Paradiski Ski Area Overview
The gorgeous and gargantuan Paradiski area promotes itself as ‘a playground with no boundaries’ ̶ and with a total skiable area of 425km, 264 premium pistes to suit all abilities and skiing up to a heady 3250m altitude, we’re hard pressed to argue!
Located in France’s Tarentaise Valley, Paradiski offers uninterrupted skiing between the mega-resorts of Les Arcs, La Plagne and Peisey-Vallandry, which have been linked by the super-efficient Vanoise Express life since 2003.
Here you’ll find high altitude slopes in an amazing area that benefits from its own snow-sure microclimate, blessed by plenty of brilliant blue and red runs for intermediate skiers, black runs and off-piste areas to challenge more advanced enthusiasts and snowparks and freeriding areas for snowboarders. Beginners are welcome here too and a number or excellent ski schools, nursery slopes and green runs facilitate fast but enjoyable ski skills development for novices of all ages.
Across Paradiski you can also enjoy child-friendly, car-free resorts, comfortable and stylish accommodation with ski-in/ski-out convenience, ample off-slope entertainment for kids, fab food choices that range from healthy snacks to haute cuisine, and après-ski that includes busy pubs, chic wine bars and bouncing clubs. And don’t forget the scenery ̶ there’s something truly magical about waking up every morning and enjoying sublime winter wonderland views as you breathe in a blast of fresh Alpine air!
The highest of the villages in Les Arcs, Arc 2000 is a popular choice for freeriders, there are plenty of expansive, cruisy blue runs here that inspire intermediate skiers and the snow-reliable season lasts from mid-December right through to late April. You can find child-friendly accommodation in this pristine pedestrian resort, and many residences are pet-friendly and include onsite spa and pool facilities. There’s the view to consider too ̶ at this lofty height you can enjoy panoramic visas of the Italian and Swiss Alps as well as the surrounding French peaks.
Over at the La Plagne section of Paradiski, the jewel in the crown is arguably Belle Plagne, a high altitude resort set at an impressive 2050m which was created by architect Michael Bezancon in 1981 and is characterized by traditional Savoyard chalet-style dwellings set out like an authentic Alpine village with a south-facing aspect. You’ll find spectacular pistes here for all aptitudes and some challenging off-piste powder runs at the Bellecote Glacier. The accommodation suits all types of visitors, there’s après-ski aplenty and the hospitality is legendary.
Meanwhile, Peisey-Vallandry is another prime Paradiski pick, nestled 1600m high and bang in the middle of the 1992 Savoie Olympic Region on the edge of the Vanoise National Park. Most of the accommodation here veers towards the more traditional style and the sheltered slopes with views of Mont Blanc are varied enough to satisfy mixed ability groups of family or friends. As you might expect from a resort near an officially recognised area of natural beauty, the area around the village features fabulous waterfalls, charming hamlets and historical buildings, while there are plenty of off-slope activities for all ages and tastes.
These resorts are merely the tip of the iceberg (or top of the mountain!) when it comes to the superb Paradiski area, but you can already tell that it’s rather special indeed.
Skiing in Paradiski
Take a brief glance at the mountain stats for Paradiski and it’s clear that it’s set up for some of the world’s best skiing ̶ 70% of its 425km of slopes are at altitudes over 2000m, there are two glaciers over 3000m and an awesome arsenal of snow cannons can provide cover for 323 hectares of pistes when nature needs a little top-up. The 264 pistes include a variety of excellent runs for all abilities too ̶ with 137 blues and 79 reds it’s a haven for intermediate skiers, but there are also 12 great green runs for novices and 36 black runs for experienced skiers to test their mettle. Throw in some outstanding off-piste areas and you’ve got a vast ski terrain with a range that’s tough to beat ̶ here are a few tips on skiing in Paradiski:
• The wide, sweeping runs around Villaroger and Arc 1800 are ideal for intermediate skiers but if you’re an expert, try the tricky black runs and off-piste areas at Aiguille Rouge and Grand Col. The most renowned run is probably the vertiginous 7km Aiguille Rouge to Arc Villaroger run, which has an amazing 2000m vertical drop, and in inclement weather you can find shelter in the wooded runs around Arc 1600.
• Above Plagne Soleil/Villages, choose from several super red and blue runs that will whoosh you down to Plagne Bellecôte but there are also some great powdery runs up at Grande Rochette and at Champagny en Vanoise on the other side of the mountain. If you’re a bold (and skilled) skier, head up to the 3417m Bellecôte Glacier which is blessed by abundant black runs and thrilling off-piste couloirs on the north face.
• If you’re a novice skier in Peisey-Vallandry you can buy beginner and resort-only passes which allow you to ski the ample beginner and intermediate runs around the resort, with the option of purchasing a full Paradiski pass once you’re feeling more confident that you’ll make the most of the entire area. Floçon and Cabri have great high-altitude beginners areas and you’re also spoiled for choice when it comes to blues and reds for intermediates. Hire a guide to get there, but La Grive is a great off-piste area after a dump of fresh pow and it has some excellent shaded couloirs which hold their snow well.
Snowboarding in Paradiski
Paradiski has much to recommend it to snowboarders, with several snowparks and lots of gnarly off-piste areas ̶ here are a few highlights for riders:
• Students of snowboard history will know that Les Arcs was the filming location for trailblazing snowboarder Regis Rolland’s cult 1983 film Apocalypse snow, which introduced snowboarding to a global audience for the first time. There’s a well-designed snowpark here between Arc 1600 and Arc 1800 with a cool quarter pipe, a boardercross run below the Col de la Chal and a handy J-Bar lift.
• At Belle Plagne, Le Grand Parc has a cannon run, a big air bag, a 20-foot kicker and tabletops which have two kickers each, creating four lines that range from red to black. There’s also a 22ft superpipe that shoots down the hill towards Bellecote and Le Petit Parc is perfect for beginners. For a fab fun run, try the Mont St Jacques, where you whizz through trees and pass old agricultural buildings before popping out near the bobsled run. Meanwhile, the 7 Cube snowpark also has a super selection of boxes, rails and jumps for all abilities and you can reach it via the Plagne Centre Colorado chairlift.
With a choice of quality snowparks, riders in Paradiski are spoiled for choice, plus the après-ski is pretty lively too (more of which later!).
Snow Conditions in Paradiski
With 70% of its slopes above 2000m altitude and plenty of shaded, north-facing runs while retain their snow remarkably well throughout the season, historical snow conditions in Paradiski are very impressive ̶ here’s the lowdown:
• The powdery Arc 2000 snow bowl is not only much higher than the ski areas around neighbouring resorts, it’s also north-facing and sheltered, with steep sides protecting it from warm incoming winds, all of which sets the scene for superb snow retention.
• In the most recent season, Arc 2000 had a 498cm total snowfall, a total of 32 snowfall days, a 55 cm largest snowfall, 320cm maximum base depth, 186cm average base depth, 430cm maximum summit depth and average summit depth of 272cm.
• With ski village elevations across the La Plagne resort ranging from 1207m – 3167m, it’s fairly snow reliable overall, and on occasions when cover is lacking in lower villages, it can easily be topped up using the resort’s robust snow cannons.
• Snowfall stats for the most recent season in Belle Plagne reveal 678cm total snowfall, 48 total snowfall days, a 40cm largest snowfall, 225cm maximum base depth, 138cm average base depth, maximum summit depth of 490cm and 227cm average summit depth of 272cm.
• Peisey-Vallandry is permeated by shaded, snow-sure north facing slopes, is located at an elevation of 1600m and boasts highest slopes at 3226m, therefore snow conditions are usually consistently good throughout the season.
• In the most recent season in Peisey-Vallandry, snowfall statistics reveal total snowfall of 303cm, 31 snowfall days, a 25cm largest snowfall, 77cm average base depth, maximum base depth of 115cm, 271cm average summit depth and maximum summit depth of 430cm.
Apres Ski in Paradiski
Whether you’re a foodie or a bon vivant, the après-ski in Paradiski will certainly satisfy ̶ from laid-back cafes to fine dining restaurants and traditional Alpine pubs to trendy nightclubs, it’s easy to organise an enchanting evening. Here are a few hotspots you shouldn’t miss out on:
• For haute cuisine, head to Union at La Plagne Montalbert, where local chef Martin Cuchet and Londoner Phil Howard serve sumptuous dishes like beetroot-cured salmon and breast of duck with seared root vegetables. This is a real treat for the discerning diner.
• Searching for a tasty lunch in Arc 1800? Le Madly has you covered ̶ this plain but comfy café has a bijou terrace and will prepare a tasty burger, salad or croque monsieur to set you up perfectly for an afternoon on the slopes or satisfy your sweet tooth with crêpes and waffles.
• In Peisey-Vallandry, Le Solan serves lip-smacking delivery pizza if you fancy a cosy night in, while you can sample authentic Savoyard fare at La Bergerie de Raphaël.
• Giovanni’s Pub in Arc 1800 is a popular place to start your night out, with a fine selection of beers, wines and spirits and live music on offer as the night proceeds, while Red Hot Saloon is a lively venue where live DJs get the crowd dancing, and Club 73 serves strong shots and hosts themed evenings, and fancy dress parties to an eclectic soundtrack.
• In Belle Plagne, La Tete Inn is a traditional Alpine ‘local’ with a wonderful wood-lined interior and a perpetual warm welcome, while you can let your hair down and throw some shapes on the dancefloor at La Saloon until 5am.
• Looking for a quiet spot in Peisey-Vallandry for a cosy drink with your significant other? Mojo Bar fits the bill and it serves sensational cocktails. Alternatively, Bar Mont Blanc is a buzzing venue that host live music acts and comedy until after midnight.
Facilities in Paradiski
As you might expect, facilities in Paradiski are second to none and all the essential amenities and services are on hand here to ensure that every member of your party from aged nine to 90 has a terrific time.
Ski hire in Paradiski
You’re welcome to arrange your ski hire in Paradiski personally and there are lots of outlets here. However, many of our customers choose the convenient option of allowing Erna Low to include ski gear as part of the comprehensive ski holiday package. We’ve established close connections with the best providers in Paradiski over the years so we can find the best quality equipment for your ability and style at low prices. If you’re interested in this option, contact us for a chat.
Ski passes in Paradiski
Your ski passes can also be included in your ski package holiday and we can often source discounted deals on passes for families, children and large groups. Ask us what’s on offer for your desired dates and we’ll find brilliant ski pass deals for your entire group.
Spa and pool in Paradiski
Unwinding between skiing and snowboarding sessions ensures you’re in terrific condition to maximise your enjoyment on the pistes and there’s a good selection of spa and pool facilities in Paradiski. For instance, the Mille 8 Sports Complex at Les Arcs has a lovely pool as well as spa and sauna facilities, Spa Bellecote in Plagne Bellecote offers massage and beauty treatments, and the Club Med Spa by Carita in Peisey-Vallandry offers beauty and wellbeing therapies for babies, children and adults alike.
Shops in Paradiski
You can pick up groceries and daily essentials in supermarkets like Sherpa across Paradiski and there are a range of patisseries, souvenir shops and boutiques in each resort where you can indulge in a spot of retail therapy.
Facilities for Children in Paradiski
There are plenty of cool activities for kids across Paradiski ̶ your only problem might be picking which to prioritise during your stay.
Ski schools in Paradiski
You’ll find ski schools like ESF and Oxygene across the Paradiski area and they accept children from age three upwards, while classes for adult novices are also readily available.
Children’s entertainment in Paradiski
At Plagne Centre, Colorado Luge is a one-mile sledge run that kids absolutely adore or alternatively, free storytelling sessions are held at Enchanted Pastures in Plagne Montalbert. Over at Les Arcs, there’s 10-pin bowling and laser quest at Arc 1800, and an ice grotto and rodeo toboggan course keep kids occupied at Arc 2000.
Childcare in Paradiski
Nursery Tom Pouce at Peisey-Vallandry caters for children ages 18 months to 10 years and is fully registered with authorities, while in Les Arcs 1950, the Petit Cariboo Club cares for children from nine months to two years old. These are just two examples of the childcare on offer here, but every resort has its own professional provision.
Accommodation in Paradiski
From chalet-style accommodation to contemporary apartments and ski hotels, there’s a wide range of wonderful accommodation options available in Paradiski. Here are just a couple of fine examples:
• Les Chalets des Arolles in Arc 2000 are a chalet-style residence in close proximity to the slopes and resort shops which comprises cosy self-catering apartments that are comfortable and well-equipped. There’s an onsite spa and sauna where you can unwind all the way and apartments are available with 2-7 bedrooms sleeping 4-14 guests comfortably.
• Les Constellations in Belle Plagne is a family-friendly option with doorstep skiing and Wi-Fi throughout. A range of apartment and studio configurations are available which feature roomy open plan kitchenettes, private bedrooms and well-furnished bathrooms. The mountain views from apartment balconies here are absolutely beautiful. When you’re yearning for a vast Alpine playground that offers amazing on and off-slope activities for skiers and snowboarders of all ages and stages, it’s hard to see past Paradiski.
Erna Low can help you choose the ideal resort for your group with a customised package that maximises your pleasure ̶ we’re ready when you are!
Paradiski Ski Area
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