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Insider Guide To Skiing In Courchevel, France

A picture of a man in Courchevel ski resort

Sometimes you just need to seek out the most luxurious experience possible. In a long list of amazing places for luxury, Courchevel stands alone. Nestled in the Three Valleys region of the French Alps (Les Trois Vallées), Courchevel combines unparalleled skiing with unparalleled luxury. This doesn’t mean there aren't more affordable options in Courchevel; it’s not the Abu Dhabi F1 race. As far as French ski resorts go, Courchevel at any time of year is incredible, but Courchevel’s ski terrain is what keeps people coming back year after year. Here is everything you need to know about Courchevel.

Where is Courchevel? The Three Valleys (Les Trois Vallées)

Courchevel is located in the Three Valleys, which sits in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes province of France. Les Trois Vallées is the largest ski area in the world that’s interconnected only by ski lifts and slopes. It spans a massive 600 km of slopes, with each resort having its own unique charm and feel. Below is a breakdown.

Map of 4 Valley's and province

The Three Valleys can offer something for everyone, but the gem of the 3 Valleys is definitely Courchevel.

Courchevel Geography

Courchevel's unique terraced structure, with varying altitudes ranging from Courchevel 1300 (Le Praz) to the highest point, Courchevel 1850, provides skiers with an incredible range of terrains suitable for all skill levels. The numbers are not random; they are associated with the distance above sea level that each area measures.

Courchevel Snow Quality

The varied altitudes of Courchevel play a pivotal role in determining its snow quality. Higher elevations, like that of Courchevel 1850, consistently experience colder temperatures and regular snowfall, ensuring a thick, high-quality snowfall throughout the ski season.

When to go to Courchevel

The absolute peak season of Courchevel is January through March, with February being the peak of the high season. You should get a good snowfall, as well as an excellent party scene, although the hotels fill up incredibly quickly and usually require a 7-month stay. April tends to be a little less crowded, and in some years, this month produces the most snowfall.

How To Get To Courchevel

Getting to Courchevel By Air

The nearest international airports are Geneva, Lyon, and Chambéry. From these airports, you can arrange road transfers to Courchevel.

Geneva Airport to Courchevel

  • Distance: Approximately 190 kilometers via Chambéry and Albertville on the motorway, with an alternative shorter route of around 150 kilometers alongside Lake Annecy.

  • Travel Time by Road: About 2 hours and 15 minutes via car.

  • Transfer Options: Road transfers are commonly arranged. There are also bus and train options, but these journeys are longer, taking around 5 hours and 46 minutes.

Lyon Airport to Courchevel

  • Distance: About 187 kilometers.

  • Travel Time by Road: Approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes.

  • Transfer Options: Road transfers are available, offering a direct route. Bus and train transfers are also possible but might take longer.

Chambéry Airport to Courchevel

  • Distance: Roughly 110 kilometers.

  • Travel Time by Road: Around 1 hour and 45 minutes.

  • Transfer Options: Road transfers are the most convenient and quickest option. While bus and train transfers can be used, they may extend the travel time.

Getting to Courchevel By Train

The closest train station is Moutiers in SW France. From Moutiers, Courchevel is just a short drive away. Courchevel is 25 kilometers away and will take around 30 minutes by car. Buses regularly run between Moutiers train station and Courchevel, with the trip taking a little over an hour. Taxis are available, and many hotels will offer free shuttles and transportation to and from the train station.

Getting to Courchevel By Road

If driving from a neighboring country or from within France, you need to find your way to Albertville, followed by the dual carriageway to Moutiers and then the D91 road to Courchevel. Albertville is a key transit point because it is situated near the entrance to the Tarentaise Valley, which leads to several major ski resorts, including Courchevel.

Courchevel Ski Resort: A Castle Among The Mountains

Courchevel ski resort and village drone photo
Courtesy of Courchevel Tourisme

Courchevel is a special place, a place that oozes luxury and exclusivity yet has a local, welcoming feel that you might find with family members whom you had previously never met before. The highest point of the Alps, Mont Blanc, is visible from Courchevel. There is incredible infrastructure on the resort, with beginner slopes that have impeccable grooming. For backcountry lovers, there is heli-skiing available to access locations with pristine snow conditions. One of the great perks of being a ski pass holder is that Courchevel is on the Epic Pass, so Epic Pass holders can apply for a ski voucher 3 days before their arrival. For those without a pass, in general, European resorts are much more cost-effective than some of the larger North American ski resorts.

Courchevel is not just one resort but a collection of distinct villages, each referred to by its altitude in meters.

Map of courchevel ski resort
Map courtesy of Courchevel Tourisme

Skiing Courchevel 1850

Skiing Corchevel mountains, 1850

Courchevel 1850 is the top of the top when it comes to the Courchevel villages; in fact, it many times goes by the standalone name “Courchevel.’ It’s home to Michelin-starred restaurants, incredible drink venues, amazing clubs, and VIP after-hours locals. Courchevel 1850 has terrain for everyone but is well known for its impeccably groomed ski runs. The Saulire cable car will take you up to the top of Saurlie Peak in 1850 and is known for its incredible capacity.

Courchevel 1850 is best experienced with a guide, and we know the best.

Skiing Courchevel 1650

Courchevel Moriond for skiing families
Courtesy of Courchevel Tourisme

The slopes here are well-suited for intermediate skiers, with a good mix of blue and red runs. There are options for ski instructors all over the Courchevel ski area, including 1650. The slopes here are perfect for beginners and families, with easy access to green and blue runs. Its proximity to Courchevel 1850 means skiers can easily explore the more challenging terrain while enjoying the quieter ambiance of the Village.

Skiing Courchevel 1550

Lift up to courchevel 1550
Courtesy of Courchevel Tourisme

The area provides easy access to a wide range of slopes, from easy greens to challenging reds (red = single black diamond or more difficult blue), set in a serene and tranquil environment. Courchevel 1550 is known for its quieter, family-friendly atmosphere, making it an awesome base for those seeking both excellent skiing and a chilled-out village feel.

Skiing Courchevel 1400

Ski jumps at Le Praz, Courchevel 1400
Courtesy of Courchevel Tourisme

The area boasts some excellent tree-lined runs, making it a picturesque skiing experience, especially during snowfall. Le Praz is also home to ski jumps, a testament to its rich winter sports heritage, and offers direct lift access to higher altitudes, making it a versatile choice for skiers of all levels.

Skiing Courchevel 1300

While more residential and quieter than the other areas, 1300 provides a unique opportunity to ski in a serene environment, away from the bustling crowds. The slopes around Saint-Bon are gentle, making it suitable for leisurely skiing and enjoying the scenic beauty of the region. There are also plenty of cross-country skiing options in the lower altitude parts of Courchevel.

The Courchevel Ski Experience

Besides being ultra-posh, the Courchevel skiing experience has several distinct features, detailed below.

On Mountain Dining and Meals in Courchevel

enjoying some baguettes while dining on mountain
Courtesy of Courchevel Tourisme

Courchevel's on-mountain dining scene is a mix of traditional Savoyard cuisine and international flavors. From hearty raclettes and fondues to gourmet dishes, there's a fantastic variety to keep you warm and full. Remember, Courchevel is also littered with various mountain huts and chalets. Here are a few of our favorites:

Courchevel 1850: Try Le Panoramic (located at the top of the Sauriele lift) and La Soucoupe, which is known for its meats.

Courchevel 1650: Bel Air (On top of the Ariondaz Gondala), and Le’Oleil de Boef.

Courchevel 1550: La Chatel 1550 and La Palitus are good options for on-mountain dining. La Palitus has a greater variety of international dishes.

Courchevel 1300: La Cave des Creux is an interesting spot as it was previously a shepherd’s shelter that has transformed into a gourmet restaurant. Le Bistro du Praz is a classic fondue option.

Courchevel Ski Rentals

Picking up ski boots in Courchevel

Many rental shops in Courchevel stock high-end, premium brands that might not be as readily available in other ski areas. There is also a focus on personalized service and delivery options. A delivery service will come to your door and even wait while you try out the ski kit and deem whatever you see fit.

Courchevel Hotels and Accommodations

Village of Courchevel and its hotels
Photo Credit: Courchevel Tourisme

Courchevel 1850 Hotels

All the luxury hotels are here. Some of our favorites include Hotel Les Airelles, Hôtel Barrière Les Neiges, K2 Palace, Cheval Blanc, Les Monts Chavin (good for families), and Aman Le Melezin. There are also a variety of private chalets all over Courchevel that offer excellent accommodation as well.

Courchevel 1650 Hotels

Hotel Manali and Hotel Fahrenheit 7 offer some of the more high-end accommodations around the area, and Porletta has a more family-friendly feel.

There is also more affordable accommodation available in Courchevel 1650, such as the Ecrin Blanc Courchevel and Terrens Le Cascade.

Courchevel 1550, 1400 and 1300 Hotels

These resorts in Courchevel offer more affordable options for accommodation. In Courchevel terms, the higher the altitude, the higher the price. The Hotel Les Flocons in 1550 is a family-run hotel with a cozy atmosphere, and Hotel La Praz in 1400 offers another boutique hotel experience. All the way down in 1300, you can find an affordable option at the Auberge de St. Bon.

Courchevel Après Ski

Many people come from all over the world to Courchevel, and they don’t even ski. Why? Because the dining and Après ski scene is so out of this world, there is no need for skiing for those who are not “slope-inclined.” There is so much to do in Courchevel and so much to try that it will leave people wanting to return no matter the season.

Courchevel Restaurants and Dining

Enjoying apres ski at a local restaurent in courchevel
Photo Credit: David André

First of all, it should be noted that Courchevel has not one but 10 Michelin-starred restaurants. Some of our favorites are below:

  • La Saulire: A renowned establishment in Courchevel, La Saulire offers a blend of traditional and cutting-edge French cuisine.

  • Sylvestre Wahid - Les Grandes Alpes - Located in the Grandes Alpes Hotel, this restaurant showcases Chef Sylvestre Wahid's culinary artistry, focusing on organic and natural ingredients.

  • L'Altiplano au K2 Palace - Offering a journey to the Andes, L'Altiplano serves Peruvian-inspired dishes in a luxurious setting. It is one of the few places in the Alps offering South American cuisine.

  • Le Sarkara - Le Sarkara is the world's first Michelin-starred dessert restaurant, located in Le K2 Palace.

That doesn't mean that Courchevel does not have incredible dining options around every corner. Courchevel symbolizes the craftsmanship and uniqueness that is present in French cuisine. If your mouth hasn't started watering yet, consider trying some of the mouth-watering specialty cuisines that are unique to the Savoy Region. Crozets, a buckwheat pasta, and Farcement, a potato loaf filled with bacon, are dishes that hail from Savoy. Fondue is also omnipresent, and you don't have to go too far to find raclettes beckoning you to put meat and cheese on a potato and proceed to burn your mouth over and over again.

There is also an assortment of private venues as well that are difficult to access. We have you covered, though.

Courchevel Nightlife

Nightlife at its finest in Courchevel

Most of the bars and nightlife, particularly the luxurious and always-cracking spots, are going to be in Courchevel 1850 and 1650. In terms of clubs and bars, there are numerous spots that act as bars that turn into nightclubs after a certain hour. Les Caves de Courchevel is hot with the San Tropez celebrity crowd, and you might even see some American A-listers out and about. La Mangeoire Lounge and La Grange nightclub are also worth a mention for their VIP flair. For those who want a more chilled-out wine bar experience, then L'Ptit Drink and La Cabane offer a chill vibe and a selection of otherworldly wines. The most important thing is that a lot of the nightlife in Courchevel offers the same VIP treatment as you find in Davos during the World Economic Forum!

Courchevel Health and Wellness

A nice spa in courchevel
Photo Credit: David André

Courchevel boasts an array of world-class spas and wellness centers, ensuring that visitors can rejuvenate after a day of skiing. The Le Chabichou Spa in Courchevel 1850 epitomizes alpine luxury with its comprehensive offerings of massages, beauty treatments, and relaxation facilities like saunas and jacuzzis. The Aquamotion Centre stands out as a top wellness destination, providing a blend of relaxation and aquatic fun. For those seeking holistic treatments, Les Thermes du Carlina is a great bet as well.


Is Courchevel expensive?

Yes, Courchevel is known as one of the most luxurious and expensive ski resorts in the world. It boasts upscale accommodations, gourmet restaurants, and high-end shopping, catering to a wealthy clientele. Expect to pay a good amount more than you would at a normal resort or even kind of a "meh" resort. (See El Dora Colorado)

How to get to Courchevel?

There are several ways to reach Courchevel:

  • By Air: The nearest international airports are Geneva, Lyon, and Chambéry. From these airports, you can arrange road transfers to Courchevel.

  • By Train: The closest train station is Moutiers. Courchevel is just a short drive from Moutiers, and there are regular bus services and taxis available.

  • By Road: If driving, you can take the motorway to Albertville, followed by the dual carriageway to Moutiers, and then the D91 road to Courchevel.

Is Courchevel in the Alps?

Yes, Courchevel is located in the French Alps. It is part of the Three Valleys ski area, which is the largest linked ski area in the world.


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