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Courchevel Ski Resort Guide

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Courchevel, France

Rated: 4/5 (from 6 ratings)

Courchevel Ski Area Highlights
Recommended ForExpert Skiers, Intermediates, Beginners, Snowboarders and Apres-Ski!
Total Piste Length150km93 miles
Highest Lift2,740m8,990ft
Resort Height1,300m4,265ft
 Nearest AirportsChambery and Grenoble
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Courchevel at a glance

Arguably France's most exclusive resort, at the eastern end of The Three Valleys (Trois Vallées) with some of Europe's best on and off-slope infrastructure, Courchevel would rate in the top 10 selection of resorts around the world for most dedicated skiers.

 When will it snow in Courchevel?

The next notable snow forecast for Courchevel is 4cm2in, expected on 22 August.

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Courchevel Facts, Stats and Ratings

Courchevel Rated

Ratings for Courchevel
Expert Skiers
Intermediate Skiers

How High is Courchevel?

Max Vertical and Resort Altitude for Courchevel
Highest Lift2,740m8,990ft
Lowest Piste1,300m4,265ft
Resort Altitude (Courchevel)1,300m4,265ft
Max Vertical1,440m4,724ft

Courchevel Ski Area

Piste and Lift Stats for Courchevel
Black Pistes
Expert Trails
Red Pistes
Intermediate Runs
Blue Pistes
Easy Trails
Green Pistes
Beginner Runs
Total Length
150km93 miles
Cross Country
Total Length
66km41 miles
Ski Lifts
Number of Lifts

The Three Valleys Ski Area

Piste and Lift Stats for The Three Valleys
Black Pistes
Expert Trails
Red Pistes
Intermediate Runs
Blue Pistes
Easy Trails
Green Pistes
Beginner Runs
Total Length
600km373 miles
Cross Country
Total Length
130km81 miles
Ski Lifts
Number of Lifts

Courchevel Summary

The French Ski Resort of Courchevel is part of the Three Valleys ski area with access to 600km373 miles of downhill skiing, with 497 marked pistes, served by a total of 180 ski lifts. In addition to the skiing in Courchevel itself (150km93 miles of pisted ski runs), the appropriate ski Lift Pass will allow you to ski or snowboard in the other Three Valleys ski resorts of La Tania, Les Menuires, Méribel, Saint Martin de Belleville and Val Thorens.

Courchevel comprises the villages of Courchevel 1850, Courchevel Le Praz, Courchevel Moriond and Courchevel Village.

Courchevel Piste Map

Courchevel Piste Map

Courchevel Overview

The resort now comprises six self-contained villages of which the best known is Courchevel 1850.

Unsurprisingly Courchevel shares the reputation of St Moritz, Aspen or Lech for exclusivity and high prices but, equally unsurprisingly, the tourist board is keen to point out that it is possible to stay at and enjoy Courchevel 'on a budget'.

The view from a distance gives little clue to the presence of exclusive boutiques, luxurious chalets and the wonderful restaurants serving dishes of high gastronomic calibre.

Today Courchevel has its own special Charter which ensures hotels, restaurants, shops and other businesses provide the best possible service and open as advertised throughout the season.

On the Mountain

The most difficult run is the 'Couloirs de la Sauline'.

 Skiing in Courchevel

Courchevel's skiing is amongst the world's best, with the immediate valley providing 150km (nearly 100 miles) of marked trails for all standards as well as excellent off-piste opportunities with one of the many professional guides. The ski area is especially pleasant having one of the highest tree-lines in the Alps, up at 2300 metres (just over 7500 feet).

The Courchevel Valley, which is a part of the huge lift linked Trois Vallées ski circus, is itself divided in to five sections, nominally at least - Loze, Biolley, Saulire, Tania and Moriond.

Courchevel for Beginners

Beginners will find long wide greens and blues above the resort, including the Jardin Alpin trail served by the gondola lift of the same name. Higher up the mountain green and blues include Plan Mugnier, Montagne Russe and The Pyramide run from the top of Roc Merlet which continue down to 1650 via the Indiens run. There are also 8 free drag lifts for beginners spread over the ski area, 3 of them at 1850, 2 at 1650, 1 at 1550, 1 at Le Praz and 1 at La Tania.

Courchevel for Intermediates

Intermediates will find probably the world's best selection of blue and red trails in the Courchevel Valley and the easily accessed additional terrain of the 3 Vallées, one of the best red runs is 'Park City', named after Courchevel's twin-resort in Utah.

Courchevel for Experts

The runs from La Saulire are some of the most challenging, and it is here that experts can discover some of Europe's most challenging couloirs - known as 'The Ugly Sisters' and graded black but in some cases nearly 'off the scale' in reality.

Experts have plenty besides to entertain in the Trois Vallées and around Courchevel in particular. Some of the best-loved blacks in the valley include the steep and often mogul covered Jockeys or Jean Blanc. Another long black mogul run is accessed from the Chanrossa lift after the huge Les Creux bowl.

Off piste opportunities are enormous and guides may take you to the empty expanses beneath Le Signal.

Heliskiing is available through the Mountain Guides office, which is also your starting point for courses or tours in glacier skiing, off piste, powder and extreme.

Ski Schools

Courchevel boasts one of the largest teams of ski and snowboarding instructors in the world, there are 1000 and teaching all levels of all snow sports disciplines and each able to speak a number of languages. The six ski schools include three branches of the ESF (Ecole du ski Français & Supreme Ski School) at 1850, 1650 and 1550. Most unusual is the Supreme Ski School which employs British ski instructors who are qualified to both British and French standards and approved by the French Ministry of Youth and Sport.

There is a floodlit slope (open until 7pm nightly) above Courchevel 1650.

There are a variety of pistes to suit all levels of skier ability, from Beginner to Expert.

 Snowboarding in Courchevel

There are two specially created areas. The Plantrey park is exclusively for 'boarders and features half pipe, baby pipe, table, hips and a lot of neat stuff. The Verdons canyons is open to all sliders, regardless of what you have strapped to your feet - including skis, boards, blades or Big Foot, the one and only objective is weightlessness. Less official highlights are found by the Biollay chair where a ridge called The Lip is a popular spot for getting big air. Extreme snowboard guiding is available from the Mountain Guides office. Of course Courchevel has huge on and off-piste opportunities to offer the 'boarder also. There’s also a Family Park under Verdon cable car.

When is Courchevel open?

 Opened : December 7, 2019.

 Closed : March 15, 2020.

Usual opening is early December, and usual closing is Late April.

NOTE:- Lift and Piste openings are always subject to Snow Conditions in Courchevel.

Snow Making

Courchevel is able to make snow, on 21km13 miles of ski runs, with 617 snow cannons.

Ski Lift Capacity

The 67 ski lifts of Courchevel are able to uplift 68,350 skiers and snowboarders every hour.

Where is Courchevel?

Courchevel is in the French Alps in The Three Valleys, Savoie, France.

How can I get to Courchevel?

 By Air

The nearest airports to Courchevel are Chambery, Grenoble and Annecy. There are eight airports within three hours drive.

Off the Mountain

Courchevel Aprés Ski

Après ski options vary according to the level of Courchevel you stay at, with by far the most happening at Courchevel 1850 where it's possible to play 'spot the celebrity' most nights (knowing the domestic French ones will be particularly useful for this!).

A bus links all levels of the resort with additional gondolas to 1550 and Le Praz. The night-time emphasis tends to vary between 'sophisticated' or 'quiet' depending on where you are, rarely getting very lively except in individual establishments. Courchevel 1850, in the former category, has the most famous nightclub - Les Caves, as well as La Grange and Le Club, at 1650.

Popular places include La Saulire, L'Equipe, L'Accord and TJ's. There are cinemas and bridge clubs at both 1850 and 1650 with backgammon and billiards available in 1850. Classical music concerts and piano recitals are staged throughout the season. The weekly evening descents on the 2.3km long toboggan run is usually worth attending, if only for the mulled wine afterwards.

Courchevel has it's own special Charter which ensures hotels, restaurants, shops and other businesses provide the best possible service and open as advertised throughout the season.

History and Development

The first winter tourists arrived in the valley in the 1930s, with the resort 'taking off' in terms of popularity in the late 1950s and the '60s, particularly with the opening of the Saulire cable car in 1950.


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