La Plagne is part of the giant Paradiski area in the Savoie region, France. La Plagne is made up of 11 separate villages, so even though it is the world’s 3rd largest ski area, it has the feel of a small resort. Here’s our view on where to ski, eat and Apres Ski in La Plagne from our recent trip.
Where To Ski?
La Plagne has 225km of pistes with varying terrain to explore. Although a great resort for beginner and intermediate skiers, La Plagne also has a number of hidden gems for off piste adventurers too. Here’s a few of our favourite spots:
Bellcote Glacier – The North Face
La Plagne’s Bellcote glacier sits at 3,100m altitude and offer’s snow-sure conditions all season long. A trip to the glacier offers some challenging red and black runs to the more advanced skiers. For those more comfortable on the blue runs, a trip to the top of the glacier on the Belcotte bubble lift is still worth the trip. You are rewarded with some spectacular views of Mont Blanc and the Courchevel ski resort and altiport for the eagle eyed on a clear day. You can always take the bubble lift back down if you don’t fancy the more challenging runs home.
For the off piste junky, the North Face one of the best accessible off-piste route’s in the Alps. You will definitely need a guide for this one but worth every penny if you you are a true powder hound! The route takes you off the back of the Bellcote Glacier (the North Face) and offers a number of long, untouched, couloir runs into the valley between La Plagne and Les Arcs.
Les Coches – Off Piste Lines
If you like tree runs, this is the spot for you! There’s plenty of secret off-piste runs in the area. Some need careful guiding, others can be tackled just off the side of the piste. The below lines in yellow are brilliant routes on powder days if you enjoy skiing in the trees. These lines are not too steep and you should have one or two tracks to follow, carved out by the locals.
Where To Eat On The Mountain?
Le Souget – Les Coches
This quintessential French Mountain restaurant is a must visit for lunch! The restaurant has been family run since 1941 and serves traditional Savoie cuisine. The French onion soup is a brilliant starter. The menu is in French but the family will translate in English as much as they can for you! There are a few cosy fires to warm you up on the cold days and I can promise you, you can’t have a bad meal in here!
Le 360 – Montalbert
This new James Bond style building, is a great spot on a sunny day offering awesome views of the valley and a local reveroir. Situated at the top of the Montalbert Gondola and the Ardet chair lift, its just a short ski from Plagne Centre and Aime Le Plagne. The building has a self service restaurant on the bottom floor with outside seating, serving pizzas, soups, chicken and chips etc. There is also a separate restaurant on the the top floor if you want a longer lunch with a bottle of wine or three.
Le 360 restaurant is located at the top of the Ardet chairlift and the Montalbert bubble lift.
Follie Douche – Les Arcs 1800
If you decide to take the Paradiski pass the ski to Les Arcs will take most of the morning. When the sun is shining a lunch or beer stop at the Folie Douche is a great experience! It is the newest addition to the Follie franchise and it’s one the biggest. A little pricier than other mountain restaurant and bars but you are guaranteed a party atmosphere with live performances all day from DJs, singers, musicians and acrobats!
Apres Ski & Mountain Bars
The White House
The first thing to highlight is that this spot is not actually called The White House! Situated in Plagne Bellecote, half way down the Arpette blue run. I can highly recommend the rum hot chocolate. This is not the cheapest spot on the mountain, but this south facing bar is well worth a visit to soak up the sun and watch skiers head into Belcotte.
On the other end of spectrum is Scottys bar. This is a typical Apres Ski bar at the bottom of the Slalom race piste in Plagne Centre. They have live music most days from 4pm and everyone is up for a party. There are always deals to be had, Tequila Tuesday’s is a particular favourite of mine. This venue is not full of fancy decor or vintage wines, but if you are up for a sing along and dancing on the tables, it’s worth a visit.
La plagne hosted the 1992 Winter Olympic bobsleigh and luge event. The track is still there and the public can have a go most evenings in the village! There are a few options on how you choose to take on the 1,500m ice track but the most exhilarating is the racing bobsiegh. This is a 4 man bobsleigh with a professional driver at the helm. Reaching speeds of up to 120km/h so your body is under serious G-force as you descend the 19 turns of the track. The cost is around 130 Euro, but an unforgettable experience.
Thumbs up from us
La Plagne offers something for everyone. Great skiing, good food and lots of places to entertain yourself and have a drink after a hard days skiing. Not a resort for stag’s or party animals, but a fantastic resort for the skiing purist.