Spring skiing gets underway from the end of March and is usually considered the late season. However, contrary to belief, there is often a surprising amount of fresh snowfall in April, making it the perfect time to visit the slopes.
Recently, I had the opportunity to witness skiing in April for myself when I visited Les Arcs ski resort for The Great British Celebration.
Les Arcs ski resort
Open from mid-December to the end of April, Les Arcs is part of the Paradiski ski area, the second largest ski resort in the world. Les Arcs is unique as it has several sites ranging from 1600-2000 metres all in one destination. Additionally, Les Arcs has 262 runs over a multitude of pistes, making it one of the best ski resorts in April!
How to get to Les Arcs
The closest airports to Les Arcs are Geneva in Switzerland and Lyon airport in France. Both are 2 hours and 30 minutes drive away from the resort.
However if you don’t want to drive to Les Arcs, you can get the train. From London, board the Eurostar to Bourg St Maurice in 8 hours 15 mins. Then take the only aerial funicular in France, up to the ski area in just 7 minutes!
From Paris, the train to Les Arcs is only 5 hours, and the journey from Brussels is 7 hours 30 minutes by train, making Les Arcs one of the easiest French ski resorts to get to by train.
Here are my seven reasons for April skiing in Les Arcs:
1. Warmer weather in April
Sunny blue skies make any trip feel more like a holiday. Plus, the warmer temperatures mean there’s no need to pile on the layers. You can dress far more lightly, and you’ll be able to move much more freely without them. Not to mention all that Vitamin D you’ll be soaking up! Making Les Arcs one of the best resorts for April skiing.
2. Ski slopes are quieter during Spring
Barring the Easter holidays, Skiing in April is the quietest time of the year. Hence more space on the slopes, shorter lift-lines and less queuing for food and drinks. All-in-all this equals more time actually on the slopes skiing and enjoying the best snow in April!
If you’re looking for a unique VIP experience, Les Arcs offers First Track. Every Wednesday you can be amongst the first to enjoy the sunrise on the freshly groomed pistes. After 90 minutes on the slope, you will enjoy breakfast with the ski patrol at one of the mountain huts. All this for an affordable 19 euros and some of the best skiing in April you’ll experience.
3. Spring Skiing in April is perfect for beginners
Spring is the ideal time for those wanting to learn to ski or improve their skills. The snow in April is softened by the sun’s rays, and the mild temperatures are great for getting to grips with skiing without having to deal with wintery cold weather.
Having previously skied in Val Thorens in December, without any lessons, Les Arcs was a much better fit for me. I stayed at the new Club Med Arcs Panorama resort where ski and snowboard lessons for adults and children are included. In just a few days my skills improved. Furthermore, I was pleasantly surprised that the blue runs in Les Arcs traversed the whole ski resort. Meaning, beginners aren’t confined to just one section and can truly explore the Paradiski ski area.
4. Apres Ski in April
The extra hours of sunlight extend the opening hours of the ski lifts meaning longer ski days. Therefore, the on-mountain bars and restaurants that closed at 3 pm in winter, now stay open into the evening. So you’ll always have the perfect spot to enjoy a cold beer on the sundeck with a view of snowy mountains in front of you!
Visiting in April also gives you the chance to experience outdoor events and festivals like The Great British Celebration week at Les Arcs.
5. Cheap ski packages in April
One of the best things about skiing in April is the prices! Deals are available on everything from accommodation, transport costs, to ski lessons and ski passes, resulting in superb value for money. There’s plenty of availability across the whole range of accommodation, often for significantly less than during high-season.
Many shops have great sales too, meaning it’s a great time to purchase ski equipment and clothing. My favourite place to shop in Les Arcs is the unique village of Les Arcs 1950. Known for taking ski in/ski out to another level, this one-of-a-kind village is an extension of the ski runs in the Paradiski area. Filled with cafes, restaurants, shops, and even a spa, you can literally ski up to the door of the properties, grab yourself a French pastry, newspaper, or even a new chic winter coat…before skiing off! Just be sure to leave some room in your bag for the homeward trip.
6. Non-ski activities in April
Spring is the perfect time for skiers and non-skiers to try something different in the mountains. Plenty of opportunities are available, whether you take time off from the slopes or take advantage of the long bright days to fit in another activity after you’ve put your skis away.
Les Arcs offers everything from tobogganing, snowmobiling, mountain biking, water slide skiing and dog-sledging.
If the weather plays ball you can even take to the skies, and try paragliding, speed riding or a helicopter ride around Mont Blanc. For those looking to burn some calories you can try ice climbing or my absolute favourite, snowshoeing.
7. Wellness activities in Spring
For those looking to take their wellness to another level, Les Arcs even offers the highest mountain yoga session in Europe at the peak of Aiguille Rouge (3200m).
Even on a short break, it’s possible to find time for yourself. After a full day of spring skiing, I spent the following morning away from the slopes. Soaking my muscles in the indoor pool of Club Med Arcs Panorama and gazing out onto the peaceful mountain vistas. It felt even more tranquil as most of the resort guests were out on the pistes during the day. Making it the perfect time for me to unwind in the outdoor jacuzzi and have the Hammam steam room all to myself!
Having devoted the next few days to the slopes, I spent my last snowy morning in Les Arcs at one of their newest spas, Nama Springs. Inspired by India, the “bathhouse” is filled with FOUR different saunas, a steam room, an outdoor pool with a view of the French Alps, 3 treatment cabins and my absolute favourite…the floatation basin.
Warmer than a bath, it provided a calm and weightless feeling. I forgot all about the heavy snow outside, and instead soothed my tired muscles under the basins brightly painted ceiling, before heading to the airport.
Have I convinced you to try Skiing in April in Les Arcs? Let me know in the comments and if you want to explore more of the country check out these offbeat destinations in France.
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Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Atout France but as always opinions are my own.