To really understand the size of Courchevel and how much skiing it has to offer, it’s best to put it into perspective of some of the largest resorts in North America. If you were to combine Whistler, Vail, Palisades Tahoe and Mammoth, then added on Jackson Hole, Killington and Breckenridge, there’d still be room left over in the 372 miles of ski terrain known as 3 Vallées, which Courchevel is a part of.
With infinite terrain and the most sophisticated, interconnected lift system in Europe, you could spend a lifetime exploring the limitless peaks and valleys, sampling all the delicious food at the fine French restaurants and cruising through tiny villages without ever having to take off your skis. Visitors to Courchevel and its many sister resorts have enjoyed this unrivaled access since 1973, so you can trust the longstanding reputation that’s stood the test of time.
...in uber charming 1850 village, an area of Courchevel named for its altitude of (6,069 feet), for the best access to the slopes, shopping and dining.
...by flying into Geneva for the ultimate convenience.
…the idyllic villages, hamlets and never-ending terrain.
...over 370 miles of unprecedented terrain in the 3 Vallées.
…raclette at the world-famous Le Caveau restaurant.
…eight Michelin-star rated restaurants and an abundance of delights.
...the perfect combo of luxury experiences and bucket-list adventure.
Courchevel, France is internationally known for being one of the best ski resorts in Europe. The size alone of the resort, 372 miles of interconnected pistes, guarantees no matter what kind of skiing you like doing there will be something for you. In the heart of the 3 Vallées ski area, Courchevel ski resort has everything from wide open runs for beginners to fine tune their form to a number of steep, extreme slopes so experts won’t run out of places to explore.
The resort has a variety of bars, restaurants, and clubs to suit all tastes, where skiers and snowboarders can unwind after a long day on the slopes with cocktails, music, and dancing. The atmosphere is warm and welcoming, with cozy fireplaces, hot tubs and delicious food and drinks, including fondue, cheese and chocolate. All these elements help make Courchevel not just a good spot for skiing, but a resort equipped to provide you with an unforgettable trip to the mountains.
Courchevel typically opens in early December and closes in mid-late April. The amount of terrain open grows from December onward with the accumulation of snow, so a visit at the start of the season may limit skiers to areas at lower altitudes. In addition to alpine skiing, Courchevel also has cross-country skiing, dog sledging and other off-piste activities available during the winter season for a variety of ways to explore the outdoors.
Both ski resorts in the French Alps have different attractions that may cause visiting skiers to opt for one over the other. Courchevel is notably much larger than Chamonix, offering more ski runs and more high-end chalets and restaurants, perhaps better suited for skiers looking to travel in luxury.
Chamonix however, despite being smaller in size, maintains its reputation next to Courchevel because of the extreme terrain it offers, particularly in the Mont Blanc region. Depending on if you’re looking for more challenging terrain, or a wider variety and luxurious amenities, Ski.com can help you decide which area in France may be better to visit for your ski vacation.
Courchevel ski resort is a great destination for beginners and offers a variety of ski slopes suitable for all levels, including green runs, which are accessible to newcomers to the sport and make up about 20% of its overall terrain.
Courchevel also has several ski schools with experienced instructors who can provide ski lessons for beginners. Plus, there’s a wide variety of amenities and facilities that are well-suited for beginners, including gentle slopes, magic carpet lifts and ski and snowboard equipment rental shops.
Between the never-ending ski terrain and Courchevel’s series of hillside villages, you’ll find that a 3 Vallées ski vacation offers almost too many options, in a good way. Saint-Bon and Le Praz are charming ancient Savoyard villages from the 16th century. Le Praz (Courchevel 1300, altitude of 4,265 feet) is lift-serviced for guest convenience.
At Courchevel 1550, now known as Courchevel Village (altitude of 5,085 feet), and Courchevel 1650, now known as Courchevel Moriond (altitude 5,413 feet), you’ll find two lovely, sunny, family-oriented resorts with direct access to all the slopes of the 3 Vallées. Courchevel 1850 (altitude 6,069 feet) serves up haute, or high alpine cuisine, and a lively après scene that can last well into the night—if you’re looking to keep the fun going after an incredible day on the mountain.
Families will be extremely pleased with 3 Vallées' family-friendly offerings in "Villages des Enfants,” a protected ski area where everything is geared for children's safety and fun! Since Courchevel was one of the hosts of the 1992 Winter Games it’s benefited from accelerated construction projects for new lifts, snowmaking, grooming facilities, hotels and restaurants. The lift system includes one of the largest cable cars in the world, the Saulire cable car.
Beautiful locationCourchevel 1850 is a lovely spot within the French Alps. The town center is picturesque with many high end shopping options and very good restaurants. There were a lot of (apparently) wealthy Russians in various colors and styles of fur coats, hats and boots. Not many Americans, but that made the cultural aspect all the more interesting. Snow conditions were poor for our visit at the beginning of January, but the mountains had enough artificial snow production to allow for skiing. We really enjoyed ourselves!
Still a lovely resort, but expensive!We like to go skiing to Courchevel in France and Engelberg in Switzerland. Courchevel has changed a lot over the years, and no longer feels very French, but its still a great place. We generally stay in catered chalets in the resort - hotels really are too expensice. Nicest of the Courchevel villages is Courchevel 1550 - quiet, but links straight into 1850. \n
Incredible Slopeside Accommodations and Endless Terrain in CourchevelGood
Courchevel is most well known as France's premier luxury ski resort, the reasons for which were immediately apparent upon my arrival. This large resort features 4 different village areas that wind up the slopes, putting nearly all of the area's dining, lodging, shopping and nightlife options within steps of the slopes. As the area has expanded over the years, it has moved up and down the slopes out of these village centers, keeping everything in close proximity to the skiing itself, as opposed to other resorts that sit in valley floors and expand away from their base areas.
When I first arrived I expected the area to be a large network of well-maintained and easy-to-ski groomers with little available for the more advanced skier. While there are plenty of the former (there really has to be considering the amount of slopeside lodging, the interconnecting villages and size of the resort), I was shocked by the massive expanse of terrain, offering more than enough to entertain any level of skier for a lifetime. This resort is also connected to Meribel and Val Thorens, along with a few smaller resorts.
Here is a brief rundown of each village area--they get progressively larger and higher-end as you work up the slopes.
Le Praz/Courchevel 1300 - this area sits at the base of the resort, is off of the main road and has an entirely different feel than the other villages. The more rustic base area features a few dining options worth visiting that provide a traditional French country feel that is much diff from the rest of the resort and is far quieter than the larger villages.
Courchevel 1550 - I did notice a number of chalets and simpler looking hotels, along with direct lift access to Courchevel 1850 but there wasn't much in the way of dining or other activities to explore in the area.
Courchevel 1650 - This village, though not as large as 1850, still provides a large number of lodging, dining, shopping and nightlife options (along with the area's indoor waterpark), all at far more reasonable rates than can generally be found in 1850. This village had the most dramatic effect on my view of the area simply because I had previously thought it was all either extremely high-end or more remote and basic and this area instead provides a slopeside village with all the amenities one might look for at rates most can afford.
Courchevel 1850 - this is the village that provides the area with its fame. This huge slopeside luxury resort features the absolute best in slopeside accommodations, multiple pedestrian village areas complete with a plethora of both fine dining and more traditional cuisine, an endless amount of shopping and a nightlife atmosphere that centers more around higher-end clubbing than traditional ski town après and dive bars. Simply put, if you want it, Courchevel has it and if they somehow don't have it, they will immediately send someone to get it for you.
Courchevel is all of the glitz and glamour that you've heard about but, beneath that, is actually a far more well-rounded resort than you might anticipate. It's large variety of slopeside lodging and huge amount of terrain make it a worthy destination for the vast majority of travelers.