The lowest of the eponymous Les Arcs villages, Arc 1600 is also one of the smallest. Despite recent large-scale developments, it retains its quaint ‘local’ feel and provides excellent access to the rest of the mountain and Bourg St Maurice in the valley.
Ground was broken on the cutting-edge Arc 1600 ski resort back in 1968, with the intention of creating a world-class year-round mountainside resort. Fifty years later and Les Arcs has expanded to encompass seven separate villages within a well-connected and internationally renowned ski domain. Arc 1600 is still very much at the heart of the mountain; it is the first resort you reach when driving up the hill and it has free navettes (shuttle buses) running to all other levels of the resort. It is also a mere seven-minute funicular ride from Bourg Saint Maurice and its international train station.
The village itself is predominantly pedestrian-only, with a huge variety of accommodation options complemented by a decent selection of bars and restaurants. There are three main ski lifts ascending from the town centre with ski schools operating on the snow front.
Sights & Attractions in Les Arcs 1600
Arc 1600 faces Mont Blanc and there are universally spectacular views of the Tarentaise valley, although the vistas naturally improve as you climb further up the mountain. The village is primarily focussed on skiing in the winter and mountain biking in the summer. When it snows, the Mont Blanc and Cachette chairlifts transport people onto the main pistes, whilst Combettes is popular with beginners who want to try out the local Tommelet and Verzaille draglifts. For mountain biking, the Cachette chairlift is fitted with ‘bike hangers’ and gives access to blue, red and black downhill runs, although you can take different enduro trails directly from the centre of resort.
Things to Do in Les Arcs 1600
Depending on the season, most people are enjoying skiing and snowboarding on the snowy pistes, or riding and walking on the mountain trails. There is a spa in L’Arcadien hotel featuring jacuzzis, saunas and a variety of available treatments. A small children’s playground sits next to La Coupole (a fun circular building in the middle of the village). Due to its quick transport links to Bourg St Maurice and the other Les Arcs resorts, Arc 1600 is often a staging point for big events like the spring Ski2Bike competition, the Arcadienne MTB championship race and the Pierre Blanche ski touring contest.
Dining in Les Arcs 1600
Arc 1600 genuinely has a surfeit of riches when it comes to eating out. Le Cairn is one of the best (and most popular) pizza restaurants on the mountain, with generous portions and fresh ingredients. Le Sanglier Qui Fume is the perfect piste-side lunchtime stop-off, complete with outdoor terrace, excellent views and a roaring fire. It is also worth mentioning Le Panoramic which offers a great view of Mont Blanc and serves tasty, reasonably-priced meals through the summer and winter seasons. Finally, for the best skin-on chips in the world, check out the Snowdwich snack bar next to Abreuvoir pub.
Nightlife in Les Arcs 1600
Arc 1600 is not the clubbing capital of the world. During the winter, the best place for some après ski dancing is probably the L'Arpette Bar, which is positioned a few hundred metres above resort and has a DJ spinning tunes every afternoon. In the village Abreuvoir is the best place for a late-night with an early evening happy hour and regular live music.
Apartments in Les Arcs 1600
Conceived as a resort of apartment blocks, to limit the unnecessary spread of buildings across the mountainscape, Arc 1600 has plenty of accommodation options which are close to both pistes and amenities.
Hotels in Les Arcs 1600
The hotels in Arc 1600 are generally very well appointed, with ready access to the village centre, swimming pools and spa facilities being the norm. Check out the options below.