Purpose-built Les Arcs is a series of high-altitude, ultra-convenient purpose built ski-in-ski-out villages. Each village has a subtly different flavour and architectural style, some of which could fall into the love:hate category. What is not up for debate however is the quality, scale and variety of the Paradiski ski area, which links Les Arcs with fellow mega-resort La Plagne as well as the smaller villages of Villaroger and Peisey-Vallandry.
The slopes, which boasts a whopping 2000m of vertical descent, stretching from 1200m in Villaroger to over 3200m at the top of the Aiguille Rouge, truly has something for everyone. Paradiski is the second biggest ski area in the world, with over 400km of skiable pistes and ample off piste and ski touring opportunities to explore as well, with some of the best terrain in the area accessible from the Aiguille Rouge. There's more skiable terrain here than you could hope to discover in a lifetime, let alone a week or even a whole season! Les Arcs' snowpark is now one of the best in France and is always buzzing with snowboard and freestyle ski talent.
Les Arcs is relatively close to both Geneva airport and Grenoble airport as the crow flies, but due to the shape of the roads leading to it and the surrounding mountains, it’s not the shortest transfer in the Alps. From Grenoble airport to the west it will be 217km and 2 and a half hours, and from Geneva to the north, it will 218km and 2 and three-quarter hours. Neither are short jaunts, but both are well worth tackling to sample the skiing Les Arcs has on offer.
Les Arcs 1600 was erected in the 60s in a unique style. Long, curving apartment blocks clad with timber line the mountains, and covered walkways stretch between to stop snow from falling on the heads of those visiting. This makes Les Arcs one of the most pedestrian-friendly ski resorts around, and that’s only added to by the fact that all of the Les Arcs centres are car-free and the streets are paved with snow during high season, meaning skiing to your door is always possible.
You may have heard people talk about Les Arcs and attach a figure to it. Les Arcs 1600, Les Arcs 1950. Les Arcs 2000! Why? Les Arcs’s world-class skiing facilities aren’t lumped in with elements that might put off some visitors (like a bouncing nightlife, or quiet family retreat) if there are four different options to cater to each.
Arcs 1600 is the family-friendly, quiet resort. Arcs 1800 is the main centre where you’ll find bars and restaurants — where the apres comes alive. Arcs 2000 is sports-focused and is where you’ll find all the facilities that will attract the die-hard skiers with no time or inclination to party. And Arcs 1950 is a new development funded by the north American Intrawest, and is where you’ll find the newest hotels and apartment blocks, as well as ultra-modern facilities and the sort of upmarket experience that until now was reserved for few resorts. All of this makes Les Arcs a true do-it-all destination, and the sheer mix of people here at any one time is staggering. Good thing, then that it’s got 200km of slopes to accommodate!
Les Arcs highlights: Skiing in the streets under overhead cover means that Les Arcs is a brilliant town to explore, and plenty of dining and apres options only add to the quality of the skiing available above.
Les Arcs is best for: Everyone. No matter what you’re looking for, one of Les Arcs’s centres will have what you’re after. 1600 for quiet holidays, 1800 for slightly louder ones. 2000 for sports enthusiasts, and 1950 for those looking for a little class.
Ski and Snowboard Guide to Les Arcs:
Les Arcs’s top lift, the Aiguille Rouge gondola, stretches to 3,223m and gives skiers access to the Glacier du Varet. This is the tip of the iceberg (literally), though, as you can descend down past Les Arcs to the lowly depths of 1,200m, grabbing a lift up from Villaroger some 2 vertical kilometres below! That means you can ski uninterrupted all of that way, making Les Arcs a very desirable destination for those who like to ski without taking lifts all the time.
Beginners will find nursery slopes around every town, and will no doubt be given directions by the ski school they choose as to where to meet. Once the lessons are done, however, heading up on all the lifts will give you access to great, sweeping blue runs. Just don’t go up to Aiguille Rouge or Grand Col as you won’t find anything but blacks and reds down from there.
Intermediates can sample everything on offer, again, perhaps only finding difficulty at the glacier. But even then, the terrain is manageable, and if you’re looking for off-piste, heading for the Grand Col and exploring the snowy bowls above Les Arcs 2000/1950 will give you lots of chances to find some high-altitude powder.
Experts will love the fact that almost every lift gives access to at least a blue and a red, and the higher you go, often a black, too. Les Arcs knows it attracts as many daredevils as it does learners, so it has worked really hard to give a variety off every lift. Something which advanced skiers are always thankful for.
Les Arcs’s facilities and lift system are amazing. There’s no other word for it. Their grooming and snowmaking are both top-notch, and conditions are always as good as the weather allows. With 77 fast and efficient lifts servicing 108 pistes of varying difficulty, there’s never a dull moment at one of the Alps’ best ski resorts. All that’s left to do now is see for yourself.
Les Arcs is also a part of the Paradiski area, and a single pass will open up the 200km of Les Arcs’s pistes and more than double it, including La Plagne on the same ticket (if you opt for the upgrade). This makes the Paradiski area the second largest in the Alps, and well worth going for if you’re there for a while and want to get the most out of the mountain.
First-time and beginner skiers: Beginners will love the to-town skiing and nearby nursery slopes, as well as exploring all the blues on offer from the lifts.
Intermediate skiers: Intermediates can explore the vast terrain on offer, sample the off-piste below the Grand Col, and have fun trying out all the runs available. It’s tough to back yourself into a corner here, so take every lift, and see what’s out there.
Expert skiers: Expert skiers will love the high and steep terrain here. Glacier skiing is possible too, and offers a fast black down towards town. Skiing the entire 2km vertical should be at the top of everyone’s list. No pun intended.
Learn to ski and snowboard in Les Arcs
Ski School Group Lessons and Private Ski and Snowboard Instructors in Les Arcs:
Enjoy peace of mind by booking your ski and snowboard lessons through SkiBro with our best-price guarantee; free and easy cancellation; a huge choice of fully-certified ski schools and instructors; online booking system and fantastic customer support team.
Whether you're after children's group ski lessons, teen group ski lessons, adult group ski lessons, beginner ski lessons, off-piste clinics, group snowboard lessons, private ski lessons or anything in between - SkiBro has the perfect ski instructor or group ski lesson for you in Les Arcs!
Children’s Group Ski Lessons Les Arcs
From a three-year-old’s the first steps on snow in the children’s snow garden to teenagers confidently crushing black runs and getting in to the snowpark you’ll find ski lessons for children of all ages and ability in Les Arcs (which can come in handy when you suddenly realise your kids have become better skiers than you!).
We’re probably (more than) a bit biased but at SkiBro we think that properly laying the foundation for a lifetime on the slopes - free of bad habits - is one of the greatest gifts a parent can give their children.
SkiBro’s partner ski schools and instructors are all fully certified and have years of experience providing kids’ ski lessons that focus not only on technical instruction but also fun and safety.
Children’s ski lessons tend to book up very quickly during peak school holiday periods like half-term and christmas break, so make sure to book early during these times to avoid disappointment.
Adult Group Ski Lessons Les Arcs
Did you know that nearly a third of all group ski lessons are beginner adult group lessons? It sounds surprising but group ski lessons are a great way to learn to ski; surrounded by other people of a similar age and ability level who are also trying something new.
Group lessons are also great for progressing from a beginner skier to a more independent intermediate. With quality coaching for a few hours each day you can spend your mornings working on your technique before grabbing a bite to eat and explore everything the mountain has to offer with your friends and family in the afternoons.
Private Ski Lessons Les Arcs
Private instruction is just that – a ski instructor solely devoted to you (and any friends or family you choose to invite) for a given period of time.
These lessons are offered both by formal ski and snowboard schools as well as by freelance instructors – certified independent instructors working for themselves or in loose collectives.
A private ski instructor in Les Arcs can offer you a level of flexibility and individual attention beyond what group lessons can. For some people one short, intensive, session with a private instructor will teach them more than they’d get from a full week of group lessons.
For many people, however, the inverse would be true and the repetition and additional practice in group lessons is invaluable.
Off-Piste Guiding Les Arcs
Considered by those who get into it as skiing in its purest (and most fun!) form, freeride (also known as off piste or backcountry) skiing is the pursuit of skiing all over the mountain, unrestricted by the edge of the piste in a variety of snow conditions.
A good day’s freeride skiing might involve long descents down wide open mountain faces, steep couloirs and adventures through the trees, far away from the crowded pistes. In addition to private ski instructors and mountain guides you can sometimes find camps and courses designed to give upper-intermediate skiers their first taste of off-piste delights in Les Arcs. Be careful though, the white powder can be quite addictive.
Snowboard Lessons Les Arcs
From ‘never-evers’ to semi-pros you’ll find a snowboard lesson in Les Arcs designed to take you riding to the next level. If you’re thinking small, think big. And if you’re thinking big- think bigger! If you’re new to a resort or even if you’re returning to an old favourite, a top snowboard instructor or group snowboard lessons will help you unlock local secrets of the area that you’ll wish you knew about years ago! Flatland tricks, jibbing, carving trenches, slaying powder – stop being a slave to your snowboard and learn to master it!