If you're looking for variety of experience when you ski or snowboard then a holiday in Les Arcs is just the ticket. It's part of the enviably-good Paradiski area which has 425kms of pistes over a vast area, two glaciers at more than 3000m and no fewer than 818 snow machines so even when the weather is milder, you're guaranteed plenty of the white stuff. The snow record is already great, in any case. You can also take the fabulous Vanoise Express cable car to neighbouring La Plagne, where you'll find another 225 kms of runs.
It's one place with five resorts - Arc 2000, Arc 1950, Arc 1800, Arc 1600 and Bourg-Saint-Maurice - all at different altitudes as their names suggest, overlooked by the towering peak of Mont Blanc. There really is something for everyone but Les Arcs is characterised by idyllic long runs through fragrant pine forests, with plenty for beginners and thrill-seekers too.
From the Aiguille Rouge, there is a fabulous 7 km, 2000m descent black/red run down into the tiny village of Villaroger. Wow! The lower portion is for speed-skiers, used in the Albertville Olympics.
For snowboarders, the Apocalypse Parc is one of the best in the French Alps.
Apres-Ski in Les Arcs
In all of the five villages, some of which offer convenient ski to doorstep accommodation, there are plenty of bars, cafés and restaurants where you can fill your tummies after an energetic day on the slopes. Shops too, of course.
Don't miss Chalet de l'Arcelle (Arc 1600) if you fancy snuggling up in a cosy wood and stone interior and eating delicious food at reasonable prices - or try Cairn if Italian cuisine is your thing. Down in Villaroger, is Chalet du Solliet, reputed to be the best mountain restaurant in the area.
As for nightlife - the Etranger is apparently the place to be but much of the fun is centred in the many bars. Swimming, bowling, skating, cinemas with English films, a visit to the Beaufort cheese dairy or a proper day's shopping in Bourg-Saint-Maurice are all on offer if your legs are too tired for the slopes.
Family fun or adrenaline-packed excitement - Les Arcs has it all. GetSkiing'll get you there.
Gary's Little Gems in Les Arcs
If you like to ski fast, you can try your skills on the "flying kilometre" at certain times of year. When it's snowing, there are some great runs through the trees in Peisy Nancroix which are long and lovely. The black run from the top of Aiguille Rouge to Villaroger is one of the longest and toughest in the world. Villaroger is a lovely Savoyard village - why not have a goulash soup here? Worth mentioning, there is new jumbo cable car that goes to La Plagne which is a high fun ride and opens up another 250kms of skiing.
Accommodations in Les Arcs
- Resort Altitude: 1600 m
- Highest Lift: 3250 m
- Total Piste: 200 km
- Longest Run: 7 km
- Directions of Slopes: NW, N, NE, SW
- Total Lifts: 82
- Gondolas/Cable cars: 8
- Chairlifts: 33
- Drag Lifts: 41
- Snow Parks: 1
- Good for Off Piste
- Good for Families
- High Altitude
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Approx flight time:
Geneva Cointrin International Airport
Calais Ferry Port
Bourg Saint Maurice