Resort Profile: La Plagne

By adamrowden, 27 Nov '12 at 13:49

La Plagne is a ski resort that is in the heart of the Paradiski region and is linked, via La Vanoise Express (a double decker cable car) to the Les Arcs ski area. La Plagne actually consists of 10 villages which are all linked by roads, pistes and lifts and they are all at varying altitudes.

In the past it has been a resort that has been written off as an intermediate resort, however, that is strictly not the case, and it seems people are coming round to just how good this place really is. When you visit La Plagne it is almost as much about what is not on the slopes than what is.

Going off piste

There are plenty of awesome off-piste runs and faces to be had as well as some secret stashes that are sure to please all. There are plenty of great little bits and bobs off-piste that are ‘just off the side’ or under the lifts, you know the score. However, La Plagne is also home to some truly brilliant, big day out style, off-piste riding. Obviously, as always, don’t attempt these runs alone and make sure you are well drilled on avalanche safety before you head out. It is also wise to carry a transceiver and a shovel as well as a probe.

One of the off-piste highlights in the area has to be the North Face of the Bellecote. It has become more and more popular over the year for its vast array of routes you can take as well as its large powder field. In fact, the Couloir Canadiene, with its 45 degree angle has been used for a number of freeride competions. When you get to the bottom of the Bellecote, you end up at the cross country track near the village of Nancroix.

Another one you may wish to check out is the Glacier of Col De Nant, however, you will want to make sure you take a guide to avoid the crevasses! Wind your way down to Laissonney and its cross country tracks, then finish out at Champagny-le-Haut where you can catch the bus to Champagny for a well earnt beverage before you catch the bubble back to reality.

On the slopes

OK, so La Plagne might just be a mecca for freeriders, but if you fancy some on-piste action then you are not going to be left wanting. If you are a fan of moguls for example, then most of the black runs in the resort will please you - Take La Source for example. Les Bosses, a black run located at the top of Les Verdons, is also a mogul-lovers’ dream - weather permitting.

If you just want to cruise around on vast wide open runs then again, you are in luck. La Plagne has plenty of huge swooping blue and red runs, which can get crowded during peak season, however if you are lucky to hit the slopes on a quiet day, then they are a joy to behold.

If you fancy heading to a snowpark then there is a decent one located above Plagne Centre on the Capella Piste. There is also a skier cross course and a good half pipe at Bellecote and, as if that wasn’t enough, there is also a small park at the top of the Bijolin and Dos Rond lifts.

A real skiers challenge is to ski from one side of Paradiski to the other and return in a day. If you have the legs, start at Montalbert 1350m in La Plagne and travel to Villaroger 1200m in Les Arcs (via the Aiguille Rouge). Lunch at La Ferme at Villaroger is recommended.

Living in resort

There is always a good atmosphere in La Plagne, and there is always plenty going on. If you get Le Guide Hiver from the Tourist Office then you will have access to a decent run down of the annual and seasonal events taking place in the resort. There is also a small weekly events magazine that will help keep you informed.

The resort is also famous for its large number of additional on-slope activities including the popular Olympic bobsleigh run available for recreational use.

But, if you are a seasonairre or considering doing a season in La Plagne, then you are most probably on here to check out the nightlife...

Bars

La Plagne plays host to a wide variety of bars and clubs. Here are just some of our favourites.

La Mine, Plagne 1800
This is a favourite of seasonaires and it gets pretty crowded on a good night. The place is decorated with mining gear and has some pretty cool live music on throughout the season. If you are working in La Plagne then you will check this place out at some point in your season.

Scotty’s Bar, Plagne Centre
Scotty’s is open from 10am until late every day and it really is the best place for a pre-ski drink and snack. But don’t get me wrong, this place is also banging in the evening and can play host to some awesome parties. It has a large sun terrace, which is a great place to sit and have lunch. They do good burgers and also have some cool live music at times in the evenings.

The Mouth Bar, Plagne Centre
The Mouth Bar is a dingy hole-in-the-ground-style pub that is well worth a visit. It may not sound that great, but trust me, this place is cracking. It has a good après scene thanks to live sport on the big screens as well as raffles, and it is always good for a party in the evenings. The Mouth Bar is popular with both holidaymakers and seasonaires.

Some other good bars to keep an eye out for include PlanJA.nl which is a Dutch bar located in Plagne Centre and plays all kinds of music and also shows all the big games; La Luna Bar which is also located in Plagne Centre and is a popular meeting place that sells ‘towers’ of beer. You should also keep an eye out for Bar Plein du Soleil in Plagne Centre and Cozy Bar in Bellecote.

Restaurants


Again, La Plagne is home to some great places to go out and eat. Here are some of our favourite...

La Vega, Plagne Centre – A good all-rounder, on the piste front with a good sunny deck for lunch.
Le Chaudron, Plagne Centre – Always busy, pricey, piste front and has a sunny deck for lunch.
L’Estaminet, Plagne Centre – Small and friendly, Savoyarde theme and reasonably priced.
La Grolle, Plagne Centre – Good friendly atmosphere
La Ferme, Plagne Centre – Kebabs, pasta, burgers, sandwiches etc
La Refuge, Plagne Centre – The original ‘warming place’, reasonably priced.
Dominos Pizza, Plagne Centre – Lots to choose from.
Le Matafan, Belle Plagne – Savoyarde, a bit pricey, but good. Also has a sunny deck for lunch.
La Cloche, Belle Plagne - Always busy, pizzas and Savoyarde fare.
Le Grizzli, Plagne Villages – is a favourite, it’s small, pricey, but has good charm!
Le Spatule, Plagne Villages – Good pizza and character don’t be put off by the apartment building it's in. Yummy hot chocolate on their small deck in the day.

The Highlights


- Amazing off-piste, mainly the North Face of the Bellecote
- Paradiski area is huge and offers you plenty to see and do
- Great hidden stashes
- Awesome nightlife
- Decent snow conditions
- Les Arcs is near by

For other resort profiles, click here.

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