Our complete guide to...

Courchevel

France

World-famous Courchevel is one of the six main resorts which make up the 3 Valleys, the largest fully interlinked ski area in the world.

 

Prices here may be sky high, but for many it is simply the best ski resort in the world – vast, varied and equally compelling for beginners, intermediates and experts alike. 

Where is Courchevel?

 Transfer time:

Chambéry - 1hr30, Geneva / Lyon / Grenoble - 2hr15 

 

Courchevel is in the Savoie region of the northern French Alps, around 2¼ hours drive from both Geneva and Lyon.

 

It is one of the ski resorts making up the vast 3 Valleys ski network, which also includes Val Thorens and Méribel.

Courchevel - the resort

 Resort height:

1650/1850m

 

Courchevel is actually made up of four different resorts. Highest, most famous and most convenient for the slopes is Courchevel 1850 – officially now known as just “Courchevel”. This is where you will find most of the luxury hotels (over twenty of which have 5 stars) and designer shops.

Just down the road is Courchevel 1650 (also known as Courchevel Montriond). Lower still are Courchevel 1550 (officially known as Courchevel Village) and Courchevel 1300 (officially Courchevel Le Praz).

 

Courchevel 1850, where you will find the majority of our hotels, is one of France’s original purpose-built resorts, constructed in a low-rise style and generally unobtrusive on the eye. We also offer one hotel in Courchevel 1650, which is also purpose built and less overtly upmarket. Both centres are convenient for the slopes and offer all of the amenities that you would expect from a major ski resort. 

Courchevel's ski area

 Altitude:

1260-2740m

(1260-3230m - 3 Valleys)

 Pistes:

150km 

(600km - 3 Valleys)

 

Courchevel is part of the vast 3 Valleys ski area, which offers more than 600km of interlinked pistes.

 

Courchevel 1300, 1550 and 1850 are seamlessly linked, both to each other as well as to La Tania, Méribel and beyond (Val Thorens, Les Menuires, St Martin de Belleville).

 

Courchevel 1650 sits slightly out on a limb but has a very worthwhile ski area of its own and is still linked to Courchevel 1850.

 

Courchevel’s slopes are perfect for mixed ability skiers, with lots of gentle runs close to resort level but increasingly challenging terrain the higher you go up the mountain.

Courchevel's snow record

Our snow rating:☆☆☆

 

Courchevel has an excellent snow record. Much of the local area is north-facing so holds its snow well, and snow-making and grooming here are state-of-the-art.

Where to find the best snow in Courchevel

The best snow quality in Courchevel is often found on the shady Combe du Saulire piste.

Where to ski in bad weather

The best place to head to in bad weather or poor visibility is La Tania, which has the greatest concentration of trees. The runs between Courchevel 1850 and 1550/1300 are also good bets in poor visibility. 

Courchevel for expert skiers

Our rating:☆☆☆☆☆

 

Courchevel is an excellent resort for advanced and expert skiers with a number of challenging blacks and lots of off-piste, especially around the Saulire / Vizelle / Creux area. Indeed the Grand Couloir, at the top of the Saulire cable-car, is one of the steepest pistes in the Alps.

 

Lower down (and great on bad weather days) are the long Jean Blanc and Jockeys black runs which plunge through the trees to Courchevel 1300 (Le Praz).

Courchevel for intermediate skiers

Our rating:☆☆☆☆☆

 

Courchevel is one of the best ski resorts in the world for intermediates with a huge extent and variety of terrain both locally and across the 3 Valleys as a whole.

 

Timid intermediates will particularly enjoy the runs from the Pralong and Biollay chairs, as well as the long gentle cruises above Courchevel 1650.

 

Adventurous intermediates are also spoilt for choice, with testing reds (and easy blacks) in all sectors and the chance to explore further afield in the likes of Méribel, Les Menuires and Val Thorens

Courchevel for beginner skiers

Our rating:☆☆☆☆☆

 

Courchevel has some excellent nursery slopes (although note that the one close to the centre of Courchevel 1850 is reserved for the École de Ski Francais).

 

The resort also has some of the best progression runs in the Alps, with several long, wide and exceptionally easy green runs immediately above Courchevel 1850. Courchevel 1650 is also excellent for novice skiers.

Courchevel for cross-country skiers

There are plenty of trails in the Courchevel area for cross-country skiers, particularly around Courchevel 1300 (Le Praz). 

Mountain restaurants in Courchevel

The Courchevel area offers a wide choice of mountain restaurants, though many of them are ferociously expensive. One exception is the (relatively) good value Le Bouc Blanc at the mid-station above La Tania.

 

Highly recommended, but pricier, are Le Bel Air above Courchevel 1650 and the lunch terrace at the Hotel Courcheneige (above Courchevel 1850). The traditionally charming La Soucoupe (at Loze) is another favourite.

Courchevel for non-skiers

Our rating:☆☆☆

 

There are plenty of non-skiing activities in and around Courchevel, including winter walking, snowshoeing, tobogganing and swimming (in the impressive new complex between Courchevel 1550 and 1650).

 

For those that can afford it, Courchevel 1850 also offers an impressive range of designer shops, upmarket cafés, bars and restaurants. 

Courchevel's après-ski

Our rating:☆☆☆

 

Courchevel has plenty of après-ski options both at the close of play and later in the evening.

 

In Courchevel 1850, Le Ku De Ta is lively from late afternoon onwards and stays open until 4am, as does the La Grange nightclub. The Caves de Courchevel nightclub is a more upmarket (and seriously expensive) option.

 

Courchevel 1650 can also get lively, especially La Boulotte and the Funky Fox

Eating out in Courchevel

There are lots of very upmarket dining options in Courchevel 1850 including five Michelin-starred restaurants.

 

Top recommendations include the gastronomic restaurant at Hotel Chabichou and the charming Le Génépi (2 Toques’Gault Millau).

 

For more affordable options you could try Le Passage in Courchevel 1850 or Le Petit Savoyard in Courchevel 1650. 

Snow-wise's top tip

Mountain restaurant prices in Courchevel are steep. For the best value lunches in the 3 Valleys, try the slopes of Les Menuires . 

Considering a luxury ski holiday or short break in Courchevel?

 

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