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Les Arcs ski resort is the perfect place to stay at any time of the year. In the winter the mountains offer many leisure activities such as, skiing, snowboarding, cross country skiing and snow trekking. In the summer, again there is a whole different variety of leisure activities to do, for example cycling, hiking, mountain karting, adventure course and paragliding – if you are brave enough! Depending on the season you visit Les Arc, you could be greeted with a very different view. In the summer you get the green mountainsides with flowers and leafy trees lining the cycle routes and hiking paths. In the winter, the same green mountainsides are now covered in white snow and the same leafy tree branches have drooped down with a pillow of snow sitting on them.
At the entrance to the area is Arc 1600, a mostly ski-in ski-out village linked to the large town of Bourg St Maurice by the funicular, which whisks you up the mountain in just 7 minutes. As Bourg St Maurice train station is serviced by the Eurostar, UK skiers can arrive in 1600 directly by train from London St Pancras. As the lowest of the villages, many of the pistes down to 1600 are tree lined and hold the snow very well.
A couple of kilometres up the road is Arc 1800, positioned at the very centre of the ski area. 1800 is the most developed of the 4 villages and offers great access to the ski area, a lively après scene and wonderful views of Mont Blanc. The pedestrian-only centre of Les Arcs 1800 offers any abundance of shops, restaurants and bars that are easily accessible from each corner of the village, allowing for much choice and convenience.
Arc 1950 is very different to the other areas of Les Arcs. The mini-village was built from scratch by Intrawest, who are known for their construction of the famous Canadian resort of Whistler.
Finally, Arc 2000 is perched (interestingly at an altitude of 2100m) at the very top of the ski area. Although smaller than the other three areas, it offers a number of restaurants, bars, a 10 pin bowling alley as well as direct ‘on your skis’ access to the ski area.
If you want to try something else besides skiing or snowboarding during your stay in Paradiski you won’t be disappointed by the many other activities the area offers. Thrill seekers will be able to have a go at paragliding, speed riding, ice racing, ice climbing and even heli-skiing. La Plagne also has the only bobsleigh track in France and proposes 3 ways for you to enjoy it: bob raft, speed luge or bob racing. But that is not it, ice skating, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and sledging are also on the menu. To relax after an intense day on the slopes, the cinema, the bowling alley, the pool or the spa will be the best places to relax. Also, make sure to go visit and enjoy the Mille8 playground if you happen to own a property in Les Arcs. For a complete change of scenery, go to the “village igloo” and visit the ice cave before spending the night on an ice bed wrapped up in a warm sleeping bag.
The high altitude of Les Arcs ski resort (with plenty of snow-sure runs over 2000 and 3000 m) means that you’re practically guaranteed quality powder throughout the season, which typically lasts from mid-December to the end of April.
The Marmottes lift and Varet Gondola connect the village to the huge Les Arcs ski area, and the skiing is suitable for all levels of aptitude. The roomy runs of nearby Arc 2000 are ideal for novice or nervous skiers who want to gradually gain experience and boost their confidence, while Arc 1800 and Villaroger are marvellous if you’re at an intermediate ability level and the challenging black runs and outstanding off-piste areas of Grand Col and Aiguille Rouge are also extremely close by.
The entire Paradiski area covers 425 km of pistes in total and, if you fancy some variation, you can hop on board the double-decker Vanoise Express cable car from Peisey Vallandry across the valley to La Plagne.
As you can see, Les Arcs offers world-class ski conditions for all types of travel parties and all manner of abilities – plus, getting from your accommodation to the slopes is child’s play.
Snow is very reliable; with the majority of Les Arcs situated above 1600m and glacier skiing is possible at Arc 2000. Les Arcs also has snow making canons to ensure snow coverage during the early and late season.
Les Arcs is 2 hours from Chambery airport and 3 hours from Geneva Airport