The Les Arc 1800 resort is located on the outer edge of the Vanoise National Park which forms part of the Italian border around 10-12 hours drive from Calais or a 3 hour transfer from Geneva Airport. The resort is linked with La Plagne and Peisey-Vallandry creating one of the largest skiing areas in the world called ‘Paradiski’ and boasts 425km of pistes; ranging from easy relaxing blues to challenging blacks.
Les Arc itself is made up of four smaller resorts Arc 1600, Arc 1800, Arc 1950 and Arc 2000 with its claim to fame being the first resort of its type to open in Europe. I stayed in Arc 1800 picked for its location close to the Vanoise Express which is a huge 200 person cable car connecting Les Arc and La Plagne, in fact it’s one of the longest and fastest cable cars in the world!
Les Arc 1800
Built back in 1975 Arc 1800 is not only the largest resort but also the liveliest with lots of bars and restaurants, my favourite being ‘Barking Mad’ with its comfy outdoor seating and views out over the mountains with a pint of beer costing €5, the perfect location for a spot of après ski.
We stayed at L’Alliet in a self catered apartment located in the Charmettoger region of the town. This apartment is a little gem recently renovated in 2015 in true alpine style, what we loved was the flexibility of either cooking some homely food or dining out at the various restaurants found a short 5-10 minute walk away.
In all there are five lifts out of Arc 1800 but by the best and easiest is the Transarc 1 which connects to the Transarc 2 at the mid station. Once at the top you have excellent access to a huge variety of newly groomed runs (if like us you got the first lifts up). The snow conditions were good throughout the week although some started to become icy leading back down to town at the end of the day, all in all the conditions were good despite the slow start to the season. And best of all we had blue bird days most of the time we were there, what more could you ask for!
One of my favourite runs would have to be the Grands Melezes which starts at the top of the Vagere chairlift, the run is both long and wide with the conditions being perfect allowing me to perform some large sweeping carving turns.
An adult lift pass to the whole Paradiski area is €291 (about £222) or the Les Arc local area is €250 (about £190).
Overall this resort and ski area is one of my favourite with its mix of glacial high altitude runs and the option to ski through the trees lower down during poor snowy conditions.
Thanks Michael and friends!by