Les Arcs

One of the French Alps’ original mega-resorts, Les Arcs serves up some impressive statistics: its five areas – Bourg-Saint-Maurice, Arc 1600, Arc 1800, Arc 1950, and Arc 2000 are located between 2660 feet (810 meters) to 10,580 feet (3226 meters), offer 106 runs totalling 125 miles (200 km), 54 lifts and the longest run of 4.4 miles (7 km) that provides a substantial 6646 foot (2026 meter) vertical drop. As if that were not enough, Les Arcs is also part of the Paradiski group of ski-connected resorts, which includes La Plagne. The Paradiski network covers 264 miles (425 km) of pistes.

This is the kind of ski resort where there will be no problem finding something for everyone in your group. Pleasant open and pretty tree-lined runs are equally prevalent as slope with the thrilling pitches sought by experts. There are plenty of chairlifts and gondolas so snowboarders can avoid T-bars and pomas, the terrain park fans among you, whether beginner to advanced, can enjoy jumps and rails graded green to black, and everyone will enjoy the fact that all major lifts are state-of-the-art.

Les Arcs’ lodging and villages are ideal for groups and families, with many self-contained apartments and shopping centers. There is a relaxed casual atmosphere throughout and efficient bus services are especially handy for connecting lodging located a little further from the slopes. The lower villages have some condominiums right by the lifts, while the more stylish accommodation is found in the higher villages. The slopes and villages of Arcs 1600 and 1800 look across the valley to Mont Blanc, the others take in panoramas of the north face of Bellecote in La Plagne.

Les Arcs resorts are mainly pedestrianized and they all have their own bars, restaurants, supermarkets, and a range of activities. There is a free shuttle bus service that links the various levels that make up the villages of Les Arcs.

Les Arcs is famous for being the place that helped establish snowboarding as the ‘next big thing’ for sliding down the European Alps when, in the early 1980s, a local instructor featured snowboards in a series of popular films.

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