The quieter side of Courchevel 1850. Photo Credit: Alexis Cornu / Courchevel Tourisme
Located at a high snowsure altitude within the world’s largest ski area.
Home to more five star hotels and uber-lux chalets than any other ski resort in the world.
The original Courchevel resort and the centre of the boutique shopping, fine dining and up-market apres ski.
600 Km (linked with Meribel, La Tania, Val Thorens, St Martin de Belleville and Les Menuires)
1,300 M – 3,230 M
Bouchet chairlift 3,230 M
Green 51, Blue 131, Red 107, Black 30.
Chambery 2 hrs 15mins
Courchevel is a busy resort which may not suit all first timers, with much more peaceful alternatives available, but it does have excellent nursery slopes and some good easy runs next to them to progress on to. There are also half a dozen ski schools operating here including several British run that are among the best in the business.
There’s a good selection of nanny agencies with a presence in Courchevel if there’s no provision included in your chalet. The village operates nursery facilities for children from 18 months and ski school from age three. There are a number of British ski schools offering children’s lessons from age 4 or 5 too.
Courchevel 1850 has been the most desirable ski resort in the French Alps for more than 50 years with a fantastic selection of Courchevel 1850 luxury chalets. Located in the 3 Valleys, the world’s biggest ski area with 600 km of runs, connecting the village to neighbouring Meribel and Val Thorens. Courchevel offers fantastic skiing and at 1850 metres it’s one of the highest resorts in Europe, with great snow conditions as a result. The resort offers some of the easiest and quickest access to skiing with many of the chalets benefiting from a ski-in/ski-out setting.
Courchevel 1850 has been one of the most cosmopolitan resorts in France and indeed the Alps almost since it opened soon after the war with a good selection of gourmet restaurants and haute couture boutiques. The Michelin star count has kept climbing with many establishments now boasting three-Michelin-starred chefs including many of the luxury catered Courchevel 1850 chalets.
An incredible period of construction of exceptional uber-lux chalets and the opening of several five-star hotels has ensured Courchevel 1850 stays at the forefront of modern luxury skiing in Europe. They have invested heavily in a quick lift system and offered visitors excellent facilities both on and off-piste including the aquatic centre at Courchevel Moriond and a bowling alley and climbing wall in Courchevel itself. A must for those with children is the fantastic sledging run from Courchevel 1850 down through the trees to Courchevel 1550 or Courchevel Village as it is now known.
Courchevel offers skiing to suit all abilities with beginners well catered for with great gentle terrain near the resort, intermediates are able to enjoy plenty of fast cruising runs and experts finding themselves at a resort that boasts some of the most challenging terrains you’ll find anywhere. The slopes are accessed from a network of modern, comfortable, fast chair lifts and gondolas spreading out from the main La Croisette area in the resort centre.
Intermediates will find a huge choice of terrain in the Courchevel Valley, even before venturing on into the wider 3 Valleys. Popular choices include the great Les Creux blue trail down from the top of Saulire, but there are many, many more. There are plenty of reds too for a little more challenge with Marmotte or Park City both good choices above the resort.
For experts, there’s the rare combination of both world-famous challenging pistes like Jockeys or the original World Cup run, Jean blanc, as well as legendary off-piste skiing. Hire a guide to explore The Saulire bowl and couloirs or head to the Les Avals area bordering the Vanoise National Park depending on conditions on the day.
Courchevel 1850 is great for beginners and has some good nursery slopes that are easy to access and an easy green run into the resort.
Courchevel has brilliant facilities for children and many care options too. If there’s no childcare offered by your chalet, there are about a dozen different British-run nanny agencies active in the resort who can help with daytime or evening care. For older children, there are also agencies offering academic lessons whilst your children are on their ski holiday.
In terms of the resort’s own facilities, there is a large ‘Village des Enfants’ spread over three hectares with safe indoor and outdoor play areas for children 18 months and older. The Children’s Village is marked out by a completely closed and secured environment well-equipped with its own ski lifts. Once able to make their first turns on skis there are dedicated kids ski lifts here and lots of fun features to make it even more enjoyable.
It’s also worth noting the Courchevel (pretty much uniquely in the ski world) have invested in a remarkable system that magnetises a child’s ski bib to the seat of a chairlift during the ride up to stop any danger of a fall.
Courchevel has a lively and vibrant apres-ski scene.
Apres-ski stalwarts include Le Ku De Ta (which has a very popular happy hour and continues right through to late-night dancing) and The Tremplin which always has a lively atmosphere. There are many more including lots of sophisticated wine, cocktail and piano bars as well as quite a few venues with various forms of cabaret, including the infamous Mangeoire. Late-night dancing options include L’ARC which opened in 2015 and brings a sense of Parisian style to the resort and the Moroccan-style Grange which runs ever-changing theme nights, both open to 4-5 am.
Located at the Altiport, Le Cap Horn, Courchevel needs no introduction. Do you dream about enjoying seafood or sushis at an altitude of 2000m all in beautiful nautical themed surroundings. With a large comfortable sun terrace, this is the place to while away an afternoon.
Le Chalet de Pierres is located on the Verdons slope, as you head down into to Courchevel 1850. It’s wonderful terrace is perfect for traditional alpine cuisine in a warm and friendly atmosphere.
Located up near the Altiport, Pilatus (altibar.com; +33 6 15 79 83 91) has slowly expanded over the past 20 years and now offers a wonderful terrace with great views of Mont Blanc so you can watch planes landing whilst enjoying the great food
The only restaurant in Courchevel with three Michelin stars, Le 1947 at Cheval Blanc chevalblanc.com) is the domain of chef Yannick Alléno and his remarkable culinary art.
Although home to more than a dozen five star hotels, it’s the restaurant in four star Le Chabichou (90 Route des Chenus; +33 (0)4 79 08 00 55; lechabichou.com) that tops the popularity charts in Courchevel. Great tasting menu, two Michelin stars, lunchtime access from the slopes.
L’Arbe (rue des Verdons, +33 4 79 41 22 80, arbe-courchevel.com) is a long established favourite in the heart of the resort. It serves up all the Savioyuard specialities – fondue, tartiflette, the work, in several variants and to a wonderful standard.
More than just a ski school specialising in off piste and private guiding, Top Ski (topski.fr) even guarantee to find you the best snow in the resort.
British Run Snow Limits (snowlimitsskischool.com) have been operating in the resort for just over a decade. They offer private as well as group tuition on or off piste.
The Supreme Ski School (supremeski.com) have been in Courchevel since the early 1990s and have a strong list of repeat clients. A few years ago management moved to new blood with three former members of the British ski team taking over the reins.