The assortment of quaint mountain villages that make up Les Arcs in Savoie, in the French Alps, features some of the world's best skiing territories, alongside some of the most breath-taking mountain views. This is a magnet for skiing devotees and mountain lovers, and a great place to invest in property.
Les Arcs is made up of four separate resorts: firstly, there is the original Arc 1600 built in the 1960s, which is linked by a funicular railway to Bourg St Maurice and predominantly made up of large apartment buildings. Then there is the nearby Arc 1600, the largest of the four. The highest of the four is Arc 2000; and Arc 1950 is the most recent development, built in the 2000s and linked to the former by a gondola.
Les Arcs is a skier's paradise, catering for all abilities and experience levels, with elevations between 210m and 3,226m and a total of 47 ski lifts. With 200km of pistes to choose from, catering for all abilities, and plenty of off-piste territories too it is perfect for every level. There are beginner slopes for those starting out and severe black runs for die-hards ski fans, as well as everything in-between.
With a season running from mid-December to late April, this is an ideal location to invest in property. Chalets and apartments sell for anything between €140,000 and €4 million, with a range of modern developments and more traditional Alpine properties to choose from.
Living in Les Arcs and things to do
With a little over 5,000 permanent inhabitants, Les Arcs is relatively uncrowded for such a high-profile resort. It is most busy during the skiing season, from the middle of December to late April. In summer there are plenty of other outdoor activities to enjoy, from hiking and mountain biking to golf, kayaking and white-water rafting.
Families will love the 3,800-square-metre Aquafun centre where you can unwind and relax. And don't miss HERO training camp where you can try your hand at a wide variety of activities from Zumba to circus skills and rock climbing.
With historic snow reports of up to 399cm in recent years, Les Arcs is a reliable destination for skiers during the winter season, especially in its higher-altitude resorts. Weather reports range from -3˚C in December and January up to around 18˚C in July - and you can get the latest updates here.
Culture in Les Arcs
The area offers a full calendar of activities throughout the year, from music festivals to local fetes and mountain-bike races, as well as a cinema in Bourg-Saint-Maurice.
The area's renowned architecture has earned it a 20th Century Heritage label to mark and help to preserve its beauty.
Les Arcs Festival of European Cinema takes place every December, during the first week of the ski season. It showcases the diversity of European films and promotes independent film-making, attracting important industry representatives from across the continent.
Investment potential in Les Arcs
Les Arcs is a thriving community and accommodation is in high demand. This is especially the case during the busy winter ski season and this is when yields are likely to be highest. However, it is an attractive resort for the rest of the year too, with plenty to see and do without the snow, meaning that it could yield returns all year round.
Investment in restaurants, bars, retail and entertainment venues could also be worthwhile as there is such a high turnover of holidaymakers in the area. With the area's architecture recognised as exceptional, there is a lot of money being invested in ensuring that it stays beautiful.
Aside from property, €180 million has being invested in ongoing restoration and transformation of the ski areas and surroundings, such as the dozens of lifts, a high-speed gondola, plus new leisure centres and resorts.
Transport to Les Arcs
The nearest airports to the area are Chambery (1-hour 50 minutes' drive), Grenoble and Lyon (both two-and-a-half hours away) and Geneva (a three-hour journey).
Alternatively, you can reach the area by riding the high-speed TGV train to Paris or Lyon, then catching either the 'snow train' - which runs in the winter season - or another connecting service to Landry or Bourg St Maurice.
Bourg St Maurice also boasts a coach station with international services as well as links to all the airports mentioned above.
Driving around the area requires care in the winter season due to the icy conditions but having access to a car would enable you to easily visit other resorts nearby, which include Tignes, Val d'Isère and Méribel.
With such a diversity of transport links as well as plenty of world-class skiing opportunities and things to do all year round, Les Arcs is a great place to invest in property.