Besides Austria, Switzerland, and Italy, France is also a must-visit ski destination and perhaps one of Europe’s favorite winter sports spots. The country is popular with the vast ski resorts like Les Trois Vallées or Paradiski; people could ski on different slopes every day.
La Plagne and Les Arcs ski resorts in Paradiski are third in Europe’s largest ski areas.
LES ARCS SKI RESORT
Top elevation: 3,250 m
Base elevation: 1,250 m
Skiable area: 425 km of runs
- easy: 136
- intermediate 66
- difficult: 35
Longest run: 10 km
Lift system: 171
15 cable cars/gondolas
62 chair lifts, 93 surface lifts
Terrain parks: 9
Les Arcs Ski Resort is in Savoie, France, in Bourg-Saint-Maurice town’s Tarentaise Valley. The resort is a part of the vast Paradiski system created by Robert Blanc and Roger Godino under the ownership of Compagnie des Alpes, a French-listed company owning several other ski resorts and theme parks.
The five areas of the resort—Bourg-Saint-Maurice, Arc 1600, Arc 1800, Arc 1950, and Arc 2000—are at an altitude spanning from 810 to 3226 meters, yet skiing is mostly possible above 1200 meters. The ski area consists of 106 runs and 54 lifts. The Aiguille Rouge (Red Needle) is the highest peak in the resort, and it has a 7 km long piste with 2026 meters vertical drop down to the Villaroger. Les Arcs became part of the Paradiski group of ski-connected resorts since the Vanoise Express cable car’s opening in December 2003. The Paradiski has 425 km total of pistes.
Les Arcs is known as being one of the original French “mega-resorts.” All the arcs have a convenient, large, and varied network of pistes. Les Arcs has a unique “avant-garde” modernist architecture called “heritage of the 20th century”. Most of its resorts are built based on modernist architecture, except for the latest—Arc 1950—built following the Alp’s traditional architecture with a more defined village ambiance.
LA PLAGNE SKI RESORT
Elevation: 10663 ft
Vertical Drop: 6562ft
Base: 4101 ft
Skiable Terrain: 24710 ac
- 7% beginner
- 52% immediate
- 26% advanced
- 15% expert
Terrain: 1 terrain park
Pistes: 139.8 mi
Longest Run: 3.7 mi
Average Snowfall: 206″
La Plagne is another huge ski area comprised of hundreds of kilometers of runs through forests, sinkholes, and glaciers. In Paradiski, 70% of its 425 km of runs are above 2000 m, offering infinite possibilities.
For skiing and snowboarding, there is 225 km of slopes available. Ninety-two lifts are serving the visitors.
HOW TO GET TO LA PLAGNE AND LES ARCS
The villages of Les Arcs and La Plagne are about 12 hours’ drive from Utrecht, and the first part to Albertville can go smoothly. The next journey will be a lot slower, primarily on the changeover days on the Route National towards Aime. After Aime, there will be signs to either one of the Arcs or one of the Plagne villages.
Another way to get to La Plagne is to take the Thalys to Aime-la-Plagne. If you arrive at the last part of La Plagne, you take a bus. Going to Les Arcs, you take the Thalys to Bourg St Maurice, and you will continue your journey by bus.
If you want to take the plane, fly to Chambéry and then take the train, bus, or (rental) car to either Les Arcs or La Plagne.
ACCOMMODATION IN LA PLAGNE AND LES ARCS
There are many accommodations available in the Paradiski ski resort ranging from the somewhat cheaper but less charming concrete hotel complexes to holiday homes, luxury resorts, and chalets.
As the villages in both Les Arcs and La Plagne derive their right to exist from winter sports, almost all accommodation offers ski in ski out. It could not be more ideal.
HOTELS IN LES ARCS SKI RESORT
Les Alpines appartement is in Borg-Saint-Maurice. The hotel has a terrace and free WiFi. Guests can enjoy mountain views. The Funiculaire des Arcs ski elevator is only a 5-minute walk away.
Les Arcs 1950 – Appartement 6 pers is a 5-star apartment in the Les Arcs 1950 ski area. There is free WiFi and offers underground parking.
The apartment has a kitchen with a coffee machine, oven toaster, and a dishwasher. It also has a double bedroom with a private bathroom. The second bedroom contains twin beds and a shower room.
Chalet Les Amis in the Paradiski region. This hotel features a terrace. In the winter months, there are no worries about getting to the ski area as it provides a free shuttle that will drop you at the foot of the slopes.