Paradiski is indeed a paradise for skiers, snowboarders, and holidaymakers. A world class ski domaine in the French Alps, this is one of the most popular hotspots in France in winter.
It is right next door to the 3 Vallées which claims to be the largest ski domaine in the world. But Paradiski has nothing to sniff at either, being the 2nd largest. At 425 km (265 miles) of skiable terrain, it consists of several resorts linked together by cable car and shuttle.
At Paradiski’s base is the village of Bourg-Saint-Maurice whose train station brings high-speed direct train access from across Paris, London, and other large European cities. As one of the most popular ski domaines in France, let’s have a look at its ski slopes, facilities and resorts, shall we? Allons-y!
The Ski Slopes
The Paradiski pass gives you access to a large network of alpine ski slopes and chair lifts. It is considered the 2nd largest ski domaine in France (after les 3 Vallées) with 265 miles (425 km) of skiable terrain. There are approximately:
- 18 green slopes
- 129 blue slopes
- 77 red slopes
- 34 black slopes
The the Vanoise Express cable-car connects the two main parts of the ski domaine Les Arcs and La Plagne. It is considered the largest cable car in the world and does get crowded at the end of the day, with skiers and snowboarders heading back to their accommodation.
You have access to the Aiguille Rouge and the expansive Col de la Chal as part of Paradiski, and you can see the magnificent Mont Blanc. Paradiski is renowned for its off-piste facilities for skiers and snowboarders, particularly the famously challenging Couloir en S.
1. Les Arcs (1600 – 2100 m)
Usually in everyone’s list of the top ski resorts in France, Les Arcs is made up of 4 smaller villages. Each one is easily accessible one to the other on ski, but not on foot. A free shuttle runs between the sites.
- Arcs 2000 m – Not the prettiest buildings, but good skiing. Something for everyone with good beginner slopes as well as expert terrains.
- Arcs 1950 m – the newest most luxurious part of the resort, facing Mont Blanc.
- Arcs 1800 m – the liveliest part of Les Arcs with shops, restaurants, and bars. Not the easiest slopes for beginners, but intermediates and experts will have a blast.
- Arcs 1600 m – aimed more at families, prettier lower village, with trees all around.
From Airport to Les Arcs – Approximate times with no traffic:
- 1 hour 45 minutes from Chambéry airport
- 2 hours from Geneva, Lyon or Grenoble
You can read more about Les Arcs here.
2. La Plagne
La Plagne is another famous ski resort that belongs to the Paradiski domaine. It is made up of 11 villages across a large plain, so you have to consider location before booking. The villages within La Plagne are:
- Plagne Aime 2000 – the highest of the villages, with a modernist design. The main building is rather similar to a cruise ship.
- Plagne Villages – a charming quiet family village built in 1974.
- Belle Plagne – at 2050 altitude, a resort with higher-end accommodation and restaurants.
- Plagne Soleil – at 2050 altitude, the village is on a large plateau with sunny conditions for skiing, snowboarding, and other sports like snow-shoeing.
- Plagne centre – Plagne centre is just across from Plagne Soleil, with plenty of shops, restaurants, bar, and even a cinema.
- Plagne Bellecôte – an active hub in La Plagne, with a large shopping gallery as well as an ice rink, shops, restaurants, bars, outdoor heated swimming pool and spa facilities.
- Plagne 1800 – a former silver lead mining village that has been converted to an animated ski resort. The French UCPA ski center has a base at Plagne 1800, making it a lively resort with bars and restaurants catering to a younger crowd. There are also UCPA family packages here.
- Plagne Montalbert – a medium altitude of 1,350m, the picturesque village was built in 1980 with plenty of trees and tiny buildings made of wood and snow.
- Montchavin – Les Coches – actually two villages, with the village of Montchavin at an altitude of 1250m and Les Coches at 1450m. The two family-friendly villages are connected all year around by the Coches gondola.
- Champagny-en-Vanoise – a beautiful small village, made up of hamlets with traditional wood and stone.
- La Plagne Vallée – made up of several villages bordering the Isère river and the hillside slopes of the Versant du Soleil.
You can read more about each of the villages of La Plagne here.
From Airport to La Plagne – Approximate times with no traffic:
- 1 hour 30 minutes from Chambéry airport
- 2 hours 30 minutes from Geneva, Lyon or Grenoble
Similar to Les 3 Vallées you can either get a ski pass just for your resort (eg. Les Arcs), or for the full Paradiski area. The difference is usually around €50 for a week.
Paradiski is not as interconnected as Les 3 Vallées, so if you will likely only go to La Plagne once during your week-long holiday. The Vanoise Express cable car that connects Les Arcs to La Plagne is a bit of a commute, so it gets crowded at the end of the day. You can read more about La Plagne here.
Peisey-Vallandry is a smaller ski resort village that is part of the Paradiski. At 1600m in the Tarentaise Valley, it is not the highest of the resorts in the Alps, but well situated to get plenty of snow.
It is more of a family-friendly resort with a traditional Savoyard style architecture, making a wonderfully scenic backdrop for winter holidays. Which is not to say that it doesn’t attract plenty of visitors during the summer as well. Some popular accommodation in the area includes: