One of France's most exclusive ski resorts, Courchevel is the largest in the Three Valleys ski region and is settled over four different altitudes, each offering diverse delights. The chic, cosmopolitan Courchevel 1850 is a bustling upscale haven, with elaborate hotels, ornate inns, shops, restaurants and a thrilling après-ski atmosphere. Its stylish bars, nightclubs and consistently good snow draw rock stars and royalty. Move down the mountain a little and you'll discover the family-friendly Courchevel 1550 and Courchevel 1650, a magnet for young skiers and snowboarders. Then you'll find Courchevel 1300, the cradle of the mountain, combining tradition with quaint charm.
Boasting the most terrain and the widest range of skiing in the Three Valleys area, Courchevel provides fantastic skiing for all levels, making it the perfect choice for multi-level groups. Beginners can swish gently down wide open tree-lined slopes while top level skiers and boarders test their muscles on suicidal chutes and deep powder fields. Intermediates have the most choice however, with a large percentage of the slopes marked blue and red. With an enormous amount of varied slopes and huge number of lifts, Courchevel covers a massive 150km of piste in its own valley, and no matter what your skill level, you'd be hard pressed to cover it all on your holiday.
More on Courchevel:
Make your first turns on Courchevel with confidence; there are plenty of gentle slopes and wide beginner areas around the four villages. Try some of the particularly welcoming runs at Courchevel 1650. Get there from Courchevel 1850 by heading left towards the Pramerul Chairlift. Overall, around thirty per cent of the pistes suit beginners and each of the villages has beginner's slopes. At the start of the season before snow builds, the beginner's area right in Courchevel 1850 is your best bet, as its snow cannon coverage means that beginners can ski early. Of Courchevel's 12 free beginner's surface lifts, seven are found at 1850. Once you are feeling pretty steady on your feet - try the long run from the Chenus Gondola into Courchevel 1850.
It's a hard life when you're an intermediate skier at Courchevel - you could easily waste a morning just trying to choose a run from the multitude on offer. This is some of the best mid-level skiing in Europe, and you can pretty much cruise around the entire valley on meticulously groomed wide slopes. Try setting off from the top of Roc Merlet out of 1850 and glide all the way down to 1650 via the Pyramide and Indians pistes. From 1850 you can also head right up the Chenus Gondola to access long tree-lined runs down to both Courchevel 1550 and Courchevel 1300. Favourites for boarders include Verdons, Saulire, and Loze. Many of the runs will suit you, but the top end of some of the reds can be hard if there's ice, so check the conditions.
Deep powder fields, steep chutes and cliff drops will keep your calves burning and your mouth dry, runs ranging from a bit of a challenge to clearly suicidal. The fast narrow chutes and thick powder fields leading down from the Vizelle peak and the Suisses Chairlift are a good place to start. Most of the advanced runs are high altitude, so you could also start with some of the high red mogul runs or the powder runs through the trees towards Méribel to ward off altitude sickness. The Chaplets trail on the far left hand side of the Courchevel Valley is sheer and usually left in its natural state; if you make it out of there alive, progress to three couloirs sometimes called the Ugly Sisters on Saulire. From the valley these look like white fingers reaching up into the rocky ridge - take your pick of Grande, the easier couloiur, or hit the narrower upper arm that's steepest.
Courchevel Ski Schools
Courchevel is a great place to master the basics, or to grab a few pointers to take you to the next level.
Magic in Motion Courchevel
With over 22 years of experience, Magic in Motion is one of the best valued ski schools in the 3 Valleys. From children’s groups to specialised adult technical clinics, there is something for everyone. You're in the right place if you are looking for top quality skiing lessons, snowboard tuition, initiation in speed-riding, paragliding trips, jumps and bumps. Learning the basics or how best to tackle the harder stuff, being able to really enjoy yourself, feeling safe on and off-piste...come away with new skills, an unforgettable alpine experience and a smile on your face. Magic's professional multinational team can offer you small group lessons in English or private tuition in English, French, Italian, Russian, Spanish, German and Portuguese.
Marmalade Ski School
Marmalade is a ski school based in the 3 valleys in the French Alps. All their instructors are fully qualified and have been handpicked for their skills in not only skiing but teaching methods, passion for what they do and general awesomeness! They are a tight team that still love to ski and continue to learn and push themselves. On offer is everything from good value small technical sessions to Off-piste Freeride Camps. All tailored to your individual requirements. With such a vast knowledge ofe the area gained over the past 15 years, Marmalade guarantee to find you the best conditions for what you want to learn, whatever your level.
Après Ski and Off the Mountain Activities
Like everything at Courchevel, Après Ski action varies widely from village to village. Courchevel 1850 boasts the most exciting, glamorous atmosphere. Gourmet restaurants, pumping bars and sleek clubs that stay open into the wee hours tempting even the weariest bones to head out. See and be seen at Les Caves and The Grange, or try something a little more casual at the Kalico; the focus here is more on live music, cocktails and fun. More down-to-earth are the lower villages, with a quieter, more family-orientated scene. All villages are home to fantastic eateries (two Michelin-starred); there are 11 restaurants on mountain and many more nearby. Cuisines range from Gastronomique, Creperie and French to Italian, Seafood and West Indian. In the Courchevel 1850 village L'Altibar Restaurant serves traditional French and Savoyard gourmet cuisine in a casual setting, and La Creperie Du Moulin is a pancake restaurant serving speciality crepes, cheese fondue and raclette. In the Courchevel 1650 village the traditional Le Petit Savoyard Restaurant makes delicious homemade wood fired pizzas and Savoyard specialities. Courchevel 1550 has Les Flocons Restaurant which uses only the freshest local ingredients to produce traditional French meals. The Bristrot du Praz Restaurant in the 1300 village has a warm atmosphere serving gourmet French pub meals.
off the mountain
If you like to mix up your skiing with a few other activities, or you've just gone so hard on the slopes that you're forced into taking a break, there's a lot on offer. For the adrenaline-orientated: swimming, ice skating, snow mobiling, snow rafting, squash, snowshoeing, torch-lit descents and a crazy new 2km toboggan run. If you enjoy actually slowing down a bit on your holiday, check out the ten pin bowling, horse-drawn sleigh rides, beauty and massage treatments and over 100 shops ranging from big name brand clothing to delicious regional produce - don't miss the bakeries selling sweet and savoury delights and the takeaway crepe stores in the villages.
How to get to Courchevel
Nestled in France's Three Valleys, the largest ski area in the world connected only by ski lifts and slopes, Courchevel is at the heart of the Rhone Alps. No matter how you're travelling, it is easy to get to, with many viable transport options. The resort is just two hours from the Genève Cointrin and Lyon Saint Exupéry international airports, and 30 minutes from the railway station at Moûtiers Salins. Once you get there, take advantage of the many covered car parks, bus and taxi services to park your car or get around easily.
Most people fly into Genève Cointrin and Lyon Saint Exupéry airports, both approximately two hours from Courchevel. Regular flights depart from London Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton and City airports. Flight time from London to both Lyon and Genève is around 2 hours 30 minutes. Other options include Chambery/Aix Les Bains (international airport, 110km from Courchevel) and Aeroport Grenoble (international airport, 130km). British Airways, easyJet, Air France and Lufthansa offer flights from throughout the United Kingdom.
By train you can head to Geneva Station then on to Moutiers Station. Moutiers is the town at the base of Les 3 Vallees. Then catch a bus or taxi directly to your village in Courchevel. It's also possible to catch the Eursotar overnight from London to Moutiers Station. Free shuttle buses operate between the different villages at Courchevel. By fast TGV train, Paris to Moûtiers-Salins takes just over four hours, followed by a 40-minute drive to Courchevel by taxi or private car.
SNCF, Moûtiers Salins station
Tel. +33 (0)892 35 35 35
Ph.: 00 33 (0)4 79 00 3000
Tel.: +33 (0) 479 01 09 99
Mobile: +33 (0) 612 28 59 05
Courchevel is about 2 hours 25 minutes from Lyon, and to drive there, head west from Lyon towards Chambery / Grenoble, exit towards Albertville and then again towards Brides les Bains / Meribel / Courchevel.
From Grenoble, head along A41 towards Montmélian and Albertville, then onto A430. Take the D915 exit towards Brides-les-Bains / Meribel / Courchevel. The trip should take about 1 hour 30 minutes.
Merinannies provides first class childcare in Courchevel. Their testimonials and returning clientele show the level of care they provide which relies on the quality of their nannies. Merinannies offers flexible a reliable private nanny service to suit every family's requirements. Their team consists of qualified, experienced and checked nannies, first aided, specialh needs trained and multilingual nannies. They take care of babies from the age of four weeks to 14 years for short weekends or full weeks and long term.
t4 nannies provides the loveliest nannies in the Alps by hand picking nannies for the full season who share their belief that undivided attention, fun and getting involved are the key ingredients to a happy family holiday. All t4 nannies are first aid trained and CRB checked with glowing references. Every day a t4 nanny will come to your chalet and take your children out on an adventure such as a trip to the farm or whizzing on a sledge. Crates of toys are dismissed and instead it’s all about playing with arts and crafts – plenty of cutting and sticking, painting and messy play!
Jelly and Ice Cream
Jelly and Ice Cream, experts in childcare, offer private nannies and babysitting services both during the day and evening in Courchevel and Meribel. You can rest assure that your babies and children will be looked after, leaving you free to enjoy your skiing! Jelly and Ice Cream have the ability to provide care to virtually all age groups of children, as young as just six weeks up to pre-teens and older. Today's varying demands of a family can be accommodated with flexible business hours, tailor-made for each individual on a virtual 24/7 basis. Because of their excellent service, clients return to Jelly and Ice Cream year after year and are full of praise for Tina and the team!
Snow Angel Nannies
Snow Angel Nannies is the perfect childcare solution for your skiing holiday in the French Alps. The nannies all hold relevant childcare qualifications, CRB/DBS checks and first aid qualifications. They are all carefully selected for their kind, caring and fun loving nature as well as their childcare skills. You will have your nannies contact details so you can amend plans during the day and the Snow Angel Nanny ensures a fun activity packed day for the children. The nannies also do ski school peick up and drop off and can take the children to meet you for lunch if required to keep the family holiday aspect. A Snow Angel Nanny will give you peace of mind to enjoy your day on the slopes knowing your little ones are having the time of their lives.