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Essential Info & F.A.Q.

Holiday Structure, Bookings and Payments

Click Here to see our full booking terms, company legal info and cancelation policies

The Riding

In short: mind-blowing.  The only reason we set up in Savoie many years ago after 8 years of biking all over the Alps is that we couldn’t find better trails and more varied terrain anywhere!  Don’t just take our word for it – see what the magazines and our past guests have to say!

The trails vary from fairly challenging to extremely challenging and technical. Anyone of intermediate level and above, looking for a different kind of rush, will find what they’re looking for in Les Arcs. If your a regular at “man-made trail centres” and ride the red/black routes comfortably, the riding will be right up your street. However, those who prefer bigger off-the-map adventures in natural terrain can rest assured that we have something to challenge anyone of any standard. That said, the trailAddiction philosophy is never to thrill by scaring people, but by the sheer quality, length and fast, flowing nature of the trails we can show you. We’ll only put you with riders of a the same standard as yourself, but this is why it’s really important to tell us your riding preferences at the same time of enquiring about dates and availability . (see The Guiding). Take a look at our technical skill and fitness level guide to see how we’d assess your own riding level versus the holidays we offer. If you’re in any doubt, we’d strongly suggest booking on one of our Alpine Improvers Coaching Weeks, just in case.

Les Arcs boasts an extensive mountain biking “domain” comprising of over 150km of difficulty-graded and well signposted trails. However, this marked-out domain covers only a small portion of the singletrack terrain that the area has to offer… that’s where our guides come in handy: marked or unmarked, the guides know the mountain inside out, simply because they’ve spent so much time scouring the 1:25000 maps and testing each and every trail. We like to think that we specialise in the unmarked stuff, but at the end of the day our riding is flexible, meaning that ultimately YOU get to decide on what and where you will ride on any particular day. Thanks to the guides’ knowledge, they have enough terrain in their repertoire to tailor the standard to each and every group, from Alpine beginners to hardcore experts.
YES (except on our tours that run outside of lift season). We make good use of the area’s lifts (funicular railway, chairlifts and cablecars, public coaches, trains) as a quick and hassle-free way of getting from the valley floor to the tops of the trails, often almost two vertical kilometres above. For the really “out there” backcountry trails, we use minibus or 4×4 access to reach trailheads.
Unlike some operators, our chalets are located within direct eyesight of the main lift. However, all are also situated a good distance above the valley floor and therefore you can ride-in ride-out with numerous trailheads starting literally on our very doorsteps – all leading downhill to alternative lifts if you fancy starting your day with a singletrack descent rather than an uplift.
The marked runs in the official Les Arcs mountain biking domain, yes, by the official Les Arcs bike park team. The unmarked and backcountry stuff, yes, too – how else do you think we keep ourselves busy through the winter? 🙂  However, these trails don’t see many bikers and therefore don’t get badly rutted or covered with the infamous braking bumps which are increasingly common on courses in more commercialised or overcrowded biking areas.

Kit & Holiday Preparation

  • Bike – We generally use bikes that have around 5-7″ (125 – 180mm) of front and rear travel, although some of our hardier guides prefer to use solidly-build hard-tails. Its really a matter of personal preference.  Strength over lightness and a relaxed (slack head-angle) is ideal.  Super-long enduro style bikes are great for straight line stability, but you will lose out in our very tight alpine switchbacks.  (eg 26″ ‘aint dead, in our humble opinion!)
  • Tyres – at least 2.3″,  (2.5″ or more is recommended) DUAL-PLY / DH / DOUBLE-DOWN / ENDURO+ reinforced sidewalls & casing are absolutely essential otherwise we guarantee you will be fixing flats every run (and will quickly become the least-favourite person in your group if we all have to wait for you!) .  Better still, if possible, tubeless with some kind of rim-protection-insert, at least for the rear wheel if you are a heavier rider.   
  • Brakes – 5000m+ a day is hard on the brakes!  No brake is “too much”, and your screaming forearms will thank you for a decent investment in your braking setup.  Most importantly, make sure your brakes are freshly-bled with new fluid, and new pads, before your trip. Large brake rotors are a superb upgrade (min 200mm front and rear for the average weight adult male rider).
  • Spare Brake Pads – At least 1 complete (front and rear) set, but be safe and bring two complete sets if you can!   And ALWAYS go for sintered pads since they handle the heat of long descents so much better.
  • Spare Tubes  – DH tubes for our lift accessed weeks, please bring at least “all mountain” tubes for backcountry weeks – we still do a lot of decending!  
  • Spare Mech Hanger – if it breaks during your stay, your bike will be effectively useless without a replacement
  • CamelBak / BackPack with usual riding spares (pump, multitool etc), large enough to carry a jacket, water, and packed lunch.
  • Packable Waterproof jacket.
  • Usual summer riding clothes and shoes (i.e. shorts, short or mid-sleeved jersey).
  • Extra base layers for cold days
  • Relaxed / comfy clothes for the evening
  • Earplugs – essential for your Mountain Refuge if you are a light sleeper
  • Helmet – for our lift accessed weeks either a full-face or a half-lid is fine, its really a case of what you feel comfortable in using, but we’d certainly recommend upgrading to a removeable-chin-bar model if you don’t have one already. For our backcountry / Trans-Savoie weeks if you are bringing a full-face please also bring a half-lid as well for the days where we pedal – you’ll overheat quickly on the climbs, if you don’t!
  • Gloves and any desired body armour – at least knee pads for both backcountry or lift accessed weeks.
  • Riding sunglasses or Goggles for protection against both the sun and foreign objects – this is important since you are riding in a group and often eating the dust of the rider in front of you.
  • Some kind of splash-guard or front minimud-guard is very useful if you want to keep mud and water out of your face and eyes.

You will need to take out specific insurance for a mountain biking holiday. The key thing to check in any policy is that they cover you for accident / emergency recovery. If the worst happens and a helicopter is required the bill could be well over £10,000. We often ride on paths and trails in the “backcountry”, i.e. away from the marked, dedicated mountain bike trails (kind of like “off-piste” skiing). Although these are all marked as “paths” – and in France, you ARE allowed to ride on them – check you are covered for this. We require all riders to be insured when riding with a host, for the sake of your own safety. Unfortunately, we can’t go as far as recommending any particular product since ultimately it is your choice as to which provider will give the right level of cover that you wish to take. Its advisable to arrange this at the time of booking (well before your holiday) – in the event that you are injured or ill and unable to attend your holiday, your insurance should cover the holiday cost if you need to cancel at the last minute.

Yes! All of our chalets have limited washing facilities. A small charge will have your clothes returned clean and fresh direct to your room. However this service is subject to staff availability so may not be available all the time.  On Trans-Savoie Tours, since we move location most days, this service becomes difficult/impractical but we will try and help, if you are really desperate.

Yes of course – fresh towels are provided. On overnight refuge trips we will provide you with a clean travel towel, sleeping bag liner, and warm blankets.

In our opinion, a chin-guard and arm / leg pads are worth wearing if you have them. The philosiphy is simple – if you fall off (and lets face it, you just never know when that might happen no matter how easy the trail) its going to hurt less if you are padded-up! Since we use the lifts to do most of the hard work for us, then its no real pain to wear/carry the armour, and it does help with confidence levels too. That way you can more freely enjoy the trails, with less worry about how much the gravel rash would sting if the worse was to happen! To put it in perspective, on xc-bias days we generally dump the full-face in favour of a half-lid, and leave the pads at home. The descents may be the same difficulty as before – but we ride them more slowly and more cautiously without the extra protection of the armour. If you dont want to invest (understandably), we can usually loan you a set for free – just ask us at the start of your week in the resort. Alternatively we have a selection of our favourite Knee and Elbow armour for sale at extremely competitive prices, at our Les Arcs Chalets. In summary, don’t be put off by some of our photos if body armour is not your style – many of our guests are body armour first-timers too!

Generally throughout our season, the weather is good. In July and August you can expect temperatures of 25-35 Degrees C at the valley floor and 15-20 Degrees C up on the mountain. In June and September it can be up to 10 Degrees C lower at the start and end of the day. However, these are proper mountains and you should always prepare for the worst just in case! If it rains, it normally comes in at the end of the day (4pm onwards) and rains hard and fast. The trails are not clay-based and being particularly well drained, will be fully dry again by the end of the following morning. Around one week per season we sometimes get a band of bad weather come in, but its impossible to predict if or when that may be, sorry! Even in the worst cases it rarely hangs around more than a day or two and you should always get at least a good dose of sunshine in any given week. Its always best to bring packable waterproofs….just in case!

If you have your own ‘Enduro-Style’ or ‘Aggresive Trail-Style’ bike that is suitable for Alpine riding (powerful disk brakes, strong wheels & tyres, relaxed geometry) we’d always recommend to bring that if you can, rather than rent something you are not used to riding. 

Be aware that bike rental here in Savoie is not as ‘easy’ as you might expect in a large city or in a major resort.  That said, there are some options for good quality, well-maintained bike (or e-bike) rental.  

trailAddiction can help to put you in contact with our most reliable local suppliers, but you’ll need to contact them directly to discuss your exact requirements and to arrange collecting and returning the bike yourself.

There are additional logistical problems in renting, depending on your own travel plans (for example, if you don’t have a car to collect / return the bike to the shop).  

On our point-to-point tours or refuge trips, if anything goes wrong with your rental bike during the week, you are likely to be a very long way from the hire shop (ie too far to take it back there) in order to have it serviced if needed. 

The main problem, especially on a Trans-Savoie Tour – is to collect and return your hire bike. The nearest good-quality bike shop is 20 to 25 km from our meeting point and from our first night of accommodation.   The Bike shops are usually not open on a Sunday which is the first day of riding, so you need to collect your bike on the day of arrival – plus it means if you find a problem with your hire bike, there is no option to return to the shop to fix it, on Day 1.  By Day 2 we have already moved at least 1 hour’s drive away from the hire shop location.  This means if you have bad luck and have a mechanical problem with your hire bike, it will take at least 2 hours round-trip to return to the shop.  This is not practical, especially if the other people in your group simply want to carry on with the tour!
At the end of the week, your bike must be returned to the bike shop and again, this is a 25 km journey each-way.  We usually finish riding at around 5pm on Friday, so the hire shop will be closed before its possible to get back to return the bike.

In summary, it’s not impossible, and we’ve made it work in the past – but it just takes a little extra planning and effort.   But you must be aware that if something goes wrong with your hire bike during the week, we can’t guarantee that we can arrange to get you back to the hire shop.    (If you take your own bike, then we can visit the nearest bike shop to our current location each day, which is of course easier to arrange, around the riding plans for the rest of the group).

Travel / Location / Weather

Geneva is the obvious choice as it is the closest airport which currently has a regular summer EasyJet service from a number of airports around the UK. Due to transport licensing arrangements and complications around Brexit, we are not able to offer own own airport transfer service this summer.  However we do have a great arrangement with a local professional operator and they are offering a 10% discount to all trailAddiction customers.   It typically costs €70 per person, each way, but they will always try to group you together with other customers dropping off or picking up in the same shuttle, which will usually bring down the cost per person.  Please contact Cool Runnings and mention trailAddiction.  They should know where to drop you off (in Villette, Aime) but if not, see below for the exact meeting point on Day 0
From 2021 onwards, we are no longer able to offer  in-house transfers, (thanks Brexit – yes, its complicated!). So you will need to arrange this directly with the external transfer company (see above).  

However here’s a guideline as to the flight times to aim for, to minimise your waiting time at the airport if you plan to share with other trailAddiction riders arriving on the same tour.

Arrival / Inbound:  Latest recommended flight arrival to Geneva = 14h00.

Please note, its not only about the transfer – arriving too late means you won’t have time to properly enjoy your first meal, unpack, build bikes and get a decent rest before your first day on the trails!

For your outbound journey, we recommend an earliest flight departure from Geneva of 13:00. 

If you are travelling from the UK or continental Europe, with bikes and kit, its often just as easy to share a car with your mates and enjoy the drive out here.   You can then bring as much kit and spares as you need to, and you don’t have to worry about packing and unpacking your bike at both ends.  You might also wish to fly to Geneva and consider a hire car at the airport (but make sure you rent one that has space for your bikes too!).  The cost to rent a car for the week is often cheaper than paying for airport transfers, plus you’ll have a car here at the chalet in case you want to go exploring elsewhere on your rest day. Its an enjoyable drive from Geneva to our Chalet – either the cruisy motorway route, or our recommendation would be the direct route via the historic town of Annecy with its amazing scenic lake and mountains.
 Its possible to take the train from Geneva airport, and the train station is actually inside the airport itself (just turn left in arrivals and walk to the end of the arrivals area).   You will need to make a couple of changes, and it takes 3 to 4 hours along a scenic countryside route. Our nearest station is AIME LA PLAGNE, and we can usually gladly pick you up. Check with us before booking.  

Check out train times and costs on www.thetrainlline.com

Arrivals on any other day are very difficult to accommodate. Its not just a matter of capacity – our staff are fully committed to looking after the customers already staying with us, therefore are not generally able to give you the full welcome and arrival attention that you deserve. Therefore in most cases we are unable to arrange for a non-Saturday arrival.
On Saturday Afternoon we will meet, regroup and build our bikes at VILLETTE, 73210 SAVOIE (between Moutiers and Bourg Saint Maurice).   Use this google maps link to find us.  

This location is our base (our home!) in the Alps and we have limited workshop tools available here.

This is the same meeting point if you are coming by car or via an airport transfer service.  If you are taking the train – see above – we can pick you up, its not far.

Please plan to arrive no earlier than 15:00 on your arrival Saturday – we need time to see out the previous week’s guests, and clean & prepare our equipment for the following week.

If you need to kill some time, we’d suggest chilling out at the tourist’s lake here, visiting the Medieval town of Moutiers (15 minutes before the meeting point), or buying any supplies you might need at the local supermarket and Decathlon outdoor superstore – there’s a restaurant and beer terrace there too.

Once you arrive, you can build your bike and have a cold or hot drink and snacks in our communal area or relax and meet the rest of your group out on our sunny terrace, before we transfer up to your first night’s hotel at around 17h30 or as soon as everyone has arrived and is ready to go. Dinner is at 19h00 and it is a 30 minute transfer to the hotel, but you’ll also need to check in, find your room, take a shower etc.

Please don’t plan to arrive late (NOT after 18h00) – it is difficult for us to transfer you to the hotel in time to check in for dinner.

If you are delayed, please call or message us and we can give you directions to go directly to the Day 1 hotel location.   However, this means you will need to recover or move your car on Day 1 and will probably mean you will miss up to half a day of riding, depending on logistics and the exact riding plans of the rest of the group.

Yes.  There is free parking available in a safe, quiet, carpark directly next to our meeting point.  You can leave your car here all week and we will arrange to return you to your car at the end of the tour.

We will finish the week after completing a circular route that brings us back into the same valley as where we started.  We’ll arrange for you to collect your vehicles on Friday evening before dinner.   Depart at your leisure on Saturday morning after breakfast.  Contact us for the pickup address if you need to book yourself an airport transfer.

If you are really in a hurry, you can leave on Friday evening….but of course we’d recommend staying, if you can!

Generally throughout our season, the weather is good (much better than the UK!). In July and August you can expect temperatures of 25-35 Degrees C at the valley floor and 15-20 Degrees C up on the mountain. In June and September it can be up to 10 Degrees C lower at the start and end of the day. However, these are proper mountains and you should always prepare for the worst just in case! If it rains, it normally comes in at the end of the day (4pm onwards) and rains hard and fast. The trails are not clay-based and being particularly well drained, will be fully dry again by the end of the following morning. Around one week per season we sometimes get a band of bad weather come in, but its impossible to predict if or when that may be, sorry! Even in the worst cases it rarely hangs around more than a day or two and you should always get at least a good dose of sunshine in any given week. Its always best to bring packable waterproofs….just in case!

Accommodation & Food

All of our rooms are either twin or triple rooms, with ensuites. For larger single-sex groups, we also have one very spacious Quad room available. We allocate roomings based on group composition, any indicated preference at the time of booking, and to best accommodate every guest on a given week. In some situations we may need to split your group to suit the roomings available. For example: if a group of 4 makes a booking, but we only have one twin and one triple room available (i.e. 5 spaces), we would split the group into two groups of two guests. However, we cannot guarantee the remaining bed would be left vacant unless an additional “under-occupancy” surcharge is paid at the time of booking (i.e. it may be filled with a customer travelling alone, although this would be very unlikely!). This allocation arrangement is applied in rare cases, and in reasonable circumstances only, i.e. we would never enforce mixed-sex room sharing, and couples are always guaranteed a private room to themselves!

Yes, although we have limited availability and a surcharge will apply. Ask us for details.

Yes. Our professional catering staff have many years of experience and vegetarian / wheat free / anti-allergy options are par for the course and so much more than the same as everyone else but with something missing. However due to the limited preparation facilities, extreme allergies eg nuts, may not be possible to accommodate. If in doubt, please ask us!

 Its possible to take the train from Geneva airport, and the train station is actually inside the airport itself (just turn left in arrivals and walk to the end of the arrivals area).   You will need to make a couple of changes, and it takes 3 to 4 hours along a scenic countryside route. Our nearest station is AIME LA PLAGNE, and we can usually gladly pick you up. Check with us before booking.  

Check out train times and costs on www.thetrainlline.com

Arrivals on any other day are very difficult to accommodate. Its not just a matter of capacity – our staff are fully committed to looking after the customers already staying with us, therefore are not generally able to give you the full welcome and arrival attention that you deserve. Therefore in most cases we are unable to arrange for a non-Saturday arrival.
On Saturday Afternoon we will meet, regroup and build our bikes at VILLETTE, 73210 SAVOIE (between Moutiers and Bourg Saint Maurice).   Use this google maps link to find us.  

This location is our base (our home!) in the Alps and we have limited workshop tools available here.

This is the same meeting point if you are coming by car or via an airport transfer service.  If you are taking the train – see above – we can pick you up, its not far.

Please plan to arrive no earlier than 15:00 on your arrival Saturday – we need time to see out the previous week’s guests, and clean & prepare our equipment for the following week.

If you need to kill some time, we’d suggest chilling out at the tourist’s lake here, visiting the Medieval town of Moutiers (15 minutes before the meeting point), or buying any supplies you might need at the local supermarket and Decathlon outdoor superstore – there’s a restaurant and beer terrace there too.

Once you arrive, you can build your bike and have a cold or hot drink and snacks in our communal area or relax and meet the rest of your group out on our sunny terrace, before we transfer up to your first night’s hotel at around 17h30 or as soon as everyone has arrived and is ready to go. Dinner is at 19h00 and it is a 30 minute transfer to the hotel, but you’ll also need to check in, find your room, take a shower etc.

Please don’t plan to arrive late (NOT after 18h00) – it is difficult for us to transfer you to the hotel in time to check in for dinner.

If you are delayed, please call or message us and we can give you directions to go directly to the Day 1 hotel location.   However, this means you will need to recover or move your car on Day 1 and will probably mean you will miss up to half a day of riding, depending on logistics and the exact riding plans of the rest of the group.

Yes.  There is free parking available in a safe, quiet, carpark directly next to our meeting point.  You can leave your car here all week and we will arrange to return you to your car at the end of the tour.

We will finish the week after completing a circular route that brings us back into the same valley as where we started.  We’ll arrange for you to collect your vehicles on Friday evening before dinner.   Depart at your leisure on Saturday morning after breakfast.  Contact us for the pickup address if you need to book yourself an airport transfer.

If you are really in a hurry, you can leave on Friday evening….but of course we’d recommend staying, if you can!

Generally throughout our season, the weather is good (much better than the UK!). In July and August you can expect temperatures of 25-35 Degrees C at the valley floor and 15-20 Degrees C up on the mountain. In June and September it can be up to 10 Degrees C lower at the start and end of the day. However, these are proper mountains and you should always prepare for the worst just in case! If it rains, it normally comes in at the end of the day (4pm onwards) and rains hard and fast. The trails are not clay-based and being particularly well drained, will be fully dry again by the end of the following morning. Around one week per season we sometimes get a band of bad weather come in, but its impossible to predict if or when that may be, sorry! Even in the worst cases it rarely hangs around more than a day or two and you should always get at least a good dose of sunshine in any given week. Its always best to bring packable waterproofs….just in case!

“For my sort of riding and bike (5″-6″ is perfect), this is soooo much better than Morzine/Les Gets. Last couple of years in PdS never improved my riding as much as this holiday did. trailAddiction are the only guys doing this sort of holiday in this great resort and they do a really good job. The Chalet Hosts made the best dinners I’ve ever had in the Alps, summer or winter, full stop. Completely recommended.”- Graeme MacLean, UK

“THE 6 BEST DAYS I HAVE HAD ON MY BIKE EVER! The trails are pristine and natural. The scenery is magnificent and the guides were brilliant. This will definately be an annual pilgrimmage for me.” – Kayn Woolmer, South Africa

“The guides went out of their way to understand the kind of riding we wanted to do and did a brilliant job of tailoring the holiday to suite. The ratio of guides to guests was outstanding and everyone was very laid back (without being unprofessional), it really felt like we were riding with friends rather than on a guided holiday. Brilliant trails, brilliant company, I can’t recommend them highly enough! – Lee Sheldon

“After a while I couldn’t remember what a particular descent was like, since the next seemed better! Guides are essential to get the most out of the area since there are so many tracks everywhere.” – Dave Wills, UK