The 4 resorts of the les Arcs ski area, set among the forests and steep, rocky slopes above the Isère valley, enjoy more than their fair share of sunshine. Named according to their height above sea-level, Les Arcs 1600, Les Arcs 1800, Les Arcs 1950 and Les Arcs 2000 offer ideal conditions for the perfect skiing holiday. With over 100 downhill runs and a total of 200 kilometres of terrain at altitudes of between 1,200 and 3,226 metres, this resort has wintersports and leisure facilities to suit every taste.
The biggest resort, Les Arcs 1800, has an excellent reputation, not least for the leisure and après-ski activities it offers. But Les Arcs 1800’s superb location also brings many other benefits, including excellent snow conditions throughout the season and plenty of afternoon sunshine thanks to the resort’s west-facing position. There is also a direct link to the Les Arcs 2000 via the Transarc gondola lift. What’s more, all the accommodation in this modern resort is conveniently close to both pistes and lifts. Despite its size and modern infrastructure, Les Arcs 1800, with its charming traditional architecture, has still managed to retain all the authentic charm of an alpine ski village.
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Situated between L‘Arpette-Plateau in the north and the forests of Peisey in the south, the Les Arcs 1800 ski area offers mainly easy to moderate pistes. Beginners will especially love the many long, blue runs above the station and between Les Arcs 1600 and Les Arcs 1800 and they also have the benefit of a large practice area with its own 2 lifts close by.
More experienced skiers are mainly catered-for in Les Arcs 2000 at the foot of the Aiguille Rouge glacier, where they will find a wide choice of deep snow pistes to enjoy. From Les Arcs 1800 just a short trip on the high-tech Transarc gondola lift takes you direct to the Col de la Chal peak and from there on to the Les Arcs 1950 and Les Arcs 2000 ski areas and the Aiguille Rouge glacier.
Other alpine highlights around Les Arcs 1800 include 2 slalom pistes, a boardercross course at nearby Col de la Chal and the vast L’Apocalypse freestyle zone between Les Arcs 1800 and Les Arcs 1600. Equipped with a wide range of kickers, tabletops, rails, jumps and hips, this snowpark is a real mecca for snowboarders and freestylers of all abilities.
This stop on the Transarc route also makes an ideal base for those wanting to reach the Peisey-Vallandry ski area, hence Les Arcs 1800 forms a junction between the two ski areas. La Plagne, the other half of the vast Paradiski domain, is also accessible from here. Including les Arcs there are 425 kilometres of terrain altogether , 2 glaciers and numerous freestyle zones for skiers to enjoy. On arrival in Plan Peisey skiers from les Arcs can take the Vanoise Express double-decker gondola lift direct to Les Coches from where they can explore the pistes of La Plagne.
Children are, of course, not forgotten at Les Arcs 1800! There is a crėche for guests’ children (aged one year upwards), a ski kindergarten for little ones aged 3+ as well as a ski school for younger skiers over 3 years old.
For winter sports fans who don’t only want to tackle the downhill runs at Les Arcs but want to combine their sporting activity with the chance to explore the area’s stunning countryside, the ski area offers a total of 15 kilometres of well-groomed cross-country trails on three levels. All levels of difficulty are catered for and facilities include skating trails, a 5-kilometre high altitude trail at 2,000 metres and a further 15 kilometres of trails in the area around the Bourg Saint Maurice valley station. Peisey-Vallandry further north also has another 40 kilometres of trails – cross-country fans are definitely spoilt for choice here!
Those who enjoy an energetic winter hike or a Nordic walking expedition will relish the 25 kilometres of charming hiking paths which abound here. There are also locally-organised snowshoe hikes which take place on a daily basis.
Holidaymakers looking something a bit different also have the opportunity to try dog-sledding or even enjoy a horse-drawn sleigh ride – two great ways to explore the gorgeous high alpine countryside around Les Arcs. Or how about a skijoring ride where you are pulled along on your skis by a horse? And for the really daring, looking for a chance to “rip it up” on the slopes, a snow scooter or a yonner (a kind of “sit-on ski”) would certainly satisfy their lust for speed!
There are two other unique off-piste attractions to be found on the Col de la Chal peak and they are easy to reach, with or without skis, via the gondola lift. Firstly, there is the Rodéo park where toboggan fans can look forward to all the thrills and spills of a 3 km long run. Secondly, there is an impressive ice cave here – definitely worth a sightseeing detour!
In terms of leisure facilities and après-ski entertainment in- resort, Les Arcs 1800 is the most cosmopolitan and varied of the 4 ski stations. With shopping arcades and galleries to browse during the day and plenty of clubs, restaurants, piano bars and discos to enjoy in the evenings, there is something for everyone here. And if it’s real relaxation you are after, why not pay a visit to one of the many spas and enjoy a soothing massage or spa treatment? If you are still looking for ideas, the resort of Les Arcs 1800 also has a cinema, an ice-rink and a bowling alley.