Household pleasant snowboarding at La Plagne, France

La Plagne, within the Tarentaise Valley of the French Alps, might be the world’s hottest household pleasant ski resort. Many are attracted by its huge ski space and its myriad of newbie and intermediate runs and the selection of reasonably priced residences and villas.

The resort was born within the 1960s, with a daring new submit battle imaginative and prescient of large Alpine complexes to supply reasonably priced ski holidays, however these ended up no larger than rabbit warrens amid huge acreages of linked ski slopes.

Many years later, these tiny residences have been knocked into bigger models and 9 satelite villages have been developed. One in every of which is former farming village, Montchavin – my base in the course of my keep.

Montchavin les Coches

Montchavin les Coches (c) Phillippe Royer

In recent times La Plagne has been linked by a spectacular cable automotive with neighbouring Les Arcs – the Vanoise Specific. It spans a valley that’s 1,800m large and 380m deep and kinds the huge ski and snowboard playground marketed as Paradiski.

It sits between huge linked ski areas – the Espace Killy (Val d’Isère-Tignes) and the Trois Vallees, which includes resorts together with Meribel and Courchevel. At its coronary heart is the unique, 45 years-old growth now often called Plagne Centre.

Its nice benefit was (and nonetheless is) that it allowed guests to ski from and again to its doorways. The flattish snowfield exterior, the so referred to as Entrance de Neige, with its cat’s cradle of lifts heading in all instructions, will be so busy it gives the look that when you sat lengthy sufficient at one in every of its exterior tables somebody you understand would ultimately come gliding previous.


Paradiski (c) T. Shu

Paradiski is claimed to be the world’s second largest ski space linked by lifts. It has some 265 miles of pistes, and with greater than two-thirds of its snowboarding over 6500 ft.

An important benefit of La Plagne is the massive quantity of blue rated intermediate cruising, on lengthy and unthreatening slopes. Unthreatening, that’s, on groomed powder. For those who’re unfortunate sufficient to catch them when they’re laborious and icy, head for steeper pink or black pistes, for the straightforward terrain tends to draw skiers whose compulsion to bomb down exceeds their skills.

Montchavin panoramic view

Montchavin panoramic view (c) Phillippe Royer

Specialists could want to head for Roche de Mio for its 2,700m of difficult runs or the Bellecôte Glacier for black pistes and the chance to go off-piste.

And you’ll at all times take the cable automotive to Les Arcs, you don’t need to journey far to discover a clutch of equally moreish descents above Vallandry.


Funiplagne (c) Elina Sirparanta

Snowboarding again to Montchavin – it lies at solely round 4100 ft – will be difficult. In heat situations I discovered the snow to be heavy as moist sugar. However you may at all times wimp out and catch the gondola down the final stretch.

The resort actually has its charms with a beautiful vary of pistes and gives the look of being a type of Metropolis on snow that’s worthy of its recognition.

Notice: This can be a huge space so it could be value downloading the Paradiski app, Yuge, in order that you understand the place the queues are and anticipated ready occasions. There’s additionally a digital piste map, climate forecasts, ski itineraries and monitoring data.

The place to eat: Les Cocottes gives commendable cooking, nice service and never unhealthy costs – although except the £ recovers from its submit Brexit vote stoop you’ll want to permit about £25 – £30 a head.

The place to remain: a double room on the Lodge Bellecôte for every week between late January and early February prices between €130 and €150 an evening for b&b.

Tour companies providing holidays on the resort embrace Erna Low and Ski Options. Peak Retreats additionally gives holidays to Montchavin.

For extra data on La Plagne go to

Header picture by Ola Matsson

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