There are some lovely chalets here with fast access into the slopes of Les Trois Vallées provided by two ski lifts – one at either end of the village. 1550 will suit keen skiers looking for quick access to the skiing, without necessarily paying the Courchevel 1850 price tag.
Courchevel 1550 (now called Courchevel Village) is the quietest of the four areas and was once considered a bit of a backwater, but recent developments have smartened up the resort considerably. The spectacular new aquatic centre has been built on the road between 1550 and the Courchevel Moriond at 1650 and opened in December 2015.
The most rustic and village-like with a friendly atmosphere and cobbled winding streets. The village boasts some extremely stylish chalets and a couple of excellent restaurants (one with a Michelin star) as well as 2 gondolas up to the skiing. One gondola will take you directly to the slopes of Courchevel 1850, and the other to the slopes of La Tania from where you can hop across the valleys to Méribel and beyond. In 1992 Le Praz hosted the ski jumping as part of the Albertville Winter Olympics and the ski jumps as well as the Olympic flame can be found at the end of the village. Le Praz is well suited to family groups and those looking to enjoy a peaceful village setting, yet with access to a vast and world-class ski domain.
Now called Courchevel Moriond, is an attractive, bustling village with some great accommodation and a good selection of shops, restaurants and friendly après bars. The skiing in this area is great with lovely swooping wide slopes great for intermediate skiers, and it is really easy to get up to 1850 either on skis or using the excellent local bus service. This is a great area to ski as it is usually much quieter than 1850 but with some great runs and great lunch stops. There are some excellent ski-in, ski-out properties located on the slopes above the village, with good hotel options at the foot of the slopes too.
Courchevel 1850 is the glitzy, ritzy stylish hub crammed with designer shops, top end hotels, Michelin-starred restaurants and stunning chalets. It is definitely the ‘people watching’ capital of the French ski resorts. Of course it benefits from being the highest of the villages with snow conditions more assured. There are exhaustive accommodation options here from glamorous hotels to some of the world’s most impressive chalets, and of course there is a premium price tag to match.
Designer shops, cocktail lounges and Champagne bars ensure that there are a wide variety of things to do for skiers off the slopes or non-skiing members of the party. Courchevel 1850 is also ideal for families as children who don’t have to walk too far in (unfamiliar) ski boots, as the many of the green runs come right into the centre of the resort.
Our recommendation would be to get the full 3 Valleys pass for everyone except complete beginners, as there is spectacular skiing to suit all levels of ability across the 3 Valleys, and you will want to take advantage of the vast ski domain at your ski tips.
Altitude: 1300m - 1850m
Skiable Range: 1260m – 3230m
Longest Run: 5.5 km (12 km in Val Thorens)
Ski terrain (3 Valleys):
Pistes 600 km (Courchevel Valley 150km)
13% Green / 39% Blue / 38% Red / 10% Black
33% of the slopes have snow cannons
*skiing with a qualified mountain guide advised
The Saulire couloirs and bowl are always popular when the conditions are right, and after fresh snow in Courchevel 1650 you will find great routes down through the trees and under the lifts.
‘Jean Blanc’ was the original World Cup downhill piste when the tour went to Courchevel.
Bellecote, Jardin Alpins and Renard; all just above Courchevel 1850 and accessed by the Jardin Alpin & Bellecote lifts
Les Creux, above Courchevel 1850, and Les Indiens down through the trees above Courchevel 1650, where you will find a native Indian encampment – stop off for a photo and to practise your archery skills.
Marmotte / Park City above Courchevel 1850, and Bel Air over towards Courchevel 1650.
Jockeys and Jean Blanc which both lead back into Le Praz, and M which has a lovely steep pitch
There is skiing to suit every level and every taste here – from challenging to cruisy runs between coffee and lunch stops. A network of lifts and pistes fan out from 1850 where La Croisette is the hub of the resort. The lift system in Courchevel (indeed in all the resorts of the 3 Valleys) is impressive with a high proportion of fast chairs and gondolas. The resort has a northerly orientation, excellent snowmaking facilities and is managed and groomed expertly so snow conditions are usually excellent.
There are excellent beginner areas in & around 1850 especially in the Jardin Alpin and the Pralong area by the Altiport. These slopes are well served by fast lifts including the Verdons and the Jardin Alpin gondolas. There are also a number of free lifts serving the beginner areas dotted across the 4 villages that make up Courchevel, but the most extensive area for those starting out or who need to build their confidence is definitely in 1850.
Courchevel especially, but also the whole of the Trois Vallées area is fantastic for intermediate skiers – this is an area where you can really get some miles under your belt and build your confidence. One of our favourites is to head up to the top of Saulire and ski down on Les Creux, a wonderful wide, cruisy blue run and definitely one worth getting first lift up for.
For something a little more challenging there are so many beautiful red runs to choose from it’s hard to really rank them. We have two favourites here – one of which is admittedly connected to a lunch stop. We recommend that you take first lift up to top of Vizelle and then ski the reds Marmottes & Park City down to the Chanrossa chair. A quick breather on the chair up and then ski down Jean Pachod – an exhilarating ski. Another favourite is over in the 1650 area – the short Bel Air run and then go back up the chair and ski down to the Bel Air restaurant to enjoy a great salad and the amazing views from their sun deck.
More challenging still are Les Suisses or M down from Vizelle; great steep, bumps and not for the feint-hearted. M is often beautifully quiet, and Les Suisses definitely challenges for having some of the steepest and biggest bumps we’ve seen anywhere. In good snow conditions advanced skiers also shouldn’t miss the blacks from the top of Col de la Loze into Le Praz. These wind down tightly through the trees and if you link Dou des Lanches with Jockeys you will ski nearly 1000m of vertical black.
The Courchevel Valley & 3 Valleys have some incredible off-piste skiing so this is a place to book a guide and explore. Les Avals off the Chanrossa chair is a stunning area, bordering on the Vanoise National Park. You need to be quick after fresh snow fall if you want to get there before the locals have tracked it out – let us know if you’re planning a big day of guiding and we will consult the forecasts for you to pick the best bluebird day.
*Always ski off-piste with a qualified mountain guide
The Bel Air at the top of the bubble in 1650. Although more of a restaurant that a cafe, it does serve great coffees and drinks throughout the day and is perfect for warming up in the morning. This family-owned and run mountain restaurant has been open for as long as I can remember. The staff are always super friendly and welcoming. Christoph, the owner, trains them well. The food’s also really good. Go for the plat du jour. Always good and great value.
The Boot Lab in Courchevel 1650. It’s a specialist boot-fitting shop but they also stock clothing, skis and accessories etc. They are really client-focused and super friendly and the service is second to none.
As well as the previously mentioned Bel Air, the Bouc Blanc at the top of the La Tania Bubble is also a firm favourite. They serve a wide range of tasty home-cooked meals from pastas and soups, to hearty salads and daily changing plat du jour. It’s great value, with super speedy service and generous portions to keep you fueled for a long day on the hill.
I’d have to say the Azimut in Courchevel Le Praz. It’s got one Michelin star so the food is great. But it’s very reasonably priced and the service is great. Friendly but certainly not stuffy. Highly recommended.
Luging. There’s a luge, or toboggan track which runs from 1850 to 1550 and is floodlit until 7.30pm. You can hire the luges from most of the hire shops. Be sure to dress appropriately though. Gloves, ski clothing, goggles and helmets are advised. It can get pretty wild.
If you fancy some live music and a bit of atmosphere then the Boulotte in 1650 is always a good choice. They have bands playing three times a week, and time it right, and you might even find a little table dancing, more often associated with an Austrian après party.
When the conditions are good and it’s just been pisted you really can’t beat Chapelets in 1650. It’s a gentle red with some fun rollers and due to its location on the far side of the 3 Valleys it’s a great way to escape the traffic in busy periods.
The Hotel Portetta in 1650. It’s perfectly located at the foot of the piste in 1650, so you can watch the world go by at the heart of the action. Their outdoor bar, Fire & Ice, is also a lovely way to end the day in the sunshine, with open fires and fake fur blankets for warmth and comfort.
Every day a run gets named Piste du Jour - this run gets pisted twice, so is usually in great condition so head there first thing for amazing corduroy. Also, think about which way the runs face and plan your day accordingly. The aspect can be critical for getting good snow. North facing is often best forsnow, but not for the sun tan. So it depends what’s most important to you.
Courchevel will very soon have the largest ski resort swimming pool complex in the world. At least that’s what the tourist office told me.
One of the best restaurants in the Courchevel Valley, the Cap Horn specialises in seafood and sushi although its Wagyu beef and roast chicken with truffles are also justifiably famous. With a wine list of over 600 bottles, private dining rooms and a resident DJ, this restaurant is in a class of its own. It is situated at the bottom of Les Suisses, near the Altiport. You need to reserve and plan to take a long lunch break.
At the top of the Loze and at 2,250m this is truly a mountain restaurant. Enjoy fantastic views from the terrace, but book a table upstairs (except in April when the sunny terrace will be warm enough to enjoy the food and the views). Grilled meats, specialities such as truffle tagliatelle and Savoie scrambled eggs plus a great wine list make eating here a great pleasure.
On the slopes of the Verdons run into 1850, this restaurant is accessible to all levels of skier (and to non skiers) making it a great meeting point for groups. The restaurant is spread over 2 floors and there is also a sunny terrace. The Chalet also has a small private outdoor ice rink and the Moncler shop. It is a delicious menu, and we would recommend the Beaufort Tart and the dessert buffet is sweet-tooth heaven.
+33 (0) 6952 12728
This is the newly opened sister restaurant to the beach club on the Greek island of Mykonos and is the uber-cool venue of Courchevel. Beautifully designed on the slopes by the Chalet de Pierres, this is the place to be seen. Booking is essential and be warned this is not a quick pit-stop !
This popular restaurant is situated above Courchevel Moriond (1650) by the l’Ariondaz lift and is a Courchevel favourite. It has a wonderful south- facing terrace and is known for its well-priced, delicious food and friendly staff. In particular try the Salad Bel Air, or roast chicken with tarragon sauce. It does get very busy and you do need to book.
Above 1650, this south facing former mountain refuge was refurbished last year and is steadily gaining a great reputation for simple food, cooked superbly. Specialities include grilled meats and a daily plat du jour at 29 euros. Reservation advised and the restaurant is by the Signal chairlift.
Fairly new on the scene, this restaurant has great views of the Courchevel Valley and is owned by two local ski instructors. The building is a restored shepherd’s hut and the décor is simple but very beautiful. Their chef uses local produce and the philosophy is definitely good, fresh ingredients cooked well.
Standing at 2732 meters, facing the Mont-Blanc, this long established restaurant offers two options: a traditional table service restaurant with Savoie specialities and refined cuisine and a snack bar with more casual dining. It’s at the top of the Saulire cable car from Courchevel and has stunning views. The restaurant can be accessed by non-skiers.
Decorated in grand style and designed as a tribute to the 19th century Empress of Austria, this restaurant is the pinnacle of French Gastronomy. Chef Pierre Gagnaire has 2 Michelin stars and the food, service and ambiance more that live up to that accolade. Restaurant specials include blue lobster corolla coated with a crustacean jelly; roasted turbot on fishbone finished in the oven on a bed of wrack; leek fondue on the marrow and all to be finished with the "Grand dessert" by Pierre Gagnaire.
Chef Remi Caillon serves beautifully elegant dishes using fresh seasonal ingredients. Awarded 2 Michelin stars, this is the perfect choice for a special occasion with its intimate ambience and excellent, discreet service. Try the local Tarentaise preserved shoulder of Lamb with glazed turnip and Agastache or braised leek, smoked lake whitefish, Grenoble-style sauce with angelica. This is fine cuisine at its best!
The main restaurant in the Chabichou Hotel has 2 Michelin stars and is the work of a chef partnership that has been together for 20 years – Michel Rochedy and Stephane Buron. You can choose a table in the elegant dining room or if you prefer (& if you book early) you may take the host table that is actually in the kitchen where you get a privileged close-up of the master chefs at work.
Named after the most famous vintage of the Chateau Cheval Blanc, this 3 Michelin star restaurant is the domain of Chef Yannick Alleno. The dining room only seat 25 per night (so booking early is essential) and the open plan kitchen, which is in full view of the dining room, increases the sense of intimacy. This is modern French cuisine at its best.
This is a small, friendly restaurant in the heart of Courchevel Moriond (1650) that offers a warm welcome, attentive service and good food. They serve wood-oven pizzas and great Savoyard dishes.
At the piste side of La Croissette is Le Tremplin restaurant, which opens for lunch and dinner. The restaurant specialises in seafood although has lots of other menu options and also has a small creperie nearby. It can get very busy so time lunch visits early or late to miss the French peak time and definitely best to book for dinner.
For a traditional Savoyard meal then head to La Fromagerie. The restaurant serves the full range of tartiflettes, fondues & raclettes in a small, traditionally decorated restaurant with a wonderfully welcoming log fire.
This unpretentious, small restaurant in Le Praz serves wonderful food and is well deserving of its Michelin star. Run by a husband and wife team, the restaurant is open for lunch and dinner, but is slightly too far from the slopes to make it a good ski lunch stop, so we would highly recommend visiting it in the evening. The décor is a little uninspired, but the welcome is warm, the wine list is extensive and reasonably priced and the food is delicious.
A lovely wooden bar with lots of comfortable seating that also serves great tapas and bar snacks.
A small, simple but stylish wine bar located in the centre of town. Also serves great tapas and stays open until 2am.
A stylish bar that moves effortlessly from lunch spot to après and then into the early hours...It’s easy to stay here a long time as they serve great food as well as a full selection of drinks. Described as Courchevel’s ‘snack / nightclub’.
This bar opened last winter and markets itself on providing ‘music, groove & bistronomy’. A lively place, particularly between 5 – 9pm (although the fun goes on a lot longer), it serves drinks, a great selection of oysters and charcuteries and has live music and DJs.
L’ARC opened in 2015 and was designed by Lenny Kravitz with its stylish ebony rooms. Formerly Les Caves, l’ARC Courchevel offers a unique blend of dancing, glamour, fun, laughter and Parisian style on the slopes of the Alps. Open every night from midnight
Situated on Rue Park City, this club changes its theme every night. It has great live music as well as DJs.
Courchevel offers an enormous range of non-skiing activities – ranging from the related winter sports, such as cross-country skiing, to the completely different such as sky diving or cookery school courses. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Courchevel offers a host of air-borne activities that will literally sweep you off your feet. The resort has everything from hand gliding and paragliding, both tandem flights with qualified instructors to a 4,800m tandem skydive taking-off from Courchevel Altiport. If you like the idea of flight but would prefer slightly less adrenaline, then why not book a sunrise hot air balloon and appreciate the magnificent views from a different perspective. Or see all the mountain peaks from Mont Blanc to Cimes de Caron on a panoramic flight by light aircraft or helicopter taking off from the Altiport.
You can get outside and enjoying the scenery in many different ways other than on skis. At the Altiport there is an 18m high artificial icefall providing the ideal environment to learn the rudiments of ice climbing. Or go ice-skating in the lovely rink in the Forum at 1850, which opens daily as well as hosting exhilarating ice hockey matches and gala evenings of professional skaters.
Even if you don’t want to ski, there is plenty to get you out in the fresh mountain air, working up an appetite for a great lunch. There are some wonderful half and full day snowshoe outings that can take you on an inspiring excursion into the Vanoise National Park. Or try your hand at Nordic Walking, reputed to be one of the best forms of all-round exercise. After the slopes have closed, you can explore the area on a snowmobile or try the low-tech (but equally exciting) 2km sledge run on a floodlit slope, which descends 300m in altitude from 1850 to 1550.
Between Courchevel 1650 & 1550, the old swimming pool complex has been replaced by a brand new Aqua centre which will open in 2015 and includes a luxury new pool complex, wave pool, surf pool, spa and wellness centre together with tennis courts, climbing wall, basketball court and restaurant.
Cross-county skiing or ‘ski de fond’ as its known in these parts is becoming increasingly popular. The resort is well equipped with over 65km of maintained and marked pistes. The trails which are marked green, blue and red to indicate level of difficulty, range from 1.5km loops to a more testing 17km which goes from Courchevel through the forest to Meribel Altiport, where you can have a delicious lunch at Le Blanchot before heading back.
Courchevel is a foodie paradise with a countless number of restaurants, including 7 with Michelin stars, serving everything from traditional Savoyard specialities to the ultimate in fine dining. Now you can also hone your own culinary skills with a cooking lesson with Michel Rochedy and Stephane Buron of Michelin starred ‘Le Chabichou’. You can visit the kitchens and learn exclusive tips and tricks that will guarantee impressive dinner parties back at home.
Unlike many French ski resorts, Courchevel offers serious ‘retail therapy’. And while there are numerous shops offering ski clothing, equipment and snow boots, there are also designer boutiques, fantastic jewellery shops and art galleries to rival any big city high street.
As you would expect from a world-class ski resort, there is a plethora of sport shops and these can be found in all 4 villages of the resort. However the greatest concentration of them (and therefore the biggest choice) can be found in 1850. If you find it hard to find a comfortable pair of ski boots then head to Surefoot, just a couple of minutes walk from La Croisette. This specialist boot fitters prides itself on being able to find the perfect ski boot for every foot.
Jean Blanc Sport is the oldest ski shop in the resort and arguable still the best – great range of clothing and equipment and staff who genuinely care. If you’re a snowboarder then a trip to Endless Winter is a must as they stock the ultimate collection ofboards and clothing. To see the glitzy end of the ski market, visits to Lacroix Luxe Sport and The Edge are essential – big brands such as Lacroix (obviously!) and Bogner in beautiful displays that convince you that its ‘need’ not ‘want’ ...Enjoy.
If you’re looking for non-ski clothes, then again 1850 is your destination. Visit Eric Bompard, the French king of designer cashmere or go to Zadig & Voltaire for the ultimate French casual chic with a rock’n’roll twist. For top end designers such as Celine, Ralph Lauren and Gucci (to name a few) try Blu&Berry and for cashmere, fur and leather with an Italian feel go to Save the Rich. Shopping in these parts is understandably pricey; our advice: do some window shopping & when you see something you really like, go for it – you only live once and if you use a credit card with points and rewards, then you get a double win.
There are several good jewellery shops in 1850 including Chic Attitude in the Forum, which stocks Pandora & Swarovski and great watchmakers such as Doux Joaillier and Julian Joaillier.
One thing you have to do when you’re in France is some food shopping & Courchevel has some fantastic places for specialist food to take home. Try the Deli@Le Chabichou for foie gras, preserves and delicious pastries. Chez Le Gaulois is the shop for local mountain hams, saucissons and cheeses and head to Le Cooperative Laitere in Le Praz for the best selection of local cheeses. For the sweet-tooth-craving visit La Piste Noire for delicious handcrafted, organic chocolates – they can pack beautiful boxes to take home as presents or you can indulge yourself. Either way your secret is safe with us.
For those opting to self-cater in Courchevel there are of course some excellent small supermarkets in each of the villages; in Courchevel 1850 there is a Sherpa supermarket handily located in the Forum Centre opposite Croisette, as well as a patisserie for your French breakfast staples. Just 100m down the main road from the Forum Centre there is also a Casino Supermarket, which is larger, and offers more choice. For daily newspapers both French and international there is also a Newsagent in the Forum Centre.
In Courchevel 1650 you will find a Spar supermarket, a patisserie and a newsagent spilling off either side of the main road. Courchevel 1550 is a little quieter, but still with a small supermarket of its own for the essentials. Le Praz has a supermarket situated near the lift station on the other side of the main road. In addition, an excellent local butcher and a great patisserie which is found on the main road towards St Bon.
For non-skiers or those staying for extended holidays over the winter, there is plenty to see and do in the local area surrounding Courchevel.
Just below Courchevel in the valley is the small town of Brides les Bains, which as the name suggests is a thermal spa town, which has been attracting visitors since 19th century. The mineral rich water, drawn from 75m down, has long been known for its therapeutic qualities and you can spend a relaxing day taking the waters at the Grand Spa Thermal with its steam rooms, ice baths and therapeutic treatments.
The city of Chambery, which is the capital of the Savoie, is a great place for a day out. It is 100 km from Courchevel and it will take about 1½ hourto drive there (sadly not great public transport links). This was the main seat of the old kingdom of Savoy and was founded in the 13thcentury by Amadeus V. The historic town centre has a lovely mix of historic sites and great shopping as well as restaurants and cafes for some stops along the way. Two sights not to be missed are the Chateau de Chambery and the Elephant Fountain. The castle, which dates from 1285, was the seat of the House of Savoy until Duke Emmanuel Philibert moved his capital to Turin in 16th century. The Fontaine des Éléphants, which was built in 1838 to honour military campaigns in India, consists of four life size elephants and a statue of a local hero.
Annecy is the other must-visit place in the area – this beautiful lakeside town is 94 km from Courchevel and is a scenic 1½ hour drive. Often called the ‘Venice of the Alps’, the old town is built around a series of canals that feed into the lake, which is the 3rdlargest in France and said to be the cleanest in Europe. This is the perfect place to wander around the old cobbled streets, admiring the medieval architecture and window-shopping. Full of character as well as offering great retail therapy and a fantastic selection of cafés and restaurants, Annecy is the perfect destination for a day-out.
Have you ever considered trying your hand at bobsleighing? Available in the neighbouring resort of La Plagne you will find one of the best bobsleigh tracks in the world. It was the official Olympic track used for the Albertville Olympic Games in 1992. It is 1,500m long, allowing you to experience an average speed in excess of 100 km/h. In competition bobsleighs feel forces in excess of 3.5 G's in the bends.
Each bobsleigh has a qualified ‘pilot’ to steer you down the course and each ‘run’ can take three passengers. This is a really unique experience as this is the only bobsleigh track in France; during the day time it is used by international athletes who train on the track, and it is open to the public between 16:30 – 18:30 on Friday, Saturday and Sunday between December and early March. La Plagne is not connected in anyway to Courchevel other than by road or by air. The whole journey from Courchevel to La Plagne takes about 50-60 minutes depending on traffic and weather, or alternatively you could take a helicopter from the Courchevel altiport to La Plagne, where you can be met by a driver to take you on to the bobsleigh track.
We recommend flying with our partner airline Swiss,
who will carry your ski gear for no extra charge.
Chambery (CMF): 1h 20m / 100km
Geneva (GVA): 2h 15m / 187km
Lyon (LYS): 2h 15m / 184Km
SkiBoutique works with a number of taxi firms to provide shared, private and luxury road transfers from the airport of your choice to Courchevel. If you prefer to arrive by helicopter then of course we can arrange that too.
The local train station is in Moutiers, which is 19km / approximately 30 minutes drive away from Courchevel. There are two direct Eurostar services running in the winter (from mid December to April) leaving from London St Pancreas or Ashford International. Trains leave on Friday night (arriving on Saturday morning) and Saturday morning (arriving on Saturday evening). There is also the option of taking the Eurostar to Paris, and changing to the French TGV service to Moutiers, but this would involve a change of station in Paris and on some TGV services, a second change at Lyon or Chambery.
The journey from the UK to Courchevel is quite straightforward and is motorway for the majority of the drive. The distance from Calais is 930 km and the toll cost is around 68 euros. You must by law carry snow equipment such as snow chains. Courchevel 1850 co-ordinates for your sat.nav system are:
*Please be aware that Sat Navs are not always accurate and particularly in winter they will not show Alpine road closures so please check the route chosen
Bronze - EUR 150
You like discover the mountain with equipment that’s safe
and easy to use.
Silver - EUR 180
You prefer to ski with comfortable high-performance equipment which allows you to take full advantage of the ski area on offer.
Gold - EUR 240
You only ski with the newest and best equipment
each season, for enjoyable high performance skiing.
Courchevel 6 day adult pass - EUR 256
Three Valleys 6 day adult pass - EUR 300
Please note there is a family pass available which offers a saving on the individual rates quoted above. There are also discounts when you buy 2 or more adult 3V passes
With our partner ski school New Generation
Private 2 hour lesson - EUR 169
All day guiding - EUR 450
Bottle of Veurve Clicquot EUR 115
Small beer EUR 4
Bottle of house wine EUR 20
Vin chaud/Gluwein EUR 5.50
Hot chocolate EUR 4.50
Cup of coffee EUR 3.50
Glass of coke EUR 4.20
Pizza EUR 15