Mille 8 Leisure Complex Review
Opened in December 2015, the Mille 8 Aquatic and Fitness centre on the slopes of Arc 1800 is the perfect place to chill out after a hard day on the pistes, or a long day walking through the mountains in summer.
© Tom Humpage
© Trail Addiction
© Les Arcs
Discover the top Les Arcs activities
The main draw for people coming to Les Arcs in winter is, of course, skiing and snowboarding across the Les Arcs & Paradiski area. However, there’s a whole host of other activities to do in Les Arcs in the summer as well as in the winter. So, whether you're just looking for something to do when the lifts close or you simply don't ski, we promise you you'll have no time to get bored here!
What to do in Les Arcs?
Les Arcs is an outdoor activities paradise. The Alpine town and its surrounding mountains offer hundreds of things to do for every ability and every age. Some activities are perfect for solo travellers while others are more suited to romantic couples. Families and groups will also find a wide range of things to do in Les Arcs. From relaxing to full on adrenaline, from child friendly to adults only, from outdoor fun to bad weather indoor activities, there is something for everyone in Les Arcs.
Below are our three favourite activities in Les Arcs but there are plenty more to choose from. Check out the selection of things to do below for some holiday inspiration – you'll see that there are plenty of alternatives to skiing and snowboarding in Les Arcs.
1. Winter sports, skiing & snowboarding: Skiing and snowboarding are probably the most popular activities in the Paradiski. But we're not talking about lift-assisted, downhill skiing and snowboarding only – there's a whole host of activities that involve boards strapped onto your feet including ski touring and split boarding, cross-country skiing or telemarking. But there's much more than just skiing and snowboarding in Les Arcs in the winter. The Paradiski mountains are the perfect setting to go snowshoeing and husky-dog sledging, while the ice skating rinks in Les Arcs town centre will keep the whole family entertained.
2. Mountain biking: The Paradiski trails and bike parks attract hundreds of enduro and downhill biking aficionados every summer to its almost 180km of trails that meander through lush forests to reach stunning mountaintops with breathtaking views. An experience not to be missed!
3. Walking, hiking & running: In the summer, the Paradiski pistes turn into meadows and deep-forested trails to explore on foot. From easy valley strolls to gruelling trail running climbs, everyone can explore the Les Arcs valley's beautiful sunny landscapes.
Like most of the Alps, Les Arcs is a great place to go rock climbing for both beginners and experienced climbers. Experienced climbers can tackle the mountain side rock and enjoy the fantastic views (just make sure you have all the right gear and safety equipment). For beginners there are a number of adventure companies or mountain guides who can take you out on your first climb and show you the 'ropes'! Learn all the techniques and skills in the safe hands of a well-trained mountain guide. Climbing is also a great activity for all the family, just check with the guide beforehand what their minimum age is.
How much does it cost to go rock climbing in Les Arcs? Rock climbing course prices in Les Arcs start at around €45 per person for a half-day group lesson and up to €400 for a full-day climbing private guide.
If climbing up sheer rock on the end of a piece of rope sounds a bit scary then Via Ferrata climbing offers an element of security that still allows beginners to enjoy the achievement of having scaled a mountain! This form of climbing was invented by Italian soldiers in the Dolomites who used it to enable them to scale vertiginous faces easily and quickly. These days it is a popular sport that makes the thrill of mountain climbing more accessible to children, beginners and those who want a bit more security when they climb. Following marked routes through the mountains you are helped along by steps, bridges and ladders whilst being roped up for extra safety. Suitable for adults and children over the age of eight, guides can be arranged on request and there are a number of adventure companies who can organise your Via Ferrata experience.
How much does it cost to try out Via Ferrata in Les Arcs? You can hire all the essential equipment, including helmet, harness and "cows tails" at most sports shops in resort – it'll set you back around €20. If you're a beginner, you should also book a mountain guide or instructor. Prices for Via Ferrata group lessons in Les Arcs start at around €45, with private guides charging around €220 for a half-day.
If you want to try something different in Les Arcs other than hitting the slopes then why not try ice climbing. Whether you are an experienced climber or a beginner you can have a go at ice climbing. Try the man made ice climbing wall or tackle some of the natural ice waterfalls and glaciers. These form in the valley of Champagny le Haut where some climbing routes are accessible depending on climatic conditions plus there's a huge purpose built ice climbing tower over there where competitions are held during winter, and anyone can give it a try. There are a few adventure companies & mountain guides who offer ice climbing lessons and guides, for beginners and experts.
How much does ice climbing cost in Les Arcs? Ice climbing prices in Les Arcs start at around €250 for a half-day group course.
The area of Les Arcs is perfect for a relaxed day out. You can visit one of the "alpages" or high mountain pastures and learn how they make the famous Alpine cheeses, mainly the local Beaufort du Sérac.
An artisan & local produce market takes place every Wednesday at Bourg St Maurice during the summer, while there is a traditional Saturday market selling local produce in the same town all year round.
There is a museum dedicated to minerals in Bourg St Maurice where you can learn about the ancient profession of "cristallier". The Maison de la Pomme in the small village of Chal-Hauteville-Gondon shows the importance of the humble apple in the local economy. You can also visit the coffee roasting workshop "L'Or Vert" in Bourg St Maurice, or a dairy specialised in Gruyère cheese in the Colombières area.
Dinner in a Yurt
Something a little different for the evening.. why not dine in the traditional surroundings of a Mongolian Yurt. When you're fed and watered return back to Les Arcs 1800 in a trail of torches to light your way. You set off on snow shoes with a guide from Arc 1800 for around 30 minutes to get to the Yurt. A Savoyarde style dinner is served. Reservations are obligatory by at least noon the day before. Price includes hire of the snow shoes. Contact Arc Aventures to book.
[Resname] is a Mecca for mountain biking, with varying terrain and fantastic views it is perfect for mountain biking enthusiasts. With the whole of the mountain area to explore, Les Arcs is definitely a great place for biking as the different and varied terrains suit bikers of all levels. Whether you enjoy a leisurely cycle around some of the lower level trails, or a day's hardcore downhill mountain is more your ‘thang’, Les Arcs definitely has something to suit all tastes.
How much does it cost to go mountain biking in Les Arcs? Mountain bike prices in Les Arcs depend on what you need. There's bike hire – renting a hardtail or full-suspension mountain bike for a day starts at around €70, and about €350 for a seven-day electric mountain bike hire. Finally, you may want to get a private guide to show you around the local trails – expect to pay around €45 per hour.
Riding in the Alps is much more demanding than your favourite local route back in the UK. To gain the most from your riding in the area it goes without saying you need to have a reasonable level of fitness. You do not need to be a super man or woman but the ability to ride comfortably for up to three to four hours in the UK should see you enjoy the mountain routes.
How much does it cost to go cycling in Les Arcs? Once more, cycling prices in Les Arcs are a matter of your personal wants and needs. If you've brought your bike with you, then you can just get on the road and challenge your fitness as you climb some of the Alps most famous mountain 'cols' at no cost. Those in need of wheels will be glad to know that renting a carbon road bike starts at around €45 per day.
Fat bikes have super-wide wheels, allowing the rider to make progress on even powdery snow. If you fancy the ride but not the effort, there are now electric fat bikes with in-built motors which make the experience a whole lot easier.
How much does it cost to go fat biking in Les Arcs? In Peisey-Vallandry you can go on a guided tour during the day or night or simply hire a bike from around €35 for half a day.
There are numerous lakes and rivers around Les Arcs where you can fish, mainly rainbow trouts. From natural lakes to the beautiful reservoir of Arc 2000. You must, however, ensure that you have the correct fishing permit and are aware of the local fishing regulations.
There is a gym in Bourg St Maurice with a wide range of fitness classes, and another one in the Aquatic Centre in Arc 1800. A number of hotels also have their own facilities to keep you trim while you're on holiday.
Whether you like to take a dip indoors or outdoors, you'll be able to find somewhere to go for a swim in Les Arcs. Most hotels, lots of chalets and apartments have their own swimming facilities, however there are also municipal swimming baths that you can visit, which often come free with your lift pass purchase. Mille 8 in Arc 1800 has a large aquatic and fitness centre where you can go for a swim either indoors or outdoors. There are bubble beds, water-jets and a river splash area for the kids to enjoy. There is also an outdoor municipal pool down in Bourg St Maurice.
The sports centre at Les Arcs has an outdoor sports court where you can play basketball. Facilities to play football are available at the multi-activity sports outdoor court in the sports centre at Les Arcs.
Sit back and admire the mountains from even higher up! Daily panoramic helicopter flights are available (weather permitting) with a number of local flight companies. Relax and enjoy the stunning views as you fly over the snowcapped mountain tops, glaciers and Alpine forests.
How much does it cost to explore Les Arcs by helicopter? Helicopter tours in Les Arcs start at around €100 per person for a 10-minute flight.
If you’ve never tried paragliding before then Les Arcs is a great place to learn how to fly. Known as “parapenting” in France & Switzerland, there are a great number of clubs and organisations in the area whose sole purpose is give you the experience of flying. From the heights of the mountain tops you can glide down to the bottom of the valley on a tandem paraglider controlled by the instructor. He manoeuvres the parachute while the passenger enjoys the ride and fantastic views. Top tip: go on a sunny, warm day when the thermals will keep you airborne for longer.
How much does a tandem paragliding flight cost in Les Arcs? Anyone can take part in a tandem paragliding flight, even if you've never paraglided before. You'll be attached to an instructor who'll take care of the wing, so you just need to relax and enjoy the views. Tandem flights start at around €90.
There are a few places in and around Les Arcs where you can enjoy horse riding. Learn the techniques to safely ride a horse, soak up the beautiful mountain views and enjoy the scenery all on horseback.
Visit the horses and stables in Bourg St Maurice for something different to do in winter or summer. In winter you can try Ski Joering - being pulled along on skis behind a horse, take a horse drawn sleigh ride or just come and visit the farm.
There are a couple of places to go bowling in Les Arcs - in 1800 and 2000. It's a good thing to do if the weather turns bad or if you've got non-skiers or a larger group to entertain.
On bad weather days, head indoors for a game of laser quest in Arc 1800. There are two rooms and they can take up to 50 people at once, so it's also good for groups. Open in summer and winter.
Catch the latest films and releases in Les Arcs on your winter or summer holiday. Some cinemas open their doors early on a bad weather day, otherwise you'll find most screenings in the evenings. Look out for VOST for English speaking films.
Downhill skiing & snowboarding
Lift-assisted downhill skiing and snowboarding are the most popular activities in Les Arcs. So much so that we could write several guides dedicated to them... and, in fact, we have! Take a look at our Ski Areas, Pistes and Parks Guide where you'll not only find a lot of information on the Les Arcs ski area but also links to many other articles: Ski Lifts Guide, Best Pistes Guide, Snowparks Guide, Beginner Ski Areas Guide, Advanced Ski Areas Guide, Off-Piste Ski Areas Guide, Ski Itineraries Guide and even a guide on the best places to go skiing when the weather is bad.
However, lift-assisted downhill skiing and snowboarding aren't the only things you can do in Les Arcs while having a pair of skis or a board strapped to your feet.
Ski touring & split boarding
Whether it's going up the pistes that most people normally ski down or tackling a backcountry route, ski touring and split boarding allow you to get off the beaten path while working a sweat up the slopes. A number of ski schools, private instructors and companies can show you around or, if you've got all the necessary knowledge, you can head out in your own group.
How much does it cost to go ski touring or split boarding in Les Arcs? It depends. Ski touring prices in Les Arcs range between €60 per day if you’re only renting the gear and around €400 if you’re also getting a guide for the day to help you explore the backcountry. Of course, if you already have the equipment and the local knowledge, ski touring in Les Arcs is free!
Cross country skiing
Get back to nature and explore the lovely tranquil cross-country ski trails. There are two different techniques – classic and skating. Classic is the easiest for beginners; you simply place your skis in two parallel grooves, push off and glide around the trails. Skating is more energetic and a slightly harder skill to grasp; you push your feet out to either side as though you are ice skating and use your poles simultaneously to gain momentum. You can hire the comfortable boots and lightweight skis and poles fairly inexpensively from most sports shops and book a group or private lesson to learn the basics from most ski schools or private instructors. A number of adventure companies also offer cross-country skiing guiding, tours and lessons too. Find your way around with the cross country skiing maps.
Heliskiing & heliboarding
Heli-skiing is not permitted in France but there are a couple of companies in Les Arcs offering panoramic helicopter rides that include heliskiing. They pick you up in resort and take you over the border into Italy or Switzerland from where you will ski down accompanied by a mountain guide. It is expensive, but definitely a once in a lifetime experience!
How much does it cost to go heliskiing in Les Arcs? Perhaps unsurprisingly, heliskiing is one of the most expensive activities on this list – after all, you’re swapping the lifts for your very own helicopter! Prices start at around €300 per person and include the helicopter ride and a guide to go with you as you ski down the remotest areas in Les Arcs.
Telemarking is a form of downhill skiing where you are only attached to the binding at the toe so, to turn, you have to lunge and bring your heel upwards. Talk to one of the ski schools or private instructors who can teach you how to telemark and take you out on excursions using this technique.
How much does it cost to go telemarking in Les Arcs? It depends. Telemarking prices in Les Arcs range between around €40 if you’re only buying a ski pass for a day, plus around €70 if you’re adding one-day gear rental, and around €90 if you’re also getting a private instructor for an hour to teach you the basics.
Modern winter biathlon is a combination of cross-country skiing and rifle shooting that tests not only fitness but also patience and control. In Les Arcs you can try your hand at this Olympic sport. If you like cross-country skiing but want to add another challenge, then biathlon is the perfect way to escape into the natural, quiet surrounding mountains and then shoot stuff. Bit of a contradiction this one, but it's fun all the same.
How much does it cost to try out biathlon in Les Arcs? Biathlon lessons usually start at around €150 for a half-day and they include all the equipment but for the cross-country ski rental, which starts at around €15 per day.
The idea behind speed riding is to combine the sensations of skiing and paragliding into one activity, and then descend off-piste sections of the mountain using a mini-wing to enable you to access areas that you might not normally go. Learning and having fun with speed riding comes very fast as long as you are a competent skier – you need to be able to ski red pistes with confidence in any type of snow.
How much does it cost to try out speed riding in Les Arcs? Beginner speed riding lessons usually start at around €100 for a half-day group lesson and they include the wing but not the ski hire – high-end ski hire for advanced skiers starts at around €30 per day in Les Arcs. Speak to one of the companies offering this activity who can show you the ropes (literally).
Enjoying the thrill of being on the pistes need not escape you if you're less mobile or have special physical needs. Resorts all over the Alps offer equipment and fully qualified guides to help you get the most out of your experience. Sit-ski, taxi ski, Vertiski, Handiski... whichever method you're used to, or would like to try there will be at least one ski school or activity company in Les Arcs that offers this service.
Snowshoeing or, as the French call them, "raquettes à neige", is a perfect activity for bad weather conditions and a wonderful way for non-skiers to explore the mountains in and around Les Arcs. Either set out on your own or join a group led by a knowledgeable local guide and discover the hidden parts of the ski area. The trails will take you to places from where you can enjoy stunning views.
How much does snowshoeing cost in Les Arcs? If you don't know the local area well, we recommend you get a private guide or join a group on a snowshoe expedition – it may seem safer than skiing but you'll be exploring backcountry trails where the avalanche danger is high so it's better to go with someone who knows what they're doing. These outings start at around €30 for a half-day. Snowshoes and ski poles are provided by most companies offering this as an experience, but you can also hire them from most ski hire shops in Les Arcs starting at around €10 per day.
For a truly unique experience, clamp on your crampons and go hiking on one of the many nearby glaciers: the Glacier de la Chiaupe and the Glacier du Varet, or the Bellecote glacier to name a few. The breathtaking views and spectacular crevasses make this an incredible adventure. There are a number of glacial hikes, of varying difficulty, in this region of the Alps. Most mountain guiding companies and adventure companies will run organised excursions to the most accessible.
Be in charge of your own sled and team of excitable husky dogs, driving them along forest paths in winter. After a brief explanation of how to make your team stop and start, you set off following the guide’s team. If this all sounds a bit much you can opt for a less physical outing where you sit in the sled and the guide does all the hard work! It's a very popular winter activity, so booking at least 48 hours in advance is a must. They run from early December to the end of April (snow-permitting).
How much do husky rides cost in Les Arcs? Husky-dog ride prices in Les Arcs start at around €100 for a half-day, with discounts for kids.
There's an outdoor ice skating rink in Les Arcs 2000, which is perfect for children and families and those who just want to enjoy the beautiful mountain views whilst playing around on some skates. It's typically open from mid December to the third week of April, conditions permitting.
How much does it cost to go ice skating in Les Arcs? A single entry to the ice rink in Les Arcs is around €4, with skate hire costing around the same.
If you thought toboganning or sledging was just for kids, think again, it can be fun for the whole family and especially in Les Arcs at the Rodeo Park and Mille 8. At the top of the Col de Chal you can make your way down the 3 km of tobogganning twists, turns and excitement. The Rodeo park is open from Sunday to Thursday from 13:00 to 16:30. With your entry to the Rodeo Park you will be provided with a helmet and toboggan, the minimum age of entry is 12 years old and you must be over 1.25 metres in height. It is a great adventure for all the family and can be a fun way to spend an afternoon on the slopes, so go and check out the Rodeo toboggan park. You can experience the Rodeo Park at night time every Wednesday from 16:30. There is also a luge track in Mille 8 in Arc 1800 - take the new Les Villards telecabine to get to the start of the toboggan track and set off on a 900m downhill run with alternating banked turns and forest sections. The experience is enhanced by a light show, sound system and the track finishes in a tunnel with video projections.
How much does it cost to go sledging in Les Arcs? You can rent a sledge at one of the many local ski hire shops for as little as €5, while most of the sports shops in Les Arcs will also have them for sale. Several activity companies also offer you the chance to sledge at night, down the ski slopes.
If it is calm and relaxation you are after then head to a luxury day spa or book in for massage therapies and beauty treatments. A day spa is also the perfect activity when the weather turns. You can keep warm and revive aching muscles in saunas, steam rooms and jacuzzis or take a refreshing dip in a swimming pool.
Tennis is a great way to get the legs moving and to enjoy the sunny summertime weather. You can play a friendly game or have a lesson, whatever you choose to do it is a great way to have fun with friends and family. Open during the summer season there are tennis courts and training walls in Les Arcs. Lessons are usually available in groups or privately. Perfect as a family outing you can hire a court and when tiredness hits you can enjoy some refreshments and snacks at the tennis club or cafe.
How much does it cost to play tennis in Les Arcs? Tennis court rental prices in Les Arcs start at around €12 per hour, with rackets available to hire.
There is a badminton court in Les Arcs sports centre.
There are three squash courts in the centre of Arc 1800, in the Villards area.
Nestled in the heart of Arc 1800, Mille8 is full of activities for everybody, from a freestyle park to a beginners area and a fantastic new swimming and spa complex. The area includes a luge (sled) run, an illuminated forest piste, a freestyle park complete with modules and snow sculptures, a secure beginner's area, a snow garden for little ones with igloos and play area, and a large swimming and fitness centre with spa facilities. The only features that have an entry fee are the luge track and swimming complex - everything else is included in your lift pass.
Head to the adventure garden for a day, and everyone is guaranteed to leave with a big smile on their face. Adventure parks are designed for children and adults to play, explore, exercise and have fun in the natural mountain surroundings. Enjoy the thrills of more than 32 courses created in the trees. The ropes, swings, tunnels, trees and activities will be a great day for children and adults alike. With all the protective gear provided and safety information given you can head out and enjoy the wilderness. Qualified guides will be around the course throughout to make sure you are safe and having as much fun as possible. Different courses and tracks can be tried and tested, each one with a varying level of difficulty. There are courses designed for children only and tracks for juniors and adults to enjoy.
Walking & hiking
In the summer months Les Arcs is an Alpine mecca for walking and hiking in the beautiful alpine mountains. As the snow melts and the sun begins to shine the mountains make an excellent place to head out on a hike or walk. Walking is the perfect activity for groups, families and friends. Pick from a number of routes ranging in difficulty, from easy child friendly walks to challenging day long hikes. Along the way enjoy the fantastic mountain views, beautiful scenery and wildlife that is normally hidden in the winter months. Check out our walking and hiking guide for more details on hiking in Les Arcs.
There are a number of companies who can take you mountaineering in both summer and winter, from local guides to ski schools, private instructors and activity companies.
There are 20 km of winter walking trails in Les Arcs which you can either enjoy by yourselves or on a guided walk with one of the activity companies. Take a look at the snowshoe map for their locations. A pair of walking poles will come in handy for extra balance on icy patches and for checking snow depth before you go striding forth! Top tip: buy ‘grippers’ for your walking boots to prevent slipping, all of this can be bought from most local Sport Shops. Don’t forget to check the weather forecast before you set out as conditions can change rapidly in the mountains.
White water rafting
If you haven't experienced white water rafting before then this is a definite 'must try' on your list of activities to do! From the middle of May until September, the Dranse river flows furiously as it is fed from the meltwaters running off the glaciers high above the town. There are various options available from a three-hour adrenaline rush to a full days excursion - this activity is guaranteed not to disappoint.
How much does it cost to go white water rafting in Les Arcs? Prices start at around €40 per person for about two hours of white water rafting in Les Arcs.
Kayaking is a fun watersport that can be enjoyed as a team or on your own. Unlike canoeing, paddlers face forward and have a double bladed paddle. It is a versatile sport that you can enjoy on rivers, lakes and the sea. You can take your inflatable or plastic kayak and make your way down the water. Using the double bladed paddle you can control the speed, direction and enjoy the experience and wonderful views in your own time.
A not-so-gentle but extremely refreshing summer activity is one way to describe canyoning! Plunge yourself into the mountain streams via a series of abseil descents, jumps and natural water slides – just make sure you choose a warm day! You will make your way along rivers and rapids, using the river bed as a natural obstacle course. Not suitable for very young children, but anyone over the age of about eight can take the (very cold) plunge and try canyoning. With the safety of a guide everyone can abseil down cascades, splash into pools and ride the river rapids. You can choose from short beginners’ routes or longer ones for the more adventurous. Different companies will have their own policies on age limits but usually, unless they are booked onto a children's activity course, anyone under the age of about 14 years old will have to be accompanied by an adult. A basic level of swimming ability is required for safety reasons. There are a number of adventure companies that offer guided descents down the local waterways.
How much does it cost to go canyoning in Les Arcs? Canyoning prices in Les Arcs start at around €55 per person, including all the equipment.
Hydrospeeding is one of the newer 'extreme' water sports to hit the market, it's a fun and exhilarating way to get yourselves down a river!. Using a large float, which bears resemblance to a bodyboard, be ready to cling on for dear life as you send yourself hurtling down the rapids! This activity is a little more demanding physically than rafting or canoe rafting, but allows you to discover the unique sensation of surfing down white water rivers. It is also accessible to all, no need to be a professional diver or swimmer, you just have to be smart at using the water movements, obstacles and waves. There's plenty of protection from the icy water elements as you'll be given a wetsuit, safety helmet and flippers. You will need to bring a towel, swim wear and if you wear glasses, a cord to keep them on. Guides will brief you with a safety demonstration at the beginning and there’s a vehicle to meet you at the end of the rapids that will shuttle you back to your starting destination.
How much does it cost to try out hydrospeeding in Les Arcs? Beginner hydrospeeding courses in Les Arcs start at around €45-€50 per person.
Stand up paddleboarding
Stand up paddleboarding is becoming increasingly popular. Originally from Hawaii, it is a great way to enjoy the mountain scenery and get away from the summer heat, while not being very demanding. There are a number of watersports centres in Les Arcs offering paddleboarding.
Opened in December 2015, the Mille 8 Aquatic and Fitness centre on the slopes of Arc 1800 is the perfect place to chill out after a hard day on the pistes, or a long day walking through the mountains in summer.
The day started...not brilliantly. It was my day off and my alarm started screaming at me at 7am. It was all good, I was going white water rafting. I hadn’t been white water rafting for 15 years when I was a much...