One of the most exclusive luxury ski resorts in the world, Courchevel 1850 sets the scene for some of the finest luxury ski holidays in the world. Part of the Three Valley ski network, its skiing is also second to none with over 600km of pistes to enjoy. If you are looking for an alternative, slightly more understated ski resort, Courchevel 1650 offers some fabulous luxury chalets and also excellent nightlife. Courchevel 1550 is quieter again and for true character, Courchevel Le Praz wins hands down.
Courchevel 1850 in the three Valleys is probably the most exclusive luxury ski resort in the world, with its hotels, shops, restaurants, ski chalets and bars, equally as impressive. Below 1850 is Courchevel 1650, with its luxury chalets and holidays impressive, but not on the grandeur scale of 1850.
Courchevel is stuated in the world class Three Valleys ski region in France that boasts over 600km of pistes, most of which is high altitude with a great snow record.
Whilst Meribel and Val Thorens are probably best suited for intermediates and experts, Courchevel is probably our top tip if you have beginners in your party. Courchevel1850 has a superb wide and encouraging beginners area and Courchevel 1650 also has a very good nursery area too. Across the whole of the Three Valleys there are 31 green slopes to choose from and over 150 blues so there is more than enough for beginners to ski and enjoy.
The Three Valleys is great for all and it really is a pardise for both intermediates and experts with over 150 red and black runs and a vast array of off-piste routes too.
You may not ski it all, but it is great fun trying before skiing virtually back to your chalet door at the end of the ski day.
Courchevel 1850, 1650, 1550 and Le Praz 1350
Courchevel 1850 is probably one of the worlds most exclusive luxury ski resorts where oligarchs, Parisians and the rich and famous from the corners of the globe meet. It is a very charming luxury ski village with alpine luxury chalets and hotels full of character and an endless list of boutique shops to frequent and buy the very best ski gear, outfits, watches and much more.
Courchevel 1650 has grown very popular alternative with both the French and British well heeled crowds. Quiter than Courchevel 1850, 1650 offers all the ski to the resort convenience of 1850 but at a slower, more relaxed pace. There is however still much to do with some great restaurants and upmarket shops, and pretty luxury chalets, but the prices are a little more to the tastes of the wealthy rather than super rich.
Courchevel 1550 sits just bellow 1850 and simarly to 1650 offers style at a more reasonable price than its larger, more famous neighbor that towers above. The original Courchevel village with traditional farmhouses and stone chalets, today it expands each year as it popularity increases too, across the ridge that it occupies in this special French ski resort.
Courchevel Le Praz (1350) is considerably quieter than the aforementioned Courchevel villages and is a picturesque blend of modern purpose built ski chalets and old traditional alpine farmhouses. If you are therefore looking for a quieter location with sold alpine charm, then 1350 is probably one you may want to consider.
Family Ski Holidays
Families love the Courchevel and the Three Valleys as quite simply there is something for everyone regardless of age or ability. Just above Courchevel there is a very wide beginners area and in quite a sunny position too. Ski together or split up and meet at the bottom of the lifts as abilities and you please.
For a quieter family ski holiday, 1350 and 1550 are great choices with a good choice of reasonably priced ski chalets. Older teenagers will love Courchevel 1650 which has a livelier feel but still retains the traditional chalet holidays feel. But for the ultimate luxury family ski holiday, with uxury chalets and holidays are simply world class.
Expert and Off-Piste Skiing and Snowboarding
There is so much to ski in the Three Valleys that the off-piste expert will be spoilt for choice. In the Courchevel area, every competent expert has to ski the Grand Couloire when the conditions are right as it is probably one of the most famous in the region, although many experts are surprised to find it is actually a black run. Reached via the Saulire Cable Car, if you want to try a harder route, the Couloir Tremplinn or the Sous Pylons which is the easiest to locate as it is immediately in front of you as you face back towards the departing cable car on tits left (and to the right on the way up).
Courchevel Mountain Restaurants
Visitors to Courchevel 1850 can often be found in Le Cap Horn. A fine dining restaurant on the blue Pralong piste where seafood, including caviar can be enjoyed, but at a price! Le Panoramic next to the Saulire gondola at 2,700m is a more modest price alternative (by Courchevel standards) and serves excellent fish and meat dishes that are well prepared and presented. Popular with our Russians clients is Chalet de Pierres for fine dining sarvoyard style!
The Bel Air at 1650 (next to the cable car) offers reasonable value and good food. La Soucoupe at 2,250m offers stunning views and some good fayre, found at the top of the La Loze piste.
Don’t be fooled by the Family Park tag in relation to the snow park in Courchevel, it has some challenging jumps and has enough to do for most snowboarders and aspiring free skiers.
Further afield, and with serious air involved, area 43 in Meribel is a must visit for the expert free skier or snowboarder looking for park time and air. Meribel also has Moon Park, and then there is Plateau Snowpark at Val Thorens or the BK Park for beginners at Les menuires who would like a more gentle introductions to jumps and rails.
ESF Ski School pretty much dominate the Courchevel ski school landscape and have both English and Russian speaking instructors. This said, smaller ski schools include Oxygene and New Generation Ski School.
Extensive, and in 1850 it is heavily geared to its more exclusive clientele where Champagne, vodka and Caviar are consumed liberally. Le Tremplin at the bottom of the slopes is a popular first stop with the music starting just before the lifts close. Ku de Ta is probably the bar to frequent if you like the fun a little more lively with live music and DJs pumping out tunes well into the evening. Ski under the bridge and it is immediately on your right.
For a more earthy après-ski, continue down into Courchevel 1650 where you will find Rocky’s Bar or alternative pop into Le Bubble or at1550 there is Le Caterail Bar which is popular with locals and tourists.
Courchevel Michelin Star Restaurants
One of the best and most exclusive luxury ski resorts in the world, and being French, Courchevel 1850 has a wide variety of Michelin two star restaurants to choose from. Le 1947 (Jardin Albin) is a two star Michelin restaurant. Le Chabichou (Rue Chennus) is considred one of the very best but you can also choose from Le Kintessence Rue des Clarines), La Table du Killimanjaro (Rue de l’Altiport) and Pierre Gagnaire pour le Airelles (Jardin Alpin).
For a more modest but superb dining experience, Azimut on the Rue du Lac in Le Praz (Courchevl 1350) is in our opinion the secret jewel in the Courchevel crown. A dining experience that is certainly worth taking the short taxi journey down!
Les Caves in Courchevel 1850 is the place to go and be seen with a wild but very upmarket night out. Le Grange is also popular spot to party.
Getting Around The Valley
Many of the finest chalets and hotels in Courchevel 1850 provide a chauffeur service although with skiing on your doorstep it is hardly needed. There is also a very good free suttle bus service that runs frequently through the day and the evening.
Courchevel 1850 has a cinema and a ten pin bowling alley, as well as a gymnasium, hamman and sauna at the Centre Remise. In Courchevel 1550 this is a family pool at the Piscine Des Grandes Combes and in Le Praz (Courchevel 1350) there is a sports centre with sports hall. Heli skiing, snow shoeing, husky and sleigh rides can also be organized.
Courchevel is located in the world famous Three Valleys ski network. Courchevel itself is made up of four villages. The oldest being Courchevel 1350, the most famous Courchevel 1850. 1550 and 1650 sitting in-between. The quickest transfer is from Moutiers, just 40 minutes and this is served by Eurostar and SNCF train services. Chambery Airport is 1 hours 30 minutes, Lyon Airport 2 hours 15 minutes and Geneva 2 hours 20 minutes (transfer times vary depending on road conditions).
Courchevel Ski Map
The Three Valley ski network is extensive with 600km of pistes and below is the ski map for Courchevel and La Tania:
Three Valleys Ski Map
The full Three Valleys piste map is provided below:
Courchevel, FranceChalet Emilie
£899pp to £1,699pp
Courchevel, FranceChalet Louis
£549pp to £967pp
Courchevel, FranceShemshak Lodge
£15,500 to £57,000
Courchevel, FranceChalet Jardin d’Angele
£499pp to £1,499pp