© Arc 1950
It's the school holidays and the resort is full to the brim with families.
Read on for a look at what we like to do in resort throughout February.
What are the weather and snow conditions like?
There is still regular snowfall - averaging 12 snow days in February - and very much like January the daily temperatures generally fall between a high of -2ºC and a low of -10ºC, with around just over five hours of sunshine. Still very much a time for wearing a thermal under-layer.
What's on in Les Arcs in February?
E-Fat Bike Matra snowcross tour
If you are looking for something a bit different but still involving snowy downhill, why not sign up for the E-Fatbike challenge in Arc 1950? Fat-biking is essentially downhill mountain biking on bikes with massively oversized wheels. Les Arcs is hosting the only night stage of this Matra Snowcross Tour.
For this 14 February, take your pick of the best table or if you're after some entertainment while you eat, many places will put on live music, or you could head out after your dinner.
School holiday skiing
February is a popular month for families so the slopes are noticeably busier as soon as the four-week French holidays begin. Fortunately, the ski area is so vast, that even in high season you can find quiet slopes and minimal lift queues. From mid-month the draglifts, chairlifts, ‘lobster-pots’ and gondolas all work that little bit harder. More daylight equates to later lift closing which, in turn, means more ski-time for everyone. On average, the ski-lifts stay open for an additional 15 minutes, with it becoming possible to take a final ascent out of all the resorts at 17:15. This is extra time that can be advantageously spent having a refreshing beer on a slope-side terrace, or shredding down a near-deserted piste as the sun sets in hues of blue and pink.
Here are our insider's top tips for the school holidays:
- It will be almost impossible to book private lessons over this period, group lessons are the best option. Make sure to get your ski and snowboard lessons booked well in advance to avoid disappointment.
- If you're not in ski school, be an early bird. Arrive at the lifts before they open so that you get up and away before the ski school classes set out around 09:15.
- Ski over lunchtime. The slopes are calmer between 12:00 and 14:00 while the French take a leisurely lunch break.
- Pre-book your lunch and avoid the queues. Some restaurants offer a Click & Collect service. It's the best way to avoid the queues and make the most of your time in the mountains.
- Seek out the peripheral areas. Try to avoid the busy main ski areas.
- Get off-piste. Competent off-piste skiers can book a local mountain guide and explore the vast off-piste areas in the valley or even go touring to find complete solitude in the backcountry.
Things to do
Les Arcs safety day
Safety day may not sound like an enjoyable activity, but it is designed to give you the skills to have a lot of off-piste fun. Usually scheduled for mid-month at the top of the Col de la Chal, this annual event is both informative and liberating. Through providing a better understanding of the risks of the mountain, and helping you anticipate them, safety professionals give demonstrations, offer advice and teach you how to use avalanche safety equipment. Open to all, this is the perfect first-step induction to a world of backcountry and off-piste.
Family fun in Bourg Saint Maurice
Throughout February you can find a programme of events in Les Arcs’ main town, Bourg Saint Maurice. Starting at around 17:00, there is always mulled wine, hot chocolate, a live performance in the main square and a firework display. In addition, there are early evening activities like a reindeer parade or ice sculpting to make the occasion fun for young and old alike. With the funicular running from Bourg Saint Maurice to Arc 16:00 until 20:00, there is plenty of time for a festive evening sojourn to the valley.
Bars and clubs
If, like most people, you like to follow several hours of exercise with several hours of drinking, you can hit up any of a number of local après-ski sessions. Down at the bottom of the slopes you'll find a range of eateries and bars offering great music, delicious food and happy hours.
For late-night entertainment, the clubs hold special nights on most days of the week.