About Summer Activities in Les Arcs
Whatever you choose to do on your summer holiday you are sure to find a huge range of activities across the Les Arcs & Paradiski area. From relaxing to full on adrenaline there is something for everyone, every ability and every age in Les Arcs. Check out the selection of things to do below for some holiday inspiration!
On bad weather days, head indoors for a game of laser quest in Arc 1800. There are two rooms and they can take up to 50 people at once, so it's also good for groups. Open in summer and winter.
Archery is one of those sports that people all ages love to try. There are a number of places near Les Arcs to practice archery and become the Robin Hood of the Alps. They will all provide you with bow and arrows and you can also take lessons.
There is a badminton court in Les Arcs sports centre.
The sports centre at Les Arcs has an outdoor sports court where you can play basketball.
There are a couple of places to go bowling in Les Arcs - in 1800 and 2000. It's a good thing to do if the weather turns bad or if you've got non-skiers or a larger group to entertain.
Canoeing / Kayaking
Canoe rafts are an unsinkable, stable type of inflatable canoe that allow you, without too much technique to profit fully from the joys and fun of white water river descent. The descents are taken on by groups of 4 to 5 boats, accompanied by a fully qualified guide. You are equipped with neoprene suits and shoes, a safety jacket and a helmet. The course which you take is chosen according to the water levels and experience of the participants.
Kayaking is a fun watersport that can be enjoyed as a team or on your own. Unlike canoeing, paddlers face forward and have a double bladed paddle. It is a versatile sport that you can enjoy on rivers, lakes and the sea. You can take your inflatable or plastic kayak and make your way down the water. Using the double bladed paddle you can control the speed, direction and enjoy the experience and wonderful views in your own time.
A not-so-gentle but extremely refreshing summer activity is one way to describe canyoning! Plunge yourself into the mountain streams via a series of abseil descents, jumps and natural water slides – just make sure you choose a warm day!
You will make your way along rivers and rapids, using the river bed as a natural obstacle course. Not suitable for very young children, but anyone over the age of about 8 can take the (very cold) plunge and try canyoning. With the safety of a guide everyone can abseil down cascades, splash into pools and ride the river rapids. You can choose from short beginners’ routes or longer ones for the more adventurous.
Different companies will have their own policies on age limits but usually, unless they are booked onto a children's activity course, anyone under the age of about 14 years old will have to be accompanied by an adult. A basic level of swimming ability is required for safety reasons. There are a number of adventure companies that offer guided descents down the local waterways.
Catch the latest films and releases in Les Arcs on your winter or summer holiday. Some cinemas open their doors early on a bad weather day, otherwise you'll find most screenings in the evenings. Look out for VOST for English speaking films.
Riding in the Alps is much more demanding than your favourite local route back in the UK. The roads around Les Arcs are the setting for some of the most gruelling sections of the Tour de France but they can be tackled by enthusiasts as well as professionals. To gain the most from your riding in the area it goes without saying you need to have a reasonable level of fitness. You do not need to be a super man or woman but the ability to ride comfortably for up to 3-4 hours in the UK should see you enjoy the mountain routes.
Also see: Cycling in Les Arcs
Visit the horses and stables in Bourg St Maurice for something different to do in wither winter or summer.
There are numerous lakes and rivers around Les Arcs where you can fish, mainly rainbow trouts. From natural lakes to the beautiful reservoir of Arc 2000. You must, however, ensure that you have the correct fishing permit and are aware of the local fishing regulations.
Facilities to practice football are available at the multi-activity sports outdoor court in the sports centre at Les Arcs
There are over 2.5 million people doing geocaching around the world and some of them (perhaps surprisingly) are right here in Les Arcs!. It’s a relatively new craze that started taking the world by storm in May 2000 after a computer geek decided that GPS could be “really exciting”. He hid some treasure at his home in Portland, America, for people to find, broadcast the GPS coordinates and said, “Come and get it”. His only rule: “Take some stuff, leave some stuff”. And that’s exactly what Geocaching is…you go in search of treasure by using the GPS system on your mobile device – once you’ve found it, you write your name in a logbook and replace the treasure you decide to take. It’s pretty simple really and means, as a family, you can be adventurers together. You won’t usually find anything quite as precious as gold, silver and diamonds but nevertheless it’s quite exciting!
For a truly unique experience, clamp on your crampons and go hiking on one of the many nearby glaciers: the Glacier de la Chiaupe and the Glacier du Varet, or the Bellecote glacier to name a few. The breathtaking views and spectacular crevasses make this an incredible adventure. There are a number of glacial hikes, of varying difficulty, in this region of the Alps. Most mountain guiding companies and adventure companies will run organised excursions to the most accessible.
Excellent course and beautiful scenery, you can play golf in the summer in Les Arcs surrounded by the fantastic mountain views.
Gym / Fitness centres
There is a gym in Bourg St Maurice with a wide range of fitness classes, and another one in the Aquatic Centre in Arc 1800. A number of hotels also have their own facilities to keep you trim while you're on holiday.
Sit back and admire the mountains from even higher up! Daily panoramic helicopter flights are available (weather permitting) with a number of local flight companies. Relax and enjoy the stunning views as you fly over the snowcapped mountain tops, glaciers and Alpine forests.
There are a few places in and around Les Arcs where you can enjoy horse riding. Learn the techniques to safely ride a horse, soak up the beautiful mountain views and enjoy the scenery all on horseback.
Hydro speeding is one of the newer 'extreme' water sports to hit the market, it's a fun and exhilarating way to get yourselves down a river!. Using a large float, which bears resemblance to a bodyboard, be ready to cling on for dear life as you send yourself hurtling down the rapids!
This activity is a little more demanding physically than rafting or canoe rafting, but allows you to discover the unique sensation of surfing down white water rivers. It is also accessible to all, no need to be a professional diver or swimmer, you just have to be smart at using the water movements, obstacles and waves.
There's plenty of protection from the icy water elements as you'll be given a wetsuit, safety helmet and flippers. You will need to bring a towel, swim wear and if you wear glasses, a cord to keep them on. Guides will brief you with a safety demonstration at the beginning and there’s a vehicle to meet you at the end of the rapids that will shuttle you back to your starting destination.
An artisan & local produce market takes place every Wednesday at Bourg St Maurice during the summer, while there is a traditional Saturday market selling local produce in the same town all year round.
There are mini-golf courses at Arc 1800 and Arc 1600, the perfect activity for a family day out!
Les Arcs is a Mecca for mountain biking, with varying terrain and fantastic views it is perfect for mountain biking enthusiasts. With the whole of the mountain area to explore, Les Arcs is definitely a great place for biking as the different and varied terrains suit bikers of all levels. Whether you enjoy a leisurely cycle around some of the lower level trails, or a day's hardcore downhill mountain is more your ‘thang’, Les Arcs definitely has something to suit all tastes.
Also see: Mountain Biking in Les Arcs
There are a number of companies who can take you mountaineering in both summer and winter, from local guides to ski schools, private instructors and activity companies.
Museums & Galleries
There is a museum dedicated to minerals in Bourg St Maurice where you can learn about the ancient profession of "cristallier". The Maison de la Pomme in the small village of Chal-Hauteville-Gondon shows the importance of the humble apple in the local economy. You can also visit the coffee roasting workshop "L'Or Vert" in Bourg St Maurice, or a dairy specialised in Gruyère cheese in the Colombières area.
Standup paddleboarding is becoming increasingly popular. Originally from Hawaii, it is a great way to enjoy the mountain scenery and get away from the summer heat, while not being very demanding. There are a number of wartersports centres in Les Arcs offering paddleboarding.
Paragliding / Parapenting
If you’ve never tried paragliding before then Les Arcs is a great place to learn how to fly. Known as “parapenting” in France & Switzerland, there are a great number of clubs and organisations in the area whose sole purpose is give you the experience of flying. From the heights of the mountain tops you can glide down to the bottom of the valley on a tandem paraglider controlled by the instructor. He manoeuvres the parachute while the passenger enjoys the ride and fantastic views. Top tip: go on a sunny, warm day when the thermals will keep your airborne for longer.
Les Arcs is a great place rock climbing for both beginners and experienced climbers. Experienced climbers can tackle the mountain side rock and enjoy the fantastic views (just make sure you have all the right gear and safety equipment). For beginners there are a number of adventure companies or mountain guides who can take you out on your first climb and show you the 'ropes'! Learn all the technique and skills in the safe hands of a well-trained mountain guide. Climbing is also a great activity for all the family, just check with the guide beforehand what their minimum age is.
Many people would not automatically think of Les Arcs as a place to shop. However the town boasts some great stores. As you would expect from an outdoor sports Mecca, there are plenty sports stores where you can get your hands on some of the top mountaineering, ski and snowboard brands but there are also some fashionable clothing stores, and plenty of shops selling traditional mountin goods.
Spas & massages
If it is calm and relaxation you are after then head to a luxury day spa or book in for massage therapies and beauty treatments. A day spa is also the perfect activity when the weather turns. You can keep warm and revive aching muscles in saunas, steam rooms and jacuzzis or take a refreshing dip in a swimming pool.
Whether you like to take a dip indoors or outdoors, you'll be able to find somewhere to go for a swim in Les Arcs. Most hotels, lots of chalets and apartments have their own swimming facilities, however there are also municipal swimming baths that you can visit, which often come free with your lift pass purchase. In summer and winter you should be able to find somewhere to take a dip, so don't forget your towel and your swimming costume or shorts.
Tennis is a great way to get the legs moving and to enjoy the sunny summertime weather. You can play a friendly game or have a lesson, whatever you choose to do it is a great way to have fun with friends and family. Open during the summer season there are tennis courts and training walls in Les Arcs. Lessons are usually available in groups or privately. Perfect as a family outing you can hire a court and when tiredness hits you can enjoy some refreshments and snacks at the tennis club or cafe.
Tours & excursions
The area of Les Arcs is perfect for a relaxed day out. You can visit one of the "alpages" or high mountain pastures and learn how they make the famous Alpine cheeses, mainly the local Beaufort du Sérac.
Tree-top / Forest adventures
Head to the adventure park for a day, and everyone is guaranteed to leave with a big smile on their face. Adventure parks are designed for children and adults to play, explore, exercise and have fun in the natural mountain surroundings.
Enjoy the thrills of adventure courses created in the forest in the mountains. The ropes, swings, tunnels, trees and activities will be a great day for children and adults alike. With all the protective gear provided and safety information given you can head out and enjoy the trees and wilderness. Qualified guides will be around the course throughout to make sure you are safe and having as much fun as possible. Different courses and tracks can be tried and tested, each one with a varying level of difficulty. There are courses designed for children only and tracks for juniors and adults to enjoy.
If climbing up sheer rock on the end of a piece of rope sounds a bit scary then Via Ferrata climbing offers an element of security that still allows beginners to enjoy the achievement of having scaled a mountain! This form of climbing was invented by Italian soldiers in the Dolomites who used it to enable them to scale vertiginous faces easily and quickly. These days it is a popular sport that makes the thrill of mountain climbing more accessible to children, beginners and those who want a bit more security when they climb.
Following marked routes through the mountains you are helped along by steps, bridges and ladders whilst being roped up for extra safety. Suitable for adults and children over the age of 8, guides can be arranged on request and there are a number of adventure companies who can organise your Via Ferrata experience.
Walking & Hiking
In the summer months Les Arcs is a mecca for walking and hiking in the beautiful alpine mountains. As the snow melts and the sun begins to shine the mountains make an excellent place to head out on a hike or walk. Walking is the perfect activity for groups, families and friends. Pick from a number of routes ranging in difficulty, from easy child friendly walks to challenging day long hikes. Along the way enjoy the fantastic mountain views, beautiful scenery and wildlife that is normally hidden in the winter months. Check out our walking and hiking guide for more details on hiking in Les Arcs.
Also see: Walking Routes in Les Arcs
If you haven't experienced white water rafting before then this is a definite 'must try' on your list of activities to do! There are a number of trained guides in resort who will let you experience some of the best white water rafting available in the Alps. From the middle of May until September, the mountain rivers flow furiously as they are fed from the melt waters running off the glaciers high above the town. There are various options available from a three hour adrenaline rush to a full days excursion - this activity is guaranteed not to disappoint.