The premier French resort for fun-filled skiing holidays
Courchevel is held with such high-esteem, it is ranked alongside global heavyweights such as St. Moritz, Aspen and Lech. The most exclusive of France’s Trois Vallee (Three Valleys) resorts, Courchevel has something for everyone.
Although Courchevel is regarded as a powder-sure playground for beginners and intermediates, it has earned cult status amongst advanced skiers as well - namely thanks to the three challenging couloirs known as ‘The Ugly Sisters.’
Courchevel alone boasts 150km of piste, and with a combined total of 600km in neighbouring ski areas to explore, a week’s skiing holiday in the Three Valleys will be enough to test even the most energetic of visitors.
The ski areas are connected by an unrivalled network of gondolas and chairlifts - so regardless of which village you set up camp, you will be able to access whichever part of the mountain you like.
Courchevel is expansive and consists of a combined five villages - each of which has a unique character. The most exclusive and expansive is 1850. A little further down the hill is Courchevel 1650, also known as Montriond, then 1550 and Le Praz (1300) at the bottom. Neighbouring La Tania was also added to the wider Courchevel resort in 2017.
|No. of Pistes:||101|
|Total Piste:||150 km|
|Cross Country:||67 km|
|Gondolas/ Cable Cars:||10|
Courchevel Ski Areas & Slopes
Regardless of which village you are staying in, visitors can explore the entire expanse of Courchevel. The entire ski area is linked by fast gondolas and chairlifts. Neighbouring ski areas can also be accessed via various runs.
Courchevel has several ski areas, 1850, 1650 and La Saulire being the best options. 1850 is ideal for beginners and progressing intermediates, 1650 is a paradise for intermediates and advanced skiers whilst La Saulire poses some of the most challenging runs anywhere in the world.
Intermediate-Advanced: Visitors that have a good command of the planks should head to 1650. This part of the mountain is quieter and has plenty of well-groomed reds that weave through the trees together with several teasing blacks. Advanced skiers will prefer La Saulire - and if you dare brave ‘The Ugly Sisters’ you can boast you survived the steepest couloirs in the world. They are ‘off the scale!’
Beginners: The lower slopes around Courchevel village are ideal for beginners. Families should also try the Family Park alongside Verdons piste where you will find some mini-runs.
An excellent area to spend the remaining hours of the day and enjoy the last of the sun. You will find runs to suit all levels here but is best suited to skiers looking to improve their skills.
Intermediate-Advanced: The mellow reds and blues are ideal for lower intermediates to work on your technique whilst the tree-skiing around Roc Mugnier, Chapelets and Gravelles will be enough for everyone else. Serious skiers will not want to miss the opportunity to tackle the Roc Merlet face or go off-piste through the Les Avals valley from the top of the Pyramide lift.
Beginners: Courchevel Moriond is the second largest ski areas for beginners after 1850. There are over 17 runs here, but for your first instructor-less run, stick to the fenced off area serviced by the ‘Mickey’ drag lift. This is a good place to build up your confidence without being put off by through traffic.
La Tania is the closest neighbouring ski area which was taken under the wing of the Courchevel village resort and is easily accessed from 1850.
Intermediate-Advanced: If you’re looking for the best powder in Courchevel, the face of Rocher de la Loze and the slopes below the Dou des Lanches lift offers some incredible experiences for experienced skiers. Intermediates should try the Folyeres first to determine whether you feel ready for a step up.
Beginners: There’s not a lot on offer for beginners at La Tania, although the addition on the winding green run, Plan Fontaine is worth trying if you are looking for an adventure across the mountain.
Ski Holidays in Courchevel
Whether you’re an experienced skier or looking for your first mountain adventure on the snow, Courchevel is one of the best resorts in Europe for a skiing holiday.
Although the high-end prices are expensive, you will find accommodation and restaurant options to suit all budgets. And if you need a day or half-day off the slopes, there is plenty of fun and exciting things to indulge the kids.
Courchevel Ski Passes
Ski lift passes for Courchevel are not the cheapest but do cover the entire Three Valleys ski area - so you have no excuses to say you didn’t get your money’s worth!
Adult passes cost €312 for six days, while it is priced at €249.60 for children.
Family passes are also available for a minimum of four people, with six days costing €249.60 per person.
Family Fun in Courchevel
Regardless of which village you stay in Courchevel, you will find plenty of options for families with children of all ages. There are even more activities and things to see in neighbouring resorts.
Off the snow, there are other high-octane activities to keep all the family entertained. You can hurtle along the world’s highest zip wire at 100kmph, paraglide the peaks, and experience the toboggan run in Montriond.
For something more sedate, the lazy river and warm pool at Aquamotion is ideal for toddlers, whilst sledge runs, snowshoeing and ice-skating are all excellent fun-filled options for older children.
When to Go?
Thanks to Courchevel’s mostly north-facing slopes and high altitude, the higher slopes have great conditions for skiing all season long. However, in the early and latter stages of the open season, the lower slopes can suffer which is not great for beginners. Still, the resorts do have excellent snowmaking facilities to compensate is very little is lost.
The opening months of the season in early to mid-December is a quietest period, whilst prices fall in the second half of January - and so does the snow. It’s cold, but Courchevel gets excellent snow dumps between February and March.
Thanks to its high altitude, Courchevel receives around 143-inches of annual snowfall but still enjoys some clement weather throughout the season. However, weather conditions can be unpredictable. Blustery winds can affect visibility in some parts of the mountain. Fortunately, the Three Valley’s is so vast, if parts of the mountain are stricken by the weather there are usually other options.
The Courchevel Valley faces north away from the sun and has an excellent reputation for fresh powder. Before heading out, check the latest weather reports, snow conditions and Courchevel webcams as some areas can be affected by bad weather.
When the weather is good, the mountain has excellent spots for a picnic. If you want to avoid the expensive mountainside restaurants a packed lunch gives you the opportunity to enjoy a unique experience.
Ski season runs from early December through to late April in Courchevel. Lifts open at 09.00 and close around 16.20.