(1224m - 3248m)
Courchevel is one of the most glamorous alpine skiing resorts with stunning hotels, restaurants and shops. However, a holiday here is not just about the off slope amenities as the skiing is simply awesome and caters for all needs. Being part of the Three Valleys network (600 kms of linked slopes) you will never tire of this resort and will no doubt want to go back again and again.
- Extensive area
Resort at a glance
|Resort Altitude||1850m, 1650m, 1550m, 1300m|
|Ski Range||1224m - 3248m|
Courchevel is actually comprised of four small resorts (very) loosely named after the altitude at which they are located. Thus there are the villages of 1300, 1550, 1650, and 1850. All the villages are connected so each one can be reached via piste and lift.
Courchevel 1300 is set at the bottom of a wooded area, and slopes here are accessed by taking the Foret gondola. From here the Cretes chair takes you to the Chenus sector. Here there are a variety of blue and red runs (plus a green) that lead down to Courchevel 1650, 1850 and the neighbouring resort of La Tania. There are runs through trees back down to 1300 but these are not suitable for beginners who should use the gondola. At Chenus via the Col de la Loze chair is the link to Meribel which opens up the rest of the Three Valleys network. There is also a beginners area situated at 1300.
Courchevel 1550 is located directly beneath 1850 and has a couple of local slopes, mainly being blue runs. From 1550 Grangettes gondola and Tovets chair take you up to 1850.
Courchevel 1850 serves the largest area with numerous lifts radiating outwards from the village. The Chenus gondola accesses the slopes above 1300, whilst the remaining lifts serve the local area. Just above 1850 the runs are ideal for nervous intermediates and comprise mainly of green and blue slopes. There are also beginner and family areas here. At the top of this area take the Saulire cable car or Vizelle gondola to the top of 1850 for much more challenging terrain that confident intermediates must try. Here there are plenty of red runs down to lifts that link this area with 1650. There is also some steep action here with some tough black runs that experts will relish. At the top of Saulire is another link to the rest of the Three Valleys.
Courchevel 1650 like 1850 has the best variety of terrain to suit everyone. There are long green and blue runs just above the village and red runs further up the mountain. From 1650, both blue and red runs access lifts that make the link back to 1850. At 1650 there is also a beginner area, and plenty of nice easy blues to progress on to.
Courchevel is a lively resort and has a wide selection of apres ski options to entertain you depending on which base you stay in. Courchevel 1850 has the biggest range to choose from with a large choice of bars and clubs - many with live music and dancing until late, but do be careful - some places are on the expensive side.
Music comes in many forms in Courchevel 1850 - there is The Mangeoire - a great piano bar, the Cap Horn - with a DJ but can be pricey, karaoke at the Tremplin, and a number of nightclubs such as the Moroccan styled The Grange and the Caves, Kudeta also has live music to kick off the afternoons apres ski scene.
If your tastes are more for bars and pubs than music, then Oxygen or TJ’s are good options. Piggie’s Pub and Le Milk are also great places to try, the Petit Drink serves wine and tapas and the Bergerie has themed evenings.
Courchevel 1650 (Moriond) is quieter than 1850 and generally lower in price too but there is still a wide range of apres ski options to entertain you. Rocky’s Bar and the Bubble bar are both Brit run, Schuss and Cabane are also great places to try, as is the Signal Bar. For music and DJs, then explore Club disco and the Funky Fox.
Courchevel 1550 is much quieter than both 1850 and 1650 with a handful of bars to visit - again the further you come down the mountain, the more affordable the prices are. La Taverne is a great locals bar, the Bar 1550 is good value and the Chanrossa often has live music and tempting happy hour prices.
Courchevel 1300 (Le Praz) is a much smaller, more traditional village with a few bars to choose from such as Darbeilo, the Ski Lodge and L'Escorch-vel Bar.
Courchevel 1850 has a huge range of restaurants to choose from, many are very expensive but there are also some more affordable options too and there is something for all tastes - from gourmet style food to traditional French cuisine and lighter bites, but do book tables where you can to avoid missing out.
Courchevel 1850 is known for its fine dining and has 7 restaurants that share 11 Michelin stars between them, be aware though - prices can be extreme so you may have to save up for this luxury.
Le Chabichou, offers a lunch menu at around €50 which is good value for a Michelin starred restaurant, Pierre Gagnaire pour Les Airelles, Le Strato, Il Vino and La Bateau Ivre are some of the other Michelin starred restaurants. For something a little different then try Il Vino, you choose your wine first and then the chef tailors your food to complement it.
If your budget longs for something a bit more reasonably priced then try the Cloche which offers a range of more traditional dishes, La Cendree is great for Italian, the Genepi and the Saulire are also good, as is Aux 3 Bo which serves Japanese.
Slightly further down the price range are La Fromagerie - serving, yes you guessed it, raclette and fondue, La Mangeoire, Anerie and also Chapelle.
Courchevel 1650 and Courchevel 1550 also have a good range of restaurants serving a variety of cuisine, the Eterlou is very good, as are the Petit Savoyard and the food within the Manali and Portetta hotels.
In Courchevel 1300 (Le Praz), there is a Michelin star restaurant - L’Azimut which is worth a visit if budgets allow but do book a table in advance, the restaurant within the hotel Peupliers is also good, as is Le Bistrot du Praz which serves traditional French cuisine.
There are plenty of activities to keep you busy if you are not skiing or boarding. Everything from ice-skating, ice climbing and driving, snow shoeing, tobogganing, snow mobiling, to horse drawn sleigh rides and paragliding.
For something less energetic then there is bowling, cinemas showing English speaking films, go carting, and of course a number of designer boutiques to shop in including Louis Vuitton, Prada, Hermes and Chanel, along with the weekly market to buy some local produce.
If you are looking for some pampering then quite a few of the hotels do also have spas within them and many are available to non residents but they can be expensive.
ESF, the local French ski school operates in Courchevel 1850, Courchevel 1650 and Courchevel 1550 and caters for all needs and all levels. Private lessons cost from €82 - €90 for a one and a half hour lesson depending on the time of season, group lessons cost from €220 for 3 hours per day over 5 days. Check your meeting point on booking as it depends on which resort you are staying in.
New Generation is run by British instructors and is based in both Courchevel 1850 and Courchevel 1650 and aimed at both adults and children for all levels. Group lessons start from €189 for five days with 2 hours tuition per day, private lessons start from €165 for 2 hours. Check your meeting point on booking as it depends on which resort you are staying in.
There is also the Supreme Ski and Boarding School based in Le Praz which is also British run. Group lessons start from €185 for 5 days with 2 hours tuition per day. Private lessons start from €160 for 2 hours. Their meeting point is next to the Chenus gondola in Courchevel 1850.