Les Arcs guide & reviews Apres-ski, ski area, things to see & do in Les Arcs
Ski holidays in Les Arcs - a purpose-built ski resort in the Tarentaise area of the French alps, that is actually made up of mini resorts including Arc 1600, Arc 1800, Arc 1950 and Arc 2000.
Together these and several other neighbouring resorts make up Paradiski, which is pretty much as close to paradise as you can get for skiers and snowboarders.
Admittedly, you don't come to Les Arcs for the architecture or cute Alpine chalets. It's all about being hugely practical, ski in ski out accommodation everywhere, easy access to the resort and excellent facilities both on and off the slopes for all.
Les Arcs & Paradiski Ski Area Guide
Skiing and snowboarding in Les Arcs is a revelation. You'll be hard pushed to find a draglift in amongst all the high-speed chairlifts, gondolas and cable cars that take you quickly, safely and comfortably to a huge variety of skiing.
And its this variety that keeps visitors to Les Arcs coming back. There really is something for everyone, with 108 pistes and 54 lifts in the Les Arcs area alone.
If you take into account all of Paradiski, with 425km of pisted runs, its a mission to ski every trail in a season.
|Key information (whole area)|
|Longest run||7 km|
|Cross country||153 km|
|Season||Dec - April|
Much of the on piste skiing is geared towards intermediate skiers, but there are high-level blues and nursery slopes offering snow-sure skiing for beginners too. The slopes are well maintained, with skiing from 800m right up to 3226m.
If you want to give your legs a real work out, head to Aiguille Rouge, the very summit of the resort in Arc 2000 sector and ski all the way to Villaroger village – over 1000m of height difference in an almighty leg-burner of a run.
One thing we love about Les Arcs is that no matter what the weather is doing, there’s a place to ski to suit. Head over to Peisey area for afternoon sunshine, or if it’s snowing stay in the beautiful tree runs between Arc 1800 and 1600.
Expert skiers and boarders will love the infinite amounts of fairly easily accessible off piste, with lots of it in and around the forest areas, as well as the Grand Col sector (but don’t tell anyone). For a challenge, try the Robert Blanc piste, renowned as one of the toughest in the French Alps!
When it comes to lift passes, Les Arcs is expensive, especially if you opt for the full Paradiski pass, but you can save some money by buying the local Les Arcs/Peisey lift pass. The general consensus in resort is that yes, the lift pass costs a lot, but the modern lift system, well-groomed pistes and general lack of queues at all times of the season go some way to justifying the expense.
Freestylers will be in heaven in Les Arcs with the large and well-kept snowpark and boardercross. Just like the pistes, all modules are graded, so you can start on a few green jumps and end up getting some serious big air on the blacks. There’s even a huge airbag, so you can practice those top tricks with a soft landing guarantee
Things to see & do in Les Arcs
- Ice skating
- Winter walking and snowshoeing trails
- Dog sleighs
- Ice caves
Après-ski in Les Arcs is lively and fun with a large selection of cafes, bars and restaurants to choose from in all the mini resorts that make up Les Arcs. However, Arc 1800 is popular with its lively apres-ski scene whereas Arc 1950 and 2000 are more relaxed.
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Our view on Les Arcs
Ski holidays in Les Arcs - What can we say? The skiing offered in Les Arcs is simply amazing. Each of the little sub-resorts has its own character and advantages, so it’s worth deciding what you want before you choose where to go. In general, Les Arcs suits those who are serious about their skiing, like a bit of apres-ski and want a stress-free holiday in terms of organising the family and keeping everyone entertained.
And in case you thought Les Arcs was just your typical purpose-built ski resort, here’s our pick of things to do that sets Les Arcs apart from other ski resorts...
- Try the speed test. There’s a purpose-built speed stadium next to Plagnettes chair lift that’s open to all. Hurtle along as fast as you can and your maximum speed will flash up on the electronic scoreboard. We thought 90km/h was going some until we heard the record is 251.4km/h!
- Ski after the sun sets. Each area of Les Arcs offers night skiing during the main holiday periods in winter, so you can really maximise your slope time. Arc 1600 and 1800 have Thursday nights, whilst Arc 1950 and 2000 opens late on both Tuesday and Thursdays.