In the three weeks we’ve been in the Alps we went to Tignes le Lac in L’Espace Killy, Plagne Aime 2000 and Les Arcs 1950, both part of Paradiski. It’s been great all three weeks – mostly because I’ve totally fallen in love with snowboarding, so nothing is better than waking up in your temporary home next to the slopes and being able to ride them every day! – but there was a big difference between the three destinations, even between the two situated in the same (greater) area.

Tignes le Lac
This was my first week of snowboarding ever and there couldn’t have been a better area to learn it. The blue slopes are mostly wide, with a good mix between the flat and steeper parts and every night some sort of snow plow drives up the slopes to smooth them. Most of the days we took the lift to the top of the nearest mountain and stayed in the vicinity. At some point of the day we went to Val Claret to do a few rounds there or to go home – it was most convenient to end the day there because of the free bus line that went every ten minutes.

Though there are possibilities to go further – we did a day trip to Val d’Isere for example – I can imagine that a more advanced skier or snowboarder will find the area more limited. On the other hand I think peoples priorities determine which area to go to – this can be the atmosphere of the village, the amount of apr├Ęs ski bars in the vicinity, the slopes or accommodation.

Plagne Aime 2000
From the three destinations we went to, this one is on the top our list. In contrast to Tignes there’s a large variety of possibilities, the slopes are good and the area is incredibly beautiful. If you’ve purchased an unlimited ski pass it’s even possible to cross mountains and go to Peisey Vallandry and Les Arcs – like we did the other way around – but it will be more convenient to stay near the lift that makes the crossing, in Les Coches for instance. Plagne Aime is connected to Plagne Centre via a lift, which makes it really easy to go back and forth between the two villages – either to get home after a day of snowboarding, or to go shopping in the evening.

Les Arcs 1950
Maybe I expected too much of this area, but it kind of disappointed both of us. The accommodation we stayed in was set up as a little village, which I found really cozy but was way overpriced. Besides that the room we were staying in looked in no way like the pictures on the Internet, so that was a bit of a downer. From a look at the map of the area I thought it would be quite extensive, but somehow it felt like we were riding down the same slope over and over again.

The weather was perfect, but the lack of fresh snow made the entire mountain look like one large slope, because people had used every path you can imagine to get down. In contrast to Tignes they didn’t smooth the slopes either, so it became somewhat of an uncomfortable ride after a few days. The day we made the crossing to Peisey Vallandry was the best, but we only did it once because of the distance.

What area would we return to?
All three areas had something to offer, but for us La Plagne was a winner; the area was great and though Plagne Aime 2000 has not much to offer (the village consists of three buildings and does not have its own characteristic atmosphere) the easy connection with Plagne Centre made up for that. However, if I plan to visit La Plagne again, I would consider to stay near the lift that makes the crossing to Peisey Vallandry, to increase the amount of possibilities. Tignes le Lac and Val Claret have a really nice atmosphere, something we find really important. Besides that, the area is perfect for beginners, so if it’s your first time, I highly recommended it! Les Arcs was filled with families with children and their grandparents, and I think this is exactly the target group for this village and the area.

Do you always go to the same destination? Or do you have a favourite area that you can recommend?

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