The Crystal Ski Holidays Blog

Paradiski ski resorts, France; our guide

Welcome to the Paradiski

The Paradiski area is made up of the resorts of La Plagne and Les Arcs which, when combined, offer a ski area of 425km linked by the awesome Vanoise express. This is a 200 person double-decker cable car that takes just four minutes to cross the 2km Vanoise valley. At its highest point, it’s about 300m above the bottom of the valley below. (Believe it or not but some people choose to base jump from the cable car)

Access to the Paradiski couldn’t be easier with flying available into Grenoble, Chambery and Geneva as well as the snow train direct from London to the Bourg St Maurice and Aime.

What’s the skiing like?

The Paradiski is a great intermediate ski area with lots of red and blue runs to keep you challenged throughout your stay. You get a real variety of skiing in the Paradiski with:

  • Two glaciers (Aiguille Rouge in Les Arcs & Bellecote in La Plagne) giving great, fresh snow every day
  • Wide runs at high altitude, especially around Belle Plagne & Arc 1950/2000
  • Brilliant tree lined runs in the lower stretches of Montalbert, Montchavin, Les Coches and Vallandry
  • Snow parks in both La Plagne and Les Arcs
  • Easy beginner runs in nearly all the villages across the Paradiski most of which are linked by comfortable blue runs allowing you to see as much of the scenery as possible

What else can I do in the Paradiski?

The Paradiski has some brilliant activities from torchlight descents to skidooing, or even parapenting. However what really makes the Paradiski stand out is its full length Olympic bobsleigh track. Built for the 1992 winter Olympics in Albertville, this track offers a range of sleds, depending on the level of adrenaline you wish to reach.

Bob Raft – the starter sleigh but by no means slow. This raft guides itself down the track and still hits speeds of 90km/h. This is available at a special family rate and is suitable for children over 1.3m tall.

Mono Bob – For the lone rangers in the group, this single seat bobsleigh will really test mental toughness as it whistles down at more than 100km/h.

Taxi Bob – the real McCoy, this time you are accompanied by a professional driver in a full size 4 man bobsleigh. He will race you down at over 120km/h. In the corners you will feel more force than you would taking off on board a space shuttle.

Where’s the best place to dance in my ski boots?

Après ski in the Paradiski may not have the same reputation as some of its neighbouring resorts but it can definitely still get the party going with lots of live music and great après offers.

In La Plagne, you have Scotty’s in Plagne Centre which probably offers the best priced drinks and live music a couple of times a week. Saloon, in Belle Plagne, offers a more Euro pop après scene but is still not to be missed. Finally, there’s La Mine in Plagne 1800, which has a more traditional French feel, with live music most evenings.

In Arc 1800 you have Red Hot Saloon bar which has live bands or a DJ most nights and can easily turn your après session into an all-nighter. In 1950, there is the Irish pub called La Belle Pinte, which guarantees a lively atmosphere, as people leave the pistes in search of a drink or two.

Where should I go in the Paradiski?

La Plagne and Les Arcs are both split into lots of different villages so here is a quick guide to help you find the right one for you.

La Plagne

Plagne Centre – the main hub of the resort and has recently been revamped for 12/13. Mainly made up of hotels and a few chalets just above the centre, this area has some of the best restaurants and bars in La Plagne.

Plagne 1800 – dominated by chalets, this little village offers a more traditional feel to La Plagne and the only bar ‘La Mine’ is always a lively option for après ski.

Belle Plagne – purpose built and designed with ski in mind, this village puts all the cars underground, allowing you to ski through the resort between the wide varieties of accommodations. Belle Plagne is probably the best area of the resort for nightlife, with the party at ‘Saloon’ often rocking until 5am.

Bellecote – located just below Belle Plagne, this is a central point for the lifts in La Plagne. With access to all directions this is one place you are guaranteed to come through, so why not stop at the English run pub, ‘Spitting Feathers’, if you’re feeling a little homesick.

Plagne Soleil/Villages – overlooking Plagne centre, these neighbouring resorts offer mainly self catering accommodation, varying from value to high end luxury.

Aime La Plagne – is the highest resort in La Plagne offering unparalleled views of the Tarantaise Valley. Again this area is predominantly about self catering apartments as well as a large shopping and entertainment complex.

Les Coches – set right in middle of the Paradiski and just a stone’s throw from the Vanoise express. This is the best location for those who really want to make the most of the full area lift pass and is also a slightly more remote, traditional French village.

Les Arcs

Arc 2000 – the highest resort in Les Arcs, with good quality hotels that are great for families offering superb access to the pistes. Also there is a short lift that links it with Arc 1950.

Arc 1950 – stunning purpose built village with a very North American feel to it. Here you will find high end self catering all with ski to door access, as well as a good range of restaurants and bars to keep you entertained.

Arc 1800 – probably the livelier part of Les Arcs, with plenty of bars to keep your evenings busy. There is a good mixture of hotels and apartments to be found in 1800, as well as good access to the whole of Les Arcs and down to the Vanoise express.

Arc 1600 –has some great accommodation that offers good childcare and other facilities to help make your holiday easier, including ski to door in most hotels. There is also the funicular that runs all the way down the valley to Bourg St Maurice.

Vallandry – Similar to Les Coches with its prime location next to the Vanoise Express, as well as being a more traditional French village.

Get a real feel of the Paradiski with this short video

For more information on La Plagne

For more information on Les Arcs

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