Why La Plagne ?
After several years of skiing via tour operators, I decided to sort out a skiing holiday myself. There were several aspects which I wanted to control, and I didn't feel a tour operator would give me Just what I wanted.
Part of it was that I didn't want to fly this year, I'd heard glowing reports of the various train services, so decided to let the train take the strain. Given the amount of stuff we would be taking we chose the Eurostar direct train.
We took the "Eurostar Snow Train" direct train from Waterloo to Aime. We took the day train, as the night train doesn't have any sleeping arrangements (unless you get a normal Eurostar to Calais or Paris, and change to a Ski train).
The journey took about 7 hour 45 minutes, there were two buffet cars, serving tea, coffee and beer.
Don't worry at Albertville when the train stops for a few minutes then starts again in the opposite direction !
We treated the journey as a day out, taking various nibbles and a bottle of wine.
We arrived at 18:10 local time, and within a few minutes there was a "Berard bus" ready to take us up the hill.
We went to "La Plagne Soleil" which requires a change at "La Plagne Centre" to the shuttle bus (a free inter village minibus).
Warn the "Berard" coach driver that you want "La Plagne Soliel" and your luggage will be kept apart from the majority of the luggage which comes off at "Bellacote".
The "Berard" coach cost 8 euros, and took less than an hour.
Note: On the way back you have to get a SNCF train from Aime to Moutiers, then the Eurostar from Moutiers back to Waterloo.
Other people I met while in "La Plagne" came via several routes, some drove, some took the sleeper from Paris, others flew to Lyon and got a coach transfer.
Don't expect to sleep too well on the overnight trains, even the ones with beds, as one group I spoke to had to put up with an all night party in the couchette next to them !
What's there ?
La Plagne, includes ten seperate villages, all linked via free shuttle busses, or the tele-bus cable car. Most start around 7am and finish around midnight. This allows you to eat and drink in whatever village you like provided you don't want to stay out too late !
It only has 10 black runs, which puts off the expert skiers, but in talking to several people the steep 'n' deep is there, if you know where to find it. Pay a guide, and enjoy !
With 220km of runs there is plenty to ski. We came in the off season, and the longest lift queue was about 15 minutes, and that was for the cable car up to "Roche De Mio". This raises you by 770m/2500ft, to an altitude of 2700m/9000ft, giving you access to the glacier, and some amazing views.
There is a wide veriety of skiing, and it is easy to ski between villages. Most of the runs can be planned to finish is one of several villages, allowing everyone to meet up at a nominated cafe or bar.
Because it's a high altitude resort, even after 2 weeks without snow we found plenty to ski on (although it was a bit rocky in places). The season can finish quite late, with skiable snow well into May. The Glacier is open during July and August, allowing even more chance to ski !
Compared to other resorts I've been to, not much really. Most of my skiing has been in Italy, and the cost of things here struck me. Maybe since the euro came in the exchange rate has moved against us ?
Drinks were probably no more expensive than a cafe in London. A big cup of coffee ranged from 2 to 3 euros a cup of hot wine 4 euros.
The main courses in the Lincon, were 14 euros. "La Plagne Centre" is probably the biggest of the villages, and has the widest choice of resturants. This might explain why it seemed cheaper than the outlying villages by a few euros.
Euro to pound converter
When I went there was around 60p to a euro so :-
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This page was lasted updated on Wednesday, 16-Apr-2008 11:32:40 BST (GMT)
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