Les Arcs Overview
Situated in the heart of the Alps, facing Mont-Blanc, Les Arcs ski resort is a collection of 4 purpose-built villages constructed in the 1960s and 70s at different altitudes: Arc 2000, Arc 1950, Arc 1800, Arc 1600, all connected to the valley village of Bourg-Saint-Maurice.
The original Arc resort village is 1600, built at the top of the funicular train which brings visitors up the mountain from Bourg St Maurice.
Then came Arc 1800 a few kms across the mountain (now the biggest village) and Arc 2000, 12km and 20 minutes away from 1600 by shuttle bus.
Ski season ends in…
Info & Stats
December 12, 2020 – April 25, 2021
Les Arcs’ slopes are remarkably varied, from beginner to expert, including some seriously steep ungroomed black runs and plenty of easy cruising.
Its ski area is linked to that of neighbouring La Plagne to form the huge Paradiski area with its 425kms of runs.
Les Arcs itself has 200 kilometres of ski runs, including the eight-kilometre Aiguille Rouge (Red Needle), which takes you from the highest peak in the resort at 3,226 metres to the hamlet of Villaroger at 1,200 metres.
It has 54 lifts, with 3 green runs, 64 blue, 44 red and 17 black, as well as a terrain park.
Linked ski area
Paradiski (3 resorts): Les Arcs, Peisey-Vallandry, La Plagne
The link between the 2 massifs is via the Vanoise Express, the world’s largest cable car.
- 425 km of runs
- 260 runs (12 greens, 135 blues, 77 reds, 36 blacks)
- 2 snow parks | 3 boarder cross | 2 boarder gliss | 1 half pipe |
4 toboggan runs | 1 waterslide & 2 airbags
- 130 lifts
Stay near bars and restaurants at Arc 1800, or choose the village atmosphere of Arc 1600.
Arc 2000 allows you to ski to and from your door, while Arc 1950 has modern apartment hotels built in a traditional-style.
Non-ski activities and experiences
Les Arcs has an igloo village, indoor and outdoor pools, an ice-skating rink and offers snowmobiling, snowshoeing, paragliding and dog sledding.
Location & Trail Maps
Transfer time to Les Arcs from:
- Bourg St Maurice train station: 30min* (to Arc 1950/ Arc 2000)
- Chambéry airport: 1hr 40min*
- Geneva airport: 2hrs 20min*
- Lyon airport: 2hrs 20min*
“Only 7 minutes with the NEW panoramic Funicular from Bourg St Maurice train station to Arc 1600 (fastest way). The Funicular is accessible from the railway station in Bourg-Saint-Maurice courtesy of a footbridge located at the end of the platforms”
Resorts altitude: 1,600m to 2,000m
*Transfer time is approximate, by private transfer vehicle and subject to weather and road conditions. Shared shuttle/bus transfers have set departure times, take much longer to travel and don’t offer door to door service which is why we recommend private transfers only.
Les Ars Ski Resort Video
The high altitude 4 villages of Les Arcs (Arc 1950 & Arc 2000 are te best in our opinion) are part of the inredible Paradiski ski area which is linked to La Plagne via The Vanoise Express. Les Ars provides great ski-in ski-out access and is perfectly suited for families. Watch this video to find out more…Watch Video Now
- The 4 purpose-built ski villages of Les Arcs are high altitude ski-in ski-out pedestrian-only villages with sunny slopes and great reliable snow conditions.
- The views over the valley to the resort of La Rosière and to Mont Blanc are stunning.
- Les Arcs, along with neighbouring ski resort La Plagne, mainly receives French visitors as opposed to the other famous ski resorts in the Tarentaise valley like Courchevel, Meribel, Val Thorens or Val d’Isere, which mainly receive English-speaking international travellers.
- Les Arcs ski resort lays claim to the biggest Igloo village in the French Alps and has an ice cave.
- Access via train to the resort is easy with a brand new panoramic funicular whisking you away from Bourg St Maurice train station up to Arc 1600 in just 7 minutes.
- The ski area is massive, 452km of groomed runs all interlinked by slopes or lifts between Les Arcs, Peisey-Vallandry and La Plagne. This is the Paradiski, the 4th largest linked ski area in the world.
- The accommodation in Les Arcs mainly consists of self-catered apartments which are excellent value for families.
- You either love or hate Les Arcs mainly due to the architecture of the lower villages Arc 1600 and Arc 1800, which many find quite ugly. However, Arc 1950 and Arc 2000 are beautiful and more stylish, which is why here at Top Snow Travel, we only partner with Arc 1950 and Arc 2000 ski resorts.
- Families & groups of friends, people looking for ski-in ski-out accommodation, beginner & intermediate skiers (mainly blue and red runs) as well as people looking for great value ski packages in a huge ski area with a great variety of slopes.
- For families travelling with young kids, the 4 pedestrian-only ski-in ski-out resorts of Les Arcs are so convenient and such a treat. The pedestrian only villages are not only safe for your children but they also create a magical winter atmosphere in a friendly village environment.
- If you’re on a budget, Les Arcs has plenty of amazing value stays. While it might not be the cheapest in the French Alps, considering the world class ski area it offers you, it is definitely one of the “best value” ski resorts.
- People wanting to experience unique winter activities such as an overnight stay in the largest igloo village in the French Alps, complete with a cheese fondue dinner around a cosy fireplace.
- People wanting to ski multiple linked ski resorts from the one base. The Pardiski area includes the 4 purpose-built villages of Les Arcs, the little village of Peisey-Vallandry as well as La Plagne’s 11 villages. So you have a massive variety of resorts to discover all linked by slopes and lifts under the one convenient ski pass. We recommend staying in Les Arcs for at least 2 weeks to discover the entire Paradiski area (even that is not enough!) but if skiing in just Les Arcs & Peisey-Vallandry, a week might be just enough.
Besides the incredible skiing in Les Arcs, you can enjoy many winter activities such as sledging , snow shoeing, snowmobiling (including skidoos for children as young as 5 years old), helicopter scenic rides, heli skiing over in La Thuile (Italy), paragliding, speed-riding, ride an electric scooter on snow, snakegliss, snowscoot, ski joering.
Would you like to live like an Inuit for an evening? Make your dream come true and come and see the biggest Igloo Village in the French Alps and its ice cave! Perched at an altitude of more than 2000m, a themed setting made entirely of snow and ice awaits you in Les Arcs at the bottom of the Arcabulle chairlift. Ice cave, igloo bar, bedrooms, dining areas and a dance floor area are all part of the 400m2 igloo village for you to explore …
For bad weather days, there are plenty of non-skiing activities such as fitness centres, squash, yoga, bowling, spas, swimming pools…
Les Arcs is a 2 hour 20min drive by private transfer from either Lyon or Geneva Airport.
A shared shuttle transfer from Geneva will take over 4hrs and will only drop you off at the village bus stop, not at your accommodation – not ideal if you are travelling with ski gear and luggage and don’t know your way around.
It’s a 30min drive from Bourg St Maurice train station (the closest train station) to Arc 1950/Arc 2000 and only 7 minutes with the NEW panoramic Funicular from Bourg St Maurice train station to Arc 1600 (fastest way).
Top Snow Travel can also arrange helicopter or scenic flight transfers from all airports or other ski resort altiports in the region
Next winter, Les Arcs Ski Resort is scheduled to open from December 12th 2020 to April 25th 2021.
There are 3 ski resorts which are part of the Paradiski’s massive 425km of slopes (link via the Vanoise Express, the world’s largest cable car system) which include: La Plagne, Les Arcs and Peisey-Vallandry.
January 2nd to Feb 6th 2021 is the cheapest and best time to go (low season), followed by 6th March until mid-April 2021 (the shoulder season).
For Australians travelling to France to ski during our January summer holidays, we benefit from the cheaper rates on offer in the French ski resorts’ low season. This happens to be when the French and Europeans go back to work and school after the 2 week Christmas and New Year holiday period.
Europeans and the Brits flock to the resorts through February into March (DO NOT TRAVEL from 6th Feb to 6th Mar 2021 as this is the French school holidays). The slopes are extremely busy, the queues at the lifts are long and the price for accommodation is very expensive during that time. Even all the restaurants are booked out!
Typically, in January, the snow is dry with the largest build up. It is also the coldest time, so you will need to make sure that you dress warmly. It is still wise to choose a high-altitude resort in case mother nature has not been kind earlier in the season. Bear in mind though, that snow-making is used to supplement natural snowfall in high traffic areas.
So, not only is January the cheapest time to go skiing in the French Alps, it is also the best time to go thanks to the weather conditions, the lack of queues, more availability and choice of accommodation and you get to breathe fresh air with your loved ones, rather than with thousands of other people!