Stations of Courchevel. Photo Credit: Patrick Pachod / Courchevel Tourisme
600 Km (linked with Meribel, La Tania, Val Thorens, St Martin de Belleville and Les Menuires)
1,650 M – 3,230 M
Bouchet chairlift 3,230 M
Green 51, Blue 131, Red 107, Black 30.
Chambery 2 hrs 15mins
Courchevel Moriond is an beginners paradise with wide open easy slopes leading down to the resort. It is especially well equipped with ski schools with more than half-a-dozen to choose from, and many of those British run.
There’s a variety of options in Courchevel Moriond to choose from including a in-chalet British-run nanny services or a public creche for babies and toddlers. Children aged two up can have snow experience private sessions with one ski school and there’s group ski school for children from age three with the ESF at the foot of the slopes. Other British-run ski schools offer private lessons for children and in some cases group lessons at peak times.
Courchevel Moriond, formerly known as Courchevel 1650, is a traditional village that’s much quieter than it’s glitzy neighbour Courchevel 1850, none-the-less the resort has a great selection of shops, restaurants and luxury chalets, many of them located right on the slopes for maximum convenience. Access to the wider Courchevel Valley and the full 3 Valleys is quick and easy.
Courchevel Moriond is a bustling village with plenty of luxury ski chalets and great ski-in/ski out accommodation. Courchevel 1650 chalets are dotted around this family friendly resort that keeps getting a little bigger and better each season with some great new attractions including a multi-million indoor swimming pool complex. The resort is connected to its neighbouring Courchevel Valley villages and to the wider 3 Valleys with a network of high speed, state of the art lifts, so you can quickly reach the far corners of world’s biggest ski area, but you may be tempted to stay on the local slopes on at least some days, as they have their own.
Courchevel is made up of five separate base villages, the biggest and highest Courchevel 1850, directly above Moriond, choc-full of designer shopping, gourmet restaurants and the most five-star hotels of any location in France except Paris. Then there are the chalets, which at the top end, are simply off the top of scale for luxury anywhere in the skiing world.
Whilst all this excess is just a short hop from Courchevel Moriond, the village is very much a separate base with a life of its own and its own selection of facilities and comfortable chalets. There’s perhaps more of a family focus here and yet the number of great bars and restaurants continues to grow giving plenty of choice for apres ski on top of the world’s best choice of ski terrain the 3 Valleys.
The skiing around Courchevel Moriond is often accurately described as “an intermediates’ paradise” with superb runs like Les Indiens which cuts down through the woods above the village to enjoy.
As you have the world’s biggest ski area at your ski tips however everyone but novice skiers should invest in the full 3 Valleys pass and make some excursions over to Courchevel 1850’s world class ski area and then on to the Meribel Valley and even over to the furthest Belleville valley to visit St Martin, Les Menuires and Val Thorens.
For expert skiers there are plenty of challenging red and black runs, including Jean Blanc, which was Courchevel’s original World Cup run back in the day. The off piste is, of course, legendary, but then if you are a good skier you won’t need us to tell you that.
Thanks to Courchevel Moriond being part of one of the world’s biggest and best-equipped ski resorts, as well as a very family-friendly ski resort, there are lots of options for beginner adults, as well as for children and babies needing care in your chalet or lessons on the slopes. One particular strength is that there are British-run nanny services like ‘Snowbugs’ available to come and look after your baby in your chalets as well as British-run ski schools offering private lessons for kids and group lessons in the school holidays. Adult beginners can also choose between group or private lessons.
On top of all these options there’s a municipal creche and a variety of group and private ski school options for children from age two offered by the Ecole du Ski Francais, which operates from the foot of the slopes allowing parents to watch from the terrace of the Portetta Hotel.
It’s worth also considering that Courchevel has invested like no other in child safety on ski lifts. Almost all lifts use their ‘Magnestick’ system which holds children on the seat and makes sure the safety bar stays down until it’s time to get off.
In addition the resort invested in that state-of-the-art watersports centres, one of the best in the world, which opened just below Courchevel Moriond only a few winters ago.
Courchevel Moriond is not the biggest ski resort and it has a family-friendly atmosphere so it’s not the place to go if you’re wanting a lively party scene. That said it is getting a little bigger and perhaps a little livelier each season and there are certainly some great bars where you can let your hair down at the end of a long hard day on the piste should you feel the need.
The Fire and Ice bar at the Portetta Hotel at the bottom of the main run is usually buzzing as the lifts closer and The Bubble bar often has live music and a popular happy hour. Other popular bar choices include Funky Fox for its DJ sets, The Space bar for live music, La Boulotte if you like to meet chalet staff taking time out, Rock’s for a British crowd or Remonte Pente for a French one. For dancing the night away try La Klinik or La Godille.
The Bel Air (belair-courchevel.com) at the top of the gondola is very popular (advance booking recommended). There’s a great south-facing terrace or big picture windows if it’s a little cold, homemade cuisine and a special welcome for repeat guests.
L’Arc en Ciel (+33 4 79 08 25 45) is 40 metres off the Marquis blue run in Moriond itself but worth the effort of the short walk. Superb Savoyard cuisine and some of the best pizza in the valley.
For a change from Savoyard dishes try Cucina Angelina (portetta.com) in the Portetta Hotel which offers a menu featuring a very tasty fusion of the best Italian and mountain cuisine.
Petite Savoyard ( +33 4 79 08 27 44) has one of the best reputations in town, it may be small but it serves fantastic Savoyard favourites including legendary tartiflette and raclette while also managing to ace their pizza menu.
L’Alambic (+33 9 60 10 66 77) located on rue du Marquis at the far end of the village has a reputation for friendly service as well as for better value than most. It’s essentially Savoyard fayre again with meals served indoors or out.
La Table de Marie (table-de-marie.com) also has an excellent reputation, their ‘Clocherade aux 3 Viandes’ – rump steak, duck and chicken – being one of the house specialities and the self-explanatory ‘winemakers fondue’ another.
British run ski and snowboard school New Generation (skinewgen.com/ski-schools/courchevel-1650) is very highly regarded and has built up its reputation for the highest standards over the past 20 years. Most staff are British or speak English as their first language, children’s private lessons offered or group classes at peak periods.
Snow Limits (snowlimitsskischool.com) is a small British-run school established just over a decade ago. All snowsports and ability levels taught but particularly good for experts and off piste.
The British Ski School (britishskischool.com), more commonly known as BASS, has been offering small group and private lessons for almost three decades now. Their Courchevel team can offer classes to meet pretty well every different type of snowsport tuition need.