Much-needed winter sun really doesn’t always have to mean heat… does it? At least this is something you quickly realise when you’re atop a snowy mountain on a fresh winter morning, taking in the incredible landscape of The Alps in La Plagne, a sprawling ski resort located in the alpine valley of La Tarentaise, France.
Fresh air, sunshine, snow and activities galore are at your feet (or ski boots) in La Plagne so while yes, it’s perfect for ski and snowboard fans, the whole fam can enjoy a host of activities both on and off-piste.
How to get to La Plagne
Getting to La Plagne is pretty straightforward from the UK. You fly to Geneva and then it's a 2.5 hour car ride from Geneva airport. Booking your trip to La Plagne is easy via Sunweb as it takes the hassle out of aligning your flights and transfers. Plus, when you book via Sunweb, your booking comes with ski lift passes and all materials needed for your time on the slopes so you can pretty much just focus on rallying the group for apres ski. Ideal.
What to do in La Plagne
Skiing and Snowboarding
An absolute no-brainer, right? Whether you’re a pro or a complete newbie, you’ll be at home on the slopes. The area has an incredible 425 km of runs and 70% are above 2000 km so you have stunning views all around, with half the runs being reds and blacks for thrill-seeking ski pros. If you aren’t super confident on the slopes though like me, fret not, you can cross the entire ski area on just blue runs if you prefer. Phew.
Want to take in the beauty of The Alps off-piste and without your skis? Snowshoeing is the perfect afternoon activity. It’s a full-body workout (don’t be naïve like me and think that it’s the easy alternative to skiing and immediately regret the number of layers you wore) but is easy to get the hang of. Grab some pals, rent your snowshoes and poles and head out. La Plagne has a few Ski Set stores that have all the equipment you need for snowshoeing (including the snowshoes themselves, walking poles and mountain boots,) in case like me you thought ASOS faux leather boots might be sufficient in the snow. Wrong, very wrong.
“Feel da riddim, feel da rhyme, get on up! It’s Bobsled time!” Naturally, as a Jamaican in a bobsleigh, it felt inappropriate to not mention Cool Runnings a million times. Even those unacquainted with one of the best films of the 90s will enjoy this activity. This particular track is France’s only bobsleigh and skeleton track and was used in the 1992 Olympics so you are literally using the same track as Olympians. The thrill of bob rafting is electric, hitting the turns at 50 mph and is suitable for anyone over 1.3m tall. If you're a rollercoaster fan, you'll love it. And if you want even more of a thrill you can book a speed luge where you go it alone on the track racing down at 55mph.
Deep Nature Spa
Sore, aching muscles from the slopes are expected, but you can soothe yourself in the spa in the centre of Belle Plagne. It features multiple saunas, a salt room and a hammam inside, plus heated jacuzzis and pools outside. There is something really magical sitting in a warm hot tub outside in -5 degrees with blankets of snow and fairy lights surrounding you. Massages and other specialist treatments are bookable too for extra TLC.
Another way to see the beautiful terrain is fat biking along the slopes. Don’t worry, they have electric assistance for making your way up the slopes and the hefty tyres are built for snowy surfaces. Also, I promise you can’t get lost, as you’re following an instructor the whole time.
Over the Moon
Whack out the candles this experience is romance amplified on the slopes. The Over the Moon experience entails spending the night under the stars with your favourite person. Sleeping in a refurbished snow grooming vehicle doesn’t sound super glam but add a queen-sized bed, glass roof, dimmed pink lighting and a ‘love box’ and you’re closer to something special, eh? Plus, how can you beat watching the sunrise over Mount Blanc?
Where to eat and drink in La Plagne
There are so many bars, restaurants and cafés to head to for a hearty meal in La Plagne. If you’re a fan of meat and cheese you will be in your element as every menu is brimming with the likes of steak and fondue. While there are definitely fewer veggie and vegan options, most restaurants cater to dietary requirements.
A highlight is La Bergerie, a high-altitude restaurant that we skied to, but can be reached by car as well. We booked the cabin to dine in privately, but you can also eat in the main restaurant for table service or grab fast food at the snack bar to go. It’s also a great spot for apres ski with a DJ and sax player serving up club classics from mid-afternoon. A little Freed From Desire medley as you scoop up the remnants of the fondue with a bread roll in one hand and fist pump with the other = Bliss.
Where to stay in La Plagne
There are so many options for accommodation in La Plagne from chalets to apartments to hotels. We stayed in L'Eden des Cimes, Vacances Bleues in Belle Plagne. It’s a hotel that’s in the heart of the ski area and you can ski or snowboard right to the doorstep of the hotel. It’s not luxury but super clean, cosy and accessible. Plus, it across the street from Spar if you have any snack cravings, which you definitely come to appreciate after a day of skiing.
A package trip to La Plagne booked via Sunweb starts from £508 based on two adults sharing and for four people sharing prices starts from £317. Visit sunweb.co.uk for more details.
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