Ski & Snowboard

 

LES ARCS

Ski & Snowboard Resort Review

The high altitude resort of Les Arcs, FRANCE has some of the best off piste terrain in Europe and four stunning Villages. Les Arcs recently combined with the neighbouring resorts of La Plagne and Peisey-Vallandry to make up the area known as PARADISKI - one of the largest skiing and snowboarding areas in the world.

Les Arcs Skiing and Snowboarding Terrain

While Les Arcs is famous for off piste skiing and snowboarding over 60% of the terrain is immaculately groomed for intermediate and beginner skiers and snowboarders.

Expect to find long wide linking trails, huge powder fields, tree lined steep pistes, massive moguls, cliff drops and chutes all set amongst spectacular scenery. You could spend weeks at Les Arcs and not cover all the terrain.

The Paradiski Terrain

Les Arcs is combined with the neighbouring resorts of La Plagne and Peisey-Vallandry to form the immense Paradiski Area. In total Paradiski covers 425 kilometres of pistes with 152 beginner trails, 79 intermediate and 22 advanced trails. The ultra modern Vanoise Express Cable Car connects Les Arcs and La Plagne together in just four minutes.

Snowboard Les Arcs

Les Arcs France

Advanced Skiing and Snowboarding at Les Arcs

Advanced skiers and snowboarders are spoilt for choice at Les Arcs. Every type of terrain can be found from powder bowls to extreme steeps and fast groomed trails.

For deep powder head to the open bowl terrain to the right of the Transarc Cable Car in the Col D'Entreporte area.

One of the longest and most challenging mogul runs in Europe is to the left of the TC DU Varet Gondola from Arc 2000.

The off piste expansive terrain under the Derby Chairlift is fantastic. The new six seater Derby Chairlift replaced the old slower Plan Bois chairlift in 2007 giving easier access from Vallandry to Arc 1800.

From the top of Aiguille Rouge choose either the hair raising off piste route down to Arc 2000 or stick to the groomed pistes for fast GS turns. Great fast carving pistes also lead back down into the Arc 1800 Village.

Intermediate Skiing and Snowboarding at Les Arcs

With almost every lift in Les Arcs and the Paradiski Area having at least 1 (some have 3 or 4) intermediate trail leading down from it intermediates can enjoy Les Arcs as much as the advanced skiers and snowboarders do.

Catch the Transarc Cable Car from Arc 1800 to gain access to the terrain of Arc 1950 and Arc 2000. Once at the top enjoy the long winding well groomed trails leading all the way down past the Village of Arc 1950 to the base of the Pre St Esprit Lift.

Les Arcs has daily grooming maps available at the ticket office showing all the trails that have been groomed overnight.

Beginner Skiing and Snowboarding at Les Arcs

Les Arcs has beginner terrain at all 4 altitude Villages.

The best beginner only terrain is above the village of Arc 1800 serviced by the Chantel Lift.

Once confidence grows head to the linked wide trails under the Charmettoger Lift at 1800.
Beginners who do not want to access the Paradiski area can purchase a ski pass for just the Les Arcs terrain.

Les Arcs has Snowsport Schools in each Village offering beginner lessons, private lessons and group lessons to all abilities. They also have mountain guides and off piste lessons.

First Tracks Skiing and Snowboarding at Les Arcs

First Tracks skiing and snowboarding was introduced in Les Arcs for the 2008/2009 winter season. Every Thursday throughout the season guests can watch the sunrise whilst having breakfast at the top of the Col de la Chal at 2,600 meters above sea level before gliding down the deserted slopes to Arc 1800.

Les Arcs Terrain Park

Les Arcs Apocalypse Snow Park is on the left hand side of the Clair Blanc Lift. It has good size kickers, tabletops, rails and jumps.

The fast boardercross course at the bottom of the Bosses Lift is popular when it hasn’t snowed for a few days.

Halfpipes are built throughout the season for competitions and international events like the Quiksilver Slopestyle Pro. Click here to watch a movie of the Quiksilver Slopestyle Pro in Les Arcs

The Les Arcs off piste free riding terrain is so good the terrain park and halfpipes tend to stay relatively uncrowded.

Other Activities at Les Arcs

Other activities available in Les Arcs are ice skating, cross country skiing, tobogganing, snow shoeing, paragliding, snow mobiling and dog sledding. Indoors go tenpin bowling, play squash or visit one of Les Arcs two cinemas.

The Olympic Speed Skiing course above Arc 2000 is 1700 meters long with a gradient of 70%. Frequent world speed records are set every year in the World Speed Skiing Championships where competitors wear specially designed aerodynamic speed suits and reach up 250km per hour. The public can pay to have a supervised run on the speed course with a helmet and goggles provided by the Les Arcs Sports Club. If you survive the run you receive a diploma and a medal confirming your speed.

The Les Arcs Villages

Les Arcs has 4 separate pedestrian only Villages named after their different altitudes; Arc 1600, Arc 1800, Arc 1950 and Arc 2000.

The quiet Arc 1600 was the original Les Arcs Village.

Arc 1800 is the largest Village with the greatest choice of accommodation, shops, restaurants and bars.

Arc 1950 is a modern ski in ski out Village entirely owned by the Intrawest Company.

Arc 2000 located at the foot of the Aiguille Rouge has accommodation in self catering apartments and a limited number of shops and restaurants.

A free shuttle bus operates between the 4 villages throughout the day and into the evenings.

Shopping at Arc 1800 Les Arcs

Arc 1800 has over 100+ shops. There are many ski and snowboard shops, fashion boutiques, souvenir and gift stores, newsagencies, art galleries and homewares shops.

It has amazing food stores with grocery markets, butchers, delicatessens, chocolate shops and patisseries.

Restaurants at Arc 1800 Les Arcs

The focal point of all 4 Villages Arc 1800 comes alive in the evenings full with visitors.

It has many restaurants serving traditional French cuisine, Italian pizzerias and cheese fondues and raclette. The popular and candle lit Le Plante d'Baton restaurant serves delicious local cuisine.

Nightlife at Arc 1800 Les Arcs

After dinner guests can go to one of the many wine bars in the Village.

Head to the Blue Bar for some jazz or if you feel brave enough sing karaoke in the Sing Island Café.

The Red Hot Saloon nightclub has live music and lots of dancing.

The Ambiente Café popular for après ski drinks remains open until 2am every morning with live band performances throughout the season.

Shopping at Arc 1950 Les Arcs

The Arc 1950 Village has a small selection of ski and snowboard shops, gift stores, jewellers and grocery markets.

Ogier Sports has all skiing requirements covered with rental and specialist equipment while The Concept Board shop has the largest selection of snowboarding equipment on the mountain.

Restaurants at Arc 1950 at Les Arcs

Arc 1950 has eight French, Italian, Chinese, Japanese and Mexican restaurants. Hemingway's Cafe and Chez Anne specialise in local Savoyard cuisine.

Nightlife at Arc 1950 Les Arcs

For a small village the nightlife at Arc 1950 is great.

Le Chalet de Luigi is the place to go for après ski drinks with the crowds only getting bigger after dinner as people flock to the nightclub Le Club, in Le Chalet de Luigi, for all night dancing.

Les Belles Pintes is a popular Irish bar with live music and pool tables.

Shopping at Arc 2000 Les Arcs

The Arc 2000 Village has a small selection of ski and snowboard shops, gift and souvenir stores and grocery markets.

Restaurants at Arc 2000 Les Arcs

Traditional French restaurants serving fondue and raclette are very popular in the Arc 2000 Village.

The Red Rock Cafe serves burgers, ribs and pizzas while El Latino Loco specialises in South American cuisine and strong drinks remaining open late every night.

Nightlife at Arc 2000 Les Arcs

Whistler’s Dream, El Latino Loco and the Crazy Fox have the most vibrant nightlife in the Arc 2000 Village. All remain open late into the night with funky music and live band performances throughout the winter season.

More About Les Arcs

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Your Les Arcs Ski & Snowboard Resort Reviews

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Emma Colloway, UK. Amazing snow, amazing pistes, even more amazing extreme off piste. Les Arcs is the best mountain around, it has reliable snow, and later in the season lots of sunny days and the shared apartment accomodation at 1800 makes for a really fun holiday. Skiing wise standing at the top of the Aiguille Rouge and looking down is breath taking, you can chose a groomed piste, you can throw yourself off the edge, whatever you like! In my opinion I think Les Arcs has some of the steepest most challenging pistes in France, the boulder lined chutes leading down to the speed skiing area would be closed permantly if they were any where else, the moguls on the edge of the speed track are as high as they are wide. Now the Paradiski linked area triples the ski area. A downside is the nightlife isn't booming like in Val d'Isere or Meribel but there's still some fun to be found.

John Adduck, UK. Les Arcs is terrific. It was a little tricky figuring out where to stay, there are about 5 different altitudes, we ended up at 1800 which is the main village but next time I go back, with my family, I think I will stay at 1950. 1800 was fine, we enjoyed the freedom of home cooking as well as restaurants, however the new 1950 would be a little more stylish and new. I would also like my children to experience staying quite literary on the mountain. Overall the resort is really well run and the ski school caters very well for young children and made the learning to ski experience really fun for my children. The amount of varied pistes makes the overall ski area very suitable for family skiing. I also found the ease of flying direct to Geneva then catching a bus to the village of 1800 very easy.

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Europe Resort

Statistics

Elevation
 
ft
m
summit
10,584
3,226
Base
5,249
1,600
Average Snowfall
Lifts
78 (Paradiski includes 134)
Trails - view map
134
(Paradiski includes 236)
Terrain %
advanced
25
intermediate
45
beginner
30
Halfpipe
1
Terrain Park
1
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