Posted on 07 February 2015
Property-hunters in the French Alps in search of a resort geared towards families should add Les Arcs to their wish list, after this season’s opening of a new fun zone that includes a slopeside leisure centre.
Already recognised for its family-friendliness and desirable ski homes, Les Arcs has raised the bar even higher with the launch of its new €36-million ‘Mille 8’ zone, which is situated at its 1800 village and offers activities on and off the slopes.
Les Arc 1800, the largest of the four Les Arcs villages, is a purpose built resort at a height of 1800 metres and a central hub between the other three villages – Arc 1600, Arc 1950 and Arc 2000. Ski properties throughout the villages are sought-after by French and international buyers.
Activities available at Mille 8 include a toboggan track – which can be booked for groups, an illuminated blue run through the forest, and a freestyle fun course that includes obstacles and is accessible to all levels. It also has enclosed areas for both beginners and children, the latter area including toboggan facilities, igloos and a baby snow park.
Then there is the new 3,780-square-metre Aquafun Centre, which opened in December 2014 and boasts amazing views of Mont Blanc. Open to the public in winter and summer, it includes outdoor and indoor pools, with massaging jets, bubble massage beds, Jacuzzis, waterfalls and caves, as well as a water games areas for children. There is also a gym and spa with hammams and saunas – ideal for relaxing after a long day on the slopes.
From 2015, a new restaurant will also be opening there, with seminar rooms, a golf simulator and new chairlift giving direct access to Arc 2000.
Les Arcs, popular with British skiers and boarders, links with nearby La Plagne to form the huge Paradiski ski area, offering more than 425 kilometres of pistes, accessed by the impressive double-decker Vanoise Express cable car. These new facilities and improvements will add appeal to ski homes there.
Elsewhere, the resort of Meribel, which along with Courchevel and La Tania forms the famous Three Valleys ski area, has plenty to offer families and children too. Separated from the main slopes, so ideal for learning, are the Zen Zone and Ski Cool areas, while Meribel’s newly improved Inuit Piste is an engaging educational trail through the forest for kids which includes the Inuit Village, where fun activities are organized.
Meanwhile,Les Gets, part of the Portes du Soleil ski area and known for its family-friendliness, offers something similar with its Grand Cry area, an American Indian frontier village complete with tepees, wild-west decor and Indian face-painting. This snowy paradise is Les Gets’ key product for children aged five to 12. It’s situated in the forest and consists of trails decorated with giant scenery, including totem poles and tepees. There’s also a run complete with loud-speaker system, bumps and a cowboys’ log-cabin with games and music.
Les Gets’ skiing zones for beginners and children includes its Mappys Area and its Mauve Milka ski run, along which are large cut-outs of animals and information boards, encouraging children to learn about mountain flora and fauna.