A bustling town in the Tarentaise Valley, Bourg St Maurice provides a different ski holiday experience from the traditional ski resort. Being the main town for the Tarentaise Valley and surrounded by ski resorts that see more than 10 million skiers visiting each winter between them, Bourg St Maurice has more than its fair share of shopping opportunities as well as a good selection of restaurants, banks, a cinema and museum.
Bourg St Maurice is probably the easiest ski village to reach from the new London St Pancras International rail terminal with a direct Eurostar high speed service likely to be quicker, as well as far more pleasant and convenient, than arriving by air. The old town is directly lift-linked by funicular railway to Les Arcs (in 7 minutes) and is just a few minutes drive from some of the world’s other leading ski areas, including La Plagne, Tignes
, Val d'Isere and La Rosiere
Numerous activities are organised in Bourg Saint Maurice and Les Arcs including paragliding, snow shoeing, horse riding, ski joring (being towed behind a horse on your skis), snowmobiling, ice climbing and, up at Arc 2000, quad biking on snow. At La Plagne there is a bobsleigh run that was built for the Albertville Winter Olympics where you can ride down in a proper bobsleigh behind a professional driver, or a self-steering raft which goes a little slower but still fast enough, which you can ride down with friends.
Funicular to Les Arcs 1600
With the mainline train station at Bourg Saintt Maurice, the funicular railway to Arc 1600 is a convenient and easy route into resort. It takes 7 minutes and runs every 20 minutes, starting at 07h30 and running until 20h00 (07h30-21h00 on Fridays and Saturdays). Free with a valid lift pass.
Interested in buying an apartment in Bourg St Maurice? See our Buying in the Alps section
Why Bourg St Maurice – Les Arcs?
Easy access to Arcs 1600 from Bourg St Maurice
Wide variety of pistes to suit every skier/snowboarder
Easy rail link from the UK
Paradiski is the second largest ski area in the world and one of the very large interconnected areas. With the massifs of Les Arcs/ Peisey-Vallandry and La Plagne linked by the Vanoise Express, the world’s largest cable car, the ultra-modern machine is a two-level panoramic cabin and crosses between the massifs of the 3 resorts in just 4 minutes. It can carry 4000 people per hour. The Paradiski lift system is one of the fastest and most modern that exists.
With 70% of the ski runs at over 2000 metres and one of the world’s most modern artificial snow systems, Paradiski guarantees top-quality snow conditions from December to April. With the best-known peaks, such as Mont Blanc and the Pierra Menta forming a panoramic background, Paradiski is also the gateway to the Vanoise national park, a nature reserve of 53,000 hectares.
Bourg St Maurice is directly linked by the 'Arc en Ciel' funicular railway, the simplest way to go skiing is to hop on the train to Arc 1600 above and begin to enjoy the 425km of terrain for absolutely all ability levels that stretch out in front of you and continue for miles right across the double-decker Vanoise Express cable car over to La Plagne.
BOURG ST MAURICE/LES ARCS SKI AREA
There is no skiing in Bourg St Maurice itself so you need to take the funicular railway from BSM to Arc 1600 which runs every 20 minutes from 7.30am daily so you can get on the slopes as early as you like. Although there’s no ski run back down to Bourg St Maurice, the funicular runs until 8pm Monday – Thursday and 9pm Friday – Sunday, so there’s no rush to get back for the last train.
(You can also get a shuttle to nearby La Rosiere as well, see details below).
Arcs 1600 is set in the trees and with a small scale atmosphere and views across to Mont Blanc. The lift served area extends from 1660 metres to the 3226 metres Aiguille Rouge. Including la Plagne there is a total of 425 km of lift served runs spread over 10,000 hectares.
Les Arcs ski area is one of the world's largest with one of the biggest verticals and has an excellent variety of terrain. Although the vertical between the top of the Aiguille Rouge and the bottom of Les Arcs own skiing is broken by the need for a lift ascent half way down, it is possible to make a spectacular descent of over 2000m from the same point to the neighbouring village of Villaroger, the lowest point on the circuit at 1200m. The ski area takes in glacier skiing, wooded slopes and above tree-line bowls - in short, pretty well all imaginable conditions.
The terrain will suit all levels of skier with Arc 1600 based in thickly wooded terrain, surrounded by largely gentle trails through the trees, with both 1800 and 2000 located at the treeline with wide open sunny slopes above.
The Vanoise Express cable car, which departs from Peisey Vallandry, takes 200 people at a time (120 on the lower deck, 80 on the upper one) over to La Plagne and the joint Paradiski area in just four minutes. The increasingly frequented off-piste route back from La Plagne to Les Arcs is a great excursion returning via the Nancroix forest, everyone else can take the lift back!
BOURG ST MAURICE/LES ARCS BEGINNERS
There are 'Ski tranquille' nursery-slope zones anoe each of the 3 main Les Arcs and at mid mountain above Peisey Vallandry. These quiet ski zones are specially designed and cordoned off so that you can ski in complete safety. Three of their serving lifts (one in each village) are FREE at weekends, great for your arrival wam up! And two other lifts at 1800 and Les Granges are totally free. Try the blue run (Foret) down to Vallandry; its basically a green.
Beginners Area - discover a free moving walkway for hassle-free skiing in an area specially reserved for beginner skiers (adults and children), right next to the apartment residences and the snow front in Arc 2000 – on the raised area where the Olympic Flame is located.
BOURG ST MAURICE/LES ARCS INTERMEDIATES
Intermediates, as with all 'super ski areas' can perhaps get the maximum enjoyment of all, being able to tackle most of the slopes. Most will even cope with the red down from the imposing Aiguille Rouge, the highest point of the ski area where the cable car broadcasts a recorded announcement (once you're ascending) advising that the terrain is not safe for inexperienced skiers. Paradiski has extensive intermediate slopes with big lift networks. Much of the terrain is long fast motorway cruising, although there is more variety than at many comparable resorts.
BOURG ST MAURICE/LES ARCS EXPERTS
Experts have plenty to keep them happy including extensive off-piste terrain. There are many other challenges including mogul runs like the Dou d'Homme. You can also pay a small fee to make some test runs on the famous flying kilometer course speed skiing.
BOURG ST MAURICE/LES ARCS SNOWBOARDING
Snowboarders have five snowparks, three boardercross courses and a half-pipe to enjoy.
Not to be missed when you visit Paradiski!
360 degree panorama of La Grande Rochette at La Plagne. The Aiguille Rouge descent, a mythical 7km non-stop, from the glacier at 3226m all the way to Villaroger at 1200m (on the Les Arcs side). One of the steepest drops in Europe! Once at the top, climb up the observation point and see the views towards the Swiss, Italian and French Alps right to the Jura mountain range. A view like none other!
Bourg St Maurice – Other ski resorts
From Bourg Saint Maurice, free regular shuttle service, from Bourg St Maurice to the foot of Les Ecudets chairlift (ski access for La Rosière
), passing through Séez.