Your guide to Les Arcs Ski Resort in France

(1609m - 3226m)

One of the most popular alpine resorts, Les Arcs scores highly in all areas and is a great place to go especially with a mixed group of skiers. On its own Les Arcs has a huge amount of terrain and variety for all, however it also has a direct cable car link (Vanoise Express) to its neighbouring resort La Plagne. Both resorts combined form the Paradiski area offering a total of 425 kms of skiable slopes. Four purpose built villages make up Les Arcs all with instant access to the slopes.

Great for...

  • Snowboarding Snowboarding
  • Extensive area Extensive area
  • Intermediates Intermediates

Resort at a glance

★★★★Beginner
★★★★★Intermediate
★★★★Advanced
★★★★Off-Piste
★★★★★Snowboarding
★★★★Snow Reliability
★★★★★Extent
★★★★Apres-Ski
★★★Mountain Restaurants
★★★Scenery
★★★Village Charm
★★Non-Skiers
Ski Lifts51
Resort Altitude1600m, 1800m, 1950m, 2000m
Pistes200kms
Ski Range1609m - 3226m
Green Runs1
Blue Runs53
Red Runs33
Black Runs18
Local Lift PassOff peak €167, peak €222.50
Area Lift PassOff peak €197, peak €262.50
Transfer TimeChambery 2hrs 30mins, Geneva 3hrs 30mins, Grenoble 3hrs 30mins
Transfer DaySaturday
Tourist BoardWebsite
Weather
Snow Report
WebcamWebcam
Piste MapPiste Map

The Slopes

les arcsThe four villages (Arc 1600, Arc 1800, Arc 1950 and Arc 2000) are situated across the ski resort at various heights (loosely indicated by their name). All 4 villages have excellent lifts taking you directly to the slopes.

Arc 1600 and Arc 1800 give access to the main skiing area which comprises of a huge number of blue and red runs to suit all abilities. Runs lower down are gentler and more suitable for beginners and early intermediates. There are more challenging runs, such as Cachette, that leads down into Arc 1600: intermediates will relish these runs. Those looking for a more consistent challenge will find the slopes further up the mountain more desirable and should head for the runs from Col Du Grand Bernard, Col des Frettes and L’Arpette. From Arc 1800 there are some wonderful slopes that lead over to the Plan Peisey and Vallandry. Here the slopes, mostly blue and red runs are tree lined and this is an excellent area to head for should the weather close in. Experts should also head for this area if they enjoy some off piste through the trees.

les arcsOn the other side of the mountain are the villages of Arc 1950 and Arc 2000, which sit below a huge variety of slopes including several runs from the world famous Aiguille Rouge peak. Lower down there are long cruisey blue runs ideal to warm up on, and fine for those who ski on the cautious side. Higher up is where the fun really begins and experts will love the steep black terrain from the top of Aiguille Rouge. The run from Aiguille Rouge all the way down to Villaroger is quite demanding but also highly rated. From below Arc 1950 the blue and red runs of Villaroger can be reached without having to ski the more demanding section higher up. Above Arc 2000 there is also off piste to be found for those who are looking for the powder.

Other notable features are that all villages have piste tranquille areas for those who are just progressing from the nursery slopes. Finally the link to La Plagne with its huge skiable area makes Les Arcs quite simply very hard to beat – a destination all keen skiers should include on their list of places to visit.


Apres-Ski

Les Arcs is made up of a number of villages - Arc 1600, Arc 1800, Arc 1950 and Arc 2000, there is also the Peisey Vallandry area. Nightlife in Les Arcs is not particularly lively but out of all the villages Arc 1800 is the busiest.

Arc 1600 has a number of bars, The Abreuvoir with live music is worth a visit, as is Chez Fernand, L'Arquebuse, La Malouine and the Bar des Montagnes in the Hotel Cachette. Arc 1800 is the liveliest base and has a jazz bar at the Hotel du Golf and there is live music at the Red Hot Saloon. The Jungle Bar is also worth trying, as is Ambiente and Benjy’s Bar, you can also have a dance at Apokalypse or the more modern Igloo Igloo.

Arc 1950 has Les Belles Pintes, Hemingway's Café and George Brown’s Wine Bar, along with Chalet de Luigi and O’Chaud Concept Bar – both are open late and have live music so put your dancing shoes on here, there is also Club Arc 1950 if you fancy a boogie.

Arc 2000 has the Red Rock Cafe, Whistler’s Dream in the Chalet des Neiges, the Crazy Fox in the Chalet Altitude, Le Sporting and El Latino Loco which has live music, there is also KL92 if you still have the energy to put on your dancing shoes.


Eating Out

There is quite a variety of restaurants in Les Arcs serving everything from traditional Savoyard cuisine to Italian and even Tex Mex.

Arc 1600 has Italian at The Malouine and traditional Savoyard at the high quality Chalet de L’Arcelle, there is also La Rive in the Hotel La Cachette, Chez Fernand and Le Saint Awawa, with pizzas available at Pizza 1600 and Les pizzas de Charlotte.

Arc 1800 has a wide choice, the Mountain Cafe serves Tex Mex, Italian can be found at Casa Mia, burgers and pizza at the Red Rock Bar and don’t forget Chez Eux for something far more refined. There is also L'Escale Gourmande, Le Chalet Bouvier, Mamie Crêpe and of course pizza at Quality Pizza and SOS Pizza.

Arc 1950 has Hemingway's Café, La Table des Lys, Brasserie Francaise and Nonna Lisa. There is also fine dining at the Chalet de Luigi and Il Valentino’s with Asian food at East. Arc 200 has El Latino Loco, Belliou la Fumée, the Bulle Café and Kilimandjaro’s, with pizzas found at Chez Eux and local cuisine at Le Savoy.


Other Activities

Les Arcs is not a place for non skiers or non snowboarders as there are not enough alternative activities to keep you occupied for an entire week.

There is an ice rink and ice climbing at both Arc 1800 and Arc 2000. You can try snowshoeing, snow mobiling, tobogganing, snow tubing and paragliding. Dog sledding and sleigh rides are also on offer.

There is an ice grotto with ice sculptures to admire, spa facilities at Arc 1950 and shopping in nearby Bourg-St-Maurice. You can also go across to La Plagne and experience the Olympic bobsleigh if you are brave enough. For something quite different why not visit the Mongolian village and spend the evening in a yurt!


Ski School

Les Arcs has a number of ski and snowboarding schools depending on which base you are staying in. They all offer skiing and snowboarding tuition to all ages and abilities.

New Generation in Vallandry has group lessons starting from €189 for 5 days tuition with 2 hours per day, private lessons start from €165 for 2 hours. Their meeting point is at the bottom of the Vallandry chair lift in front of the Maxima Bar.

The local French ski school - the ESF has schools in Arc 1600, Arc 1800 an Arc 2000, group lessons start from €165 for 6 days tuition with 2.5 hours per day or from €235 for 6 full days. Private lessons start from €40 per hour and they also offer freestyle, freeride and telemark tuition.

Evolution 2 has group lessons starting from €189 for 6 half days and €320 for 6 full days with private lessons starting from €95 for 2 hours, they also offer off piste tuition.

Arc Aventures has group lessons starting from €136 for 6 half days, with private lessons starting from €42 per hour, they also do offer off piste lessons.

Where to stay in Les Arcs, France

Chalet Edouard

Chalet Edouard

★★★★

This traditional fully catered chalet is centrally located with easy access to the slopes, it also has its own private sauna and access to the brand new pool complex in the Altitude residence.

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One comment on “Les Arcs

  1. Visited: 10/03/2012
    Rating: 4 Stars (Good)

    We visited Les Arcs (Arcs 2000) in March 2012 as part of a large group and stayed in a chalet in the village centre. The village isn’t pretty but has everything you need at hand. There was loads of snow and loads of sun, in fact so much sun that the people in the chalet below us were barbequeing! Far prettier and charming than Arcs 2000 is Arcs 1950, just a short and free gondala ride away, which makes for a pleasant stroll around after coming off the slopes. One afternoon we took the short bus ride to 1650, then the funicular down to Bourg St Maurice in the valley, which was enjoyable. For a great evening in Arcs 2000 try Kilimanjaro, which we visited and enjoyed a fabulous evening with an excellent meal and great service. The skiing in the whole area is good and plentiful with runs for all abilities. The Vanoise Express is a double-decker cable car that links La Plagne with Les Arcs and is definitely worth a try for an even more varied ski experience.

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