Resort Info – Courchevel

Courchevel is part of the renowned 3 Vallees’ ski area, which is arguably the largest ski area in the world (though the Portes du Soleil will argue about that). Many skiers regard this area as THE best intermediate ski-playground of anywhere! This impressive lift- inked ski area consists of 5 of the best ski resorts in France, those being Courchevel, Val Thorens, La Tania, Meribel, St Martin de Belleville and Les Menuires. Set in a fabulous landscape, the slopes of Courchevel are north or north-east facing, making them very snow-sure. After Val Thorens, this makes Courchevel the next best resort for the best snow conditions in the area, rivalling Meribel and Les Menuires.

Courchevel

Les 3 Vallees offers you amazing skiing in a total of 600km of high altitude and snow-sure ski slopes, with something for everyone, no matter what your style or ability. The area benefits from reliable snow coverage, between 1300m and 3230m. This means that over 500km of the ski area is located above 1800m with many of the links over to another area, via higher lifts, rather than at village resorts. For the less adventurous you will be happy to know that the 3 Valleys offer many wide ski runs, which are maintained nightly by an army of “piste bashers” or grooming machines.

Courchevel is made up of four different villages, each with its own distinct feel and atmosphere. These were renamed a few seasons back, but are still commonly known by their old names and are all linked by a frequent free bus service. Courchevel’s villages comprise of Le Praz (1300), a pretty and quiet village with tree-lined slopes and direct access to 1850; Courchevel 1550, which has a relaxed atmosphere and good slope access; Courchevel 1650 (or Moriond), with a really lively atmosphere and a great selection of shops and bars; and 1850, where you’ll find a host of chic boutiques, high end accommodation, as well as a huge selection of restaurants and fine dining, some complete with Michelin stars. A chairlift and blue run link 1650 area to Courchevel 1850.

The choice in the 3 Valleys ifs often where to stay. The village centre around the main lift in Courchevel 1650, reached by an escalator, has been attractively developed and as mentioned offers a selection of shops, restaurants and bars. Opposite the lift a longer three- stage covered escalator serves a big area of self-catered and catered chalets lower down the hill. Staying around here offers reasonable value and good ambiance, with families enjoying the huge water sports centre, Aquamotion.

The Aquamotion centre is packed with features such as indoor and outdoor pools, a diving pool, a surfing area with a spectacular wave, a three lane water slide, wild water rapids, saunas, steam room, hot tub and climbing wall. There’s also a skating rink and fitness centre with gym, sauna and steam room in Courchevel 1850. Some hotel spa facilities are open to the public on payment of an entry fee. Courchevel 1850, is the highest and largest area, spreading a good way up the hillsides. It’s THE prestige place to stay, where the rich and famous of all nationalities, head to be seen perhaps in their latest designer gear. It’s also the main lift hub with gondolas from the centre heading up in three different directions and mainly easy pistes back down. Here you will find a significant number of luxury chalets and hotels, with a bevy of expensive boutiques, though not as many as Gstaad or St Moritz. For everyday food shopping the lower resorts are a better option – especially Moriond, which has a few boulangeries and minimarkets, with accommodation prices dropping the lower down the valley you go, ending in Le Praz, which still has easy access to 1850. Just call or email and let us help you find your ideal accommodation in this terrific ski area.

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