Visitor reviews for Les Arcs Ski Resort
March 12, 2018
Martin from United Kingdom
Stayed in early March 2018 as my second full trip. I'd also previously spent a couple of days here on trips from La Plagne.
I really like Les Arcs. For one of the big-hitter French resorts, it's got a lot of long tree-lined runs of all standards for when the weather turns bad and you need the trees to see properly. I can't think of another high resort that does so well for trees. Even La Plagne's trees are more spread out in smaller areas.
The highest areas above Arc 2000 are perhaps less appealing. The run down to Villaroger from the Aguille Rouge is great but it's quite limited and the queue for the cable car is often very long. Go at lunchtime if you go up there. Don't be put off by the black piste designation. Apart from an avoidable bit near the start it's like an easy red. The 3 chairlifts you need to take to return are very slow.
The runs in the main bowl above 2000 are good but again, a bit limited in that they're mostly easy cruising blues.
A day trip to La Plagne is easy from most of Les Arcs (not Villaroger) but I'd be tempted not to go there. La Plagne is brilliant but, on a day trip from Les Arcs, you'll end up trying to traverse the nice areas without the time to properly explore them. So go to La Plagne but on a separate trip staying there. However, if you're staying in Vallandry/Peisey then La Plagne is very achievable as day trips; maybe focusing on one area at a time.
The villages are mostly quite ugly and mostly lacking in nightlife although waiting for my transfer bus at 5am in Arcs 2000 there were people going home after a night out so there's late night fun to be had if you look for it!
There's good food on the mountain and in some resorts. La Table de Lys in 1950 was great and felt like good value at about 150E for 2 people including good wine and glasses of champagne. Les Infents Terrible, on the piste above Vallandry, was good for lunch in the proper restaurant and only marginally more expensive than the self-service restaurant below.
The Yuge app is quite good for tracking your progress/location/webcams/weather etc so download it.
Finally, if you do get the full Paradiski pass, it currently gives you the afternoon free on the day before the pass starts so if you arrive in the morning you can get a free afternoon of skiing.
Would I go back? Possibly, but I'm really keen to go back to the 3 Vallees first as I feel I've done Les Arcs for a while now. If I did go back, I'd stay in 1800 or in Vallandry for easy access to the cable car to La Plagne.
Les Arcs Ratings
Overall: 4.3. Based on 59 votes and 80 reviews. Vote
(1) At least one overnight stop, (2) requires a whole day, (3) requires more than half a day – you may have time for a few turns (4) arrive by lunchtime and ski all afternoon, (5) there is a main airport within an hour of Les Arcs.
Public Transport: 4.4
(1) There are no buses or taxis to Les Arcs, (3) there are slow or infrequent buses / trains available, (5) getting to the resort is easy with frequent bus / train connections.
(1) An ugly resort in a bland setting, (3) average mountain views and resort, (5) a spectacular setting and a beautiful / historic resort town.
(1) No places to stay in/near Les Arcs, (3) a few places to stay in the resort, (5) a wide variety of accommodation suitable to suit all budgets.
Cheap Rooms: 3.9
(1) No budget accommodation available, (3) just one or two hostels so book ahead, (5) several cheap hostels and pensions available.
Luxury Hotels: 4.2
(1) No luxury accommodation available, (3) just one or two luxury hotels so book ahead, (5) several up-market hotels in Les Arcs.
Ski in/Ski out: 4.8
(1) The ski area is located far from any accommodation, (3) a free ski bus takes you to the ski area in a short trip, (5) Ski-in ski-out accommodation is available.
(1) There are no child care facilities at Les Arcs, (5) the resort has excellent child-care facilities including at least one reasonably priced creche.
(1) Occasionally gets enough snow for skiing, (2) is often closed due to a lack of snow, (3) occasionally suffers from a lack of snow, (4) rarely suffers from a lack of snow, (5) Les Arcs is snowsure even in the poorest seasons.
(1) Les Arcs relies entirely on natural snow, (3) there are just a few snow cannons, (5) there are snowmaking facilities on all pistes.
Snow Grooming: 4.5
(1) There are no snow groomers at Les Arcs, (3) occasionally some pistes are left ungroomed and in a poor state, (5) all the runs at Les Arcs are groomed daily.
(1) there is nowhere to ski when it is windy or visibility is bad and lifts often shut, (3) there are some trees for poor visibility but main lifts sometimes close, (5) Les Arcs is mostly in forest where you can ski in flat-light and windy days, lifts rarely close.
Nearby options: 4.1
(1) If snow conditions are poor at Les Arcs, it will be poor everywhere nearby, (3) there are good alternatives within an hours drive, (5) other locations on the same lift pass provide a rich variety of snowsure ski conditions.
Regional rating: 4.4
(1) Les Arcs usually has poor snow conditions compared to other resorts in region, (3) has average conditions for the region, (5) usually has the best snow conditions in the region.
Lift Staff: 4.4
(1) The staff at Les Arcs are rude or unhelpful, (5) lift staff at Les Arcs are pleasant, cheerful and eager to help.
(1) the resort is always busy and there are usually long lift queues, (3) it is quiet apart from occasional weekends and school holidays, (5) it is uncrowded and lift queues are very rare.
Ski Schools: 4.6
(1) No ski schools available, (2) one or two ski schools but local language only, (3) a few ski schools but book early for multi-lingual instructors, (4) plenty of ski schools and multi-lingual instructors available, (5) excellent ski schools with friendly multi-lingual ski instructors.
Hire and Repairs: 4.7
(1) Nothing can be sourced, not even ski-wax or ptex. (3) there are some ski shops but rentals need to be booked in advance, (5) good quality ski equipment can be purchased or hired and overnight repairs are possible.
Variety of pistes: 4.7
(1) The ski runs are featureless and unvaried, (3) the ski runs are varied but not extensive enough for a week, (5) Les Arcs has diverse and interesting pistes including forests and high alpine terrain.
(1) Beginners can only watch others ski and snowboard, (3) a few gentle slopes but beginners will get bored in less than a week, (3) Vast areas of gentle terrain.
(1) No intermediate terrain at Les Arcs, (3) intermediate skiers will get bored after a few days, (5) vast areas of cruising runs.
(1) Nothing for advanced skiers and snowboarders, (3) enough steep terrain for a few days with some good offpiste, (5) Enough steep terrain and offpiste areas to entertain advanced skiers for at least a week.
Snow Park: 4.2
(1) Not even a kicker at Les Arcs, (3) average sized park quite well looked after, (5) huge park area and expertly crafted pipes, jumps and boardercross trails.
(1) No off-piste worth mentioning, (2) off piste is out-of-bounds, (3) some varied offpiste that stays fresh for one or two days, (5) a vast array of off-piste routes that can stay untracked for several days.
(1) There is nowhere to go for cross-country skiing around Les Arcs, (3) there are some cross country trails available, (5) the area features many spectacular and well maintained cross-country trails.
(1) No designated luge or toboggan runs, (3) there are toboggan runs that open quite often, (5) Les Arcs has long and well maintained luge / toboggan facilities suitable for all ages.
Mountain Dining: 4.3
(1) Nowhere to buy food by the pistes, (3) some places to eat up on the mountain but they are often busy and expensive, (5) there is a variety of excellent mountain eateries right next to the slopes to suit all budgets.
(1) Bring your own food, there isn't even a shop. (5) A wide variety of places to eat and drink in the resort, from fast food to fancy restaurants.
(1) Nothing to do, not even a bar, (3) there are a few bars in the resort but nothing special, (5) clubs and bars stay open until very late and have a friendly atmosphere.
Other Sports: 3.9
(1) No sports facilities at all apart from ski lifts, (3) resort has just a small public swimming pool, (5) resort has all kinds of sports facilities, including a full-size swimming pool.
(1) Besides the snow and walking there is nothing to do here, (3) the non-skier will find things to do for few days but may become bored after a week, (5) the resort area is a fascinating place to visit, regardless of winter sports.
Winter Walks: 4.0
(1) Very limited walking and no snowshoe trails, (3) a couple of designated scenic walking/snowshoe trails, (5) extensive and diverse winter walking trails for all abilities.
Ski Pass Value: 3.8
(1) A 1 week ski pass is overpriced compared to the number of lifts available, (3) the ski pass is averagely priced and covers a reasonable number of lifts, (5) ski passes are excellent value for money and cover a lot of lifts spanning a big area.
Value (National): 4.0
(1) Overall, Les Arcs is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the country and not worth the money, (3) overall represents average value for money, (5) overall offers the best value resort in the country.
Value (Global): 4.1
(1) Overall, Les Arcs is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the world, (3) overall it offers pretty average value for money compared to resorts from other countries, (5) internationally the resort offers excellent value for money.
February 27, 2016
Casey from United Kingdom
At Les Arc 2000 from 20/2/16 for 7 days. Had been snowing prior to visit. Party of two 26 year old males and 1 male send (ed?) 3 females hearing 60 years (ed?). All experienced skiers. Last visit 4 years ago staying 1950. Stayed at Le Source Apartments. Only 1 year old and probably best stayed in. Beautiful pool, sauna steam room etc. Staff also best. Right on piste: ski out/in.
Weather varied, first two days sunny with snow coming in 3 pm on Monday. Next 3 days snow, cloud visibility on off. Last day Friday fabulous, sunny. But all 6 days the snow was brilliant for skiing. Les Arcs is great for all standards of skiers. It has the best sign posting I have ever experienced. No need to keep looking at the piste map. All runs clearly coloured, also explanation on what they link up to and how they direct the skier to the various skiing areas i.e. Arc1800, Arc 1600 and link to La Plagne. We all agreed we would return rather than go to our usual The Three Valleys, Val D' Isere etc. only down side is 2000 does not have the greatest après-ski. In fact we found it quite quiet. However, did have a good night at the Bowling and several good restaurants, the Kilimanjaro and the Pizzeria to name a few.
March 23, 2015
Ollie from United Kingdom
From a 45yr old experienced skier with 2 young daughters:
Les Arcs is a fabulous, family find. Having skied all over, I can't think of a better established European resort for all the gang to enjoy. It's 'ski in - ski out' (truly!) It's high so during those warmer, Easter holidays it invariably has snow. It's well linked with a variety of intermediate runs, along with snow-parks and a ski/snowboard-cross course. Oh, and Euros are cheap right now, so France is a winner over Switzerland for all but the least cost conscious by a long way. Ok, there is minimal nightlife compared to other European resorts and truly challenging terrain is limited, but those are relatively unimportant for a family trip. What you do get is plenty for adults and kids to enjoy together, until maybe your kids start outstripping you which happens all too quickly.
February 02, 2015
Irbis from Russia
Stayed at les Arcs 2000. Great storm and blizzard happened on 29th & 30th January. Although the upper lifts were closed, these were best days for free ride. We had up to 80 cm powder! And enjoyed it a lot.
April 11, 2014
Mike from United Kingdom
Review by father of family group of 4 all now adult (age years at least!) staying at Arc 1800.
First time skiing in French Alps although have skied Italian Alps, Italian Dolomites and Rila / Rhodopi / Pirin, in Bulgaria, previously.
By comparison, Les Arcs was a near perfect ski location for late season skiing. All runs had great snow cover and exc. grooming. Yes, it was a little icy on a morning but that's the time of year.
Piste choice amazing; perfect for a middle aged intermediate skier like myself. Lots of cruising blues where you can practice those turns or pretend to be Bode Miller (I can vouch for the scary speed you can hit on a deserted long blue ;^) Be warned beginners there are steepish elements to many of the blues though. This can be daunting for new skiers and those nervous returners to to piste. For these I would recommend the long cruise laden ski-road merging to wider pistes from the Col De La Chal (2600mm) above Arc 2000 ("Col de la chal" is the name of the run at the start, which turns into "Vallee de l'arc" and "plan des eaux" on the way down to the Arc 2000 lift "Arcabulle 48" to take you back up.
The reds were great, if challenging in places, for me but you don't go on reds for an easy ski. The "Aiguille Rouge/Arandelieres" reds from the 3226m peak are incredible runs with views to die for (figuratively speaking!) but not for the timid. Vast choice of runs. I stayed away from the blacks as these are left ungroomed "natural" in Les Arcs and as a result were all covered in challenging moguls. If there had been some fresh snow these would have been great fun, but they looked icy and unforgiving to my old eyes!
Lift staff were great, chatty and smiley in the main.
SkiRepublic were 1st class for equipment / service.
We stayed in some 70's built tired looking apartments right next to slopes (virtually everywhere is!). Great location; skied from/to door daily first week in April!
We expected more of nightlife; it was very quiet! Locals said it had been same since mid March despite great snow. Lack of nightlife = clear head/often deserted pistes. We never waited for more than 30 seconds for a lift / gondola the whole week!
I got the distinct feeling this is a relatively low rent destination in comparison to other more trendy resorts in the Alps. The Gucci set were absent, in the main, which suited us just fine!
On the last day we skied from 3226m peak down to 1600m in just over an hour. Having seen all 1600/1800/1950/2000 levels / accommodation bases, I would probably advise 2000 due to close proximity to our collectively favourite pistes/lifts but nothing in it really. 1600 was suffering from very heavy snow (although plenty of it) late on so predictably better staying higher so late in season.
We spent a lot less than anticipated (lack of apres-ski) and the small supermarkets were adequate for a week in self catering without being extortionate. Eating out was more of a challenge than expected given lack of tourists. I would advise booking in advance to avoid disappointment. We only ate out a couple of nights which was average once and excellent on our last night. A meal for a family of 4 cost 140 Euros on last night and we didn't have much drink included. To many this is par for the course, but we would have spent 1/3 of this for equal quality in Bulgarian resorts. But the ski area/lift system/piste prep don't compare. ps BG great but advise you go mid season.
All in all, a fantastic ski holiday and wholeheartedly recommended for a wide ability range of skiers. If I were to find a criticism, it would be the need for a few nursery greens for beginners/nervous skiers to build confidence on before heading onto the vast array of wonderful blue runs.
Hope to return again next year; perhaps a little earlier for the night-life!
I hope this was interesting/of help to others considering Les Arcs as a ski destination. Don't hesitate, give it a try.
February 24, 2014
Stephen from United Kingdom
Stayed in Les Arcs 1950 for a week. Beautiful resort; step out of the boot room, put your ski's down and off you go. Good restaurants and bars, but more family orientated. Excellent for the kids lessons as it has 3 ski gardens with rope pulleys and a magic carpet for the little ones. Can't recommend it enough for the kids lessons.
February 11, 2014
Sergey Poresh from Russia
We visited Les Arc on January, 25, 2014. Staying in Le Belmont, in Les Ark 1800. Everything was nice, except:
They never retrack black pistes! As a result you can't enjoy the speed but struggle through moguls!
Next time I will check this while planing my trip.
February 08, 2014
Guy Pocock from United Kingdom
We visited Les Arcs, staying in Le Belmont self catering apartments in the Charmettoger area of Arc 1800. We had a wonderful holiday. The apartment is superbly located (ski-in and out!) and it was very well laid out. We stayed in a 1 bed apartment that had a door onto the lounge and separate bedroom that provided us with 2 separate sleeping spaces. The shower room and separate WC were located off the entrance lobby so all in all, much the best (affordable) apartment we have stayed in whilst skiing!
The skiing was also great. Lots of leisurely blue runs with more challenging reds and of course blacks. There is lots of variety of skiing and the opportunity to ski from 3,200m down to 1,200m in the same resort! Les Arcs also has the advantage that you can take the Vanoise Express cable car to nearby La Plagne. More superbly manicured pistes and great skiing that made our holiday truly memorable. Arcs 1800 has 2 mini markets, one at roughly either end of the resort. Both are well stocked and the small kitchen, in Le Belmont, enabled us to make some superb meals after long days on the slopes. We even had a dish-washer!
We ate out in a strangely named restaurant (Le Marmite) and shared different types of delicious fondues for reasonable(ish) prices. The night-life appeared to be somewhat limited and finished around 10pm. But after long days out, that hardly mattered to us!
All in all, I would thoroughly recommend Les Arcs 1800 and Le Belmont apartments, in particular.
January 12, 2014
Sherry from United Kingdom
Les Arcs is my favourite place to board, the runs are wide and there are loads of blues and reds. Lots of facilities all across the mountain. Drinks can be expensive on the mountain but food is ok. We do some of our shopping in Bourg when we arrive on Eurostar and stay self catering in Arc1800 to keep the costs down. We usually manage to get a nice apartment in Arc 1800 for about £300 a week and get the Eurostar booked early. Take funicular/bus up to resort; no need for package holiday prices! By the way, there is a bus from the station to the funicular, it's not advertised but runs on a Saturday and saves you a lot of steps. However, in resort, the supermarket at the far end of 1800 is best; it's in the Charmotteger area. Food in the deli style shops is overpriced. I remember 2 years ago asking, in dodgy French, how much the rotisserie chicken was, only to be told it was a weighed price. Well, they looked small so I bought one. £14 bloody quid...£14. I expected it to be an endangered species for that price! Anyway, Les Arcs is great (La Plagne is too). Enjoy.
January 10, 2014
Peter Tooke from United Kingdom
More useful information about Les Arcs, additional to my earlier posting.
On the Les Arcs side of the Vanoise Express, you can get a free bus down to Landry, if as on the day I caught it (Saturday), it stops short of Landry Gare, stay at that bus stop and wait for free bus to B St M. You will see a B St M bus go by in time, don't panic! it will go to the train station and then come back; free to B St M.
With reference to La Rosiere, be aware where the bus drops you off (opposite the Arpins bar and by the information office). If as I did, you ski back to the Eucharts lift, you have to walk some distance to get to the bus stop, and I got lost!
St Foy: the bus will drop you off at the village. There is a free bus transfer to the ski station village.
My research, prior to this ski trip, was aided by the internet, and purchasing the IGN contour map, 3532 ET of Les Arcs and La Plagne. I was apprehensive as to transfers etc but achieved everything except I couldn't make it to Champagny en Vanoise (from La Plagne), I was too tired on my first day.
I have had fun with video recording, and also using my Gtrek tracker.