We love the ski area of Les Arcs; long descents, gentle tree-lined runs, steep chutes and plenty of kilometres to explore. With accommodation split between the four villages, there's a wealth of choice there as well. The resort is a British favourite and it's not hard to see why.
Arcs 1600 and 1800 are the larger sprawling villages within the trees. 1800, the liveliest of all four and where to base yourself if you're as keen on the nightlife as you are on the skiing. The numbers roughly translate to the height of each village and to give an idea of the altitude; 70% of the pistes are above 2,000m (including the Glacier du Varet) providing great snow reliability during the early and late season.
Les Arcs 1950 is the prettiest village, it's compact, traditionally designed and completely ski in, ski out. Low rise buildings are clustered around a traffic free square which has a fantastic atmosphere straight off the slopes. 2000 is the highest village and as the altitude increases so seemingly does the cost to stay there. Home to the first 5* hotel in Les Arcs, 2000 offers a more luxurious stay. Again ski in, ski out and with lifts both below and above the village you can be the first on the slopes every day.
Skiing in the resort
200km of slopes make up the Les Arcs area which is linked via the Vanoise Express (double decker cable car) to the 225km of La Plagne meaning if you're keen to eat up the miles you have an area that rivals the three valleys, the 2nd largest linked area in the world in fact.
The best area for beginners is just above Arc 2000, also home to several long, easy pistes to progress onto. Alternatively, the quieter Mille8 is a family/beginner dedicated area close to Arc 1800.
Intermediates are spoilt for choice here, the lower slopes are broad, well-groomed and at least partly tree-lined. 52% of the runs are blue so there are tonnes to explore. To push yourself try the Aiguille Rouge piste from the 3,226m summit down to Villaroger at 1,200m. 2,000 metres of vertical descent on a truly spectacular run. Try it in the mornings for the best conditions.
Experts will relish in the off-piste challenges the resort provides but make sure to take a guide, you'd be mad not to. The kilometres to explore also offer and good challenge or hit the snow parks on the lower slopes for some of the most challenging sets in the Alps.
Whilst not renowned as an après mecca with the likes of St Anton or Val d'Isere there's more than enough to have a great time off the slopes. Arc 1800 is at the après forefront with The Ambiente Cafe heading up the live music. Chalet de Luigi gets going early on in 1950 - a great spot for a post-ski tipple. Or around the ice rink is not a bad spot to head to for a drink in 2000.
Bowling is available in 1800 and ice skating at 1800 or 2000 as alternative options. There's also a pool at Mille8 on the slopes around 1800 that's open in the early evenings.