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Les Arcs - born from passion for the mountains

Les Arcs resorts, the four (originally three) resorts that form the skiing and sporting areas of Bourg St Maurice in the French Alps, were born from a passion for skiing and the mountains. Purpose designed and built from scratch, the resorts are the brainchildren of the partnership of Roger Godino, a builder and developer of mountain tourism, and Robert Blanc, a locally born ski instructor and mountain guide. Les Arcs may lack the original Savoyard charm of some of the older village resorts, but they are extremely well planned and designed for convenience and for easy access to some of Europe's very best skiing and mountain sports.

And then there were four

Originally, Les Arcs consisted of three resorts or villages - Arc 2000, Arc 1800 and Arc 1600. Although often considered to be named after their respective altitudes, Arc 2000 was in fact so called to be futuristic, celebrating the distant millenium (it opened in the 1970's). It is actually at an altitude of 2150m. More recently a fourth resort has been added, Arc 1950 (at 2050m). Each resort has a different ambience and purpose, so it is worth spending a little time deciding which is best suited to your needs. If skiing, pure and simple, is your requirement, and if you are an expert skier looking for new adventures and excellent snow, then 2000 is probably the one for you. It lacks a sophisticated social life, however, and the buildings are uninspiring... all offset by the fact that the skiing, on and off piste, is superb.

Choice of resort in Les Arcs

If it is skiing, balanced with a good aprés ski scene that you prefer, however, Arc 1800 is the best choice. Here there are plenty of bars and restaurants, bowling and other activities to ensure that you are always entertained. Families may prefer to seek out the small and friendly atmosphere found in Arc 1600 or perhaps may enjoy the theme park feel of the newest village, Arc 1950.

Facilities on offer

Whichever you choose, there is bound to be plenty for you to do, and most facilities are on hand whether in the resorts themselves or down in Bourg St. Maurice. All the resorts have either a bank or a cash machine at least, and there is a great selection of shops and services as well as various health and sports facilities.

Fêtes and festivities

There are numerous cultural events that take place throughout the year in Les Arcs and in Bourg St Maurice, and you can variously enjoy music festivals, art exhibitions, Christmas markets and street theatre. The restaurants available vary considerably in style and content, but don't miss the opportunity to try some of the delicious traditional products of the region, including alpine cheeses and fondues.

Skiing and sports

There is so much on offer at Les Arcs that it is way beyond the scope of this guide to detail it all. However, suffice to say that the resorts are connected to the best skiing in Europe, and there are runs for everyone, from nervous débutantes to daring off pisters. There are also excellent facilities for snowboarders and freestyle skiers, and those with a yen for adventure may also like to try the following: mono skiing, ski surfing, hang gliding, speed skiing, extreme skiing, and heli skiing... to name but a few! Summer sports include white water rafting, canyoning, kayaking and rock climbing.

How to get there

The best way to reach the villages of Les Arcs is possibly by rail. There is a TGV station at Bourg St Maurice that is connected to a Eurostar service that will take you all the way from England without having to change trains. Of course, you may prefer to fly, in which case you should take an easyJet or Ryanair flight to Grenoble.

Property prices and availability in and around Les Arcs

The Alps aren't generally cheap when it comes to anything, let alone property prices. Les Arcs, however, offers a good choice of size and type of property, and as there are some small studios and apartments available it may be possible to bag yourself a little piece of the Alps for less than you might expect.

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WHERE IS Les Arcs?

Les Arcs is located in eastern France, in the Alps. The villages that make up Les Arcs lie in the north-east of the Savoie department.

Les Arcs Property Map


Rhône-Alpes Guide

Rhône-Alpes Property Map


Savoie Guide

  Savoie Map

Population: 4,744

Access: By air: Fly to Grenoble with Ryanair or easyJet. By rail: Take the ski express to Bourg St Maurice direct from England!

Economy: Mountain tourism (winter and summer) is the essence of the economy in Les Arcs.

Interesting fact: Les Arcs was created by a partnership between a designer and developer of mountain tourism and a locally born ski instructor and mountain guide.

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