It’s not often, if ever, that you walk into a traditional French ski resort to find British themed bunting fluttering in the breeze. However, at the end of March 2019, I arrived in Les Arcs for the third annual Great British Celebration event, and was pleasantly surprised by how homely it felt.

British tourism has always been an enormous part of Les Arcs, with 45% of its overseas visitors coming from the UK. In spite of Brexit being on the horizon, Les Arcs has been celebrating British culture for the last three years by hosting five days of themed activities, parties and special offers.

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The free programme (see below) included a whole host of on and off snow activities. Those with a competitive streak could take part in a multitude of races. However, the event was designed to bring people together, hence my favourite activity, the Apres ski afternoon tea. Held in the main square of the beautifully quaint village of Les Arcs 1950, and accompanied by a DJ set it was the perfect place for all the family to unwind after a day on the slopes.

The Great British Celebration is the brainchild of the British-loving Mayor of Bourg St Maurice. He created the event to remind UK skiers that regardless of what happens the resort “will always be their home”.

“We are delighted to be hosting the Great British Celebration for the third time. No matter what happens in terms of Brexit, we are standing by our British skiers and hope they can join us at one or more activities of the Great British Celebration this season. It is a great time to get out on the slopes and enjoy the spring conditions – as well as a full programme of activities!”

Michel Giraudy, Mayor of Bourg St Maurice

All the events were free, and some even included complimentary food and drinks. On top of that, the resort ran a Great British Celebration promotion for the week, starting from 349 euros per person including accommodation and a 6-day ski pass.

2019 Great British Celebration Programme

Sunday 31 March
Arc 1600 – Place du Soleil
A Franco/ British Quiz is being organised during the welcome drink for this British week. Win a bottle of champagne!

Monday 1st April
Arc 1800 – Mille 8 area
A toboggan race at the Mille8! Choose your toboggan and your helmet.

luge ski snow
Racing in the snow. Photo by Les Arcs tourism

Tuesday 02 April
Arc 2000 – Skiing area Come and discover Speed skiing!
Arc 1800 – Ice Warrior obstacle course – Challenge your friends on a 100m obstacle course with a wall, a tunnel, and a net.

Wednesday 03 April
Arc 2000 – Skiing area Speed skiing tuition.
Arc 1800 – Slalom Mille8
Test your sporting spirit on the slalom piste! Once the clock starts, all you have to do is keep straight and not miss any gates. See you on the slalom, at Carreley lift departure.
Arc 1950 – Place de l’horlogeAfternoon tea party & DJ set.

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The slalom at Mille8 ©C.Stramba-Badiali

Thursday 04 April
Arc 1800 – While some are competing on the sledge slope, some are enjoying Savoyards and English products.
Arc 1800Place haute des Villards To end this week of festivities in style, there’s a concert in the place haute des Villards in Arc 1800.

Why is Les Arcs so popular with Brits?

Made up of four linked ski resorts: Arc 1600, Arc 1800, Arc 1950, and Arc 2000. Les Arcs, coupled with La Plagne, make up the second largest ski area in the world, Paradiski.

Les Arcs is one of the five most visited ski resorts by Brits. Its popularity stems from combining safe beginner areas with steep challenging pistes, great tree runs and plenty of high altitude slopes. Not to mention the number of demanding off-piste areas, which create a ski destination that works for everyone.

On top of that, the high altitude slopes (all the way up to Aiguille Rouge at 3200m) keep Les Arcs snowsure, which makes it a wonderful place to enjoy Skiing in April.

Furthermore, the resort also caters for non-skiers and those who would rather try something different, like snowshoeing, paragliding, dog sledging, shopping or relaxing in the spa.

In addition, each resort offers something different. Catering for everyone from budget to luxury, independent to package, beginner to expert, skier to non-skier and family to friends.

What did I think of The Great British Celebration, Les Arcs?

On the first day, I was lucky enough to meet the Mayor and quickly realised his idea was born from a genuine love for Britain. The warm, fun and celebratory atmosphere he was aiming for was ever-present, and the events encouraged people to visit different areas of the resort and try out something new. On top of that, the activities were relaxed and enabled visitors to start conversations with strangers (which is never easy to do!).

I loved how unique the Great British Celebration concept was. Most other ski resorts put on music festivals during Spring, but Les Arcs has thought of something different and one-of-a-kind. Long reign the event!

If you’d like to experience The Great British Celebration in Les Arcs find out more at www.lesarcs.com/the-great-british-celebration

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Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Atout France but as always opinions are my own.

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