Skip to main content

Privacy, Ads & Cookies We respect your privacy. We use cookies. We only show local Les Arcs ads sourced by us; and one ad by Google

Top 9 things to do for non skiers in Les Arcs

Avoid the winter blues by taking a fun-packed holiday to remember

Featured in: | Sam Birch, Les Arcs Reporter | Published
  • Photos
  • Map

The final countdown to the winter season has begun and, whilst many people come to ski and snowboard, the snowy pistes are by no means the only entertainment on offer. Thousands of non-skiers return to the mountains time after time for rest, relaxation and a wide range of more physical alternative activities.

In Les Arcs we don’t have to strap on some skis to have a good time. So, whether it is your first time in the Alps, or you regularly enjoy a non-skiing mid-winter break, here is a guide especially for you.

1. Relax

If you are tempted by some serious pampering, Les Arcs has plenty of spas where you can enjoy exceptional treatments from moisturising facials to deep-tissue massages. Many of the centres feature swimming pools, steam rooms, Jacuzzis and saunas to help you unwind and enjoy a truly relaxing holiday. A full day’s access to La Piscine in the Mille 8 complex (which includes amazing unlimited herbal teas) is only €20, or €15.50 if you have no intention of using the fitness area. Regardless of where you stay, there are mobile massage companies that can provide a variety of treatments in the comfort of your own accommodation.

Book a Spa/Massage

2. Walk this way

If you love the freedom of pulling on some sturdy footwear, getting out into the fresh air and enjoying some truly spectacular scenery, then Les Arcs is just like heaven. There are walking trails absolutely everywhere and most are easily accessible to any walker with a pair of boots, ice grippers and trekking poles. If the only way is up, pedestrian passes are available for many of the main lifts, meaning you can have a mulled wine on the Col de la Chal (at 2600 metres) or even take some freeze-frame photos of Mont Blanc from the Aiguille Rouge peak (at 3226 metres). Some activity companies, such as Evolution 2, host guided snowshoeing around the ski area, providing all the necessary equipment to take you far away from the beaten track. Snowshoes are also available to hire from many of the on-mountain ski shops.

Book Ski Hire

3. Straight up

If walking is too horizontal as a pastime, then strap on a harness, don a helmet, affix crampons to your feet and grab a couple of axes. Ice climbing is the obvious way to get vertical (and your heart pumping). Professional mountaineers will help you get into the groove, providing full instruction and all the necessary gear. Although you do not need any prior experience of ascending inclined ice formations, you will need a head for heights.

Book a Ski Guide

4. Take a sleigh ride

There are a few ways of being transported along by our furry friends. If you have always wanted to drive a team of husky dogs, there are companies near Arc 1950 and in the Nordic area of Peisey-Nancroix who can provide guided trips in the daytime and after dark. You can also take a jaunt in a horse-drawn sleigh in the Nordic area, or simply go horse-riding around Bourg St Maurice.

Book Things To Do

5. Eat out

Les Arcs boasts some fantastic restaurants serving local and international cuisine. You can have a full English breakfast in Arc 1950, a traditional Savoyarde tartiflette (with unctuous Reblochon cheese and smoked lardons) in Arc 1800 at lunchtime, and a Thai curry in Peisey for dinner. In Arc 2000, you can sample haute cuisine at the Diamant Noir, with its Michelin-starred head chef, or simply grab a slice of pizza and a beer at the Bulle Café. If you are hungry like the wolf at lunchtime, most restaurants serve a “plat du jour,” or even a “menu du jour,” which is often very good value indeed. Check out our restaurant reviews for more tips on where to go.

Book a Restaurant

6. Go for a drink

You don’t have to ski to après ski. There are lots of fun bars across Les Arcs, many of which feature a “happy hour” (or two) when the pistes start to close. There are bars which pump up the volume for live bands, bars showing sport, bars with pool tables, bars with board games, bars featuring themed nights, and bars where you can bust a move on the dance floor. There is an almost endless choice of drinks available in the various establishments, from cocktails, through genuinely local real ales to red, red wine. When you have finished in the bars, you can move onto the nightclubs... See our nightlife guide for some local suggestions.

Find a Bar

7. Helicopter trip

If you want an airborne experience you can cherish with up to four of your friends, why not take a helicopter tour of the Alps? Get an exceptional view of the remarkable winter landscape from a vantage-point usually reserved for the birds. With trips lasting from 10 minutes to an hour, and prices starting from less than €100 per person, you are guaranteed an incredible all-time high.

Book Flying

8. Paragliding

Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to be a maniac to jump off the side of a mountain strapped to a big parachute. Paragliding is actually surprisingly relaxing. What better way to enjoy the Alpine scenery than by gently gliding through the air whilst safely attached to a flying expert? And, if you want to really push it, there are more adrenaline-fuelled acrobatic trips available including spins and loops galore.

Book Flying

9. Go sledging

Riding a sledge can be exhilarating and there are plenty of options in Les Arcs. The Rodeo Park is a three-kilometre sled run from the Col de la Chal (at 2600 metres) to just above Arc 2000. It is open every day except Sunday. Over in Arc 1800, La Luge offers a choice of three styles of sledges and is open every day from 14:00. It wends its way down a purpose-built course amongst the trees of the Mille 8 complex, before going underground through a psychedelically-lit tunnel at the finish. Otherwise, buy a sled, find a quiet downhill spot (away from the ski runs) and make a memory that Citizen Kane would be proud of.

Maps of Les Arcs

Read more from Sam on his blog.

Book Things To Do

Once again, in the spirit of fun, I have hidden some song titles in the above informative article. The theme this time is “hits from the 1980s.” If you want to play the game, re-read the article and see how many you can find. Otherwise just have a look at the following list:
The Final Countdown (Europe), Time After Time (Cyndi Lauper), Physical (Olivia Newton John), We Don’t Have To... (Jermaine Stewart), First Time (Robin Beck), Especially For You (Kylie Minogue & Jason Donovan), Relax (Frankie Goes to Hollywood), Tempted (Squeeze), Walk This Way (Run DMC & Aerosmith), Freedom (George Michael), Just Like Heaven (The Cure), Everywhere (Fleetwood Mac), The Only Way is Up (Yazz), Freeze Frame (J. Geils Band), Straight Up (Paula Abdul), Help (Bananarama with French & Saunders), Into The Groove (Madonna), Ride on Time (Black Box), Notorious (Duran Duran), Hungry Like the Wolf (Duran Duran), Pump Up the Volume (M|A|R|R|S), Bust a Move (Young MC), Red Red Wine (UB40), Maniac (Micael Sembello), Jump (Van Halen), Push It (Salt n’ Pepper), Cherish (Madonna), All Time High (Rita Coolidge), Going Underground (The Jam), Memory (Barbra Streisand), Drive (The Cars), Should I Stay or Should I Go (The Clash).

More inspiration...

To be honest, this is just the tip of the iceberg of things you can do here in Les Arcs. If you are still wondering “should I stay or should I go?” check out the winter activities guide for more ideas and our events calendar for what’s going on when you plan to visit.

Book Things To Do

Events in Les Arcs