Belle Plagne, France
The utterly beautiful resort of Belle Plagne is located in the wonderful French Alps and is one of ten villages combined to make up the ski resort of La Plagne. It’s one of the highest at 2,050m and also it’s the most charming village which has retained its traditional character with beautiful buildings of local wood, slate and stone and has the added benefit of a pedestrianised village centre it’s also well known for its friendly atmosphere. Ideal for families with gentle runs which surround the resort and a children’s ski area it has received the coveted French Tourism’s ‘Family Plus’ accreditation.
Belle Plagne is one of six high-altitude resorts and four village resorts that make up La Plagne. La Plagne was created in 1961, as with many resorts in the Alps, to save the valleys from becoming deserted. La Plagne, in turn, is part of a massive ski area called Paradiski – the linked areas of La Plagne and Les Arcs – with its 425km of pistes and 141 lifts. It has an enviable snow record, with 100% guaranteed snow on the Bellecôte glacier.
Opened in 1981, Belle Plagne is directly linked with Plagne Bellecote by telecabine – in the season, this lift remains open until 10 pm whereas the normal ski lifts close around 5 pm. Although the resort of Belle Plagne sits at 2,050m, the skiing height ranges from 1,250m to 3,250m with many beginners runs it’s an ideal location to learn to ski or snowboard or practise your skiing skills to make perfect. Intermediates are spoilt for choice and the advanced skier will be challenged with long black testing runs that are enough to exhilarate the more experienced skiers. This area is also renowned for its excellent snowboarding which can be found in the bowl between Belle Plagne and Bellecôte and won’t disappoint the snowboarders.
Apart from the normal pistes, the nursery slopes in Belle Plagne are a good size, there are six children’s snow play areas and 16 “Jardin d’ Enfants”, with easy access which is a big selling point when you’re carting around your children’s ski gear as well as your own! Belle Plagne benefits from all the facilities available at La Plagne which enables it to offer a more relaxed holiday away from all the hustle and bustle. It’s not a busy resort by any means but that doesn’t mean that everything you need isn’t on hand, it’s often referred to as “the perfect break” in the French Alps. It’s not just avid skiers who love the French Alps but nature lovers and lovers of the great outdoors too; you don’t have to be a skier to enjoy everything that this lovely little village has to offer. As an added bonus, there are ski schools, ski kindergarten and day nurseries available for the little ones so the grown ups can enjoy some free time.
There is a whole range of activities to keep you busy during the days apart from skiing. Why not visit the snow park and ice grotto, you could try paragliding, snow quad biking, snowmobiles, snowboarding and cross country skiing, take a ride on a sledge with the beautiful huskies not far from Belle Plagne, climb the ice tower and marvel at the views. Visit the Bellecôte glacier and the ice sculptors in the Grottes de Glace and don’t miss out on seeing the wonderful ice caves and the children’s absolute favourite is visiting the igloo village. As if all that isn’t enough there is an ice rink and swimming pool, bowling, cinema and wellness centre where you can relax and rejuvenate those tired muscles ready for another fun filled day. What is on offer après ski? There are plenty of shops ranging from sports shops for any equipment you may need to craft and souvenir shops for those all important gifts. There are markets and supermarkets where you can buy all your fresh produce for the days you prefer to dine in. Entertainment is usually centred on the pedestrianised centre of Belle Plagne where you can relax at one of the many bars and restaurants. Here you will find something to suit everyone’s tastes from crêperies to traditional rustic cuisine, feast on raclette, fondue and hearty Savoyard fare which is mouth-watering. Whatever your mood whether it be upbeat and wanting to throw some shapes at the disco to wanting a more relaxed evening sitting in front of a traditional and cosy roaring fire this super resort has everything you could possibly desire.