Wide view of skier on piste above Arêches-Beaufort ski resort


Le Beaufortain, French Alps

Arêches-Beaufort lies in the Beaufortain Valley, close to Les Saisies and the underrated Espace Diamant ski area. Being close to Albertville makes road access among the easiest in the French Alps.

The skiing is on snow-covered mountain pastures, a plus for anyone looking for a traditional mountain village experience. Despite the relatively modest altitudes the Beaufortain receives heavy snowfalls.

View of three skiers descending piste among rugged mountain scenery

The Ski Area

In fact there are two – Arêches and Le Planay – with easy access from their respective villages. The Grand Mont chairlift from Arêches heads up to the Le Cuvy plateau’s ‘Espace Première Trace’ (‘First Tracks’) novice area, from which a second chairlift followed by three draglifts will get you all the way up to the Col de la Forclaz (2320m). The terrain here includes two ski/boardercross runs – the 900m-long Olympic-style ‘Bovocross’ and the slightly lower, more family-friendly ‘Woodcross’. For off-piste initiation there’s also the Red-graded ‘Trace Rouge’ permanent ski touring itinerary.

A welcome new development to the Arêches domain is the Le Bois gondola link between the two ski areas of Planay and Grand Mont.

Le Planay’s two chairlifts offer quicker access to the terrain below the Col des Combettes (2130m), where the steep ‘Combettes’ draglift is avoidable for anyone not wanting to ski the red-graded ‘Belle Etoile’ and ‘Légette’ pistes. Should you decide to, then you’ll still have the ‘Pas des Vaches’ and ‘Piapolay’ Reds (plus three Blacks) to entertain you. Intermediates, on the other hand, can enjoy blue-graded cruises from top to bottom.

Linking the two areas are the Red-graded ‘Perches’ from Le Cuvy down to Le Planay, with a gentle Blue ‘Boulevard de Liaison’ between Le Planay and Arèches. There are two mountain restaurants, plus a high-altitude picnic area just below the Col des Combettes, and at the end of the day the return from Le Planay to the car park at Arèches is an easy valley cruise. Alternatively, take a short shuttle-bus ride.

View of ski area from chairlift at Areches-Beaufort, French Alps

Resort Information

Altitude : 1050m - 2350m
Pistes Total:
50 km
2 Green
11 Blue
11 Red
4 Black
Ski Resort Lifts : 13
8 Draglifts
4 Chairlifts
1 Gondolas

Green Credentials...

Situated in an area of exceptional beauty, it is no surprise that Arêches-Beaufort has taken steps to protect their natural environment and wildlife.

  • For more than 10 years, the ski lifts and snow-making in the Arêches ski area are run exclusively on renewable electrical energy.
  • The station benefits from exceptional natural snow which makes it possible to limit snow production. However, with careful placement of snow guns and monitoring of water and energy consumption, the station can ensure snow cover when it's needed.
  • An optimal grooming plan reduces machine operating hours and therefore fuel consumption. The drivers have been trained in eco-driving to save fuel.
  • Water intended for snow-making comes from the Roselend reservoir (partnership with EDF) and is entirely gravity-fed. Cultured snow is produced without additives, so it's only a mixture of water and air.

There are also ways for indioviduals to reduce their environmental impact while enjoying a ski break in Arêches-Beaufort.

  • The ski area has a waste management scheme in place with lots of encouragement to skiers to play their part in reducing litter. Every spring there's a waste collection on the slopes.
  • To limit the use of cars, the ski area have provided heated ski lockers so skiers can leave their gear at the foot of the slopes and make use of the free shuttle buses unencumbered by skis, poles and boots.
  • There are also ski pass reductions for car-sharing with reductions of 10% - 33% the price of a day-ticket.


Traditional Savoyard chalets in Areches village, with snow-covered mountains

The Ski Village

Arêches is an authentic, traditional village with ample car parking just a short walk from the Grand Mont chair lift serving the novice area at Le Cuvy. Further along the valley road is Le Planay, a modest ski village whose friendly atmosphere and a secure dedicated children’s area, make it a good base for young families.

Despite Le Planay’s more purpose-built look, it enjoys the same unspoilt authenticity of the delightful sheltered Alpine valley setting and has its own ‘Espace Première Trace’ (‘First Tracks’) novice area.

As a year-round working village, Arêches has independent local businesses, including ski-hire shops and several restaurants in the main street – everything you’re likely to need during your stay, in fact.

If not, then the nearby town of Beaufort-sur-Odon has an interesting historic centre plus a larger choice of shops and restaurants. The local co-operative dairy producing the celebrated Beaufort cheese offers visitors tours of the production area, and sells regional cheeses at unbeatable prices. 

Staying There

Value for Money Accommodation Dining Out Nightlife Village Charm


Wide view of skiers on chairlift above trees and ski terrain

Why go skiing in Arêches-Beaufort ?

The varied groomed terrain includes some surprisingly steep but wide runs on which to build fitness and confidence, along enough gentler terrain lower down for intermediates and novices. Families will love the facilities for young learners in the Espace Première Trace (‘First Tracks’) areas. Snowboarders have freestyle and boardercross areas, if long drag-lifts don’t spoil the fun.

Intermediate skiers should find enough variety and challenges for several days, after which there’s likely to be a strong temptation to head over to explore the wealth of further terrain on offer in the nearby Espace Diamant.

Finally, there are around 38km of cross-country trails to explore. The exceptional snow and oustanding beauty of the Beaufortain region make Arêches a paradise for ski touring and freeride.

Non-skiers, on the other hand, can while away a few hours in the sunshine or set off on a wooded snowshoe walk from the sunny plateau at Le Cuvy (at the top of the Grand Mont chairlift). A variety of guided activities are available which will take you off the beaten track and discover the wild beauty of the mountains. There's also a luge or Yooner runs or ice-climbing for the more intrepid.


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Alpinresorts.com Ski rental

Skiing There

Beginners / Families Intermediates Advanced / Expert Mountain Scenery


Plenty to entertain young skiers and boarders with 2 snowparks and a big-air bag.
2 Snowparks
3 Snowboarder Cross

Cross-Country Skiing

Trails amid beautiful scenery for all levels including a new pro black trail.
38km Cross-Country and Nordic Ski Trails

icon-smileyYes please...

  • New accommodation offering better choice for families.
  • Authentic mountain village feel.
  • Accessible ski-school areas.
  • Remarkable snow record.
  • Friendly, welcoming atmosphere.
  • Arêches-Beaufort is a Famille Plus resort with plenty to entertain young skiers and boarders.

icon-frowneyYes but...

  • Relatively compact local terrain.
  • Too many drag-lifts for some, particularly snowboarders.

icon-winkingOur Tips

  • A day spent exploring the Espace Diamant via nearby Les Saisies will expand the possibilites and open your eyes to the excellent skiing offered both in the Beaufortain and the Val d’Arly.


Practical Information

La Clé des Cîmes

Residence Clé des Cimes, Areches-Beaufort, French Alps

A recently built residence offering 4* self-catering accommodation in 96 apartments. The residence is located 400m from the village centre and a short shuttle bus ride from the nearest ski-lift and ski-school meeting point.

Facilities at the Clé des Cîmes include a reception, lounge, kids/teenagers clubs, indoor heated pool, wellness area, Jacuzzi, hammam, sauna, ski lockers and underground parking (supplement 55€/week). There's a bread delivery service and an on-site restaurant is planned.

Enquiries and bookings:
Peak Retreats
023 9283 9310