lightbulb
© Jack Koning Photography / Shutterstock
Les Arcs
Les Arcs

A trip to one of France's largest ski areas

Les Arcs in short

In a nutshell

Les Arcs is a very popular resort in Savoie thanks to its large ski area and modern infrastructure. It comprises 5 locations, each with its own special features.

Bourg Saint Maurice, the capital of the Haute-Tarentaise, attracts families and sports enthusiasts alike, thanks to its proximity to Les Arcs (accessible by funicular railway in just 7 minutes), its many white-water activities, its numerous hiking trails and its well-known events such as the Edelweiss Festival. Bourg Saint Maurice is also the arrival point for all holidaymakers travelling by train.

Arc 1600 was the first resort to be created in Les Arcs, and has been in existence since 1968, linking Bourg Saint Maurice with the other resorts. It was designed by the architect Charlotte Pierrand with avant-garde architecture conceived as a collective habitat that occupies the minimum amount of space in order to preserve the mountain.

Arc 1800 is a resort divided into 3 villages (Charvet, Villards and Charmetogé), with activities and shops concentrated in Charvet. It is popular with young people thanks to its festive atmosphere in the bars, clubs and bowling alley, which takes over when the lifts close. Its innovative conceptual architecture, open to the mountain, was conceived as a continuation of Arc 1600, in 1972.

Arc 1950 is the latest addition to Les Arcs. Created from scratch by a Canadian entrepreneur in 2003, it was recently bought by Pierre & Vacances Premium. Some call it "the Disneyland of the mountains", so much so that its architecture, shops and residences resemble a pasteboard set. And yet, the chalets on either side of the central alley are made of wood, and quality wood at that! These are brand new structures offering top-of-the-range services and a wellness centre, all in a village atmosphere that still has a certain charm.

Arc 2000, created in 1980, comprises two parts, Place du haut and Place du bas, linked by a lift or a conveyor belt if you're on skis. The resort has no real charm and is made up of tall buildings that try to blend in with the mountain landscape. It is home to 4 club hotels, the best known of which is Club Med. In 2010, new buildings were added to the resort, which is the highest in the area and only opens in winter, catering for winter sports enthusiasts of all kinds (there is an ice rink in the centre of the resort).

Paradiski, the ski area that includes Les Arcs, also includes Peisey-Vallandry, a small, authentic resort linked to the large, imposing resort of La Plagne, which is divided into six sites. This area offers more than 400 kilometres of slopes where, as well as the traditional snow sports, you can try out new disciplines such as ski joering (pulled by a horse), speed riding, dog sledding and, the latest addition, the Rodeo Park, a toboggan run that goes downhill for more than a kilometre. Thrills guaranteed!

How to get there?

Les Arcs is easily accessible by train from all the major cities in France, and even in Europe such as London by Eurostar. By plane, shuttles are available from Geneva, Chambéry, Lyon and Grenoble airports. You can also come by car and leave your car in the underground car parks near your accommodation, except for Arc 1950, which is entirely pedestrianised.

Lausanne

✈️ Your flight to Geneva

Flight to Geneva
From
£75
Book

Where to stay?

Whether it's a lively club, family or luxury hotel, flat or chalet rental, Les Arcs offers a wide choice of accommodation of all types. Whether you're a couple, a family or a group of friends, all you have to do is make your choice according to your tastes and budget.

Practical information

Reminder

When skiing, carry a beacon, sometimes built into your jacket, so you can be found in an avalanche.

Always tell your friends and family where you're going. Take a drink and a few energy bars with you, as you quickly become dehydrated at altitude and the cold drains a lot of energy.

Remember to warm up before setting off on a day's skiing and stop as soon as you feel tired.

Culinary specialities

Summer or winter Beaufort, the former being fruitier and fresher, but also Savoy tomme, Crozet and all the cheese-based specialities such as tartiflette, fondue or raclette. There's nothing like it after a good day outdoors. And to digest it all, a little glass of Génépi and off you go again!

What souvenirs can you take back with you from Les Arcs?

In Bourg-Saint-Maurice, just next to the station, you'll find the Haute-Tarentaise dairy cooperative. It's the perfect place to slip a few local specialities into your bag and bring them back to make the pleasure of the mountains last. In the shop windows: Beaufort, tomme, sausages and other 100% natural delights!

Génépi liqueur, a mountain drink made from flowers that grow only at altitude, is the perfect gift or souvenir to take home.

lightbulb_outline Editor's tip

2 things to avoid: one for your safety, the other for your wallet

Venture into the mountains, summer or winter, off the marked trails and ski runs. The mountains are dangerous and capricious.

To take the Paradiski ski pass all week long. It pays to take the day pass extension one or two days a week.

Useful links
Tourist office

explore Try out our comparators

Latest news
Bali
Discover Benoa, a superb seaside resort
Corfu
Mount Pantokrator, at the summit of Corfu
Bali
Ulun Danu Temple on Lake Bratan
Corfu
A week to discover Corfu
Read more articles
Top destinations
Marrakech
Marrakech
Lisbon
Lisbon
Rome
Rome
Barcelona
Barcelona