Courchevel 1850 is without doubt, France’s premier ski resort. The peerless resort of Courchevel 1850 is synonymous with Chanel, Vuitton, Dior, Hermes, Louboutin, and Graff (to name just a few).
Courchevel 1850 is just one of several villages in Courchevel, all linked by lifts, pistes and a road which winds its way up from Le Praz and through Courchevel 1650, bypassing roads to Courchevel 1550 and La Tania on the way. These villages tend to be more traditional and affordable but still excellent bases for exploring the vast ski area.
With the exception of a handful of lower grade properties, the accommodation on offer veers towards the 4* and 5* market. Courchevel 1850 offers doorstep skiing to almost all properties and its local slopes are the most coveted slopes in the entire Three Valleys. The impeccable groomed north facing slopes, some of which are tree-lined, make it a wonderful place to ski and board. It takes just two ski lifts to reach the resort’s highest point (2,738m). From here you can ski the legendary Grand Couloir or explore the wide-open space of the entire 3 Valleys.
Sitting just over a two hour drive from Geneva and Lyon, Courchevel is easily accessible for all.
150km (600km linked piste)
1438m – 2738m
December – April
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Courchevel has been described as a haven for beginner skiers. As a beginner, you won’t need a pass for a lot of the ski area, so they have allowed certain lifts to be completely free (Bellecote, Etoiles, Cospillot, Golf 1 and Golf 2 on the magic carpet (find them on the piste maps). These are all drag lifts and cover the most friendly pistes for beginners. There are several easily accessible green runs including Jardin Alpin. The free Bellecote lift runs alongside this wide and gentle piste. After that take the Verdons gondola to the top of the piste called Renard. This is another gentle green which has some easy blue runs just next to it (Verdons and Biollay) for when you’re ready to progress to the next step.
The central section of slopes is the reason the resort has become so attractive to many. The is on offer a selection of cruisy blues and greens that’ll give even the most cautious of skier the confidence to get some miles clocked up under their skis. Prime examples of such runs are the Biollay and Pralong.
Courchevel offers plenty of challenges for more advanced skiers, the most notorious of them all binge the famous Le Grand Couloir, the kindest of the three chutes accessed by the Saulire cable-car. It’s actually marked as a run on the piste map, and as a result ranks as one of the steepest blacks in Europe. A similar offering can be found over the hill in Meribel called the Couloir Tournier. Aside from the above mentioned Couloirs, the high, treeless terrain at the top of the ski area offers lots of entry-level off-piste but to get the most out of what the area has to offer, we suggest you hire a guide to help you unlock the area’s potential. Meanwhile, on a bad-weather day, hit the tree-lined pistes over Le Praz which provide some of the best skiing when the light is flat.
Courchevel has not put the effort and investment in to its terrain parks that neighbouring resorts like Meribel have, perhaps partly because Meribel’s park is easily accessible anyway and part because it is not an area where Courchevel wishes to focus on. There’s a boardercross course however, beside the Loze piste.
Every resort offers some sort of sledging, but nothing quite like the one from Courchevel 1850 to 1550. The run is 2km long and winds down the mountain through the trees on its own track and dropping 300 vertical metres during the course. The Grangettes bubble lift that services it is open until 7.30pm and is included with a lift pass. Alternatively, single journeys can be purchased separately for 9 euros.
Swimming at a Aquamotion Courchevel
The biggest new development in Les 3 Vallees has to be the new Aquamotion center. The venue contains 15,000 sqm of indoor and outdoor swimming pools and caters for families, dedicated swimmers and those looking to relax. You may have been to resort swimming pools before, but we guarantee you, you’ve never been somewhere quite like this!
Activities in the Forum
In the centre of Courchevel 1850 you will find Le Forum where there are many activities, restaurants and shops to keep you entertained. It is home to the Olympic ice rink, where you can skate or enjoy an ice hockey match. There is also a climbing wall and hi-rope course for the more adventurous.
Courchevel has some incredible restaurants run by some of the world’s best chefs. Among these are several Michelin starred restaurants. Most exclusive is Le 1947 with three Michelin stars. The head chef Yannick Alleno only opens the restaurant three months of the year so make sure you contact the Kaluma Travel concierge service to book your table in advance.
Hot Air Ballooning
Take off at sunset and or sunrise and head into the skies for the best view you’ll have ever seen! This is a wonderful way to take in the beauty of the mountains and the stunning Vanoise National Park. Prices start at 280pp. Please use the Kaluma Travel Concierge service to make a booking.
If you’re keen to explore the mountains under your own steam, but are not convinced by ski touring, then maybe a Fat Bike could be the solution. These modified mountain bikes have super-wide tires allowing you to adventure into snowy regions without your wheels disappearing into the snow. It’s tremendous fun, whether going up or down!
Drive a Piste Basher
It may be less stylish than many of the expensive vehicles you can find in Courchevel, but the piste basher is still on many people’s driving wish list. Why not book onto one of the driving experiences in resort? Choose from a track course in the day time or if you wait until the slopes close you can go on bigger adventure.
Leave all the hustle and bustle of the slopes and the lift queues behind as you discover the tranquil, natural surroundings of the mountains on snowshoes. Using a private guide, discover the best snowshoe walks and access places skiers can’t get to. Guided snowshoe walks can be either half day (morning or afternoon) or a full day and can be as relaxed or as energetic as you like making it ideal for individuals, couples, families or groups of friends. No skills are necessary as learning to snowshoe is easy, so it won’t be long before you’re confidently trekking to places that feel untouched. An excellent way to explore and learn about the local wildlife with your guide who possesses a fountain of knowledge. Spectacular scenery, breathtaking silence and being able to reach areas not normally available on skis.
View the live snow report for Courchevel 1850 here
Courchevel is well known for being extremely family friendly, and families tend to return to the lower resorts year after year as they each have something different to offer in terms of ski quality, and various other fun activities too.
This winter, all Courchevel ski passes above two days include a single entry into Aquamotion Aquatic Centre. This exciting new initiative will allow families to take an afternoon off skiing, if they choose, and experience one of the best alpine water centres in the world. There is a dedicated children’s area and water slides to keep kids (and adults) entertained. Indoor and outdoor heated swimming pools and jacuzzis will help to relax aching ski muscles, and swimming outside whilst it’s snowing is something pretty special to experience.
Blues & Greens
Courchevel has some of the best long, cruisy green and blue runs that are excellent for young children to find their ski legs and are also enjoyable for adults to ski too. Blue Creux run is one of the longest and best ski runs in the valley. You can ski either into Courchevel 1850 via Lac Creux or down to Aiguille du Midi chairlift. This area is superb for families as children can experience being at the top of the highest point in Courchevel which is Saulire and then take in the views of epic snow capped mountains. On a sunny day you can spot Mont Blanc, the tallest mountain in western Europe.
The Family Park in Courchevel 1850 has been developed and improved for winter 2019. New freestyle objects have been added to play on, and the boardercross track has had some improvements too. The Family Park is a great place for fearless children to improve their skiing skills. They can have a go at sliding over boxes and trying a few jumps. The big air bags are also great for children as they can use the inflatable tubes to go down the snow ramps and experience big jumps.
Those families who love picnicking on the piste are spoilt for choice when they want to choose the perfect lunch spot in Courchevel. If the sun is shining then there are scenic viewpoints with picnic benches at the top of Biollay chairlift, at the top of Signal chairlift in Moriond and next to the base of Plantery chairlift in Courchevel. If the weather isn’t too favourable then there’s a heated indoor picnic zone next to the western ski park in Moriond. It has USB charger points and a microwave too.
Next to the indoor picnic area at the top of Moriond gondola is the Western Ski Park where children can have their first ski experience on a gentle slope and they have the opportunity visit some traditional American Indian tipis for a hot chocolate. If you have a free evening and you’re looking for something to entertain the children, then Le Forum in Courchevel 1850 is a great place to visit for family friendly activities. There is an arcade, a bowling alley, an indoor climbing wall and an ice rink.From Le Forum you can also rent sledges for the luge track starting next door to Le Forum at the top of Tovets chairlift. You can also rent them from Courchevel Village and as long as you have a ski pass you simply take your sledge on Grangettes gondola and you can race down the track as many times as you like with your children. You can do night time descents on certain evenings too.
Hotel Les Airelles
Hotel Barriere Les Neiges
Aman Le Melezin
Hotel Les Sherpas
Hotel Le Bellecote
Hotel Cheval Blanc
Hotel Le Chabichou
Courchevel International AirportGeneva Airport – International airport (149 km.)
Lyon-Saint Exupery Airport – International Airport (187 km).
Grenoble Alpes Isere Airport – International airport (130 km)
Chambery Savoie Mont Blanc Aiport – International Airport (110 km.)
After travelling along the motorway or dual carriageway as far as Moutiers, a large B-road that’s regularly cleared of snow and safe to drive on will get you to Courchevel in just 30 minutes. There are no inopportune rock falls or hairpin bends at every turn to spoil your journey here; the road is bordered by fir trees before opening out onto a magnificent panoramic view that offers the perfect introduction to your holiday!
Transfers from Moutiers/Courchevel and Courchevel/Moutiers by bus: Altibus
The nearest train station is the train station of Moutiers – Salins – Brides-les-Bains. The Eurostar runs directly from London St Pancras and Ashford International to the town of Moutiers, which is only 25 minutes drive from Meribel. The train that leaves London on Friday evening arrives early Saturday morning in Moutiers.