La Plagne, Savoie, Rhone Alps
Set high in the Savoie's Tarentaise area of the French Alps, La Plagne one of the largest ski resorts in the world is made up of a collection of mainly ski in and out snow sure villages from the rustic to the futuristic. The area offering a great base for a family ski home is renowned as an exciting high altitude destination. One of the first purpose built resorts in France, La Plagne, comprises ten self-sufficient ski centers with their own direct access to the ski domain and are interlinked with the other villages by gondola or the very efficient ski shuttle both which can run until after 1am. With six high altitude purpose built resorts ranging in altitude from 1800 – 2100m on or above the treeline with terrain to suit everyone, there are also four lower real villages which have been adapted and expanded to cater for the winter and summer markets.
The resort Plagne Centre (1970m) at the heart of the high altitude area is the focal point for shops and après ski. Directly below is Plagne 1800, the chalet filled suburb, while a short ride from the centre upwards are Aime-la-Plagne (2100m), Plagne Soleil (2050m), and Plagne villages (2050m). Plagne-Bellecote (1930m) and Belle Plagne (2050m) make up the final two high altitude resorts. The lower resorts of Les Coches, Montchavin, Champagny and Montalbert ranging from 1250 – 1450m all offer access into the network and provide alternative locations for second home owners if they are seeking a real village.
Part of the enormous Paradiski ski area ranging from 1250 – 3250m it combines all the resorts of La Plagne, Les Arcs, and Peisey Vallandry. This unbelievable winter playground of 425km piste slopes serviced by a massive 143 interlinking lifts with two peaks over 3000m and two glaciers, it is perfect for the beginner and intermediate skier/boarder. The excellent easily accessible nursery slopes, greens, blues and reds, many of which are empty particularly around the smaller villages, make this the ideal location to learn and hone your skills, while there are seemingly limitless supplies of off piste skiing for the more advanced. Open from mid-December to the end of April this area is a boarder dream that includes snow parks one of which the 7 Cube is 1km long, half pipe and boarder cross.
With 225km of local skiing, the Vanoise Express cable car links la Plagne to Les Arcs to form the combined ski area. A network of snowmaking machines covers most of the lower slopes as well as many of the higher altitude pistes to ensure a continued supply of powder. For the non skier there are many activities to enjoy such as paragliding, husky sledding, snow shoeing & sleigh rides, ice climbing, sledding, swimming, ice skating, indoor climbing, fitness classes, cinema (films in English most weeks), boutique shopping and a staggering 80km of cross country tracks. The bobsleigh is an experience not to be missed. La Plagne’s nightlife is also extensive and varied catering for families and those looking to party the night away. Restaurants combine traditional good quality Savoyard delicacies with a warm ambiance, perfect after a good days skiing.
Many see La Plagne as just a winter destination, not anymore! The Vanoise National Park is one of the highlights of the Tarentaise region, a haven for all sorts of wildlife and a stunning setting for outdoor enthusiasts. The hundreds of kilometres of clearly marked hiking trails offer something for everyone, from a leisurely ramble to a 3 day hike. Access to the higher trails with their spectacular panoramic views is possible via the lift system that operates in the summer. For a truly amazing experience there is glacier hiking on one of the many local glaciers. The breath taking views and stunning crevasses make this an experience never to forget. La Plagne and Les Arcs are two of the best downhill mountain biking sites in Europe offering challenging track and long downhill runs. Other adrenaline summer pastimes include both indoor and outdoor Climbing, Via Feratta rock face climbing, Canyoning (age 8+) in the mountain streams via a network of abseil decents, jumps and natural water slides, Hydrospeeding using an inflatable body board ensuring you are half in and out of the water, Paragliding including 20 – 30 minute tandem flights, White Water rafting from the end of May until September with various options from 3 hours to full days, Arbre Adventures combining a series of zip lines, monkey bridges ladders and ropes in the forest treetops and hot air ballooning
For anyone who enjoys a round of golf, the nearest 18 hole par 70 and 9 hole par 27 courses are located at Les Arcs 1800m. Open from late June to early September, the courses are host to a number of competitions throughout the summer. With a David Leadbetter Golf Acadamy and a Mont Blanc backdrop, it’s worth the journey. For golfers over the age of 4, La Plagne offers three mini courses. There are so many things to do for children in La Plagne throughout the summer that the three summer clubs split by age (Mini, Youth and Junior’s) from ages 3 to 17 years is one way of ensuring they get to experience everything. Offering organised events for children throughout the summer that includes circus school, trampolining, mini-moto painting classes, off road scooters with big fat mountain bike tyres (age 10+), quad bikes, roller skating, paintball, there is also a mini farm and crafts at Montalbert that has a range of animals including donkeys, goats and chickens as well as other other alpine animals. With two horse riding centres at Plagne Centre and Aime la Plagne offering family rides, childrens lessons, half day treks and more, this is yet another way to truly experience the regions diversity and spectacular scenery.
Getting to La Plagne is easy for weekend breaks or extended stays, making this an ideal location to own a second home. It can be reached by car, train or airplane. During the winter Eurostar runs direct day and night trains to Aime with fares from as little as £179, while it is also possible to take the Eurostar to Paris and one of the French trains to Aime. From Aime to La Plagne requires the use of the public transport system. For flights Chambery is the closest airport just 120km (2 hours away), while Grenoble (187km), Lyon (198km) and Geneva (201km) are other airports in the vicinity. Altibus operates public bus services from Geneva, Chambery, Lyon and Grenoble running at regular intervals, while there are a number of companies in La Plagne that operate door to door transfer minibus services from the different airports. Should you wish to visit any of the La Plagne properties being marketed, we would be happy to assist you with arrangements including hotel recommendations in the resort. Please contact us for more information.
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