PERFECT TIME TO HIT PICTURESQUE SLOPES
Holiday snapshot: Skiing in Les Arcs in the snowy French Alps.
Holiday highlight: Skiing down from 2,600m after sunbathing outside one of the mountain-top bars, before skiing through Arc 1950 and into Arc 1800.
Must see: Arc 1950 is beautiful.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, June 30 2013
Don't go there: We thought the other villages were nicer than Arc 1600, so if you don't have time to fit in them all, perhaps miss this one out.
Climate check: Freezing. The temperature reached -33 degrees at the top of the highest point – Aiguille Rouge (more than 3,000m).
Return visit? Yes, definitely.
Contact: Crystal Ski www.crystal ski.co.uk Skiset: www.skiset.co.uk ESF: www.esf.net/
Ellie Newton-Syms visits Les Arcs
F rom 2,600m high up in the French Alps, I had the perfect view – glorious blue skies and snow glittering under the rays of the winter sun.
Sipping a frothy hot chocolate while sunbathing outside a mountain-top bar, I was enjoying a sunny, yet very cold, skiing holiday in Les Arcs.
For those in search of the snowy peaks, this is the perfect time to jet off – you are almost certainly guaranteed thick, fluffy snow and bright blue skies.
I headed to Les Arcs in the French Alps for an action-packed skiing holiday and, from the four-star accommodation to the perfect weather conditions, I could not fault the trip.
My partner, Mark, and I organised our holiday with Crystal Ski and headed to Les Arcs' newest accommodation – the very stylish and modern Edenarc 1800, one of the Crystal Finest range in the village of Arc 1800.
Set in the Chantel area, this was an ideal spot.
Looking out of our large apartment window, we could see beautiful mountains and sparkling snow for miles around.
Edenarc's piste-side location also provided the chance to ski to and from the building and was opposite the Skiset equipment hire shop.
The apartment was spacious and extremely comfortable. Think plush beds and comfy sofa mixed with charming and cosy decor.
After an adrenaline-fuelled day of skiing, Edenarc definitely provided the perfect place to relax and put our feet up. There was also plenty of room, so you would be comfortable sharing with another couple or children.
As for the skiing, being first-time skiers, we were booked on beginners' lessons for six days.
Although we had both done a full-day ski lesson on an indoor slope last year, we arrived slightly apprehensive about whether our vague skills would be enough. We needn't have worried – we were in safe hands.
We took lessons with ESF, the biggest ski school in the world. ESF has a team of experienced skiers, many of whom have grown up in the mountains. There's nothing these guys can't teach you about the art of skiing.
We started off in a mixed group of 18 first-time (ish) skiers. After the first day, the group was divided into three different groups; top, middle and lower. This ensured everyone was able to learn at the right pace for them.
I ended up in the middle group, with Mark and his faster-paced skiing heading straight up into the top group.
My instructor for the week was Matthew. Sharing jokes and expert advice, he was a fantastic teacher.
We didn't waste any time at the bottom of the slopes either, we were straight up into the mountains, which meant we got hours and hours of skiing time on picturesque slopes.
One of the best things about this resort is there is a variety of easier slopes suitable for learners, as well as a range suitable for intermediates and advanced skiers or snowboarders.
There are miles of glistening slopes, with the snow dazzling white in the bright sunlight. Bliss.
As the week progressed, we ventured onto new, steeper pistes and further up into the mountains, building on our skills all the time. After a two-and-a-half-hour ski lesson every morning, lunchtime provided an ideal time to have a break and fuel up/warm up for the afternoon.
There are many cosy bars in the mountains, a little pricey but they provide a lovely place to sit back and relax while looking out at the magnificent Alps.
After an afternoon practising our new- found skills, we headed for a spot of aprés ski to one of the pubs/bars in the village.
Chez Bou Bou was our favourite place, offering some good prices during its happy hour – something that is pretty popular with aprés skiers.
After heading down into the town for a drink, there's the chance to have a mooch around the shops (plenty of ski gear shops to browse or stores selling local delicacies) or head for a bite to eat.
Back at Edenarc, you have the opportun- ity to soothe your muscles in the luxurious surroundings of the spa area. There's a swimming pool (indoors and outdoors), a baby pool and a Jacuzzi to sit back in and relax.
Inside the apartment, if you fancy staying in and cooking, you've everything you need – minus the food. On a couple of nights, we headed to the Alpine Café across from our accommodation to grab a takeaway pizza.
There is no chance you will get bored in this resort. Les Arcs is made up of several villages. The four main areas – Arc 1600, Arc 1800, Arc 1950 and Arc 2000 – are loosely named after their altitude.
You can ski to the different locations you are not staying in to have a nosey and you can also travel around the resort via the free shuttle buses.
On one of our evenings, we decided to head over to Arc 1950 – in my opinion, the prettiest area in the whole of Les Arcs.
With tall, toy town-like buildings, pretty lights and a host of bars and restaurants, it is a must-visit.
After a tiring, yet fun week of skiing, we were pretty exhausted but left with every intention of visiting again in the near future.
Travelling with Crystal also means you get appointed a rep for the week, so you can ask any questions to help get the best out of your holiday.