Les Arcs, France
How to get there
The impressive, breathtakingly beautiful French ski resort, Les Arcs, is located in the Haute Savoie region of the country. It consists of 5 villages: Arc 1600, Arc 1800, Arc 1950, Bourg-Saint Maurice, and Arc 2000. The popular resort sits above the town of Bourg-Saint Maurice, which has a train station with excellent connections. Indeed, you can travel direct from London to Bourg-Saint Maurice with Eurostar. The journey takes approximately 8 hours but trains do not run every day, so make sure you plan ahead. Alternatively, take the train to Paris and then catch the TGV direct to Bourg-Saint Maurice. This takes about 2 hours.
Geneva Airport is located between 2 and 3 hours away from Les Arcs and is well-served by flights departing from airports all over the UK. There are several buses that run between the airport and the resort each day or alternatively you can choose to hire a car at the airport and drive to Les Arcs. If you choose this option, take the A41 to Annecy and then follow the directions for Albertville and Les Arcs.
If you want to drive from the UK to the ski resort, follow the main autoroute that heads in the direction of Lyon from Calais. This simple route will take you through Albertville and then on to Les Arcs. The resort is approximately 900 kilometres away from Calais and the journey will set you back about 100 Euros in toll fees.
Who does the resort cater for?
Les Arcs is suitable for skiers of all standards. It has one of the most challenging black runs in Europe but also caters for beginners and intermediate skiers. The ski school at the resort teaches the "ski evolutif" method, which encourages students to parallel ski straight away on short skis that then increase in length as the skier becomes more confident. Many expert skiers believe this method to be extremely effective. Snowboarders will not be disappointed with the resort either. Indeed, the famous Apocalypse Snow film series highlighted the appeal of this area.
The resort is particularly suitable for families since lively apres-ski options are relatively limited. There are, however, several highly-regarded bars and restaurants as well as cinemas and a fitness centre. For those wishing to avoid the slopes, there is a wide range of activities on offer. Dog-sledding is a very popular option whilst the more adventurous non-skier may prefer to try snowmobiling or hang-gliding.
What accommodation does the resort offer?
The standard of accommodation on offer at Les Arcs is excellent. Many visitors choose to stay in chalets and there are several impressive choices on offer. Les Arcs Chalet often has a range of good offers, particularly for catered chalets. Catered chalets are becoming increasingly popular in the resort, since they combine the independence of a conventional chalet with the comfort and relaxation of a luxury hotel. Chalet Annapurna has an indoor swimming pool and sauna and offers amazing views of the mountains. For most of the week, the staff at the chalet prepare all meals for the guests. On their one day a week off work, they will make a big breakfast and leave an afternoon tea for guests to help themselves.
Most of the self-catered apartments are designed for mid-sized families and most are located within easy access of the popular slopes. One of the most luxurious hotels in Les Arcs is the Radisson SAS Resort. The hotel offers ski-in and ski-out facilities and has its own range of shops, restaurants, and bars. One of their most popular restaurants serves amazing Spanish food. If the Radisson seems too expensive, there are many other hotels that are sure to suit every budget.
There are 18 black runs (suitable for expert skiers), 37 red runs (suitable for intermediate skiers), 44 blue runs (suitable for beginners), and 13 green runs (suitable for those learning to ski). The resort is part of the Paradiski area and guests therefore have access to over 400 km of downhill skiing. All the slopes are served by modern lifts and they take over 86,000 skiers per hour up the mountains. The main ski season at Les Arcs starts in early December and lasts until the end of April. Snowfall is reliable but the resort also boasts 10 impressive snow cannons, which will generate artificial snow when required.
- Downhill Pistes: 200 km
- Cross Country Trails: 15 km
- Number of Ski Lifts: 77
- Maximum Vertical: 2030 m
- Highest Lift: 3230 m
- Altitude of Resort: 1600 m
- Lowest Piste: 1200 m