Les Arcs has four main purpose-built centres, which are named according to their height. The original resort was Les Arcs 1600, however the nearby Les Arcs 1800 is now the main hub and extremely popular with the younger visitors due to its great après scene. Both are typical purpose-built developments, but blend well into the tree-lined hillside which makes them easy on the eye.
The remaining two resort centres 1950 and 2000 are in a different valley but are also fantastic developments that consist of more traditional and luxury properties.
Resort Altitude: 1,600m
Resort Skiing: 3,225m
Blue Runs: 170km
Red Runs: 166km
Black Runs: 89km
Cross Country: 80km
Travel date 16/02/2019
Booked by: Mark Fotheringham
Les Arcs is part of the expansive Paradiski ski area, connected to its neighbouring resort La Plagne by one of the worlds largest cable cars. The Paradiski ski area is a snowsure region with lifts going as high as 3,225m. The skiing around Les Arcs provides a vast wealth of intermediate slopes but there are also plenty of places for beginners to learn and cruise down easy blues. Advanced skiers also have plenty to choose from and can ski over to La Plagne to get to even more challenging terrain.
Les Arcs is blessed with amazingly well-groomed, wide pistes that are regularly maintained so that they don’t become mogul fields. Beginners won't have a hard time finding their feet here, with the areas around Arcs 2000 being the best for novices. Intermediates and experts will also have an abundance of challenging terrain to tackle. The Mont Blanc piste is great for intermediates, whilst the Belette and Myrtilles slopes will challenge advanced skiers.
Les Arcs is a snowboarders' paradise. Beginners can look forward to learning on wide, well-maintained beginner trails and areas. Intermediates and advanced boarders also have a huge expanse of slopes to get stuck into. Freeriders have everything from fantastic powder bowls in Arcs 2000 to weaving through tree-lined powder fields in Peisey-Vallandry. Freestylers have a large snowpark with plenty of rails, kickers and jumps.
Other than the well-regarded French ESF ski school, there’s also Evolution 2 and New Generation who offer fantastic instructors for both private and group lessons.
In Les Arcs 1950 there is the Cariboo Crèche, who look after children from nine months to three years old. Les Arcs 1600 also has multiple crèches providing childcare for those as young as three months old. The ESF ski school run a Piou-Piou Club which teaches children from three years old the basics of skiing.
L’Effet Boeuf is the go-to steakhouse in the resort, serving fantastic steak and grill dishes at very affordable prices. Another spot we recommend in the resort is Chez Clarisse which is set in a cosy rustic chalet and serving up great traditional Alpine dishes such as fondue and tartiflette.
We also suggest stopping by Le 2134 Les Arcs to enjoy lunch on a wonderful terrace overlooking the slopes.
Après ski can be rather low-key in 1600, 1950 and 2000 but in Les Arcs 1800 there is a more lively scene. When you’re finished for the day we suggest stopping by L’Arpette restaurant for live music, DJ’s and a great terrace to enjoy stunning views across the valley. Later in the evening most of the action centres around Villards which is the main square in town.
For night owls we recommend the ever-popular Le J.O. and Red Hot Saloon bars where you can party till the early hours.
For the non-skier, there are some walking trails that cut through the woods between Arc 1800 and Peisey-Vallandry. Pedestrians are able to access a number of mountain restaurants making it easy to arrange a lunchtime rendezvous with skiers. For those a little more adventurous, there are alternative winter sports activities on offer such as paragliding, ice-climbing and dog sledding.