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La Plagne is a schizophrenic ski resort - part high-altitude, high-concept ski station, part tree-ringed hidden villages and Alpine flavour...
The skiing in La Plagne has a split personality too: mostly, La Plagne's pistes are wide, flattering and - to be honest - a little bland. But you'll also find some of the most extreme-off-piste routes in the Alps hidden away at the eastern end of the ski area.
So does that mean La Plagne has something for everyone? Not quite. Families, beginners, and early intermediate skiers will like it. So too hairy-chested adrenaline addicts. But the people in the middle - more confident intermediates - won't be quite so enamoured. Neither will party animals. So handle it with care!
La Plagne is linked to neighbouring resort Les Arcs by an impressive double-decker cable car known as the Vanoise Express. Together, they offer an impressive 425km of pistes, and some extraordinary off-piste skiing too.
Don't imagine that the area hangs together like the Three Valleys or the Espace Killy, however. Unless you're staying in the village of Montchavin, by the lift station, you'll find the commute over to Les Arcs time-consuming, and will probably stick around in La Plagne as a result.
Here, you'll find a big, high and rather flat mountain bowl which holds many of the purpose-built villages of the resort. The pistes here are great for newcomers to skiing and snowboarding - and families too - but more accomplished skiers will find them boring. They'll gravitate to the slopes around the edges of this bowl, which are more challenging but suffer from being at a lower altitude. As a result, they may end up wishing they'd stayed in Les Arcs.
Meanwhile, right at the top of the resort lies the 3,250m Bellecote, the north face of which is home of some of the most highly-rated off-piste routes in the Alps. Don't even think about trying them without a guide and don't be surprised if you hire a guide and he or she says you're not good enough to tackle them!
You can drive to La Plagne or take the train (stopping at Aime La Plagne), in the valley beneath the resort...
Alternatively, La Plagne is easily accessible from Chambéry, Lyon, Grenoble and Geneva airports.
La Plagne is great for beginners, whether on skis or boards, while experts will get excited about the off-piste opportunities...
For intermediates, the runs are a little more limited. However, the area is connected to Les Arcs by a lift system, giving you a wider choice of runs to test your skills.
You might find the après-ski options in La Plagne a bit limiting, but you won't be disappointed by the prices...
Like so many purpose-built ski resorts, La Plagne suffers from its fractured design. None of its villages is big enough to generate really lively or classy nightlife. Most are home to at least one good bar, and a cosy restaurant serving hearty Savoyard fare, but you won't find a scene here to rival Val d'Isère or St Anton. For night owls, the two best villages to stay in are Belle Plagne (home to the cosy Cloche restaurant and bar), and Plagne Centre, where you'll find Scotty's bar.
There's an Olympic bobsleigh course in La Plagne and everyone, skiers or not, should jump on a tourist-class bob for an adrenaline-soaked ride. Other on-mountain activities include dog-sledding, ice-skating, tobogganing and even pony-trekking. They're aimed at young families for the most part.
8/10 Cost of living
La Plagne is one of the cheapest of the French mega-resorts - especially if you book into one of the many self-catering apartments in the resort. However, prices are rising because fears about climate change are putting a premium on high-altitude resorts.
4/10 Attractiveness of the resort
La Plagne will never be a looker. Nor is the itty-bitty approach to the resort layout satisfying. Those who really care about aesthetics should stay in Montchavin, or Champagny-en-Vanoise, on the fringes of the resort.