The great, diverse ski area of Paradiski is one of the most popular destinations for skiers and snowboarders of all abilities. Boasting a total of 425 km of pistes, the ski area spans the resorts of Les Arcs, Peisey-Vallandry, La Plagne and Champagny en Vanoise. And thanks to the Vanoise Express it's an interconnected paradise.
Since December 2008, the Vanoise Express has linked the main resort areas of La Plagne and Les Arcs, opening up miles more skiing for even the most adventurous intermediate. This remarkable double-decker cable car can carry 200 people the 2km journey from one side to the other in just 4 minutes.
Where is the Paradiski ski area?
The Paradiski resorts are in the Tarentaise valley in the Savoie region on the north west side of the French Alps, and is one of the most accessible. It's a 2hr 30min transfer from the airports at Lyon and Geneva, 2hrs from Grenoble and 90mins from Chambery. It also has excellent road and rail links, with the nearest stations being Bourg St Maurice and Moutiers. In fact, it is possible to go by rail all the way from London and then take the funicular from Bourg St Maurice up to Les Arcs.
Why ski in the Paradiski?
As one of the world's most extensive ski domains, Paradiski has something for everyone. You can ski or board a big range of altitudes (from 1,250m up to 3,250m) making Paradiski a great option for both beginner and advanced skiers and snowboarders.
For snowboarding enthusiasts there are four snow parks, and four boarder cross descents. There is even a weekly boarder cross competition! There are plenty of options for cross country skiing in Paradiski too, with approximately 150km of cross country skiing tracks spread throughout the area.
With two mountain peaks soaring above the 3,000m mark, there is a fantastic snow record here. Aside from the many kilometres of pistes, the Paradiski resorts also offer a varied range of off-slope activities. Les Arcs and La Plagne are typically more popular for younger crowds, whilst Vallandry is considerably more peaceful and very popular with families.
Skiing the Paradiski with Sunweb
Sunweb won the award for 'world’s best ski tour operator' last year (for a 6th time) at the world ski awards and taking a Paradiski holiday with Sunweb means you can ski in a really world class ski area for relatively low cost. So if you're feeling the pinch a bit and want a ski holiday that doesn't break the bank, Sunweb can help: your lift pass is always included, and if you book a flight to France with Sunweb then you also get ski hire included as well. And, of course, Sunweb offers accommodation for all tastes and budgets in Paradiski.
Get to know the Paradiski ski resorts
Each main resort area has its own character - and even within the larger resorts there can be great contrasts. So here's a breakdown of how the three resorts of the Paradiski area shape up.
One of the pioneers of purpose-built ski resorts. When it was inaugurated in 1968, Les Arcs' original development - Arc 1600 - was one of France's first 'designer' ski resorts and Les Arcs has evolved and grown but remained at the avant-garde for winter-sports tourism and snowsports innovation ever since.
There are four different villages to pick form: Arc 1600, Arc 1800, Arc 1950 and Arc 2000. All four villages are car free and offer ski-in, ski-out accommodation. Arc 1800 and Arc 1950 are widely regarded as the liveliest of the four thanks to the many terraces, restaurants and shops. Arc 1800 is also the largest of the four and most popular with young visitors. In the resort heart is the new snow park Mille 8. This fantastic winter snow park features a toboggan run, a forest themed slope, a freestyle obstacle course and a special area for beginners and children. To relax after all this there is a large water paradise with a stunning view of Mont Blanc!
Atmospheric Arc 1950 was built in the style of Canadian resort villages such as Whistler - the watchwords here are quality, service and luxury; the lively centre has excellent restaurants, a few bars, a supermarket, a baker and various shops. Arc 2000, the highest village, is the destination of choice for more advanced skiers. It is a small village with a limited number of restaurants, bars and shops, but is renowned for its easy access to speedy terrain. Expert skiers will relish the various black descents down the Aiguille Rouge, including an epic 7km long black-into-red piste with a vertical drop of over 2,000m down to the linked village of Villaroger - one of the best on-piste descents in the Alps.
Overall, the vast majority of Les Arcs' terrain is ideal for intermediates and there's plenty of scope for inter-piste powder-field hopping plus serious off-piste opportunities for more advanced visitors.
If you fancy a break from all that skiing, Les Arcs offers other wintersports activities such as tobogganing, paragliding, 20km of marked trails for snowshoe hikes and winter walks, and the 130kph zipline descent. And don't miss the illuminated murals of the Aiguille Rouge - an unforgettable high-altitude light show.
Three to book:
Résidence Prestige Edenarc
This beautiful self-catering property is located directly by the blue slope and the 'Carreley' ski lift in Arc 1800. The centre is 750 metres from the apartments.
The apartments are luxuriously and stylishly decorated, with comfortable furniture and an eye for detail. Much use has been made of wood and earth tones, which gives the accommodation a warm and welcoming look. It is wonderful to come home here, after a long day on the slopes.
Need to completely relax? At the wellness centre 'Bulle', you can immerse yourself in the heated indoor pool, or relax in the sauna and hammam.
Résidence La Source des Arcs
Located in one of the most beautiful places in the village of Les Arcs 2000, this high-end, five-star self-catered accommodation is the ultimate place for a carefree holiday. The residence is located at the foot of the blue slope, making you the first to ski down the fresh powder every day. The 'Cabriolet' gondola is 100m away and will take you to Les Arcs 1950 in no time. The Lanchettes chairlift is also not far away.
The apartments are spacious and modern, and come with a balcony, a kitchen fitted with a dishwasher, an oven, a microwave and even a toaster and a coffee machine. There is a private bathroom with a bath and the 5 and 6 room apartments even have their own private sauna.
Résidence La Source des Arcs also has impressive spa facilities including an indoor swimming pool, a sauna and a hammam. Due to being so close to the centre, there are many restaurant and après-ski options on your doorstep.
Résidence P&V Premium Arc 1950 Le Village
Arc 1950 is a small, charming village that is often overlooked in the Les Arc family. It's compact with an Alpine feel and is a perfect destination for families.
The Résidence P&V Premium is a five-star complex in the heart of the village which ensures you have everything you need for your ski holiday right on your doorstep.
Set out as a small village in itself, the complex contains apartments of various sizes which sleep between two and ten guests, a restaurant, pizzeria and spa, which offers an outdoor pool, hot tub, sauna and even massages and beauty treatments.
Part of the Les Arcs ski area, Vallandry is a small, cosy French village sitting at 1,600m, consisting of a number of authentic houses, farms, Savoyard-style apartment buildings and chalets. In the centre of the village there is an assortment of shops, restaurants, bars and a nightclub.
Because of its position in the centre of the vast ski area of Paradiski, the Peisey-Vallandry sector is a good choice for visitors who want to enjoy both Les Arcs and La Plagne. Here pretty forested slopes house an excellent range of long tree-lined runs that sweep down to the satellite resort villages of Vallandry and Plan Peisey, where the keenest big-mileage enthusiasts can connect with the cable car link to La Plagne.
Away from the slopes, you can also go climbing up frozen waterfalls, try paragliding, or enjoy a sleigh ride through the snow. A torchlit walk is arranged from the village every week during the school holidays.
Sunweb has a great collection of different accommodations in Vallandry. From cheap apartments, to large luxurious chalets there are ski packages to suit all budgets and group sizes.
Two to book:
Within walking distance from the resort centre, Chalet Inspiration is a cosy chalet with a traditional alpine feel. With room for up to six guests, it has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a full kitchen and a large living room with a fireplace. It also offers a spacious, south-facing balcony to allow you to enjoy the mountain air and make the most of the spectacular surrounding views.
Another cosy chalet perfect for small groups or couples, Chalet Cocon sleeps up to six people, with three bedrooms and two bathrooms, full kitchen and cosy living area with a fireplace. The location of the chalet is perfectly positioned for getting out on the mountain as quick as possible, nestled in the lovely village of Vallandry, just 30m from the closest slope. The perfect base to allow you to explore this wonderful ski area.
La Plagne is the collective name for a group of eight purpose-built high-altitude resort 'villages' and the ski domain that surrounds them; together with four further outlying linked villages. This collection of resorts is one of France's largest linked ski areas in its own right, let alone once you add in Les Arcs. With 225km of pistes and an altitude varying between 1250m and 3250m, skiing in La Plagne offers plenty of great runs for everyone.
The extensive ski area offers a great variety of slopes from a glacial peak, through wide open bowls, to sheltered wooded pistes. The largest sectors are the two huge bowls spread out around the two biggest bases, Plagne-Centre and Belle-Plagne; these open bowls are well above the tree line and feature lots of good intermediate runs, ranging from motorway-wide long blues and fast reds to some more testing narrow link routes.
Off-piste opportunities abound: the Friolin area off Bellecote towards Les Bauches is the most notable lift-served zone; the Face Nord de Bellecote is a serious challenge, and the routes off the back of Bellecote, across the Cul du Nant Glacier, towards Champagny-le-Haut feel a long way from civilisation.
The villages of La Plagne are connected to each other and form a 'ladder' up the mountain. The liveliest is Bella Plagne, built in a forested area and proving there is much more than just skiing in La Plagne. Belle Plagne has various shops, excellent restaurants and fun après-ski bars, making it the most appealing village for many visitors.
Plagne Soleil, in contrast, is a very peaceful village with great views over the mountains and the villages of Plagne Village below. Aside from the apartments and hotels there is a supermarket, a ski shop, a ski school and a restaurant with a bar.
The village of Aime 2000 is at the highest altitude of all the villages as it sits at the top of the mountain. When skiing in La Plagne a visit here will be rewarded with stunning views of Mont Blanc. From Aime 2000 you can access the piste directly or jump in a lift that takes you even higher up the mountain.
Families with children often vote for Plagne Montalbert, which sits at 1,375m on the other side of the mountain. It's a welcoming, simple village with a small centre and a few restaurants.
The village of Les Coches is also located in the Paradiski resort at an altitude of 1,450m. Here you can enjoy skiing through the trees on predominantly blue and red pistes.
Away from the ski slopes, La Plagne offers a packed programme of other wintersports activities, including snowshoe hikes, ice climbing, ziplining, dog-sled rides, snow tubing, tobogganing, paragliding and bobsleigh! La Plagne is home to France’s only bobsleigh and skeleton track.
If you choose La Plagne for your Sunweb holiday your inclusive lift pass will be for La Plagne - but for a fee you can upgrade to a full Paradiski pass.
Three to book:
Résidence Les Balcons de Belle Plagne
This ski-in, ski-out apartment complex is in a peaceful location next to the pistes of La Plagne. It's built in a traditional Savoyard style and offers spectacular views of the beautiful snow-capped mountain peaks from the chalet apartments. There are different types of apartments to choose from including ones that are suitable for larger groups. The lively centre of Bella Plagne is right at the doorstep of Résidence Les Balcons de Belle Plagne so you won’t have to travel far to find something to do after a great day out on the slopes.
Résidence Les Balcons de Belle Plagne offers an optional half-board package which provides breakfast and dinner. The meals are served in the restaurant on the ground floor of the building and the menu is varied offering something for everyone.
Résidence Prestige Front de Neige
With access to a kids club, Jacuzzi and swimming pool, Résidence Prestige Front de Neige is a very traditional self-catering accommodation that uses a combination of wood and stone to give it an authentic ambience. The rooms are spacious and equipped with everything needed for relaxing ski holidays. From the balcony you have a beautiful view of the surrounding areas and there's a fully-equipped kitchen.
The centre of La Plagne is only a short walk away where you can enjoy one of the many traditional French restaurants, bars and shops.
Résidence Odalys Bellecôte
Simple but comfortable apartments in a prime location in Plagne Bellecôte. The property is located in the bustling centre, only 100m from both the slopes and the nearest ski lift. Guests staying at Résidence Odalys Bellecôte can also use the public swimming pool in Plagne Bellecôte for free.
The apartments are colourful and cosily furnished. After a day of fun on the beautiful slopes, you can easily cook something yourself in your apartment, or find a restaurant in the centre.
For more information on these and other accommodations, go to sunweb.co.uk/ski/france/paradiski