An annual industry report has crowned La Plagne in the French Alps as the world’s most popular ski destination. Located at an altitude of 1,200m and part of the Paradiski ski zone, the resort has consistently drawn the largest crowd, averaging over 2.5 million visitors across recent seasons.
The recognition is derived from the 2014 International Report on Snow and Mountain Tourism, an extensive annual analysis that pools data from various resorts to discern industry patterns and forecast potential shifts. Curated by Swiss business analyst Laurent Vanat, the report’s ranking of the top ski destinations worldwide, based on annual visitor count, holds some unexpected insights.
For instance, Avoriaz in France made the cut, with “major” in this case signifying resorts recording over a million annual ski visits. Yet, its neighbor, Morzine, missed the mark. Meanwhile, within the French Alps’ Trois Vallées ski zone, Courchevel and Val Thorens secured the seventh and eighth positions. However, Méribel, another resort within the same region, languished at the list’s lower end, with an annual shortfall of over 500,000 visitors compared to its counterparts.
Coming in second was the Austrian resort duo, Saalbach-Hinterglemm/Leogang, with a tally just shy of 2.5 million. The highest-ranked non-European contender was Canada’s Whistler, clinching the sixth spot with almost 2 million visitors.
Annually, the Alps beckon a massive 45% of global ski enthusiasts. This figure dwarfs North America’s share, which stands at 21%. British ski and snowboard aficionados predominantly favor France, with Austria and Italy trailing behind.
The report also sheds light on evolving ski trends: Japanese ski locales are waning in appeal, while China and South Korea are emerging as hotspots. Unexpected nations like Greece and Uzbekistan have joined the skiing scene, but Europe’s summer skiing allure is diminishing, dropping from 40 resorts in 1989 to just 12 today.
Following a four-year lull, the ski sector experienced growth last season. However, Vanat’s forecast was circumspect, highlighting the uphill battle in sustaining this growth. He stressed the urgent need to attract the younger generation as the current major demographic, the baby-boomers, will gradually phase out. He remained optimistic about resorts seeking innovative ways to enhance the overall skiing experience, from refining infrastructure to boosting hospitality standards.
La Plagne is renowned for its world-class ski slopes, making it a haven for winter sports enthusiasts. With over 225 kilometers of ski runs, there’s something for everyone, from beginners to advanced skiers. The resort also offers excellent facilities, including ski schools and equipment rentals, ensuring that visitors of all skill levels can fully enjoy the winter wonderland that La Plagne transforms into during the colder months.
Aside from skiing, La Plagne also offers a variety of other winter activities such as snowboarding, snowshoeing, and ice climbing. Whether you’re a thrill-seeker or prefer a more leisurely pace, there’s no shortage of options to keep you entertained throughout your stay.
While La Plagne is primarily known as a winter destination, the summer months bring a unique charm to this alpine paradise. As the snow melts, the mountains transform into a playground for outdoor enthusiasts. Hiking and mountain biking trails come alive, offering stunning views and the opportunity to explore the alpine flora and fauna.
If you’re a fan of adrenaline-pumping activities, La Plagne has you covered. Paragliding, white-water rafting, and rock climbing are just a few of the thrilling adventures that await you. Alternatively, if you prefer a more relaxed pace, the town offers beautiful picnic spots and tranquil lakes where you can unwind and soak in the serenity of nature.
How to Get There
Reaching La Plagne is a breeze, thanks to its convenient location and excellent transportation options. If you’re flying from abroad, the closest international airport is Lyon-Saint Exupéry Airport. From there, you can take a direct transfer to La Plagne via shuttle bus or taxi. Alternatively, if you prefer to travel by train, the nearest train station is Aime La Plagne, which is well-connected to major cities in France.
Once you arrive in La Plagne, getting around is easy and convenient. The resort town is well-served by a reliable and efficient local transportation system. Buses run regularly and connect all the different areas of La Plagne, making it effortless to explore the town and its surrounding attractions. Additionally, there are also taxi services available for those who prefer a more private mode of transportation.
The Best Time to Visit
While La Plagne offers something special in every season, the best time to visit depends on your preferences and interests. For avid skiers and winter sports enthusiasts, the winter months from December to April are ideal. The snow-covered slopes provide the perfect conditions for skiing and snowboarding.
If you’re more interested in outdoor activities such as hiking and mountain biking, the summer months from June to September offer mild temperatures and longer daylight hours, allowing you to make the most of your adventures.
La Plagne offers a wide range of accommodation options to suit every budget and preference. From luxurious chalets and hotels to cozy bed and breakfasts, there’s something for everyone. Staying in one of the traditional chalets not only provides a unique and authentic experience but also offers easy access to the slopes and other amenities.
Summary of Facts
- La Plagne is located in France.
- It is nestled in the French Alps, surrounded by stunning natural beauty.
- La Plagne is a popular ski resort with over 225 kilometers of ski runs.
- Winter activities include skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and ice climbing.
- During the summer months, La Plagne offers hiking, mountain biking, paragliding, and white-water rafting.
- The closest international airport is Lyon-Saint Exupéry Airport.
- The nearest train station is Aime La Plagne.
- Local transportation in La Plagne is convenient, with regular bus services and taxi options.
- The best time to visit depends on your interests, with winter being ideal for skiing and snowboarding, and summer for outdoor activities.
- La Plagne offers a variety of accommodation options, including chalets, hotels, and bed and breakfasts.