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Les Arcs

Les Arcs Ski Resort Guide

Les Arcs, France

Rated: 4/5 (from 7 ratings)

Ski Area Highlights
Recommended ForFreeriders, Expert Skiers, Intermediates, Beginners and Snowboarders!
Total Piste Length200km
Highest Lift3,230m
Resort Height1,600m
 Nearest AirportsChambery and Annecy
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Les Arcs

Les Arcs, including four resort centres in 2 valleys (at 1600, 1800, 1950 and 2000 metres altitude) and several adjacent villages, is one of the great French ski areas with skiing from gentle Blues to seriously steep Blacks and extensive off-piste and freeride terrain.

Summary

The French ski resort of Les Arcs is in the French Alps at an altitude of 1,600m, with 200km of marked runs.

Les Arcs is part of the Paradiski area with access to 425km of downhill skiing, with 475 marked pistes, served by a total of 141 ski lifts. In addition to the skiing in Les Arcs itself (200km of pisted ski runs), the appropriate ski Lift Pass will allow you to ski or snowboard in the other Paradiski ski resorts of La Plagne and Peisey-Vallandry.

Les Arcs comprises the villages of Arc 1600, Arc 1800, Arc 1950 and Arc 2000.

Snow and Weather

When will it snow in Les Arcs?

The next notable snow forecast is 12cm, expected on 3 October, with around 34cm forecast over the next 7 days.

See our long-range Snow Forecast for the latest update, or   Join our Snow Mail Here

Snow this week

Snow Forecast by day for Les Arcs
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
Snow
to
1,796m
Snow
to
1,265m
Snow
to
base

Ski Area Stats

Les Arcs Ski Area

Piste and Lift Stats
Black Pistes
Expert Trails
1843km
Red Pistes
Intermediate Runs
3362km
Blue Pistes
Easy Trails
56
Green Pistes
Beginner Runs
 1 
Downhill
Total Length
200km
Cross Country
Total Length
15km
Ski Lifts
Number of Lifts
77

Paradiski Ski Area

Piste and Lift Stats
Black Pistes
Expert Trails
69
Red Pistes
Intermediate Runs
127
Blue Pistes
Easy Trails
257
Green Pistes
Beginner Runs
22
Downhill
Total Length
425km
Cross Country
Total Length
153km
Ski Lifts
Number of Lifts
141

Altitudes

Les Arcs Ski Area Heights

Lift Heights and Resort Altitude
Highest Lift3,230m
Resort Altitude (Les Arcs)1,600m
Lowest Piste1,200m
Max Vertical2,030m

Ratings & Suitability

Ratings for Les Arcs
Freeriders
Expert Skiers
Intermediate Skiers
Beginners
Snowboarding
Snow
Apres-Ski

Les Arcs Overview

One of the most fashionable of the French purpose-built resort complexes that were originated in the late '60s. Les Arcs has its own unique design of curving apartment block complexes which seem to hug the mountain-side and, timber clad, seem more in keeping with their natural environment than most. The Arcs are car free, with covered walkways between buildings and doorstep skiing throughout.

The resort has a reputation for being at the cutting edge of snow sports and is famous for pioneered the Ski Evolutif tuition method of tuition for beginners who learn parallel skiing. It was also a mecca for mono-ski in the early '80s and of course 'boarding as well as other 'sports nouveau'. There is a famous flying kilometre speed skiing course where world records have been set.

There are four 'Arcs', at 1600, 1800, 1950 and 2000 metres each with its own reputation. At different times the Arcs have had various names but at present 1600, 1800 and 2000 are known simply by their numbers. 1600 is known as the 'family' resort with 1800 the main centre with most of the facilities and night life. Arc 2000 was originally the sporting mecca with little there besides first rate sports facilities for those who needed a fully equipped gym to work out in after a full day on the slopes. All have grown to become more multi-function however.

Arc 1950 - Le Village is the newest development, and a pioneering model for Europe brought over by North American developer Intrawest. The concept is for a high quality, purpose designed resort with all facilities available on your doorstep., Very like the traditional French purpose built resort the other Arcs are examples of but with greater attention to architecture, 21st century comforts and quality of service and product.

The resort has one of the world's largest ski areas, linked to the villages of Villaroger, Vallandry and Plan Peisey, there is also a funicular railway down to Bourg Saint Maurice from where you can easily reach La Rosière on the other side of the valley with its lift link over to La Thuile in Italy. In 2003 the resort was lift linked by the spectacular Vanoise Express double decker cable car to another neighbour, La Plagne, to create the Paradiski area of 425km of trails.

 Notable Ski Runs

The longest possible descent in Les Arcs is 7km long and the most difficult run is the 'Robert Blanc'.

Skiing

Les Arcs ski area is one of the world's largest with one of the biggest verticals and has an excellent variety of terrain. Although the vertical between the top of the Aiguille Rouge and the bottom of Les Arc's own skiing is broken by the need for a lift ascent half way down, it is possible to make a spectacular descent of over 2000m from the same point to the neighbouring village of Villaroger, the lowest point on the circuit at 1200m. The ski area includes long, meandering runs, steeps, open pitches, wooded slopes and above tree-line bowls - in short pretty well all imaginable conditions.

The Vanoise Express cable car, which departs from Peisey Vallandry, takes 200 people at a time (120 on the lower deck, 80 on the upper one) over to La Plagne and the rest of the joint Paradiski area in just four minutes.

Les Arcs for Beginners

There is terrain to suit any level of skier with Arc 1600 down in the woods, surrounded by largely gentle trails through the trees, and both 1800 and 2000 located at the tree line with wide open sunny slopes above. All of the centres have gently sloping meadows directly beside them for the first few runs.

Les Arcs for Intermediates

Intermediates, as with all 'super ski areas' can perhaps get the maximum enjoyment of all, being able to tackle most of the slopes. Much of the terrain is long fast motorway cruising, although there is more variety than at many comparable resorts.

More confident intermediate skiers should be able to cope with the Red down from the imposing Aiguille Rouge, the highest point of the ski area where the cable car broadcasts a recorded announcement (when you're ascending) advising that the terrain is not safe for inexperienced skiers.

Les Arcs for Experts

Experts have plenty to keep them happy including a number of 'proper' Black runs, and extensive off-piste terrain. The legendary 7km (4.5) mile long Black from the top of the Aiguille Rouge down to Villaroger is one of the world's longest and covers the world's biggest vertical for a run of this grading, a full 2000 metres.

There are plenty of other challenges including mogul runs like the Dou de l'homme and the increasingly frequented off-piste route from La Plagne to Les Arcs, returning via the Nancroix forest.

Cross Country

For cross-country skiers there are three 5km long loops, one by each resort.

There are a variety of pistes to suit all levels of skier ability, from Beginner to Expert.

Snowboarding

Les Arcs claims to be the home of snowboarding and certainly some people were sliding around on the slopes here on something very similar to a snowboard a few years before Jake Burton hit the headlines in the early '80s. Some of the famous 'Apocalypse Snow' movies that first popularised the sport were filmed here.

The resort is very 'boarder friendly with a combination of good value accommodation, great terrain for all styles and abilities and many chairs and gondolas. The terrain park Apocalypse above Arc 1600, which is also open to skiers, has a wide variety of features including diverse humps and mounds which making it an attractive and interesting site where everyone can find something to suit their taste and level. There are also tables, hips, a funbox, a pyramid, big and small gaps.

Location and Map

Where is Les Arcs?

This ski resort is in the French Alps in Paradiski, Savoie.

Map

Tap Show Map in Full Screen for Full-Screen, or see J2Ski's Resort map, showing Hotels and Ski Shops.

How to get there

 By Air

The nearest airport to Les Arcs is Chambery, 100 minutes drive away.

Annecy, Geneva and Sion airports are all within three hours drive.

Infrastructure

Ski Lift Capacity

The 77 ski lifts are able to uplift 86,000 skiers and snowboarders every hour.

Snow Making

Snow-making is available, on 22km of ski runs, with 143 snow cannons.

Season Dates

When is Les Arcs open?

 Opened : 14 December 2019.

Usual opening is mid December, and usual closing is Late April.

NOTE:- Ski area, lift and piste opening is subject to Current Snow Conditions.

Piste Map

Les Arcs Piste Map
Les Arcs

COVID-19 / Coronavirus

We don't yet have specific details of the COVID-19 precautions being taken in Les Arcs, but they are likely to include most of the following :-

  • Face masks required on lifts, and in shops.
  • Social distancing in public areas.
  • Reduced lift capacity.
  • Extensive disinfection / sanitization.

French Ski Resort COVID-19 Measures describes further measures that may also be applied.

Visit the Les Arcs Tourist Office for the latest.

Talking about Les Arcs

Mentions in recent J2Ski News Items and Snow Reports from our users...

Les Arcs Webcams

The Webcams in Les Arcs are not always up-to-date. Please check the date on the image to ensure you are seeing current snow conditions.

Aprés Ski

Les Arcs mirrors most of the French purpose built ski centres in not having a particularly strong après ski reputation. For the liveliest nightlife Arc 1800 is the place to be, with one of the resort's night clubs - the Apocalypse, otherwise there are a selection of bars - some of them lively. Impromptu apartment parties are quite common amongst the financially challenged!

Les Arcs