The ski area for Les Arcs is so vast that it can be hard to know where to start. Les Arcs 2000 has something for everyone, whether you’re a beginner, intermediate or an advanced rider. We’re going to tell you where to ski in Les Arcs 2000, including special mentions of all our favourite places.
Les Arcs 2000 – Where to ski?
Les Arcs which neighbours La Plagne oder Peisey-Vallandry, makes up the Paradiski ski area in France. With over 425 km of ski runs across the Paradiski area, winding through forests and across glaciers.
Les Arcs is divided between many different villages on the mountain according to its altitude, but today we are focusing on the highest village of Arc 2000.
The highest lifted point sits at 3226m and flows right down to a cruisy lower altitude so there’s plenty of terrain to explore. As the resort is so large, people tend to spread out and you end up with empty pistes looking like this…
For Beginner Skiers
Les Arcs 2000 has six green pistes and 64 blues pistes. So it’s a beginners paradise. The best thing about being a beginner in Les Arc is that the majority of beginner area lifts are free.
For complete beginners, the ‘front des Neiges’ area in the centre of the resort, right beside where the bus drops you off is a great place to slide around for the first time. It’s flat so you can build up confidence and it’s surrounded by coffee shops and cafes so you can take a break in a deck chair if you need.
The beginner’s slopes and ski school meeting point are right next to this area, so aim to start here and then move on up. Once you’re ready to leave the beginners area, you can slide on down to the St Jacques chair lift from Arc 2000. It’s an ideal progression for beginners taking their first runs after the nursery slopes. Be warned: the Jacques chair is a little slow, so take in the views.
Whilst Arc 2000 is suitable for everyone from beginners, intermediate and expert skiers. There are some fantastic rolling blues which are shallow enough for beginners to learn on.
- One of our favourite blue runs, Renard, is wide and sweeping, which is great for beginners looking to get moving off the magic carpet.
- Edelweiss is another blue run which is a firm favourite because of its size.
Most pistes are easy to navigate and interconnecting which makes it easier for catching up with friends to meet for lunch or a snack. There are some cool bars in Les Arc 2000, we especially like The Igloo Bar on the piste. It’s an ice cave, on the slopes where you can eat fondue or relax at the ice bar with a cocktail. It’s definitely worth a visit when the views are this good…
Skiing with Children in Les Arcs
If you’re taking your kids out on the slopes this year than the Plan Vert pistes make a great place to cruise around. Start from the top of the Transarc gondola, follow onto the Edelweiss run until you reach the Marmottes chairlift or try the Cascades run from the Bois de Lours chairlift to the Pre de St Esprit chairlift. These runs will keep the kids happy and allow them to progress on more gentle terrain.
Les Arcs 2000 is also home to France’s longest chairlift, the Pré Saint-Esprit which we just mentioned. It starts at Arc 1950 and takes you to high above Arc 2000. It’s great on a bad weather day as it has a cover over to protect you from the elements and heated seats. Ideal for snack breaks without taking off your skis!
For Intermediates Skiers
If you’re an intermediate skier heading to Les Arcs, and you’re not sure where to ski get ready to take notes. There are 44 red runs and an enormous snow park. With wide-open pistes at the top of the mountain and little winding runs lower down through the forest. You’ll struggle to ski every run.
- Why not start the day off on Belette, which is a red run. It’s wide and steep at the top but then flattens out, so you can use that initial speed to make some epic turns.
- Clocheret oder Arolles are two red pistes which are amongst the best, due to their size and consistently even terrain. This is a great place to practise because there’s plenty of space and isn’t usually that busy. Find out about a few secret ski runs that most people bypass.
- If you want to go a little higher, take the Aguille Rouge gondola up and opt for the red Arandelieres run. This is a fantastic wide open piste which is often left un-groomed. By the end of the day, it’s usually pretty bumpy as it’s been chopped up. Learn how to ski in choppy conditions.
The enormous terrain park between Arc 1600 and Arc 1800, is said to be one of the best in Europe. It even has an airbag for practising all your tricks and flips. Even if you aren’t a big freestyle skier, check it out. You can go and still have a great time on the rollers, small jumps and introductory park activities like the small boxes. There is plenty of small jumps suitable for children too.
For Advanced Skiers
Les Arcs 2000 sits in a bowl at the foot of the Aguille Rouge. It’s a snow sure area as it’s beside the stunning Glacier du Varet.
With over 17 black runs, and many areas labelled “natur”. You’ll find it challenging because it’s never flattened out by the piste-bashers. So expect choppy, varied conditions. Be careful as it has a good number of rocks, trees and other natural obstacles to navigate. So approach with caution.
If you like moguls, find Bosses on the Les Arcs piste map and give your knees a workout! Bosses mean “bumps” in French and you’ll definitely deserve a big lunch after that run!
Off-Piste in Les Arcs
The Aguille Rouge cablecar has panoramic views of the highest pisted area in Les Arcs 2000. For the steepest black runs in the resort, make your way towards the Varet gondola. There are actually three black runs beneath the gondola and on a powder day, they are insane! The Lanches is our favourite as it’s usually a bit quieter than the other two runs. The snow is always good here as it’s in the shade.
But if you’re searching for real off-piste, stay in the same area. Either use the Varet gondola or the Aiguille Rouge cablecar to reach the untouched snow a bit further afield. From here you can travel over the back, skiing down seven km non-stop run into Villaroger.
If you’d like someone to show you the safest places to ski, book a private lesson or an off-piste adventure. But if you’d prefer to do your own thing, make sure you have the correct safety equipment, know where you’re going and aren’t alone.
If you want to find out more about Les Arcs in general, head over to our Les Arcs Resort Guide. It’s packed with information on the best restaurants for your budget, local services, travel recommendations.