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Les Arcs
Les Arcs

Les Arcs is situated in the Savoie region of France on the edge of the Vanoise National Park and just above the town of Bourg-Saint-Maurice which makes it a good choice for those coming by train.

Les Arcs is one half of the huge Paradiski area along with it’s neighbour across the valley, La Plagne. Linked by the rather impressive / nerve jangling Vanoise Express cable car. On the Les Arcs side it docks at Peisey Nancroix and takes you over to Montchavin on the La Plagne side.

Les Arcs is made up of four modern resort units – coincidentally called “Arcs” - that have all been purpose-built. Collectively, they are almost entirely car-free. They offer great ski-in, ski-out opportunities and each has a slightly different feel to it.

Variety is the spice of skiing in Les Arcs, with something for people of any capability. It has an incredible 84 runs suitable for intermediates and beginners will find plenty to keep them occupied. For the most advanced there are more challenging areas in France, but Les Arcs offers enough steep blacks to test most people, first on the list should be the 7km run from  Aiguille Rouge through a vertical drop of over 2,000m to the village of Villaroger. There is certainly no shortage of slopes here to keep the average skier extremely happy without needing to cross over to La Plagne.

Skiing down from Les Arcs brings you to some fabulous tree-lined runs that take you into traditional french farming villages. Heading down to the smaller villages in the valley like Villaroger are good spots for some food without the mountain restaurant prices. There are numerous off-piste itineraries as well as ski touring, snow shoe excursions, tobogganing, ice climbing, guided walks, paragliding, helicopter tours and Yurt trips.

For freestylers the terrain park is usually one of the best around and you’ll find no end of snowboarders cruising around and taking the natural hits on the sides of the pistes.

The four Arcs can be summarised as follows, with their numbers referring to their ‘approximate’ altitudes.

his is the original Arc and often referred to as Arc Pierre Blanche. It’s just a couple of kilometres from Arc 1800, and sits at the lowest altitude. The "Arc en Ciel" funicular railway takes you from Bourg Saint Maurice up to Arc 1600 in around 7 minutes. It is superb for families and tends not to get too crowded offering great views across to Mont Blanc. It is pleasantly quiet at night.

This, as the largest of the four Arcs, has a beginners’ area, toboggan run, fun trails, a children’s practice area and aquatic centre together with some fine shops and restaurants to choose from – great for families and beginners, also offering great views across to Mont Blanc. There are also some blue and red runs just above the resort for the more experienced.

The newcomer, designed with a lot of thought to give it functionality, this is a wholly pedestrianised village providing a spa, and 40 great restaurants, bars and shops, and very much a lovely family resort, and it has also hosted the Tour de France in the past. Arc 1950 managed to break away from the modernist (read: ugly) architecture of the other areas and was built in a more traditional style. It’s much the better for it. It’s not surprising though as it was developed Intrawest, the company behind Whistler in Canada so they know how to build quality ski resorts. Arc 1950 is actually built at 2000m, but that would have ruined their neat naming system. Here you’ll find the most upmarket shops and accommodation as it’s the most premium of the four areas.

This quite compact Arc is for intermediate and experiences skiers. Villaroger (Le Pré) a small traditional village is connected to Arc 2000 by three chairlifts. Arc 2000 also hosts the Speed Skiing World Championships on the famous “Flying Kilometre” piste.

Parts of the ski network remain open during the July and August summer months providing for the main summer activity, mountain biking.

 

Total ski area:200km
Number of pistes:118
Number of lifts:77

1 day area pass:€50
6 day area pass:€259

Official website
http://en.lesarcs.com/

Linked areas:
La Plagne, Peisey-Vallandry

 
  • By air
    Chambery is the closest airport to Les Arces ski area - 120km away. Geneva and Lyon are both a 2½ hour (203km) transfer. Allow extra time to reach the higher villages in La Plagne.

  • By road
    Take the A41 to Annecy and then follow directions for Albertville and then Les Arcs. 

  • By train
    Les Arcs sits above the town of Bourg-Saint Maurice which has a well connected train station. Once in Bourg-Saint Maurice get the Arc en Ciel funicular to Les Arc 1600 which takes just 7 minutes. 


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3230m Highest Lift
2030m Vertical Drop
1600m Resort Altitude

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