe’s bigger ski domains and one of the world’s biggest lift-served verticals at around 2,000m, La Plagne is also celebrating the completion of the unique Vanoise Express double-decker cable car two decades ago. This connected La Plagne and neighbouring Les Arcs slopes together to create the second-largest ski area on the planet, with 425km of slopes.
The new Les Glaciers Gondola will go into service at the start of the season in December 2023. It replaces the old Bellecote glacier gondola and although the base station of the new lift is at the same location at Roche de Mio, it follows a new route, arriving at a new sector and a top station that is anchored into the rock, at an altitude of 3,080 metres.
This new gondola features 10 cabins, can carry 2,700 people per hour, and has an ascent time of 10 minutes. On reaching the top skiers can pause at the brand-new Live 3000 ski area, admire the panoramic view or enjoy a snack at Le Sixième Ciel café, which feels like a cosy refuge with a sunny terrace – before setting off down the mountain.
Not Just Skiing
Although home to one of the world’s biggest ski areas, La Plagne is not just about skiing, with a diverse range of non-ski activities and experiences available too, most of them suited to the whole family, just like the ski slopes (60% of the pistes are easy greens and cruisy blues). It means there’s plenty to do if you decide to take a day off from the ski slopes, or if you have members of your family or group who don’t want to ski at all.
Guests can ride down the Olympic bobsleigh, luge and skeleton track, try the ice climbing tower, ride in a horse-drawn sleigh, board a sled pulled by huskies, jump off the mountain in a tandem paraglide, go on a snowshoe hike, try cross-country skiing or just sink into a hot tub at the spa.
One of the most fun activities for the whole family is to ride down the bobsleigh course in one of the self-guiding rafts that have been specially designed for anyone to ride down safely without a professional pilot. But new this winter is the chance to try piloting a real bobsleigh yourself for a day supervised by a professional pilot, plus French bobsleigh federation-certified instructors. This brand-new activity will include a track walk (just like the pros when they study the best line down) two descents in a two-person bobsleigh (one as a pilot, and the other as a passenger) and a technical (and emotional) debriefing.
Alternatively, going from high speed to very low speed, Village Plan Bois has created several slow immersion experiences on a small mountain in La Plagne. You’ll leave the main resort, and head into the trees for a wealth of remarkable environmental activities. Try a sled ride pulled by dogs, relax during a sophrology (forest bathing) session in the forest and spend the night in an igloo, wood cabin or tent (weather dependent). The whole idea of this new area is to preserve nature and raise awareness of the need to respect the site and its inhabitants and is accessible to skiers and those on foot.
Two different snowshoe experiences are also on offer this winter – one with local, Matthieu, and the other with Evvo Snowshoes. Matthieu takes guests on a discreet two-and-a-half-hour adventure around Champagny-le-Haut, with the main aim of the hike being not to encounter any wild animals (as otherwise they will have been disturbed). During the walk, Matthieu will also raise awareness of the role of glaciers and the fragility of the mountain ecosystems, while staying away from the beaten path.
On the other hand, Evvo Snowshoes have created new snowshoes so guests don’t have to walk duckfooted anymore. Made 100% in France, the ‘shoes have a 90% bio-sourced sole (developed with Michelin) that is compact, ergonomic and lighter. You can try them for yourself or take part in a guided two-hour-and-45-minute hike. Families are welcome but the minimum age to participate is 10.
Being one of the largest ski areas in the Alps brings plenty of responsibilities when it comes to preserving the environment for future generations. The good news is that La Plagne takes this very seriously and has recently received a Zero Carbon Mountain award in recognition of its efforts. These include the resort’s commitment to energy transition following the drafting of the Corporate Social Responsibility report, the preparation of working on the destination’s carbon footprint, and the launch of the process to obtain the non-government pro-environment Mountain Rider’s Association’s Flocon Vert (green snowflake) label.
Along with using green energy for its lifts and biofuel in its groomers, the resort has numerous smaller initiatives across every part of its operations and actively encourages skiers to arrive by train, bus or fill a car to cut CO2 emissions travelling there. If helping the environment is not enough incentive to travel by train, guests can now make the most of a Beaufort Cheese Vending Machine next to the platform at Aime La Plagne.
This year the resort hosted its first zero waste on the mountain operation, when five simultaneous waste collections were organised across the resort on 2 June 2023. 350 people participated, and more than a tonne of litter was collected in 90 minutes.
Easy To Reach
La Plagne is one of the ski resorts you can reach easily on the train. Eurostar Snow train offers rail service from London St Pancras International to the Aime-la-Plagne (with a change at Lille). Trains will depart London St Pancras International on Saturdays and return to London on Sundays. If you prefer to fly, La Plagne is within a 90-minute drive of Geneva, Grenoble, and Lyon airports.
La Plagne’s ski season begins on 16 December 2023 and ends on 28 April 2024.
To find you perfect holiday in winter wonderland visit laplagneresort.com
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