SEASON START & END: Open early December to late April
SKI ALTITUDE: Les Arcs 1200-3226m – Vertical Drop 2026m / Paradiski Area 1200m-3250m – Vertical Drop- 2050m
PISTES: Les Arcs: 200 km of pistes (123 pistes: 10 green / 55 blue / 42 red / 16 black) // Paradiski: 425 km of pistes (258 pistes: 18 green / 129 blue / 77 red / 34 black)
LIFTS: Les Arcs: 47 lifts // Paradiski: 122 lifts
SNOW: 958 snow cannons
LIFT TICKET 2021/22 Ski Pass: Adult Les Arcs: 57 Euros – 1 day / 285 Euros – 6 days // Adult Paradiski: 64 Euros – 1 day / 325 Euros – 6 days
CROSS COUNTRY SKIING: 5km in Arc 2000 / 5km in Arc 1800 / 44km in Peisey-Vallandry
AIRPORT: Nearest airports are: Chambéry 108km / Grenoble 179km / Lyon 195km/ Geneva 195km
TRAIN: Nearest train station is Bourg Saint Maurice (7 minute via funicular to Arc 1600)
FACTS: 70% of the ski area is over 2000 m with 262 runs / Two peaks over 3000 m / A 2000 m drop over a 7.4 km descent from the top of the Aiguille Rouge to Villaroger / The region has 40km of Ski touring trails.
Located in the Tarentaise region of France Les Arcs and Peisey-Vallandry are part of the large ski area known as Paradiski. Rather than one giant Mega-resort Les Arcs and Peisey-Vallandry are made up of many small villages and settlements including Arc 1600, Arc 1800, Arc 1950, Arc 2000, Vallandry 1560 m, Plan Peisey 1600 m, Peisey 1300 m, Villaroger 1200 m, Nancroix 1340 m, Séez 886 m and Landry 730 m. Each resort has a totally different feel and atmosphere depending on what you are looking for. Arc 1950 offers up the cosy Alpine village experience and Arc 2000 delivers the purpose built high altitude get away, whilst over in Arc 1800 the area has been well planned and put together in balance with the tree line and local topography. Further along the terrace of the mountain are the villages of Peisey-Vallandry, made up of several smaller settlements all with great views across the valley, most of these resorts have great views of Mont Blanc and because they mostly face west, they experience some of the most stunning sunsets too. Most of the villages are made up of apartments and chalets rather than grand hotels.
Throughout Les Arcs and Peisey-Vallandry many of the pistes predominantly face west or north, which means the snow tends to stay in good condition throughout the season. Since Les Arcs and Peisey-Vallandry were linked to La Plagne, via the engineering genius of the Vanoise Express, this is now the 2nd largest linked ski area in the world. The area boasts a huge range of skiing terrain from Glaciers down to the forested tree runs, perfect for those white out days! The area also has some great higher altitude runs for beginners, however there is also plenty of steeper terrain for those looking for a little more action and you can find everything in between to keep intermediates satisfied. Despite the size it is quite easy and quick to navigate, as long as you roughly know the direction you are heading, you do not necessarily need to read a map, although the signposting is great with maps at each lift, making it easy to navigate. Weirdly, many of the pistes feel longer on the way down than the lifts up, so you certainly seem to get more bang for your back. It seems wherever you ski here, there is always an outstanding view, whether of Mont Blanc or over to the other ski resorts such as La Plagne, Tignes and La Rosiere; go high and take in the 360° panoramas.
As for ski equipment and rental, Precision Ski has shops spread throughout the various villages. They provide an amazing service and have all the equipment you will ever need.
The Paradiski area is unusual because one can travel across the whole area all via blue runs making it ideal for the beginner who is ready to start exploring, just keep track of the time, so you can get back home before the lifts close.
The wide tree pistes of Peisey-Vallandry are fun, especially early in the morning before the crowds build up. It seems that wherever you travel there is always an option to take the red or the blue piste, great for groups with differing abilities. Do be careful of the ‘Non-groomed’ pistes which tend to end up becoming giant fields of mountainous bumps, tricky even for the accomplished skier.
If you love gruelling long descents head to the high peak of Aiguille Rouge at 3226 metres, take in the breathtaking views then head all the way down to the quaint Villaroger at 1200 metres, 7km of non relenting fun. Once again early morning tends to mean the piste will be yours and your alone.
When I worked in Val d’Isère in the early 90s I remember the Apres-Ski at the Folie Douce fondly, since then the brand has grown opening up in 6 more resorts, Les Arcs 1800 being one of them. What I did not know was that it has been a family business since 1980 and still is to this day, the Les Arcs Folie Douce is run by Artur Reversade son of founder Luc Reversade. With three offerings of cuisine, La Fruitière serves authentic local gastronomy, La Petite Cuisine provides gourmet self service whilst The Butcher Shop delivers fast food French style, all of the cuisine is outstanding. When you are finished with the pistes, it is then time to return to the Folie Douce for Apres-Ski like no other, ‘Ibiza in the Alps’ may be one way to describe it, but after several years of ‘No Partying’ (Thanks Covid) La Folie Douce will certainly help make up for lost time!
WHERE TO STAY
Les Arcs and Peisey-Vallandry has so much choice when it comes to accommodation, there is something for everyone.
We recommend staying in either an apartment in the very Alpine Arc 1950 ‘Le Village’ or if you want to stay over the mountain in Arc 1800 then we also like Pierre & Vacances Premium Résidence Les Alpages de Chantel, again very Alpine with beautiful apartments and great amenities too.
For more information visit Les Arcs website.
ECOLOGY & SUSTAINABILITY
-2016 Observatory Cap Energie programme to reduce buildings’ energy consumption 350 metric tons of CO2 saved / 3.9 M kW saved / 440 000 € saved
-2020 Les Arcs awarded Flocon Vert (Green Snowflake) Certification
-2021 10M€ invested in green transport
-This winter, a free return trip on the funicular will be offered to anyone travelling to Les Arcs –Bourg Saint Maurice by train. (57% of the resort’s carbon emissions come from visitors travelling to the resort)
-Arc 1950 has changed all the filament bulbs in its car park for energy-saving LED bulbs. It also has three Tesla charging points.
-60 solar panels installed on the Varet and Aiguille Rouge lifts