Head from Geneva Airport to Les Arcs with Mountain Drop-offs and you could be on the slopes of this celebrated ski area in just three hours. Whether you’re staying in Arcs 1600, 1800, 1950, 2000 or even Peisey-Vallandry, we will get you there quickly and efficiently.
Les Arcs is a closed ski resort. By that we mean that as soon as you arrive at Arc 1800, you have to go through the ‘Porte de Station’ entrance area to get into Arc 1800, 1950 and 2000. This means if you arrive in a car, you are obliged to pay for parking, whether it’s on the side of the road or in a municipal underground car park. Some residences and hotels have their own private parking, but guests still have to head to the welcome chalet to get their parking validated.
So, our advice is to leave the car and head directly from Geneva airport, Lyon airport or Grenoble airport on a private airport transfer to Les Arcs. It makes your travelling to and from resort easy, so all you have to worry about is whether you’ll find your ski legs or not!Guide section
Les Arcs is an incredibly popular ski area that, put quite simply, is both convenient and vast. Since the opening in 2003 of the amazing double-decker Vanoise Express cable car (the biggest in the world carrying 200 passengers in each of the two double decker cars) Peisey-Vallandry at the far end of the Les Arcs ski area links to Montchavin/Les Coches in La Plagne, creating the huge Paradiski Ski area.
Les Arcs is actually made up of purpose-built mini resorts, coupled with traditional villages and towns on the outskirts. The market town of Bourg St Maurice is at the bottom of the valley and is linked directly to the first ski area of Arc 1600 by the efficient ‘Les Arcs Express’ (formerly ‘Arc en Ciel’) funicular that whisks you the mile up to resort in just seven minutes and from here there are free navette buses that serve 1800, 1950 and 2000.
Arc 1600, also known as Arc Pierre Blanche, is the lowest of the Arcs resorts, yet is still pretty snow sure and has great kids’ clubs too. It has all its own facilities, including underground parking under all the hotel complexes, where you’ll be dropped off on your transfer from Geneva, so you can catch the lift straight to reception – no dragging bags through the snow!
Winding further up the road you come to Arc 1800 (or Arc Chantel), the centre of the cluster of resorts. This is the largest development in Les Arcs and whilst the style of the buildings may not be to your taste, it is SO well-planned. Access to lifts and pistes is easy, it’s truly ski in, ski out and there are loads of shops, bars, restaurants and leisure facilities for you.
Further over towards the east side of the resort, Arc 1950 sets a very different tone. It’s very much chalet style in look and the access to the pistes is superb. There’s an even a free gondola lift (the Cabriolet) to link skiers and pedestrians directly to Arc 2000.
In Arc 2000 it’s a different ball game. Completely self-sufficient with shops, cinema, bars and restaurants, this hamlet is definitely one for the serious skiers. The climate can be quite wild and at 2000m altitude you’ll be walking in snow all season, but this does mean the best access to the pistes and the legendary Aiguille Rouge area, with the summit looking down on Arcs 2000 at 3226m, the highest point of the whole resort.
The icing on the cake with Les Arcs is the fact that it’s so convenient. An ultra-modern lift system with very few drag lifts (we can hear snowboarders breathe a sigh of relief!), truly ski in/ski out accommodation everywhere, wide open motorway pistes, excellent snow parks and plenty of hidden off piste to devour too.
If you’re looking for a more authentic holiday experience in the Les Arcs area, you can look to stay in Villaroger, Vallandry or Plan Peisey, which are villages on the extremities of Les Arcs, but still offering easy access to the domain, being directly linked by lifts. As these resorts are lower down and not car-free, your Mountain Drop-offs transfer from Geneva Airport could well be slightly under three hours and will drop you off at the door of your accommodation.
If you’re heading to any of the Les Arcs resorts, you’re sure to be in for a fun time on the slopes. But as well as swooshing down those well-groomed, motorway-sized pistes, there are other things to do both on and off the slopes. We’ve come up with some great activities that’ll keep even the hardest to please teenagers amused. And some of them are pretty eccentric too, which just makes us love Les Arcs even more!content-activities.php
Keep your eyes peeled for snow art! Every winter Simon Beck creates some amazing patterns in the snow using mathematical calculations and his feet (and a trusty pair of snowshoes). A fave spot is the lake in front of Club Med at Arc 2000, where he is commissioned each season to do a new snow piece. Head to the chair lift for the best views. These works of art have to be seen to be believed.
Dare to do the water slide! Right in front of the Altiport restaurant on the Clair Blanc piste, you’ll find a water slide dug into the snow from March onwards. It’s meant to be cross-able on skis or a snowboard, but at 15m long and 50cm deep, you’ll need some guts, speed and technique, else you’ll get sopping wet!
Visit the Beaufort cheese factory. Nothing beats a creamy Beaufort cheese made by happy cows grazing in the alpine meadows around Bourg St Maurice and Les Arcs and now you can go and see where it’s made at the Co-operative dairy. This is a fabulous thing to do that makes a real change from skiing.
You can enjoy night skiing and boarding on floodlit pistes every week during the season in Les Arcs. On Thursdays it’s until 19:00 in Arc 1600 and 1800, then every Tuesday and Thursday in the Arc 1950 and 2000 areas. There’s even free vin chaud and hot choc to keep you warm!
Try the speed test next to the Plagnettes chair lift. This is where you’ll find a proper downhill, skis flat, poles tucked under ski run with electronic timing that’ll show you your time at the end of the run. The record is an eye-wateringly fast 251.4km/h, which, if you were on the motorway, would definitely get the speed cameras flashing!
Go sledging in the Rodeo Park on the Col de la Chal at 2600m above resort. The sledge run is a seriously adrenaline-inducing 3km long and costs around 7,50€ per run, with sledge and helmet included. Kids have to be over 10 and 1m25 tall and accompanied by an adult. Access is via TransArc or Arcabulle lifts and it’s open every afternoon Sunday to Thursday inclusive. There’s also the Mille8 sledge run for you to try at Arc 1800.
As you can see, Les Arcs has everything anyone could ever need when it comes to a ski resort. Collectively, every area of Les Arcs caters for everyone, from those little ‘uns taking their first steps, to those who love nothing more than hitting the half pipe for a few spins and grabs. Mountain Drop-offs makes getting to Les Arcs from the airport at Geneva easy and convenient too, no matter which resort your’re staying in!