With one of the most extensive and varied ski domains in the world, Les Arcs and the Paradiski area truly offers something for every level of skier or snowboarder.
Taken independently, Les Arcs has 200km of piste, a high point of 3226 metres and excellent snow-making facilities that guarantee back-to-resort skiing all season long (see the piste maps). When combined with La Plagne (the other half of the Paradiski area), you have access to 425km of piste, 171 lifts, 2 glaciers (at over 3000 metres), 2 snow parks, 100km of cross-country ski trails and much more to keep you entertained in the Winter months.
The Les Arcs ski domain is made up of 128 pistes including 64 blue and 44 red pistes. There are also 3 green pistes and 17 black pistes, all accessed by 54 ski lifts. The area is split into the following resort villages:
The Arcs 1600 area faces south-west and provides extensive tree-lined skiing enabling descents to the unspoilt villages below resort level. It is an “all weather” ski area that holds the snow well, but the abundance of artificial snowmaking machines this mean you are virtually guaranteed being able to ski back to the village.
This part of the resort sits around the tree line and is surrounded by wide, sunny, pistes that offer plenty of room for those on their first week. 90% of the runs into resort are graded blue, making it a great base for beginners and intermediates. It is best to try to avoid the bottom of the Maïtaz, Villards and Charmettoger runs where they converge at the Transarc gondola; this is usually teeming with people and, as it can get very icy, can catch out even the best of us, so try to use the mid-station point of the Transarc to get up and over to 2000m.
Arc 2000 is more suitable for intermediate to expert skiers as the runs here tend to be more reds and blacks and the off-piste around resort is truly amazing. More advanced skiers will love the challenging runs off the Aiguille Rouge glacier where you will also find the longest run in resort, at 7km long with 2100m of vertical drop! But don’t miss out on Arc 2000 if you are only just beginning to ski or snowboard as there are some fantastic rolling blues which are shallow enough for you to learn on.
The area known as Arc 1950 is the more recently built neighbour to Arc 2000 so it also gives you swift and easy access to the more challenging runs in the area. Built by Intrawest (who also built Whistler in Canada), with convenience in mind, you can ski right back to the heart of the resort and step out your skis at the door.
Peisey-Vallandry has many beautiful tree-lined pistes which are perfect for beginners. Despite being the gateway to La Plagne (via the Vanoise Express), this tends to be the quieter side of the valley. There is a good mixture of blue and red runs in this sector, allowing you to choose your difficulty at the top of practically every lift. There are some wide-open pistes higher up, but if you like to ski between the trees then this is the place to do it. When the snow has dumped, the slopes around Peisey-Vallandry can seem almost heavenly.