Paradiski, like the Three Valleys, is a ski area that is made up of a couple of great resorts. We’ve summarised all the best bits of the area, and covered how to get there. We’ve also picked out our favourite runs, activities, restaurants, and views that we’d highly recommend you check out.
What is Paradiski?
Paradiski is a ski area in the Tarentaise Valley of France. The area consists of La Plagne, Les Arcs, and Peisey-Vallandry, three resorts which are connected together by the Vanoise Express. The cable car system that connects all three resorts opened in 2003, thus marking the opening of the Paradiski area.
Paradiski vs Three Valleys
Whilst skiers and boarders can get about between the three resorts, Paradiski’s interconnected network doesn’t always put you where you want to be. Accessing the Vanoise Express from one of the several Les Arcs villages can be a right chore, and once you’ve hauled yourself over to La Plagne, the fun doesn’t start right away. The best slopes aren’t immediately available on La Plagne’s side of things, so there is a fair amount of moving about that skiers and boarders should be aware of.
Compare this to the Three Valleys, which is a much larger network of seven resorts offering 600km of pistes. Three Valleys has 183 ski lifts moving literally thousands of people around the mountain side. Three Valleys is the larger, better connected option.
That being said, Paradiski has plenty to offer including 425km of piste. La Plagne, Les Arcs, and Peisey Vallandry are all fabulous resorts in their own right, and without the Vanoise Express and other chairlifts, you wouldn’t be able to access as many great runs, both on and off-piste.
Which Resorts Can I Access From Paradiski?
Aside from the three resorts within Paradiski (Les Arcs, La Plagne, Peisey Vallandry), skiers can access Three Valleys and also Espace Killy (Val d’Isère and Tignes) too. A typical weekly ski pass in Paradiski will include a day where pass-holders can visit one of the two other ski areas.
How To Get To Paradiski
All the Paradiski resorts are accessible via transfers, car, and train.
Which Are the Nearest Airports to Paradiski?
- Chambéry Airport is approximately a 1h30 journey
- Grenoble Airport is approximately a 2h00 journey
- Genève Airport is approximately a 2h30 journey
- Lyon Airport is approximately a 2h30 journey
Which Are the Nearest Stations to Paradiski?
- Aime La Plagne
Trains run direct from London and Paris during the winter season. Take a local bus or funicular railway to get you to the resort.
Consisting of seven villages, mostly purpose built, and scattered high on the 3226m Aiguille Rouge, Les Arcs is a cracking ski holiday destination. Accommodation won’t break the bank, you’ve got La Plagne to ski if you fancy it, and the villages each possess their own unique charm.
How Do I Get To Les Arcs?
The best way to get to Les Arcs is probably a direct flight to Chambery, followed by a transfer, or rental car.
Best Bits of Les Arcs
Les Arcs has three different luges, one at Les Arcs 1600, Les Arcs 1800, and Les Arcs 2000. There’s also heli-skiing to try out, plus husky sledding, and ski joëring, which involves being pulled along on skis by a horse or pony.
Great places to eat include Belliou La Fumee and Le Genepi for fine dining, and Le Sanglier qui Fume, L’Adress, and Les Chalets de L’Arc.
For the apres, Les Arcs 1800 is king. Sure, you can find decent bars and restaurants in the other villages, but in Les Arcs 1800, you’ve got Chez Boubou, Red Hot Saloon, and Club 73. After a good couple of hours in any one of those venues, the Apokalypse night club might be calling. There’s also, supposedly, one of the best kebab restaurants in all of the Alps, that stays open to 5am, perfect for when you stumble out of Apokalypse as it closes at 4am.
Best Pistes in Les Arcs
There’s something for everyone in Les Arcs. Blue-cruise chasers will enjoy zipping down the Forêt run, but be wary of certain flat parts that could pose an annoyance to snowboarders. The run picks up from the Grizzly lift and deposits riders in into Vallandry.
The longest piste in Les Arcs starts at the top of the Aiguille Rouge cable car. You’ll have 7km on the Aiguille Rouge black-come-red run, that brings you down over 2km in Villaroger. Beware of queues to get up to the top of Les Arcs 2000. We suggest you aim to hit the cable car early.
If you’ve got multiple skill-sets in your group, take the Derby lift for a choice or red, blue, or black runs that all meet back at the chairlift. The black one is called Bosses and is a narrow run boasting a lot of moguls. The red, Belette, offers a wide, steep before flatttening out near the bottom. Finally Renard, the blue, is very beginner friendly; easy, wide, and not steep at all.
For mogul lovers, the Muguet black runs or the Comborciere run will put you through your paces. If you’re looking for more of an obstacle course, try the Malgovert nature run which starts at the top of the Comborciere lift and leads you into Arc 1600. This off-piste beauty will have you dodging trees, rocks, and other natural variations in the terrain.
Who Should Go to Les Arcs?
Intermediates, who can enjoy confidence boosting long blues and reds, and die hard experts, who will have several rides of their life with dicey blacks and off-piste action.
Peisey-Vallandry offers 200km of slopes and 47 lifts. It consists of some of the villages that make up Les Arcs; Arc 1600, Arc 1800, Arc 1950, and Arc 2000. The highest point is 3226m.
Best of Skiing and Snowboarding in Peisey-Vallandry
We love the beginner areas, Flocon and Cabir, which are considered snow-sure and sit at quite high altitudes. You can get a special pass at a reduced price to access these areas, meaning learners needn’t spend a fortune on ski passes.
Intermediates will equally love this resort, as there is plenty of terrain to try out. Dabble in snowy powder bowls or enjoy cutting through the trees, there are plenty of blues and reds to try out. For experts, the single black run Écureuils is perfect for anyone who loves a mogul.
As the resort sits on the Les Arcs side of the Paradiski map, you’ll need to get an additional ticket to go for a day trip to La Plagne.
Some of the best cross country skiing in the Alps can be found in Peisey-Vallandry. The Nordic ski centre isn’t actually part of the Paradiski region. Instead, lose yourself in the beautiful Vanoise National Park, on 40km of packed tracks. You’ll be passing through open fields of snow and waterfalls of ice. Animals like ibex and chamois exist in these parts, along with long lost villages. Mesmerising.
Best of the Peisey-Vallandry Resort
The resort itself is west-facing so receives a lot of sun. La Table d’Emma is a gorgeous restaurant worth the visit. Aside from that and a few others, you have Les Arcs and La Plagne only a few miles away. Aux Enfants Terrible sits at the top of the Vallandry chairlift, whilst La Bergerie de Raphaël, sits at the bottom. Both are fabulous establishments. Try also La Vache at the bottom of Peisey chairlift.
This isn’t an après-ski town, but two bars do a great job of bringing some lively vibes to the evening air. Bar Mont Blanc in Vallandry is situated just by the Grizzly chairlift and has live music, the occasional comedy night, and a decent sun deck to catch those rays. Mojo Bar is situated within the village and offers up cocktails, beer, and food through to 2am. Live sports and music, as well as a good DJ, can also be expected.
La Plagne is a truly beautiful resort. Over 60% of its 225km of pistes are rated easy. Experts need not feel left out; there are some incredible-and largely unknown-backcountry runs.
How Do I Get To La Plagne?
The best way to get to La Plagne is to fly into Chambery and take a transfer. Chambery is only around an hour and a half drive from the resort, and there are private transfers and public buses available.
Best Runs in La Plagne
This is a resort for experts and intermediates. Intermediates can benefit from open-wide reds and blues with gorgeous peaks framing the view. For a quiet ride, go for Levasset, or warm up on the Arpette. Both blues are welcoming and give intermediates of all levels a fun ride. Watch out, as things can get speedy on the Arpette. Another great blue is Arnica, offering a ton of small features to play around with.
Not always thought of for its backcountry, La Plagne actually gives some pretty epic Alps off-piste trails a run for their money. Forget La Grave, the north face of the Bellecôte consists of stomach-droppingly steep couloirs that will leave you both a little terrified and hungry for more. There’s also the Le Biolley, Grande Rochette, and Roc de Verdons worth a mention; all excellent off-piste areas that are easy to find and access.
If you’re fortunate to be around after a good dumping, head to Mont St Sauveur from the Becoin lift. You’ll get a nice ride on soft pow late into the afternoon.
Best Things About La Plagne Resort
In terms of ratio of skiers to resort accommodation capacity, La Plagne is one of the largest, if not the largest, in the world. It’s also got a wild authentic feel to it, which is unsurprising seeing as the resort is partly situated within the Vanoise National Park. look out for wildlife such as golden eagles and the Alpine ibex.
La Plagne’s food scene is pretty epic too. Au Coin du Feu in Macot-La-Plagne and L’Arome and L’Atelier in Aime are our favourites.
Les Inversions, La Refuge, and La Chalet des Colosses are all great places to dive into the local Savoyarde cuisine. Expect cheese in forms of raclette, tartiflette, and fondue. The Savoie cuisine is also a master when it comes to cured meats.
For the après-ski scene, you have an abundance of choices. Try La Tête Inn, Cheyenne Café, and Le Saloon in Belle Plagne. Le Saloon is not one to miss, it opens its doors at 4pm and is still rocking the dance floor when it closes at 5am. You also have Igloo Igloo and Scotty’s Bar (good for beer pong tournaments) in Plagne Centre. Another good one is the Mouth bar, which you literally descend into. Situated in Plagne Centre, you’ll be greeted by a good party scene that plays on through into the early hours of the morning.
La Plagne rocks non-ski activities too. Try out some heliskiing or heliboarding, or abandon your skis and boards for some biking action. Night sledding, dog sledding, ice climbing, and glacier hiking; there’s plenty to do in this great resort.
Fancy a Trip to France This Winter?
If we had to choose our favourite spot, we’d say that La Plagne is our winner purely because of the back country it has to offer, for those both new and well-seasoned in the snow. We help our customers create and share their perfect trips to Paradiski every year. Every person, and every trip is different, and we love that about our customers and our platform.
Thinking of hitting up Paradiski for the 2019/2020 season? Bookings have already begun on our website.