What’s New in Les Arcs FOR 2015/16?
For the 2015/16 season we have introduced a new chalet in the resort of Plan-Peisey – ‘the jewel of the Paradiski area’. Plan-Peisey is an authentic ski village, with a superb location, right on the link between the Les Arcs and La Plagne ski areas. The combined ‘Paradiski’ area with the guaranteed snow of the glaciers du Varet, Bellecote and de la Chiaupe is one of the biggest and best in Europe and Plan-Peisey lies right at the most perfect spot, directly at the Les Arcs side of the ‘Vanoise Express’ cable-car, which whisks skiers across the valley between La Plagne and Les Arcs.
Our new Chalet Pascale, sleeping 18/22 people, provides the perfect retreat, set away from the bigger villages of Les Arcs. All bedrooms are en suite and two rooms offering various sleeping configurations create space for up to 22 guests. It also boasts its own wellness area with a sauna and an outdoor hot tub. This comfortable chalet is only 10 minutes’ walk (approx.) from the picturesque village of Peisey; it would be hard to find a location that gives skiers quite such choice and convenience! For more information on this new chalet click here
Overview of Les Arcs
Lovers of Les Arcs ski resort may have many superlatives to describe it, but one that everyone will agree on is definitely “unique”. This applies to everything from the unique design of the four high-altitude villages, Arcs 1600, 1800, 1950 and 2000, to the resort’s eco-credentials which include a funicular linking Arc 1600 to the town of Bourg Saint Maurice at the bottom of the mountain. Described as a “time-capsule of imaginative Modernist Seventies architecture,” Les Arcs accommodation includes sloping corridors, staggered balconies and buildings that curve in sympathy with the mountains. Arc 1950, built only a few years ago by American company Intrawest, has been described as an alpine Disneyland, offering a large choice of luxury residences and doorstep skiing. Les Arcs skiing too is pretty unique for its unusually well-proportioned mix of slopes and varied terrain, plus its easy to reach off-piste, making it a perfect option for a mixed ability group ski holiday. Les Arcs chalets are modern apartments in most cases although there are a few beautiful old converted farmhouses to snap up as well. If you’re after nightlife, Arc 1800 bucks the trend with plenty of parties to choose from, but you will also find a good choice of bars in all the villages. All in all, a Les Arcs ski holiday makes a fantastic choice for anyone looking for something out of the ordinary, especially if you have a thing for Seventies architecture.
Skiing and Boarding in Les Arcs
Everyone from beginners to free-riders sing the praises of Les Arcs skiing and the quality of the pistes, snow and lift system are hard to beat. Beginner terrain can be found in all four villages and although there are not many green runs, there are plenty of simple blues to get you going. The best are above Arc 1800 under the Charmettoger chair or build up your confidence over the nice long Vallée de l’Arc. If you’re staying in 1950 or 2000, head for the runs under the Plagnettes chair. For intermediates, Les Arcs is your oyster – every lift has at least one (and in a lot of cases 3 or 4) intermediate trails leading from the top and daily grooming maps are available so you can take your pick of the lovely smooth corduroy. Vallandry is the best area for building speed and confidence, but you’ll also find good reds around 1800, check out Froide Fontaine and Carreley for thrills and spills. If it’s distance you’re after, the 7km run from the top of the glacier down to the village of Villaroger will get those thigh’s burning and is lovely and powdery at the bottom after a good snowfall. Les Arcs skiing also boasts free-riding terrain so good that the large Apocalypse snowpark, fast boardercross and half pipes on offer stay relatively uncrowded. Advanced skiers should tackle the steepest run in resort, Robert Blanc, a challenging bumpy black. If your knees can take it, one of the longest and hardest technical mogul runs can be found left of the TC Du Varet gondola up in Arc 2000 or ride the deep powder in the open bowl left of the Transarc cable car.
Lift Passes in Les Arcs
Les Arcs and La Plagne both sell 3 types of lift pass. As the areas are connected you can either buy a local area lift pass for each, a discovery lift pass that gives you one day as a full area pass, or a full area pass throughout your stay where you can venture between areas as often as you would like. The local area pass is ideal for beginners as each area covers a huge range of terrain and they each provide ample area to explore. Most intermediate and skiers will be content with a local area pass as each area contains more than enough runs to keep even advanced skiers happy for a week. The discovery pass is a great compromise between a full and local area, it allows you to use it as a Full are pass for one day during your trip and as a local area for the rest of your holiday. This is ideal for those that want to explore and experience the full area but may want to take things at a more relaxed pace and do not necessarily need to cover the entire area every day. For those who want complete freedom over the area the Full area pass is perfect, you can cover as many pistes as possible and go from each area as often as you would like.
Apres Ski in Les Arcs
Les Arcs ski resort benefits from an array of leisure options away from the skiing, including ice-skating, tobogganing, snow-shoeing, paragliding, snow-mobiling, dog-sledding and cross-country tracks. If you feel the need to stay inside you could partake in a spot of bowling, a game of squash or an afternoon/evening at one of the resort’s two cinemas. Little skiers and snowboarders will love the Milka Forest and the baby jumps in the snowpark.
The hub of Les Arcs’ nightlife is found at Arc 1800, where the eclectic mix of bars can deliver something for most musical tastes. Jungle Bar drops cutting edge reggae, while Blue Bar beats to the best jazz rifts. Red Hot Saloon reverberates to live bands and dancers throwing shapes or be the star yourself at Sing Island Cafe where the karaoke machine is always ready to go. For late-night shenanigans try Club Apocalypse or new ultra-modern Igloo Igloo, or head up to Arc 1950 to Le Bachal or Club Arc where the best DJs on the mountain make the crowds jump until 4am. In Arc 2000 it’s about quality, not quantity; Whistler’s Dream, El Latino Loco and the Crazy Fox all deliver good food, funky music and live bands.
Dining Options in Les Arcs
If you ski Les Arcs, you needn’t worry about where to stop for lunch as most sectors have at least one lovely (and reasonably priced) establishment to tempt you. Connoisseurs of the Italian classic should head for Plan Peisey and Le Solan restaurant for the best pizza on the mountain, or nip across to Vallandry for pizza, pasta and baked potatoes on the sunny terrace of the Bar Mont Blanc, which is also a good spot for an afternoon beer. If you find yourself hunkering after some munch after hitting the snowpark (or if you’re just in the area), L’Arpette Restaurant makes excellent omelettes and good value self-service classics. Head to Arc 2000 for a taste of Savoie and pay a visit to the former hunting lodge, Belliou La Fumée, for quintessential traditional cooking.
In resort, all the Arcs feature some lovely restaurants serving the Les Arcs accommodation. If you’re feeling cosmopolitan, you will want to head for new Arc 1950 where you can take your pick from 8 French, Italian, Chinese, Japanese or Mexican restaurants, otherwise most restaurants are in the traditional Savoyard or pizza/burger vein. Staying in 1950, Hemingway’s Cafe and Chez Anne are the best for cheesy local classics, while Arc 2000 has no shortage of delicious local eateries and most bars serve good pub grub. In Arc 1800, be sure to head for Le Plante d’Baton for the best of Savoie’s cheese and cream –based dining.