Les Arcs is commonly associated with the cutting edge of snow sports – from the world famous Flying Kilometre – where everything from skiers to mountain bilkers hurl themselves down the specially prepared near vertical piste, and recreational skiers can do so too – although not from the top, so also it pioneered the ski evolutif learning method on short skis, but this purpose built resort is still simply a great place to ski, with a good record for snow holding and a vast range of pistes for all abilities. Purpose built over 30 years ago, it is set over three levels – Arc 1600, Arc 1800 and Arc 2000 and each has its own local amenitites – from bars and restaurants, while lower down the valley, as well as the funicular link to the rail head of Bourg St Maurice itself (it takes only seven minutes), there are a number of attractive smaller villages and hamlets joining into the Les Arcs circuit such as Peisey- Nancroix and Le Pre/Villaroger. The sheer choice and variety of skiing is excellent with lifts rising high on the Aiguille Rouge to give skiing on the Glacier du Varet to offer some challenging skiing up here. There are scenic tree lined runs, good off piste, and nursery slopes from the door -especially so up at Arc 2000. Snowscooting is another sport on offer.
|Opens||Dec – May|
Once again the advantages of a purpose built centre override the less pleasing dominant apartment block architecture, as the upift network comes into its own, with a good choice of several reaching out from the hub of each village. Arcs 1600 and 1800 share the biggest selection of shorter runs which all intersect one another, and it’s a case of just working your way up and down to get across and access yet more of the mountain, heading steadily south; one short lift then gives access to wooded trails to access Plan Peisey and Vallandry. So too from the top of the Col de Chal gondola you can ski right down into the Arc 2000 bowl on a series of reds or blues. The cableway up to the Aiguille Rouge opens up some more testing terrain. In total Les Arcs offers some 200km of prepared pistes (13 green, 50 blue, 38 red and 16 black) and 9 snow cannon to supplement what is one of France’s higher and more snow sure resorts.
Jewel in the Les Arcs circuit is the 7km run down from the Aiguille Rouge right down to Le Pre/Villaroger (the biggest vertical drop in Europe at 2000m), but there are demanding mogul fields such as the Dou d’L’Homme great off piste off the Aiguille Rouge and the Grand Col.
The Flying K is there to be done! Les Arcs is great intermediates’ territory, and that means all types of intermediates, from the shaky to the adventurous, as not only is the choice of moderate terrain good, but so too there are usually a number of alternative descents off the same lift, so it is a good centre for groups or families of differing standard.
The Peisey area offers good intermediate cruising, while Arc 1800 has some usually well prepared motorway cruising.
How to get to the Les Arcs Ski Resort
Exceptionally easy to get to from London Kings cross train station via train, and well connected by air with four nearby airports, Les Arcs is the perfectly placed French ski holiday resort.
Les Arcs is Located near the Italian border, in Savoie, France – in the Tarentaise Valley town of Bourg-Saint-Maurice (marked A on the map below) Les Arcs is located next to La Plagne to form the Paradiski area, and is close to other large resorts in the Northern Alps, such as La Rosiere, Val d’Isere, Tignes and the Famous Three Valleys (the largest connected ski area in the world).
Airports Near Les Arcs:
With four nearby airports, transfer times are very reasonable if you fly in to one of the following airports:
- Chambery (2-2.5 hrs)
- Lyon (3-3.5 hrs)
- Geneva 3-3.5 hrs
- Grenoble (4 hrs)
How to get to Les Arcs By Train
From London, UK, getting to Les Arcs is a pretty painless affair. Depart from London’s Kings Cross train station and arrive in Bourg St Maurice 6.5-7 hours later. Bourg St Maurice is just ten minutes away from Arc 1600.