The Mountain’s of Bourg St Maurice
The recent link with La Plagne to create the Paradiski, the world’s second largest area, has brought a lot of investment to the resorts. Most of the old chairlifts have been replaced with new high speed quads (or even six seater), meaning queues are kept to a minimum, even during busier periods. Although the Les Arcs area is massive, it is relatively easy and quick to get from one sector to the next, meaning you can spend more time on your favorite runs and less time getting to them. Superb piste maintenance means moguls are kept to a minimum.
Bourg St Maurice has 425 Km or 226 miles of slopes
1 Funicular Train, 3 Cable cars & 12 gondolas
66 Chair & 60 Drag Lifts
5 Park & 1 Pipes
The free lifts at 1600 and 1800 are ideal places to make your first turns, with big wide pistes and close proximity to the villages. From there, make your way over to the pistes around chairlift 69, an ideal place to improve your technique amongst peaceful tree lined pistes.
8 Easy Greens
25 Easy Runs
Head over to Vallandry for a morning of high-speed fun on the perfect pistes, hitting natural rollers and banks. Once warmed up, take a long lap of 2000, down to the Comborcière chairlift, into the Malgovert forest for some rock drops, then back via 1600 to the funpark, situated under the Clair Blanc chairlift, where you’ll find kickers and rails of all sizes.
31 Intermediate Runs
As the biggest town in the Tarantaise, sitting at the end of the train line, Bourg has easy access to St Foy, La Rosière the Espace Killy (Tignes and Val d’Isère) and a direct funicular up to Les Arcs and the Paradiski area.
Hire a guide then head to the Aiguille Rouge, one of France’s highest peaks. After admiring the view, drop down the back in to Villaroger, hitting some serious off piste, then over to the Grand Col for more of the same. Be warned runs are not recommended without a guide. But they are amazing and should be experienced to get the best out of this resort!
13 Expert Black Runs
|Top Lift||3250 m|
|Vertical Drop||2000 m|
|Bottom Lift||850 m|
|1 Day Pass||€ 53.5|
|7 Day Pass||€ 315|
|Season Pass||€ 999|
Geneva (GVA) Airport is the resorts nearest at 120 Km or 75 miles away.
Bourg is a classic valley town, sitting grumpily on the valley floor with the sparkling ski resorts up above. It was never intended to be a tourist destination, so while it does have one old cobbled street, there is very little inspiring architecture. Bourg is instead a functional entity, supplying the economic needs of the Tarantaise community. In the 1990s, however, Les Arcs installed a Funicular railway from the town centre in an attempt to ease the traffic on the access road to the resort: tourists could leave their cars in Bourg and holiday in peace. The upshot of course was that seasonaires could find cheap digs in Bourg and use the Funicular to access Les Arcs. By 1998 the community had swelled to several groups and today there is a community of hundreds of Europeans, Antipodeans and Americans who call Bourg home. There are other attractions too: great supermarkets, a skatepark, an express train to Paris, outdoor pools, great climbing and a lovely river when the snow melts. A word of warning though it is a Gendarme training centre, with two huge barracks in town. Ratios of men to women are laughably sausage heavy.
Most people here eat out infrequently, but if you do try Le Refuge and Le Savoyarde.
Apres Ski & Nightlife
The Zoom Bar is the most modern bar in Bourg, although everybody also goes to The Spot as the Centrale Bar is universally known. For clubbing, forget it, instead take a trip up to the discos of 1800.
|World-class resort that feels compact and homely.||There can be bottlenecks on some of the main lifts at peak times.|
|Good value for money throughout the resort.||Shops, bars and clubs in some of the villages are limited.|
|Some of the best terrain in Europe.||Busy during French holidays in mid-February.|
If you want to do a season in a cool town and imagine what the Chamonix’s and Morzine’s of this world were like 20 years ago, then Bourg’s the place to head. It’s the back door to Les Arcs, my favourite resort in the world.
There are two huge supermarkets on the outskirts of town next to the Les Arcs access road, The Super U is generally considered to be the cheapest.
Health & Wellbeing
he Hotel Le Golf in Les Arcs 1800 is one of the few places to cater for the health market, otherwise there’s a pool in town. Warning: as with the rest of France, they insist on men having to wear Speedo-type swimming trunks. We have no idea why.
The versatile Zoom Bar, an art gallery, clothes shop and restaurant, as well as an internet café.
Buy a Paradiski pass and get discounts to La Rosière, La Thuile and St Foy.
Kids under six get a free pass when accompanied by an adult. Check out the Milka Forest above 1800 and there’s even baby jumps in the park!
Bad Weather Days
Head to the trees in 1600 off the Mont Blanc chairlift. There are endless lines to be had. If it’s open, make your way to the amazing trees in Villaroger.
The piste under the Comborcière chairlift, roughly 2 km of mogulled hell, long, steep and awful!
An Interesting Little Fact
The Apocalypse Snow scenes were filmed around the slopes of Les Arcs. They remain the seminal snowboard films. At the bottom of Chairlift 69 lies the start of the forest paths that are a large part of the first film.
The view from the Aiguille Rouge on a clear day is guaranteed to put a smile on your face.
|Use the whole mountain, it really is a massive area.||Try going anywhere by road on a Saturday, the traffic can be terrible.|
|Ski/Ride very fast (it seems to be a local trait).||Shred the mogul hills under the Comborcière chairlift.|
|Live down in Bourg St Maurice.||Drive up to the resort from Bourg, use the funicular.|