Les Arcs has embraced every new trend in wintersports from snowboarding to freestyle skiing, keeping the resort young and energetic...
Les Arcs ski holidays are based in a modern, purpose-built resort set at altitude above the town of Bourg-St Maurice. It's broken into several separate villages, and has many of the virtues, and the vices, you'd expect from this kind of resort.
But somehow Les Arcs has always managed to be more than just a bunch of ugly apartment blocks scattered over the side of an Alp, perhaps because the skiing is so good here. When you're having this much fun on your ski holiday, who cares what the accommodation looks like?
What's more, standards of accommodation are improving. Arc 1950 - a relatively new ski village - has led the way in this respect, but now the other villages are following suit, with several new residences opening up.
Resort height: 1,800m
Along with its neighbour La Plagne, and the resort of Champagny-en-Vanoise, Les Arcs forms part of the Paradiski ski area, which offers well over 400km of pistes - and some hard-core off-piste ski terrain to boot.
The downside, however, is that it's a bit of a schlep to get over there from some of the more far-flung villages, and once you make the crossing, you're confronted by old and slow ski lifts to take you up into La Plagne.
Fortunately, Les Arcs has got a lot to offer anyway: broad cruisey blues set between the trees; flat easy greens for anyone who needs to build their confidence; and one enormous high-altitude descent, from the summit of the Aiguille Rouge (at 3,225m, all the way down to Villaroger, 2,000m below).
There are also plenty of challenges in Les Arcs - thanks to the lively freestyle scene in the Apocalypse terrain park, and some top-notch powder skiing (in the right conditions) off the back of the Aiguille Rouge. But the really tough stuff lies over in La Plagne, on the north face of the Bellecote - the site of some of the most hair-raising descents in the Alps.
Geneva, Grenoble, Lyon and Chambery airports are all less than three hours away from Les Arcs...
Alternatively, you can take a Eurostar train straight from London St Pancras to Bourg St Maurice, in the valley below Les Arcs, twice a week. If you prefer, you could opt for normal rail services which are good, or you could simply drive yourself.
Les Arcs is a true all-rounder, offering up memorable moments for everyone from a first time skier to an expert snowboarder...
It's intermediate skiers and snowboarders who really get the best deal, though.
The après-ski in Les Arcs has picked up a bit over recent years, while the resort still offers great value for money...
Accommodation in Les Arcs is split into five main villages - Arc 2000, Arc 1950, Arc 1800, Arc 1600 and Vallandry - and that can be a problem because there aren't often enough people in any of them to give the place a real fizz. The liveliest nightlife is in Arc 1800, where you will find the friendly Red Hot Saloon, while Arc 1950 is home to late-opening O'Chaud.
The restaurant scene in Les Arcs is also a little underpowered, but the Mountain Cafe in Arc 1800, Le Table des Lys in Arc 1950, and Chez Eux in Arc 2000 are worth trying.
The fractured nature of Les Arcs really works against the non-skier. In any of the villages the shopping would detain you for no more than a couple of hours, and the on-mountain activities are limited too.
8/10 Cost of living
There are lots and lots of apartments in Les Arcs, and holidays in the smaller and more dated ones can be dirt cheap. Even in Arc 1950, the more modern apartments won't break the bank. Wherever you stay there's always a cheap-eating option too, though you want to do your shopping down in Bourg St Maurice, in the valley below the resort, if you're doing your own cooking - thereby avoiding the overpriced mini-markets.
6/10 Attractiveness of the resort
It depends where in Les Arcs you stay. Arc 1950 is head and shoulders above the other villages when it comes to architecture and design. The others are all a bit scrappy and dated, although money has been spent in recent years refreshing some of the facades. The mountain scenery is gorgeous.