The bustling ski resort of Les Arcs is THE favorite place for revelers

I stomped in my heavy boots to the beat of the music, as the sun cast an orange glow over the white slopes.

The bar La Folie Douce, in the lively ski resort of Les Arcs, is THE unmissable meeting place for partygoers. Partygoers regularly enjoy live entertainment, a huge Scandinavian-style bar serving beers, jagermeister, and pitstop grub.

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Partygoers enjoy regular live entertainment, a huge Scandi-style bar serving beers, Jagermeister, and pit stop foodCredit: Alamy
The bar La Folie Douce, in the lively ski resort of Les Arcs, is THE unmissable meeting place for partygoers

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The bar La Folie Douce, in the lively ski resort of Les Arcs, is THE unmissable meeting place for partygoersCredit: Unknown, clear with photo office

From here the Vanoise Express, a huge double-decker cable car, connects this resort to the famous Plagne, slightly west of Les Arcs, which is surrounded by pretty villages and ski resorts.

My base was 10 km away in the village of Plan Peisey, a vast region of the French Alps.

As a fairly inexperienced skier, I didn’t know much about the resort, which is near the Italian border, but friends had raved about it.
And it certainly did not disappoint.

Sheltered from the winds at the foot of the mountains, the charming village is perfectly placed to take advantage of the 425 km of slopes that make up the Paradiski ski area.

Traditional alpine restaurants and shops overlook frosted pines and even the drive from Lyon airport was a postcard scene.

The mountains dominate the winding roads, their perfect white peaks are so tempting that when I arrived, I couldn’t wait to put on my skis.

For novices like me, there are several ski rental shops, most within walking distance of the chalets, which will be able to equip you. Our pad, Chalet Fleur de Neige, was only 50m from the piste, which meant minimal transport of ski equipment – a real luxury.

On entering the wooden house we were greeted by our warm and smiling hosts, Tony and Carol, who had prepared homemade cakes and afternoon tea for us.

The chalet has seven spacious bedrooms which are basic but traditional and there is also a sauna on the lower level which is a great place to relax and ease post-ski aches.

In the cozy living room you can marvel at the view and warm your toes in front of a roaring wood stove or immerse yourself in a board game.

From the village it only takes a few minutes to reach the slopes by cable car and despite a half-term French tour the stations did not seem overcrowded so I had plenty of room to fall as much as I wanted (this which I did a lot).

Having only skied once before, a big part of my trip was at ski school. But with only two other people in my class, it felt more like a private lesson than group learning.

My classmates were 12-year-old girls, which meant trips to the amusement park with swirling lanes and jumps – which I ended up loving.

The resorts have runs for all abilities and ages, but it wasn’t long before I was venturing ‘off-piste’, zipping through towering trees and untouched snow.

After a tiring morning on the slopes, I was looking forward to returning to try the freshly baked cake prepared by our tireless chalet hosts. Lemon watering, carrot cake and Victoria sponge. Cake heaven. But these treats were no patch on evening dinners.

Endless wine, beef stews, pork stroganoffs and tartiflette, a local dish of potatoes, gooey cheese, onions and bacon, made every night feel like Christmas.

There are also many classic French restaurants in the village or you can return to La Folie Douce bar for burgers and wine.

Perched on a snowy slope, watching the sun set behind the mountains is a scene I will never forget.

Endless wine, beef stews, pork stroganoffs and tartiflette, a local dish of potatoes, gooey cheese, onions and bacon make every night feel like Christmas

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Endless wine, beef stews, pork stroganoffs and tartiflette, a local dish of potatoes, gooey cheese, onions and bacon make every night feel like ChristmasCredit: Alamy
For novices, there are several ski rental shops, most within walking distance of the chalets, which will be able to equip you

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For novices, there are several ski rental shops, most within walking distance of the chalets, which will be able to equip youCredit: Getty
From the village, it only takes a few minutes to reach the slopes by cable car

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From the village, it only takes a few minutes to reach the slopes by cable carCredit: Alamy

GO: PEISEY MAP

covid: Fully stung tourists, and children under 12 traveling with them, no longer need tests to visit France, but must complete a “declaration on honor”.

Unvaccinated Britons can still travel to France, but only if they have an essential reason

GETTING THERE/STAYING: Seven nights in a Ski Beat chalet in the French Alps from £889 pp, including cooked breakfast, home-baked cakes with afternoon tea, three-course dinners with wine and flights with transfers. Click here to book or call 01273 855100

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