Guide to the Glamorous Ski Resort of Courchevel 1850

Skiing and Winter Sports in Courchevel 1850

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••• Skiing in Courchevel 1850. © Courchevel Tourisme - Jerome Kelagopian

Location in Les Trois Vallees

The five villages that make up Courchevel are located in the skiing area known as Les Trois Vallees (The Three Valleys) in the Savoie Region in the French Alps. Les Trois Vallees include the Saint-Bon, Les Allues and Belleville valleys, and together they make up the biggest ski area in the world. There are 600 kilometers of slopes connected by 173 ski lifts and ski runs.

The area has 30 black slopes, 108 red slopes, 129 blue slopes and 51 green slopes.

How to get to Courchevel 1850

By Train
From Paris the TGV takes 4 hours to Moutiers Tarentaise Station. From here you can transfer either by bus or by taxi.
More information, tel.: 00 33 (0)8 92 35 35 35 or check the SNCF Website.

By car Courchevel is 600 kilometers from Paris (5hr30), 55 kilomters from Nice (5h00), 187 kilomters (2h00) from Lyon and 149 kilomters (2h15) from Geneva.

By coach
There are bus services into Courchevel.

  • From Moutier, tel.: 00 33 (0)4 79 08 01 17, website
  • From Chambery, tel.: 00 33 (0)8 20 22 74 14, website
  • From Geneva, tel.: 00 41 22 798 2000, website
  • From Lyon, tel.: 00 33 (0)4 79 68 32 96, website

By Helicopter
Helicopters fly into Altiport Courchevel just above the main resort. For information, tel.: 00 33 (0)4 79 08 01 91, or try the website. The company also operates heli-skiing.

Why Choose Courchevel 1850?

For more information on all the activities, check with the Courchevel Tourism Office

Skiing

Courchevel 1850 offers excitement for all ranges of skiers and hosts some of the world's top skiing competitions. Despite its glamorous image, it's particularly good for beginners with excellent gentle slopes around Altiport.

The ESF (French Ski School in Europe) has a total of 800 qualified instructors in Courchevel 1550, 1650 and 1850. Courchevel 1850 has 500 instructors alone.

There’s a Baby Skiing school, where children from 18 months old are taught in private lessons. The chairlifts are specially adapted for kids with the Magnestick Kids and Magnestick Bar which keep children in their seats with magnets and a special jacket, then automically release them at the top of the run. There’s a special skiing area, called the Family Park as well.

Other Winter Sports in Courchevel 1850

Apart from the excellent skiing, there’s plenty to catch your attention in Courchevel. It’s great fun and easy to sledge in Courchevel. There’s a run 2 kilometers long with an average incline over 300 meters of 15%. You can do it between 9am and 7.30pm and it’s floodlit at night. It's free with ski or pedestrian lift pass (ski lift ride is 6 euros).

If you fancy showshoeing, there are 17 kilometers of well kept, marked paths that take you slowly slipping through the snow covered pine trees.

With special ice-axes and crampons keeping you stuck to the ice, try climbing either a natural or artificial waterfalls.

Go ice skating at Le Forum in the center of Courchevel.

One of the most enjoyable things to do if you're an adventure freak is hiring a snowmobile that takes two people, driver and passenger, for a one-hour outing. And you can do it at night as well.

Non Winter Sports Activities

There are 39 hotel spas, of which 27 are accessible to non-residents. Between them there's just about everything you could want, from Jacuzzis and wave pools, to massage rooms and treatments using all the best international names.

Le Chabichou hotel has a great weekly cooking class where you can learn all the skills of a top chef, using local ingredients. Contact the Hotel for details.

Courchevel

Courchevel consists of five resorts: Courchevel 1850, Courchevel 1650, Courchevel 1500, Courchevel 1300 Le Praz and La Tania. Courchevel was the first place to develop winter sports seriously.

It began in 1946 when the poverty of the region that was known only for cheese-making prompted the government to create a new kind of high altitude resort centered on Courchevel 1850.

It was the first to provide snow patrols and snow grooming machines. Jean Blanc was one of the first ski shops and it still exists today in Courchevel 1850. The first hotel, Hotel de la Loze, was built in 1948. In 1992 Le Forum was constructed for the Winter Games, providing a large skating rink. Different districts grew up, including the pretty and private 'Granary District', where small chalets were built inspired by the granaries of the past where farmers kept their grain away from their houses.

Courchevel 1850 is strictly controlled with planning laws keeping the houses and hotels low rise and very select. The latest new hotel, Hotel K2, opened in December 2011, and looks set to enhance Courchevel's reputation as France's most glamorous skiing resort.

Useful Information

Courchevel Tourism
Le Coeur de Courchevel
Tel.: 00 33 (0)4 79 0800 29
Website

Why you should go skiing in France

Where to Stay

Courchevel has an extraordinary number of top hotels, including two out of the nine special new Palace hotels, a new category developed by the government for the best hotels in France. The others are in Paris, with one in Cap Ferrat and one in Biarritz.

Many of the 5-star deluxe hotels are among the best in France, with the latest opening, Hotel Le K2, providing real excitement.

Guide to Luxury Hotels in Courchevel

Review of Hotel Le K2 & Spa

Where to Eat

Most hotels offer half board, so you’re likely to be eating dinner in your hotel. However there is plenty of choice in Courchevel for both casual lunches and dinner.

  • Le Chabotte
    The new restaurant of Le Chabichou hotel, this modern large bistro-style restaurant is particularly popular for lunch. There’s a good set menu of 2 dishes or 3 dishes (lunch 19.90 euros and 24.90 euros; dinner 23.90 and 28.90 euros). Other set menus are also available from a menu that has traditional dishes using local cheeses, mushrooms and charcuterie. Otherwise the restaurant has a great terrace which you can ski to for lunch in the open air.
    Le Chabichou Hotel
    Rue Chenus
    Tel.: 00 33 (0)4 79 08 00 55
    Website

 

  • Le Pilatus
    High up just above the Altiport, used by private helicopters, Le Pilatus is a large rustic chalet with great views and a warm welcome. There’s a long menu of local ingredients with everything from omelets with green salad and chips (17 euros) to grilled steak (31 euros). It’s on the slopes so you can ski here.
    Piste de Pralong
    Tel.: 00 33 (0)4 79 08 20 49
    Website

     

    • Le Genepi
      Pretty mountain chalet-style décor in this casual, family owned restaurant in the middle of the town. Classic dishes like confit duck with mushrooms and potatoes cooked in duck fat and mousse au chocolat keep the winter winds at bay. Plates of charcuterie and fondues are also recommended. Child menu 25 euros; a la carte three courses around 70 euros per person.
      Rue Park City
      Tel.: 00 33 (0)4 79 08 08 63
      Website

       

      • Le Tremplin
        This is a great place for après-ski when the midday Brasserie menus change and you get excellent Brittany-style crepes to fortify you. In the evening, dishes like sole meuniere, scallops and generous steak portions are on offer. They also operate a sister restaurant called Les Verdons on the slopes for a break from skiing where the cooking is hearty though unrefined.
        Courchevel 1850 (opposite the Tourist Office)
        Tel.: 00 33 (0)4 7908 06 19
        Website

       

      • Azimut
        You wouldn’t guess that this small local restaurant has a Michelin star; that is until you taste the food. Part of Courchevel but located in Courchevel 1300, Le Praz, a pretty traditional village further down in the valley from Courchevel 1850, Azimut, in a former bakery, has carved out a name for excellent cooking at reasonable prices with menus beginning at 28 euros.

        Chef-owner Francois Moureaux has modernized and refined classic dishes, producing specialities like scallops in a port reduction and venison with gnocchis with local Beaufort cheese, all beautifully presented. Wash it all down with something from their excellent selection of Jura wines.

        In the summer, Francois and his wife Sandrine decamp to their other restaurant Auberge de La Poutre in Banlieu in the Jura.
        Immeuble l’Or Blanc
        Tel.: 00 33 (0)4 79 06 25 90