Les Arcs is a group of ski resorts above the town of Bourg St Maurice in the French Alps. The resorts are named by their approximate altitude in metres so there is 1600, 1800, 1950 and 2000.
You can stay in Bourg St Maurice and take a funicular ride (euro 17.50 return) to the lowest resort, 1600 and from there a free shuttle bus goes to all the resorts. Better, if you want to be right next to the slopes, is to stay in one of the resorts with the snow right there.
The two lower resorts were built first and have a more 1960s look. 2000 was next and then 1950 was added with a more village style ambience, chalet style buildings and cafes. The resorts are all linked by ski lifts or the more advanced skiers can ski between them. 2000 and 1950 have a free gondola, the Cabriolet, between them; the other ski lifts form part of a package if you are on an inclusive ski holiday at one of the resorts.
Looking at 2000 this was good for a family ski holiday with lessons and some gentle slopes. I liked the 'tapis roulant' or magic carpet by two easy slopes, this felt safer for beginners than a lift. It is quick to get down to 1950 for a change of scene and souvenir shopping - by gondola or skiing down. The food on the inclusive package was good with a varied buffet available with something to suit everyone.
Ski hire from Skiset in the resort offered a good range of up to date kit. Service was friendly and helpful extending to accommodating a change to schedule caused by car problems. There were several sites and it was possible to pick up/drop kit from an alternative site when one (in the hotel) was closed even though the booking was with the hotel site.
Variety of activities when children have had enough skiing for the day: at 1800 there is a long toboggan run at a site called Mille 8 which also has a swimming pool.
This holiday was in the first week of April and there was still plenty of snow at the resorts. Obviously this will vary year by year, with mountain biking available as an alternative activity in the summer.
Written by Jenny Fowler.
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