Ski special: 24 Hours In: Paradiski

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The Independent Travel

Anyplace, anywhere

08.00:It's hard to tell if you are in America or France when you jump out of bed in an apartment in the Auberge Jérôme, named after the Intrawest executive who masterminded Arc 1950.

The rooms are comfortable and spacious and the kitchenette gleams.

Radisson SAS Resort (00 33 4 79 23 10 00; arc1950.radissonsas.com) has an apartment for four from €185 (£123) a night.

On the steep, slippery slope

09.30: Head for Arc 2000 for a white-knuckle shot at the Flying Kilometre. Contenders launch themselves down the slope, reaching speeds in excess of 150 mph. Price €13 (£8.70) adult, €8 (£5.35) child, including helmet, goggles and skis with Club des Sports (00 33 4 79 07 82 05; sports-lesarcs.com).

Climb aboard a double-decker

12.00: Ski the gentle blue and red pistes from Arc 2000 via l'Arpette to Vallandry to board the Vanoise Express for the four-minute journey to La Plagne. The double-decker cable cars cover the 1.824-metre span without supporting pylons. When the link opened in 2004, it created the largest ski area in the world, with accommodation for 90,000 people. It now hosts around 4.5 million visitors a year.

Go on safari for a roaring lunch

13.30: Ski through La Plagne towards Champagny en Vanoise to the Chalet Verdon Sud (00 33 6 21 54 39 24). It is decked out in faux safari style with tiger and leopard skin motifs on the walls and chairs. You can replace your ski boots with some warm slippers and sit round the circular open fire with a glass of champagne before lunch.

Time for a little horsing about

17.30: Back in Arc 1950, it's time to try ski joring, a traditional Scandinavian activity that has become something of a local speciality. You take up long reins and ski behind the horse, initially at a walk, but with the possibility of trotting. Price €30 (£20) per hour with La Cavale (00 33 6 09 12 15 94).

Pool resources for a noisy game

19.30: Ride the free gondola up to Arc 2000 for a beer and a game of pool in the Red Rock Café (00 33 4 79 07 10 58; redrock-cafe.com), but don't expect to chat to your mates above the aggressive sound system - the neighbouring tavern is more conversation-friendly, while Chez Eux has reliable Savoyard specials and a quality wine list.

Dip in for the fondue factor

21.00: At least once a year, you may be overcome by a strange urge to dip bread into boiling cheese. If so, do it Chez Anne (00 33 4 79 06 43 11) in Arc 1950. If you resist, you could sample tasty in-house alternatives including raclette and fondue bourguignonne.

Make mine a Guinness

23.00: Is there nowhere left without an Irish pub? Certainly not Arc 1950 where Les Belles Pintes (00 33 4 79 07 35 42) offers drinks, darts and pool until 2am.

Head to the last chance saloon

MIDNIGHT: Le Club 1950 at Chalet de Luigi (00 33 4 79 07 05 17) stays open until 4am, with themed nights, live bands and disco sounds on the ground floor. Earlier in the evening, Luigi offers Italian food, darts, pool, and Premiership football on satellite TV.

MC

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