Plagne Centre, high on the mountainside in La Plagne, France | Travel guide | Ski guide | Girl with a saddle bag blog

8 photos that will make you fall in love with La Plagne, France

Nestled high above Tarentaise valley in the French Alps, La Plagne is a cluster of eleven villages that make up a resort that’s cosy yet packed with things to do. Linked together by seemingly endless pistes, this spectacular ski area delights with dozens of breathtaking viewpoints.

Nothing makes my heart skip a beat quite like arriving in the Alps in winter. There’s something wild and beautiful about this landscape that’s utterly bewitching.

Every time I visit the mountains at this time of year, I fall a little bit more in love with this part of Europe. But once in a while somewhere takes you by truly by surprise, and makes your jaw drop when you’re just not expecting it.

The French resort of La Plagne just stole my heart.

Freshly returned from a week of on and off-piste fun and frivolity, I can honestly say I’ve never felt so excited by a ski resort since my first snow adventure almost ten years ago.

We chose this French resort as a great group destination, for the comfort food, for the pistes. But I quickly realised we’d got so much more than we’d bargained for (thank goodness for friends in the know who’d been here before). What I hadn’t expected was some of the most wonderfully diverse mountain landscapes I’ve encountered in one resort, incredible weather and panoramic views of some of Europe’s best known peaks.

One week and approximately 300 photos later and I think I’ve boiled them down to my absolute favourites.

Here are eight photos I think are going to make you fall head over heels with La Plagne.

P.S. Want to find out more about staying in La Plagne? Check out La Plagne, France: A complete ski resort guide.

You can stay in beautiful villages like Belle Plagne

High on the piste sits Belle Plagne, a pretty cluster of timber chalets that’s surrounded by snowy peaks and frosted firs. It’s one of many lively little villages in the resort.

It’s not a bad view from your balcony, or from the piste.

Scrap that, they’re all beautiful

Each of the eleven villages has their own distinct character.  Some are full of cosy, alpine chalets like Belle Plagne and Plagne 1800.  Others, like Montchavin, are old mountain hamlets where modern apartments jostle for space amongst ancient wooden farmhouses and cobbled streets.  Plagne Centre might be purpose-built and not traditionally pretty, but look across the valley on a bright sunny day and somehow it’s all forgiven.

Half the fun of staying in La Plagne is getting around the mountain and finding these little gems nestled in the snow.

Getting around La Plagne is pretty good

Because the views are magical, like this.

Every lift seems to open up new and exciting views, and as a bonus, they’re all pretty fast and efficient.

Head to the Colorado lift in Plagne Centre if you want to bask in the beauty of this glittering landscape.  It’s a great place to warm up in the morning, with a handful of majestic, sweeping blue runs down the mountain back into the village.

It’s a spectacular, lunar-like landscape

As you move around the mountain the landscape changes endlessly.  Here, the rolling drifts of snow part in the middle, just briefly, to lead you down into the village of Plagne Bellecote.

Whilst you’re here, stop at La Tarine for un cafe or a chocolat a l’ancienne.  Be patient with the service, the rewards are worthwhile.

Did I mention the view of Mont Blanc?

This one really did take my breath away.

For me, this iconic peak has always featured on horizons, sometime just a blinding white spec against the deep, azure blue of a summer sky.  There’s no photo-trickery here, not even a zoom (sorry, no time for that when there’s lunchtime pizza on the piste to be sought out). Mont Blanc really is right in front of you in all it’s majesty, and it’s gorgeous.

You’re guaranteed to find somewhere you’ll love to ski

(Or board. Sorry, I’m biased)

With 225km of piste (that’s a total of 128 different runs) there’s something for everyone and most weather conditions.  If it’s clear, confident skiers and boarders can head up to the glacier where in theory you can ski year round.  Cloudy day?  Never fear, head low into the tree-lined pistes above Montalbert or Montchavin.  Or aim high to peek above the clouds at Roche de Mio. And whether you love wide and wandering blues, or challenging blacks and reds there’s something to suit you here.

Here’s the descent into Montchavin (and down to the Vanoise Express across to Les Arcs). It’s a great place to check out the blue skies up at the glacier, and figure out whether it’s worth exploring some of the quieter pistes below the cloud line.

You don’t have to hop onto lifts every five minutes

Whilst there are bucketloads of lifts that will help to get you around La Plagne, there’s also plenty of routes around the mountain that interconnect.  This means you can easily find routes that’ll let you cruise around happily without joining a queue.  Head to Roche de Mio in the late afternoon so you can drop down from the very top of the resort.

This is the Levasset, a blue piste that starts at Roche de Mio and an absolute joy to ski.  Wide, sweeping and with views across to the three valleys, it might not be a challenge but it’s a delight on tired legs towards the end of the day.

This is what home time looks like

My favourite run home at the end of the day? Les Sources runs from the top of the Roche de Mio and connects with a host of comfortable blues at the bottom that’ll take you into the valley for most of the villages in La Plagne.

You feel like you’re on top of the world up here. And whether there’s cloud in the valley below of not, it’s pretty stunning.

So there you have it.  With any luck, I’ve convinced you this is one rather special resort.

If you need a little more persuasion, or are interested in planning your own trip here, take a look at La Plagne, France: A complete ski resort guide.

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  • Ari
    Posted at 08:18h, 24 February Reply

    I love the photo of the misty clouds surrounding those snow-covered mountains. Truly a dreamland. Don’t know how to ski though, but there’s still time to learn. Do they have a bunny slope? 🙂

    • Alice
      Posted at 19:08h, 25 February Reply

      They do indeed Ari! I have friends who learned to ski in La Plagne and they thoroughly recommended it. We were spoilt with the weather, I’ve never seen such stunning cloud in the mountains. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  • Kristin
    Posted at 10:15h, 24 February Reply

    I just went to the Dolomites in Italy last weekend and I am just as obsessed with those Alps views as you! I haven’t been skiiing in France but doesn’t look like a bad idea at all!

    • Alice
      Posted at 19:10h, 25 February Reply

      Thanks Kristin! I love skiing in Italy too (and love an Italian hot chocolate when we”re out on the mountain!). If you try anywhere in France, I’d really recommend La Plagne or Les Arcs. Much bigger than the resorts I’ve skied in Italy and a huge diversity of pistes.

  • Leigh
    Posted at 20:40h, 24 February Reply

    I have got to see the Alps in winter someday! I hiked around the Swiss Alps (and Chamonix) last summer – the scenery is unreal, and your photos capture it very well!

    • Alice
      Posted at 19:11h, 25 February Reply

      Thanks so much Leigh. I adore hiking in this part of the world in summer, but it’s beautiful in the winter too. I’d really recommend the spring too, when you can enjoy the lush greenery in the valleys but also a little snow higher up. Spring flowers peeping through the snow in these parts is just the most spectacular view.

  • Aga
    Posted at 10:48h, 25 February Reply

    Ahh, for me, who loves mountains and snow even one of those photos would be enough to fall in love – amazing, I need to visit one day 🙂

    • Alice
      Posted at 19:12h, 25 February Reply

      Thanks Aga, I’m sure you’d love it here!

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