A Guide to the Paradiski area
With its 425 km of slopes, the Paradiski area (Les Arcs/Peisey-Vallandry & La Plagne) is a unique and limitless winter sports destination. The three resorts are linked by the largest cable car in the world: The Vanoise Express, France’s first ever double-decker cable car. This is one big area, comprising 17 villages overall. Those most frequented are La Plagne, itself made up of 11 separate villages, where families can stay: Plagne 1800 is a pretty village made up of chalets giving a quaint charm, Plagne Soleil is modern but perfectly placed on the piste above Plagne Centre and Belle Plagne has a traffic free village centre and attractive buildings made of local stone and wood. Les Arcs with Arc 1800 at its centre is closest to the Vanoise Express. Arc 1950, the latest village to be developed, is car free with a piste running through the middle inspired by the resort of Whistler and contains developments of approximately 800 residential apartments, located in 8 chalet-style blocks. Traffic free Arc 2000 (altitude 2,100m) is home to a selection of catered chalets. The Paradiski area is continually evolving, the €36 million mini-resort, Mille8 opened in Les Arcs in February 2016. This ground-breaking project created a family-friendly resort-within-a-resort, complete with new nursery slopes, toboggan runs, swimming pool, spa, gym, and restaurant. Lower down the quieter villages of Montchavin, Les Coches, Montalbert and Champagny en Vanoise have their own tree lined local slopes and easy access to the higher altitude slopes around La Plagne. Villaroger (1200m) on the other side of the mountain is a quiet, typical mountain village with chairlift links up to Arc 2000.
In terms of access, Moûtiers station is very convenient if you are heading to Champagny-en-Vanoise, it is only 30 minutes by bus or taxi transfer. Bourg-Saint-Maurice - serviced by the Eurostar - is ideal for Les Arcs with the funicular taking just 7 mins to Arc 1600. Indeed, many skiers and locals are happy to stay there and 'commute'.
Apartments and chalets for sale in Paradiski
The whole ski area offers a huge range of properties and a thriving property market with much to offer. Convenient ski-in/ski-out chalets and apartments in existing or new developments, and despite being purpose built one still finds traditional Savoyard style property for sale and to rent. As Paradiski is made up of such wide variety of villages, the price for a property in Paradiski for sale is equally varied. Eco-friendly ski apartments can be found for under €250,000, however, in more popular villages such as La Plagne, well appointed chalets and modern apartments can easily be found at much higher prices. Each village has its own style and offering, so it’s important to look into each atmosphere and see what works best for your property criteria.
The Paradiski ski area
Totalling over 425km of pistes plus untold acres of off-piste to explore, with plenty to suit all standards from beginner to expert, including some seriously steep ungroomed black runs and plenty of easy cruising, the Paradiski area is a real crowd pleaser. With nearly 70% of the pistes above 2,000m and above the treeline this area guarantees reliable snow conditions. Efficient snow-making is installed on some of the lower south-facing slopes. Intermediates will enjoy the numerous long wide red and blue runs. The lift system is fast and efficient but can be overwhelmed at peak times creating various bottlenecks. Advanced skiers have their pick of off-piste and nature runs plus one of the longest runs in the Alps, the classic 7km black and red run from the top of the Aiguille Rouge at 3,226m at Les Arcs down to Villaroger at 1,200m. Most of the black runs are never groomed and become huge mogul fields. Some of the best off piste is on the open slopes reached from both the Varet gondola and the Aiguille Rouge cable car. Beginners are also welcomed with purpose built beginner zones, good snow conditions and reputable ski schools. Some of the best runs in the Paradiski area are: La Forêt at La Plagne, Aiguille Rouge from Les Arcs, Mont de la Guerre at Belle Plagne, Mont Saint Sauveur at La Plagne and Arandelières from Arc 2000.
Après ski and Eating out in Paradiski
In the pleasant village of Plagne 1800, head to Le Petit Chaperon Rouge for the finest Savoyard dishes in the area and an impressive wine list. Get to seasonnaire favourite Scotty’s for mid-afternoon to make the very most of the sun on their large terrace and, if you feel like it, stay until early evening to enjoy their live music. La Plagne has a large and appealing choice of mountain restaurants for lunch stops - Chalets des Versons above Chmpagny, Forperet near Montalbert and Sauget close to Montchavin are popular if you are exploring the wider area. La Plagne has plenty of bars for après-ski including the Igloo Igloo at Scotty's Bar at Plagne Centre. In Les Arcs, Arc 1800 is the liveliest, with a couple of nightclubs and some places such as Giovanni’s pub hosting regular live music. Among the bars in Arc 1950 are the famous George’s wine bar Wine Bar, where you’ll find singing, dancing, good wine and great staff, and Les Belles Pintes. As well as the village’s free events programme, bars here take it in turns to organise nightly concerts. There’s a fun ice bar and ice grotto with sculptures in the igloo village above Arc 2000, open until 5pm. The area above Arc 1800, where the latest Folie Douce opened recently has a fun ski slope for kids and a toboggan run that are floodlit until early evening. Le Sanglier Qui Fume above Arc 1600 offers quality French food with stunning views over the Tarentaise valley. You can stop at L’Arpette on your ski back down to 1800 or 1600 which has a large terrace and lively atmosphere. Once back in the resort, you will find Red Hot Saloon and Bar King Mad if you wish to carry on the après-ski into the evening. If you are skiing in the Arc 1950 area at lunchtime, be sure to stop off at Chalets de l’Arc for the finest piste-side lunch on this side of the valley.
The Olympic bobsleigh in La Plagne is a must for thrillseekers with a number of options that will scare you in varying degrees!
Summer in Paradiski
In the summer, Paradiski remains an attractive destination. The cycling route from Bourg Saint Maurice to Les Arcs 1950 was the section of the 1996 Tour de France and many flock to the area in the summer months to test their fitness. For the mountain biking commmunity, this area has some of the best backcountry riding away from the crowds with descents to the many villages over the area, many of which their own mini bike parks and natural trails. In the La Plagne area, the experts tip Col du Carroley and the Champagney Loop for flowing trails and formidable views. Magic Carpet is a 25km descent from the Roche chairlift. Linked to La Plagne by the Vanoise Express, Les Arcs has more efficient lift access to trails from 750 to 2,500m, a large network with some big descents from above the treeline into the woods. Sketchy Dismount is regarded as one of the classic big-mountain routes. Cachette is the locals choice, a black run with big jumps and high speed rocky sections all the way down to Bourg-Saint-Maurice.
Away from cycling, there is an excellent 18-hole golf course with a brand new clubhouse and restaurant, many tennis courts, an 800m2 aquatic centre in Les Arcs 1800 and miles of fantastic hiking trails to enjoy. Pool, adventures parks, white water sports, lake activities, the list is endless.