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Monday December 18, 2017 - Email this article to a friend

The huge high-altitude French ski area has opened and PlanetSKI was in resort this week as the first lifts fired up.

Some resorts open with a bang, others are more subdued affairs.

Les Arcs belongs in the latter category - there are no concerts, firework displays, ski tests and the like.  

Rather just large areas of the mountain with plenty of snow and few crowds.  

Perfect as these are the best opening conditions in recent years.  

Believe it or not I have never stayed in Les Arcs.  

I have skied it from the neighbouring and linked resort of La Plagne - the two resorts combine to make the huge Paradiski area.  

My home for 72-hours is the highest resort Arc 2000 that sits just above the newest village - Arc 1950. 

Arc 2000, FranceArc 2000, France


The cloud and limited visibility was to be a feature of my visit - but it also brought heavy snow.

Poor visability but plenty of snowPoor visibility but plenty of snow

By chance an old friend of mine, Fiona Sweetman, was in resort and we teamed up. 

We used to work together a few years back at the Ski Club of Great Britain.  

Friends re-unitedFriends re-united

Friends togetherFriends together

With heavy snow and limited visibility there was only one place to head to - the trees above Villaroger.  

There was 25cm of fresh powder snow to play in.  

We hit the pistes and then the powder.

Les Arcs, FranceLes Arcs, France

Les Arcs, FranceLes Arcs, France

And our excursion into the trees involved the inevitable crossing of mountain streams.

Les Arcs, FranceLes Arcs, France

And a fabulous mountain restaurant for hot chocolates and lunch.  

Quick pit stopQuick pit stop


  • 425km of ski runs with the high point at 3,350m.
  • 70% of ski area above 2,000m
  • Snow guarantee
  • 4 villages: Arc 1600, Arc 1800, Arc 1950, Arc 2000  
NEW FOR 2017/18  
  • Les Chalets des Cascades luxury chalet
  • Voga Goga mountain restaurant
  • Special delivery of presents by the man in red
  • Expansion of British week  

And what is British week I hear you ask?

"It is an event specially designed to celebrate Great Britain and British skiers despite Brexit," said Nathalie Guidon from the Arc 1950 tourist office to me. 

"The whole resort adopts the colours of the Union Jack and there will be Franco-British challenges and entertainment providing fun and games on the slope and in resort," she added. 

There will also be special prices and deals. 


"Les Arcs is a firm favourite with our guests and the base at Arc 2000 gives perfect access to the slopes and has a range of après ski activities and entertainment," said Louise Newton from Ski Total.

"And as you have discovered it is perfectly positioned for the skiing above Villaroger which is one of the resort's secrets," she added.

And on the final afternoon of the final day the clouds lifted and the scenery was revealed.

Les Arcs, FranceLes Arcs, France

Les Arcs, FranceLes Arcs, France

Les Arcs, FranceLes Arcs, France

Now I mentioned the resort opening was a subdued affair.  

Well, there were a few special treats laid on and here was the best.    

Ski-in/ski-out fondue testing. 

And very tasty it was too.  

Les Arcs, FranceLes Arcs, France

Les Arcs, FranceLes Arcs, France


What you need to know:

Ski Total ( / 01483 791 935) is offering seven nights at the 4* plus Chalet Panda in Les Arcs, France from £499 per person this season.

Price includes flights from London Gatwick to Geneva, resort transfers and chalet catering (daily skiers breakfast, afternoon tea with homemade cake and three-course evening meals with complimentary wine).
See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the mountains.

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