More than 60 years ago, La Plagne was created. To do so, men shaped mountains to construct the resort we know, and love. Today, faced with our current challenges, it’s becoming increasingly apparent that the mountains, in fact, shape us.
They provide mental benefits such as relaxation, boosting creativity, reducing stress and anxiety, stimulating humility and encouraging us to reflect. Taking all this on board, La Plagne continually strives to read the lines of the future and promote, and practice, sustainable methods, meaning future generations can gain value from the magnificent peaks too.
Nowadays, La Plagne comprises 11 sites, all with different personalities. Seven of these sit between 1,800-2,050 metres and were built from scratch between the 1960s and 1990s. Four of these are more traditional villages at an altitude of 1,250 metres, that existed before the ski area was created. Think wood-and-stone chalets, small residences, and farms surrounded by trees and clearings. Along with 225 km of pistes (60% of which are easy greens and cruisy blues) guests can also try the Olympic bobsleigh, luge and skeleton track, plus ice climbing tower. In addition, alight a horse-drawn sleigh, board a sled pulled by huskies, jump off the mountain in a tandem paraglide, sink into a hot tub at the spa, or give Nordic skiing a go.
On a bigger scale, La Plagne is part of the renowned Paradiski area, home to 425 km of skiing with Les Arcs and Peisey-Vallandry. This winter will mark 20 years since the launch of the Vanoise Express, the exceptional cable car that links the two mountains, and these three resorts, together. To celebrate this exciting milestone, a programme is being created for the many skiers and snowboarders, and a new Paradiski logo has been designed.
But that’s not all that’s new – La Plagne has a few more surprises on offer; read on to find out more…ADVERTISEMENTDON’T MISS OUT ON THESE EXPERIENCES
Learn how to pilot a bobsleighFollow in the footsteps of the cast from ‘Cool Runnings’ and try piloting a bobsleigh for a day in this brand-new activity. This thrilling experience includes a track walk (just like the pros when they study the best line down) two descents in a two-person bobsleigh (one as a pilot, and the other as a passenger) and a technical (and emotional) debriefing. Throughout the day, guests will be supervised by a professional pilot, plus French bobsleigh federation-certified instructors. This unique opportunity will run on 12 January 2024 and 9 February 2024 (eight people maximum, minimum age 16).Price is €590 / £505 pp, helmet and crampons included.
Enjoy a slow immersion at Plan BoisVillage Plan Bois has created several slow immersion experiences on a small mountain in La Plagne. Leave the main resort, and head into the trees for a wealth of remarkable environmental activities. Try a sled ride pulled by dogs, relax during a sophrology session in the forest, and spend the night in an igloo, wood cabin or tent (weather dependent). The whole idea of this new area is to preserve nature and raise awareness of the need to respect the site and its inhabitants. This experimental venture is also part of La Plagne’s Flocon Vert certification process and is accessible to skiers and those on foot.
Head off on a snowshoe hike…Try two different snowshoe experiences this winter – one with local, Matthieu, and the other with Evvo Snowshoes. Matthieu takes guests on discreet two-and-a-half-hour adventures around Champagny-le-Haut, with the main aim of the hike being not to encounter any wild animals (as otherwise they will have been disturbed). During the walk, Matthieu will also raise awareness of the role of glaciers and the fragility of the mountain ecosystems, while staying away from the beaten path. Price from €25 / £21 pp for half a day. On the other hand, Evvo Snowshoes have created new snowshoes so guests don’t have to walk duck footed anymore. Made 100% in France, the ‘shoes have a 90% bio-sourced sole (developed with Michelin) that is compact, ergonomic and lighter. Rental from €8 / £7 pp for half a day, or from €30 / £26 pp for a guided two-hour-and-45-minute hike. Minimum age 10.
ON THE SLOPES AND IN RESORT
Ride Les Glaciers GondolaOnce the final skiers left the mountain last April, the famous Bellecôte Gondola was dismantled, and the 102 cabins went up for auction. These vintage bubbles, dating from 1973, had a starting price of €500 / £430 each and sold in just one-and-a-half-hours. On 16 December 2023, a brand-new lift, Les Glaciers Gondola, will whisk guests up the mountain. Although the departure point is still the same (Roche de Mio) the cables follow a different trajectory and arrive at a new sector that is anchored into the rock, at an altitude of 3,080 metres. This new gondola features 10 cabins, can carry 2,700 people per hour, and has an ascent time of 10 minutes. On reaching the top, pause at the brand-new Live 3000 ski area – admire the panoramic view or enjoy a snack at Le Sixième Ciel café, which feels like a cosy refuge with a sunny terrace – before setting off down the mountain.
Check out the grocery store and restaurant in LongefoyThis summer, couple Arnaud and Marie-Cécile Defayet, have injected a new life into the old fruitière in Longefoy. Working with many of the locals, they have refurbished the whole building – from using personalised wallpaper to finding an old copper cauldron – to create a grocery shop selling organic produce, a café with outdoor seating, a wine and spirits cellar with a tasting menu, and a bistro-restaurant with plenty of homemade dishes to choose from. The personalised wallpaper uses period images and handwritten notes by the villagers from the dairy register, creating a lovely, lively address where the past, present and future of the village are inextricably linked. L’Autrefoy is open year round for lunch and dinner, with products costs from €20 / £17.
THE EVER IMPORTANT ENVIRONMENT
In April 2023, La Plagne achieved the ‘Zero Carbon Mountain’ Award at the Alpipro trade show. This reward recognises the resort’s commitment to energy transition following the drafting of the Corporate Social Responsibility report, the preparation of working on the destination’s carbon footprint, and the launch of the process to obtain the Mountain Rider’s Association’s Flocon Vert label. In addition, La Plagne hosted its first zero waste on the mountain operation, when five simultaneous waste collections were organised across the resort on 2 June 2023. 350 people participated, and more than a tonne of litter was collected in 90 minutes.
La Plagne is continually highlighting ways to reach the resort by public transport. Picking these methods, instead of flying and/or driving, can use around 66-80 percent less carbon. The new Eurostar Snow train, departing every Saturday from London St Pancras (and returning every Sunday from France) makes the journey to Aime-la-Plagne incredibly easy (with just one change at Lille). From there, SNCF and Altibus are more than happy to take a pair of skis or snowboard in addition to main bags when transporting guests around the villages. And La Plagne’s very own online travel agency, La Plagne Resort, only proposes train or bus travel in its all-inclusive packages for long-distance journeys to the resort. And if that’s not enough incentive to travel by train, guests can now make the most of a Beaufort Cheese Vending Machine next to the platform at Aime.
En route up to La Plagne, why not make the most of the second hand ski gear shop, Antropia, which opened in Aime in spring 2023? Through its network, Antropia collects skiwear from the different socio-professional groups across local resorts, works with its partner – One Tree at a Time – to remove any branding and labels, and then lists it for sale in the shop. After purchasing an outfit for a fraction of the price of a brand-new one, guests can continue to Plagne Centre and rent a pair of second-hand skis from Ski Hut. Taking on top-quality (but used) skis, Ski Hut will completely recondition them before introducing them back into the rental circuit at unbeatable prices. Finally, instead of throwing away damaged clothing, drop it off at Belle Plagne Sports – one of five partner shops of Lyon brand, Goodloop, specialising in the repair and alteration of technical wear. Two weeks later, the clothing is ready for its next adventure on the slopes… All this promotes less waste and greater savings.
For more information on La Plagne, please visit https://en.la-plagne.com or call 04 79 09 02 01. Alternatively, please find their latest press pack here: https://indd.adobe.com/view/b5089c14-7394-4e86-b30f-5ab15a6fa5de
La Plagne’s ski season begins on 16 December 2023 and ends on 28 April 2024.
A six-day lift pass for Paradiski costs €369 / £316 per adult or €296 / £253 per child (age 5-12 inclusive)
Getting to La Plagne could not be easier: it is within a 90-minute drive from three main airports, Geneva, Grenoble, and Lyon. Either hire a car from the airport, book one of the transfer companies or take the bus. Alternatively, La Plagne is one of the ski resorts you can reach easily on the train. Eurostar Snow train offers rail service from London St Pancras International to the Aime-la-Plagne (with a change at Lille). Trains will depart London St Pancras International on Saturdays and return to London on Sundays. Otherwise, snow enthusiasts can always jump in their car and drive to La Plagne using LeShuttle or one of the ferry companies to cross the English Channel. There are plenty of car parks once in resort too.
Book a ski holiday to La Plagne using La Plagne’s travel agency, La Plagne Resort: www.laplagneresort.com/?lang=en_US
The Botswana Tourism Investment Summit aims to spotlight the country as an economic tiger
Untamed Borders Launches a Second Virtual Tour Route of Afghanistan More