E Sirparata © OPGP (Promotion Office of the Grande Plagne)


A favourite for family ski holiday in the French Alps – as a place for youngsters to progress and families to ski together it is second to none – La Plagne in the Paradiski ski area is a group of purpose-built villages ranging from the plain (Plagne Centre) to the pretty (Belle Plagne, Plagne Soleil, Plagne Bellecôte) via the traditional (Plagne 1800), plus original villages including Montchavin (with the newer Les Coches), Montalbert and Champagny-en-Vanoise.

There are plenty of beginner areas, and Plagne Centre is home to one of the original and best independent, English-speaking ski schools. Even moderate skiers can head all the way from the 3,250m glacier to 1,350m villages.

Meanwhile, like an increasing number of European ski resorts, La Plagne has opened itself up to the summer holiday market with an ever-growing range of fun outdoor activities to suit families with kids of varying ages, making it a great alternative to the busy French seaside at this time of year.

Things to do with kids in La Plagne

Ski on fantastic nursery slopes, great wooded runs or good cross-country trails; highlights are the gorgeous routes through the forest to Montchavin, Champagny and Montalbert. Or take the top chairlift from the Bellecôte glacier for excellent black runs and truly breathtaking views (if you don't want to ski down, it's still worth going up to visit the ice grotto with its ice sculptures). Lift passes include the La Plagne pass taking in the collection of villages, or Paradiski passes linking to neighbouring Les Arcs in the same ski area; children under five get free passes with proof of age. 

Check out France's longest family fun run. For kids, there's also a good selection of crèches and supervised snow- and ski-clubs, plus several espaces luges for free-play. When it comes to ski lessons, it doesn't come much better for adults or kids than Oxygène.

Otherwise, don't miss the floodlit bobsleigh run (built for the 1992 Winter Olympics), offering different experiences for different age ranges, from bob rafts for those at least 1.3m in height with parental accompaniment to the Olympic Experience, taking adults hurtling along at speeds of up to 130km/h.

Other great things to do in La Plagne in winter are snow mountain-biking, ziplining (for various levels – one travelling at up to 90km/h), husky sleigh rides, ice-climbing, ice-diving, paragliding, ice-skating on an open-air rink, tobogganing, snowmobiling and even spending the night in a Black Sheep igloo or having dinner at La Grande Rochette restaurant before night-skiing back down. Then there are farm visits, bowling and cinemas, and swimming at various venues including the Magic Pool where you can splash around outdoors surrounded by snow, as well as enjoying the use of a Jacuzzi and sauna.

In summer, the choice is equally dizzying, whether you come with tots or teens. Choose from activities including archery, mountain-biking, via ferrata, glacier walking, outdoor swimming, canoe-rafting and hydro-speeding, canyoning, fishing, geocaching, horse-riding, treetop adventure, mini-golf, SUP paddleboarding, paintballing and paragliding.

Espace Paradisio, Montchavin La Plagne.Rhonda Carrier

Espace Paradisio, Montchavin La Plagne.


La Plagne has an array of family-friendly restaurants, whether you opt for traditional Savoie fare such as fondue, raclette or tartiflette or prefer pizza or steak. The best mountain restaurants are to be found outside the main bowl, above the satellite villages.

Canoe-rafting in summer.© Philippe Royer © OPGP (Promotion Office of the Grande Plagne)

Canoe-rafting in summer.

When to go to La Plagne

The ski season in Savoie lasts from December to April, while most of the summer activities and events for families take place in July and August.

Belle Plagne in winter. Beatrice Kourmanov © OPGP (Promotion Office of the Grande Plagne)

Belle Plagne in winter.


La Plagne isn't cheap, but a good choice of self-catering apartment complexes open it up to those on budget ski holidays and also provide great-value, flexible bases for summer holidays in the French Alps.

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Summer mountain-biking.© www.laplagnet.com

Summer mountain-biking.

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