Our guide to family skiing in Arc 1800, France

by Jan

Here is our travel guide to Arc 1800, a beautiful mountain ski resort in the French Alps.  This purpose-built ski resort in the Alps is perfect for family skiing and has plenty to offer everyone.

This post will give you all the information you need for a ski holiday in Arc 1800.  Discover information on how to travel to the resortski rental, ski lessonsfamily skiing, accommodation and things to do in Arc 1800.

Read on for advice that will help you plan your own visit to Les Arcs and make the most of your family skiing holiday in Arc 1800.

Where is Arc 1800?

Les Arcs is a purpose-built ski resort in the French Alps. It is about 2 hours South of Geneva in the Parc national de la Vanoise.

It is made of 4 pedestrian villages, which are all named after the height about sea level. We always stay at Arc 1800.

In this guide to Arc 1800, we will look at how we have booked all elements of our trip independently and what has worked well for us as a family.

One of the Arc 1800 ski lifts in France

Getting there and around

You can drive to Les Arcs, take the train or fly.  We prefer to fly into Geneva Airport, where we spend one night at the Novotel Geneva Airport.

This hotel is actually just over the border in France, in a little village called Ferney- Voltaire.    We chose it because it is fairly reasonable and offers a free shuttle bus to and from the airport, so we can easily get back  We always book direct with Accor Hotels.

We spend the extra day and night in Geneva, as it is far cheaper to fly on the Friday.  However, it is impossible to find accommodation for 1 night in the ski resort.  We have done this for a number of years and it works really well.

We transfer to Arc 1800 using Ben’s Bus.  This takes about 3 hours, but the roads can get very busy in the school holidays.

Although we’ve not yet tried it, the train looks a good option too.  You can take the TGV directly to Bourg St Maurice and then take the fenicular railway into resort.

Once we are in resort we don’t need any transport, as everything is accessible by foot.

Accommodation in Arc 1800

Arc 1800 Ski Resort in France

There is a wide choice of accommodation in Arc 1800 and there is something to suit most budgets.  We stay at Residence Le Belmont, which we book directly with Pierre & Vacances.

This is an ideal residence, as you can ski in and out from the boot room.  It is on the edge of the forest, so is quiet, but is only 500 metres walk from the centre of the resort.

The accommodation is fairly basic, chalet-style apartments, but has everything we need for our family ski holiday.  There are ski lockers in the basement, which lead directly out onto the slopes.

The pistes in Les Arcs

The skiing at Les Arcs is fantastic.  The Paradiski area covers the slopes of Les Arcs, Peisey-Vallandry and La Plagne, making it the 2nd biggest linked ski area in the world.

The resort has 435 km of pistes and offers something for all skiing abilities.  As 70 % of the resort is above 2000 m, there is always great snow coverage.

We order our ski passes in advance before we go and have them delivered to the house, so that we don’t have to waste time collecting them on the first day.  You can choose whether or not to buy a ski pass for the whole area or just the local part.

Pistes at Arc 1800 Ski Resort in France

Snow Park

Les Arcs has a snow park which covers 7.5 hectares and 3 pistes and offers something for all abilities.  There are jumps, rails and mini-pipes.

For the more adventurous, there is the Big Air Bag, where you can try out your tricks with a soft landing and the Water Slide.  This comprises of a run up and pool to ski or snowboard across.  Even if you don’t fancy giving it a go, it is fun to watch from the side lines.

The Aguille Rouge

If you head up to the peak at over 3226m, you will get breath-taking panoramic views of all the surrounding mountains.  To make it even better, they have added a new walkway and overhang, so the views are even more spectacular.  Don’t forget your camera!

Ski rental

We hire all our equipment from the Skiset shop, which is located at the bottom of the apartments.

We book this online from home and then get fitted out when we arrive on  Saturday, so that we are ready to start on the Sunday.

Family standing on skis at Arc 1800 in France

Ski lessons

Boy on skis at Arc 1800 in France

The children have morning ski lessons with the French ski school, Ecole du ski francais (ESF), which we book directly from home.  The meeting point is at the bottom of the gondola, which we can ski to directly.

In the afternoon, we ski as a family, or with other families in the group we go with.

Where can you eat?

There are plenty of places to stop for refreshments on the slopes, though these do tend to be pricier.  Our favourite restaurant on the slopes is Le Lodge, based on its location.  We tend to avoid the restaurant and order from the snack bar on the side, which we can eat outside on the terrace.  It’s a great venue, with magnificent views.

For a cheaper option, take off your skis and walk in to town (or slide down!)  Our favourite place in town is the Red Hot Saloon.

We have a self-catering apartment, so have the option to save money and eat at home too.  We can walk to Le Sherpa supermarket, which is small, but has all the basics we need.

Family outside restaurant at Arc 1800 in France

The Ice Bar

Boy and his mum at the Igloo Bar, Arc 1800, France

On the slopes near the Arcabulle chiarlift you will find the magical Igloo Village Ice Bar.

You can stop at this giant igloo for drinks on the outside terrace, where you can chill and absorb the magnificent mountain scenery.

Even better,  you could take a look inside.  Here you can take a seat in the ice armchairs and admire the ice sculptures.  The light projections and music enhance the atmosphere.

The kids love it.

What else can you do in Arc 1800?

Take a dip

If you need a break from the snow, there is a wellness and relaxation centre.  This includes an indoor leisure pool, with slides, a cave and water jets.

The centre also has a fitness area with a gym and 2 sauna rooms and hammams.

Enjoy the torch lit procession

On the Wednesday evening, the ski school instructors do a torch lit show on the side of the mountain.  This really is a must-see event.

The show starts with expert boarders and skiers showing off their skills.  It finishes with a finale of a torch lit procession from the top of the mountain.  This is all done with a light show to the sounds of the dj and is exciting from beginning to end.  The evening always ends with an impressive fireworks display further up the mountain.

It is an awe-inspiring show, though Kevin much preferred the first year with the addition of the dancing female storm troopers!

Torch lit procession at Arc 1800 Ski resort in France

Ride like the wind

There is a toboggan run, known as Luge 1800.  This is great fun and we had an absolute blast doing it.

Younger children can also enjoy sliding down the slope which goes into town (with or without a toboggan!)

Conclusion

You will see from our guide to  Arc 1800, that it is a superb resort for children and family skiing.  The village is pedestrianised and everywhere is accessible on foot, making it safe.

It has a wide range of open runs and is high enough to guarantee good snow coverage.  It goes without saying that the mountain scenery is absolutely breathtaking.

We are going back for our 3rd year, so it can’t be too bad!

Thank you for reading

We hope you enjoyed our guide to Arc 1800.  Have you been skiing in Les Arcs yet?  Where is your favourite family ski resort and why?

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