It's that time of year when you start considering where you might go for a much-needed family ski break over the winter months (if you haven't been organised enough to book well in advance, of course!). Luckily, there are lots of options to choose from, but one destination we'd like to bring your attention to is La Plagne.
This resort in the Savoie region of France has pretty much everything you could want from a family-friendly winter sports holiday - here are our top three reasons why we think you should go there.
1) Top-notch accommodation
Anyone travelling with children will have the quality of their accommodation at the forefront of their minds, and La Plagne doesn't disappoint in this respect. There's a good mix of hotels and more traditional chalets across the resort's various mini-villages, so you can choose the type of lodgings that will best suit you.
However, we would definitely urge you to consider catered chalet accommodation in La Plagne if your aim is to have a stress-free holiday. These are the best places to stay at in the resort, as they boast tremendous views and you'll enjoy the convenience of having your morning and evening meals cooked for you - and sometimes afternoon tea, too.
This can be a big help when you have children of various ages to deal with, especially as the chefs behind the menus will also take any dietary requirements into account, making it easier to handle allergies in particular.
2) Ample childcare facilities
In terms of childcare, La Plagne is home to several companies that offer their services for varying periods of time, usually from one hour to a whole day. It's ideal to book these well in advance of your arrival to prevent disappointment when you want to go out on your own, but there's no one available to look after your young ones.
It's also worth doing a little research beforehand, as some places will only provide certain types of care at particular times for kids of specific ages. However, your ski holiday or accommodation provider should be able to advise you on availability when you book.
Specific companies to look out for are:
• Cacahuete (based in Les Coches - for very young children aged six months to three years)
• Chat Bleu Babe (based in Montchavin - for children between one and three years old)
• Chat Bleu (Montchavin - three to 12 years old)
• Pirouette (Les Coches - three to 12 again)
3) Family-friendly skiing and other sports
Once you've sorted out your accommodation and childcare, it's time to investigate the fun part - the skiing! We love the fact that La Plagne has the Paradiski ski area to explore, which offers lots of options for pursuits to try.
While Paradiski is shared with Les Arcs, the La Plagne side of the facility has more than enough offerings to whet any skier's appetite. Grown-ups can take advantage of 18 black, 33 red, 69 blue and ten green trails in total, which amount to 225 km of runs overall - not bad! There are also ample cross-country routes for the more adventurous among you, as well as organised night-time skiing trips to see the resort in literally a whole new light.
Most importantly, kids can enjoy the snow in various ways, too. The nursery slopes are safe for children to use under supervision, while the various snow nurseries located across the resort offer lessons geared towards young ones to help them take their first steps in a pair of skis. If the kids fancy a change, you can take them to one of the many sledging areas around La Plagne for an exhilarating morning or afternoon of whizzing down the slopes in a sledge.
Older children and teenagers are also well catered for - they are likely to want to go snowboarding at the boardercrosses or snowpark, while off-piste activities like ice skating are available for a change of pace.