Arriving in any ski resort for the first time can be quite overwhelming – but arriving in one the size of La Plagne can seem positively daunting. Taken together with Les Arcs, La Plagne forms the massive Paradiski – the third largest ski resort in the world. Getting to know an area this size takes time. So just what are the best pistes La Plagne?
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How big is La Plagne’s ski area?
La Plagne has 225km of pistes spread across 11 different satellite villages, ranging from 1250m in the valleys up to the glacier at 3250m. In riding the resort, you will undoubtedly find your own favourite areas to do laps – but first, you need to know where to go to find the best runs in La Plagne.
What are the best pistes in La Plagne?
Taking this route around La Plagne will show you the entire area – apart from the glacier (which is more often than not shut). The runs on the Bellecôte glacier aren’t that great anyway – plus it’s a hassle getting back. Sticking to this route, however, you’ll take in all the other main sectors letting you see the whole resort in a day.
Recommended best blue runs in La Plagne
So, without further ado, here’s how to see La Plagne in a day and how to work out the best runs in La Plagne for you. This route will give you the chance to ride all the main areas of the resort, then choose the pistes and areas in La Plagne that you enjoy most. The runs are mostly blue – with a couple of short reds thrown in – but nothing that should cause any problems for very early intermediate riders and above.
Start on the Funiplagne for the best pistes La Plagne
Start by taking the Funiplagne out of Plagne Centre up to the summit of Grande Rochette. We have to start somewhere and Centre is probably the best for most. That said, if you’re staying in Bellecôte already skip forward to the Arpette text below. Likewise, if you’re in Plagne Villages or Plagne Soleil, you should just take the Bergerie chair to access the Trieuse piste (skip to that section)
The Mira piste off Grande Rochette
Take the Funiplagne up Grande Rochette and head left out of the top station to go down the Mira run. Stay generally on the left side of this piste to avoid dropping onto Petite Rochette in the direction of Champagny. The run steepens for a little bit (it’s more like a red than a blue in this section so less experienced riders might want to sideslip). At the end of the steep, go straight on roughly in the direction of the two chairs in the distance (Bergerie and Colosses). There are various turn-offs to the left but continue on until you pass under the Bergerie.
Mira piste off Grande Rochette (turn right at 2.28)
The Trieuse piste to Plagne Bellecôte
After you pass under Bergerie, there are multiple routes down – the quickest being the long Trieuse blue which will take you all the way down to Plagne Bellecôte. Just above the station, there is a hub of lifts – you should head to the right, towards the Arpette chair.
Trieuse – one of La Plagne’s most popular intermediate pistes
Take the Arpette chair out of Bellecôte
Take the fast Arpette up to the ridge that separates the Bellecôte bowl from the Montchavin sector. The Arpette is one of the fastest chairs in La Plagne – but is also one of the busiest. Ideally, you’ll want to get here early to avoid the inevitable queues that form after 10am.
The Arpette chair accesses some of La Plagne’s best blue pistes
Reaching the Montchavin sector via Replat
At the top, go straight on under the Salla chair in the direction of the Replat rope tow, on the left of a plateau in the distance. Make sure you hold your speed on the short steeper section at the top – you’ll need it to get over the flat without schussing/unclipping.
Replat piste (go straight at 0.31 towards Replat rope tow)
Replat rope tow linking the Montchavin sector
After the Replat tow go straight on and a little left over the flat section to the top of the Mont Blanc piste. Whether you go left or right here makes little difference – both runs meet at the bottom near the restaurant. The right side is the main Mont Blanc piste – on the left is Dos Rond – but they both converge at the bottom near the cafe and base of the Dos Rond chair.
Mont Blanc piste to Montchavin – the best blue piste in La Plagne?
Go past the cafe on the right and, when the run naturally drops to your left, follow this piste. You’re now on the Mont Blanc which, if you follow it in its entirety, will take all you the way down to Montchavin – a full 1km drop in altitude and a thigh-burning 7km total distance. It’s one of the most fun runs in La Plagne with jaw-dropping views over the Isère valley towards Mont Blanc in the distance. You may end up straying onto other pistes by accident trying to follow Mont Blanc but, as a rule, the steeper runs here tend to criss-cross more vertically off the sides of the motorway through the trees. If in doubt, always stick to the more gentle traverses through the forest.
The Mont Blanc blue piste – best pistes La Plagne
Getting back out of Montchavin
The Mont Blanc blue naturally drops all the way down to Montchavin, with all the pistes converging in the same place. At the bottom look to your right for the Montchavin chair. Take this chair and, at the top, go slightly right in the direction of the Pierres Blanches chairlift. Remember to look behind you on both of these lifts – the views are stunning.
The Montchavin chair back towards the main La Plagne area
The Pierres Blanches chair – second step back towards La Plagne
At the top of Pierres Blanches, you have two options – either the Plan Leschaux drag lift (left) or Dos Rond chair (right). Of the two, Plan Leschaux is way quicker – though, obviously, not everyone likes drag-lifts. Your call but the poma is by far the better option.
Plan Leschaux drag lift – last step to main La Plagne ski runs
Dos Rond chair – optional last step towards La Plagne main ski runs
Go in the direction of Crozats
Whichever option you choose, at the top you want to head in the direction of the chair ahead of you in the distance. Go straight ahead down the old Carrolley piste but continue past the first chair you meet (the Salla) until you reach the newer, faster Crozats chair. Ride this up and at the top, take a minute to soak in the view across the Bellecôte and Plagne Centre bowls with Aime in the distance.
Carolley piste to Crozats chair
The Crozats chair in the direction of Plagne Bellecôte
The Marmottes piste
Next, go left in the direction of the Teppes blue piste. There is a short schuss/walk at the top to get over a flat until the run slowly starts to drop away. Hug the right side of the piste until you reach a T junction – then turn right onto the Marmottes red. This run isn’t particularly steep – though less experienced riders may want to sideslip in places. This short run lessens in gradient as it approaches the base of the Inversens chair.
The Marmottes red piste in the direction of Roche de Mio
Inversens chair to Roche de Mio sector
Next, take the newly-renovated Inversens up to the top of the Roche de Mio. As you’re going up, remember to look left for incredible views over Les Arcs and the Isère valley with Mont Blanc far in the distance.
The Inversens chair to access Roche de Mio
Levasset piste (haut) – one of the best pistes La Plagne
At the top of the Inversens chair, double-back on yourself and head down on the run under the chair. After a short left turn, the gradient drops away to the left – and the Levasset piste – near the cafe. Going straight on would take you towards Bellecôte on either the Tunnel or Sources piste. Instead be sure to go left near the cafe (also called Inversens). Follow this gloriously wide run down until the hill starts to go uphill slightly. Ride to the right side of the piste and look for the rope tow (Télécorde) to save walking.
The Levasset piste – another of La Plagne’s great blue pistes
The Plateau de Carella télécorde towards Champagny sector
Levasset mid section accessing Champagny-en-Vanoise sector
Levasset piste (bas) into Champagny sector
Take the short mid-section down towards the restaurant on the right. You’ll almost definitely need to walk/schuss here, unfortunately. Go past the restaurant and then follow this long wide run which drops away to the left. Levasset starts with a short steep section at the top but you should try and keep your speed to get over the flat that soon follows, curving first left then right. This hugely long run then continues down for multiple kilometres in the direction of Champagny with incredible views over the 3 Vallées. As you reach the treeline, stay left along the pathway until you reach another short, steep-ish section. There’s a cafe at the bottom of this run if you want to stop, just to the right. Alternatively, head towards the Borseliers chair on your left.
Levasset Bas piste on the best pistes La Plagne (blue)
Ride Les Bois to Champagny
If the runs down to Champagny are open, a great option here is to go past the base of the Borseliers chair and head onto the Les Bois red run which drops away to the right. The top of this piste has banks everywhere – making it a joy to ride – before it slowly steepens and narrows into a pathway down to the village. Again, there are only three or four steep-ish sections on this piste so most riders of most levels will handle it just fine (even if you revert to side-slipping a couple of times). At the bottom, there’s a long mellow slope towards the gondola on your left.
Les Bois piste into Champagny-en-Vanoise
The Champagny gondola
The Les Bois piste naturally terminates at the Champagny gondola. Take this lift back up and make the short walk over the flat until a piste drops to your left towards the Borseliers chair – the Rossa red piste.
Take the short Rossa red piste
Borseliers chair and run to Liaison Verdons
The Rossa red mellows to a plateau next to the Borserliers lift on the right. Take the chair up and, at the top, go skiers left as you get off to double-back on yourself and ride the piste back down. At the end of the steepish section, the run flattens and you’ll see a piste drop to your right (Liaison Verdons) through the trees. Follow this to arrive at the base of the Verdons Sud chair.
Borseliers chair – a main lift out of the Champagny sector
Borseliers red piste (turn-off point at 1.04)
Take the Liaison Verdons piste off Borseliers
The Verdons Sud chair to access some of the best pistes La Plagne
Take the Verdons Sud chair back in the direction of the main area – even though we’re not going there quite yet. One of La Plagne’s most fun runs comes first . . .
Verdons Sud chair out of Champagy to main La Plagne area
The Bozelet blue – another of the best pistes La Plagne
At the top of the chair, head left onto the Bozelet blue. This run has probably the best views in all of La Plagne – and that’s saying something. You get a vista right over onto Courchevel and the rest of Les Trois Vallées in the distance. A short way down on the right, there’s a small hut that serves snacks and cold/hot drinks if you want a quick stop. Alternatively, park up on the ridge on the right for a snack to take in the views. For reference, the Mont de la Guerre piste drops from this piste a little further down on the right but, in this case, just stick with the Bozelet blue which curves towards your left, back into the bowl. Ride this all the way down in the direction of the bowl until the run doubles back on itself just after a restaurant on your left. Ride this back down to the base of the Verdons Sud chair.
The Bozelet blue piste in Champany – best pistes La Plagne
Verdons Sud > Kamikaze > Capella
Take Verdons Sud back up again but, this time, go right at the top. You want to drop onto the short top section of the Kamikaze piste. Go straight to start before heading left at the intersection. The start of this run is quite steep but – again – sideslip if need be as it soon mellows. At the bottom, head right to join the Capella blue run down into Plagne Centre. Actually, there are multiple routes you can take down – none of them particularly difficult – but Capella is probably the most varied and enjoyable.
Capella piste to Plagne Centre back to main La Plagne area
When you reach the bottom, the terraces at the front of Plagne Centre are a great place to stop and tend to be cheaper than restaurants higher up the hill. La Vache Rouge does good snack food, beers etc. My personal recommendation? Sandwich Americaine ;).
Becoin chair to the Aime 2000 sector
When you’re done, walk to your right (as you look up the hill into the Centre bowl) towards the solitary Becoin high-speed chair in the direction of Aime. At the top, take a right and head down the Pavane blue until you reach a steepish section above Aime 2000. Here, you should go left (it’s actually more like straight on) toward the meeting point of the top of two chairs (Golf and Envers). Go slightly right to stick under the Golf chair on the Golf blue piste.
The Becoin chair to get to Aime 2000 and Montalbert
Pavane blue towards Aime 2000 – go straight on at 2.29
Golf blue – one of the best beginner areas in La Plagne
Golf > Cornegidouille > Adrets – a great blue route in La Plagne
At the bottom of Golf, stay a little to the right and go round the back of the chair station before heading left onto the wide, flat Cornegidouille motorway piste. Follow this until the run drops to the right (you can also go straight on if you want) where it comes to a natural flat section at the base of the Envers (on the right) and Adrets chair (on the left). The Cornegidouille run continues down to La Roche but is often icy so probably not worth doing.
Cornegidouille blue (stop at 1.51 at the Adrets chair)
Adrets chair to access La Plagne’s Montalbert sector
Instead, take the Adrets chair on your left to head in the direction of the Montalbert sector. At the top, ride straight ahead in the direction of the gondola then drop naturally with the piste down to the right.
Adrets chair linking over to the Montalbert sector
Montalbert pistes – some of the best pistes La Plagne
There are a multitude of pistes you can take here down through the trees towards Montchavin – some of the best pistes La Plagne. Unfortunately, I don’t have video of a complete run here (yet). However, as a rule, the reds take the more direct route down while the blues snake across the hill. Some of the reds here have quite steep pitches so, if your skills aren’t up to it, always stick to the traversing runs.
Montalbert piste (Gentil only at base of station)
Pretty much, you can’t go wrong in this sector as everything converges down at the base at Montalbert. Jump in the gondola back up – around 8 minutes to the top.
The Montalbert gondola
Adrets blue to Envers chair and Aime 2000
At the top, drop down the same start slope you took in the last run (to your left) but this time at the flattish section, be sure to head over to the right into the trees (the Adrets piste). This naturally drops back down to the base of the Adrets and Envers chairs. This time, head for the Envers chair (the furthest away) and take the chair back up to Aime 2000.
Adrets piste linking Montalbert with the main area
Envers chair – the main link from Montalbert to Aime 2000
Pavane > Lovatiere > Plagne 1800
At the top, head straight on around the rear side of the Aime 2000 building. At the fork, head slightly left and follow this track in the direction of Plagne Centre. Two pistes drop to your left off this run – take either of them to drop down towards Plagne 1800 on Jean-Marie or Lovatiere piste.
Pavane piste lower section in the direction of Plagne Centre
Jean-Marie blue piste to access Plagne 1800
Lovatière blue piste to the heart of Plagne 1800
Melezes and Bergerie chair
At the bottom, take the Melezes chair back up in the direction of Centre, then head left at the top in the direction of the Bergerie chair. At the top, go skiers right and stay high on the pathway to go in the direction of the Bergierie bar.
Melezes chair out of Plagne 1800 towards Plagne Centre
Bergerie chair towards Plagne Soleil and Plagne Villages
The best après ski bar in La Plagne – The Bergerie
So long as you’re staying in Centre, 1800, Bellecôte or Belle Plagne, you’ll be able to take in the best apres in La Plagne in the Bergerie until around 5/6pm (depends on the time of year) – it’s after the lifts shut anyway. Note – if you started this route from anywhere else in La Plagne, you can head back up this page the text about Trieuse and start the circuit from there.