Courchevel Ski Resort

Courchevel ski resort France.
Courchevel ski resort.
Courchevel off-piste skiing
Courchevel ski terrain looking up toward Saulire
Courchevel skiing
Courchevel ski resort.
Ski Courchevel France above the amazing Altiport
Courchevel ski resort.
Steeps under Saulire at Courchevel are not too intimidating
Mountain dining in splendid surrounds at Courchevel ski resort
The Le Bouc Blanc has satisfying food & drink at Courchevel without emptying one's wallet
Christmas is a gorgeous time to spend at Courchevel ski resort & the 3 Vallees
Saulire cable car overlooking the ski terrain on Chenus at Courchevel
The Dou des Lanches below the Col de la Loze at Courchevel is amongst Powderhounds favorite 3 Valleys terrain
Freeride backcountry terrain into the Vallee des Avals is easily accessed from Courchevel
Courchevel off-piste ski terrain near the Suisses chairlift
La Tania off in the distance provides affordable Courchevel ski-in ski-out accommodation
La Praz is Courchevel's most authentic village near the ski lifts
Courchevel 1850 village is the place to stay (& shop) if you have coin!
Ski Courchevel France

Courchevel Ski Resort

Readers Ratings

Courchevel

Courchevel4.5/54
Courchevel4.5 out of 5 based on 4 reviews
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    100%
  • Would Revisit
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Best Powder in Austria

3 Vallèes Ski Resorts

3 Valleys
Les-Menuires
Meribel
St Martin de Belleville
Val Thorens

    Courchevel Ski Trail Map
  • Courchevel Ski Trail Map
  • Vertical (m)
    Courchevel only
    1,100m – 2,740m (1,640m)

    3 Valleys
    1,100m - 3,230m (2,130m)
  • Average Snow Fall
    5 - 7m
  • Lifts (58)
    Courchevel only
    11 Gondolas / cable cars
    20 Chairlifts

    3 Vallees - 166 lifts
  • Opening Dates & Times
    Late November to mid April
    8:30am to 5:00pm
  • Terrain Summary
    Runs - 150km
    Longest run – 5km+
    Advanced - 7%
    Intermediate - 36%
    Beginner - 57%

    3 Valleys - 600km
  • Lift Pass Price
    Day Ticket 19/20
    Courchevel only
    Adult - €42 to 56
    Child - €34 to 44
    Child u/5yr - Free

    3 Vallees
    Adult - €50.40 to 63
    Child - €40.30 to 50.40
    Child u/5yr - Free
    3 Vallees Ski Trail Map
  • 3 Vallees Ski Trail Map

Courchevel Ski Resort France

The Courchevel ski resort is part of the phenomenal Les Trois Vallèes (3 Valleys) in the legendary Tarentaise valley. Courchevel is a fantastic all-round French Alps resort offering exceptional skiing & snowboarding across the world's most expansive interlinked ski area.

Apart from the massive terrain, the Courchevel ski resort is renowned as a billionaire’s winter playground & the most glamorous ski resort in France. This is the place to come if you want to consort with the rich & famous, or you want to join the fur adorned ladies strutting down the street with a little dog tucked under their arm. Having said that, the skiing here can be so epic (for beginners & experts alike) that any self-respecting snow seeker should visit at least once in their powder stained lives.

And forget the notions of high cost - a lift ticket at Courchevel costs less than half of a lift pass in most of the larger USA ski resorts! Courchevel has carved out a fabulous niche in the upscale & elegant ski market, and considering it attracts those who desire exclusivity and don’t mind paying more dollars for certain privileges, many components of a Courchevel ski holiday are rather expensive. Prices are sometimes outrageous in the swanky part of Courchevel (formerly known as Courchevel 1850); yet lodging & food becomes cheaper at the villages further down the mountain. So, if you’ve got the Euros for staying in 1850, then revel & enjoy. Dine & drink cocktails at THE best places and go shopping at Hermès & Louis Vuitton. However, if you don’t have the budget, it is possible to have a fabulous ski holiday at Courchevel without spending a fortune.

Pros & Cons for Courchevel Ski Resort

Pros

  • Reliable snow in a northly aspect resort with most ski terrain above 1800m elevation.
  • Generally modern* & efficient lift system (*some rubbishy older style gondolas still exist in Courchevel, but they are of little consequence & they are being continually updated).
  • Low to no wait times at most lifts (with two notable exceptions).
  • Long skiable verticals.
  • Fun range & variety of groomed piste trails for all abilities, but particularly for beginners (the best in the 3 Vallees) & intermediates.
  • Stellar world class, freeride off-piste terrain with surprisingly few seeking it out.
  • Deserted, but high quality, backcountry terrain easily accessed via the lifts.
  • Choice of 5 resort villages to suit all budgets & tastes.
  • Seamless & well sign-posted connections between the villages & to Meribel ski resort;
  • Lively après ski in some locations & some delectable dining.
  • Plethora of ski-in ski-out accommodation across the resort.
  • Given the totality of the ski experience, a great value for money local lift pass price.

Cons

  • Crowds can be huge during peak times).
  • A generally expensive ski resort in relation to food & drink - cost can be an inhibitor for many visitors (but it need not be).
  • The road to the resort from Moutiers can be chaos in the morning & evening (particularly on weekends).

Pro or Con (depending on your perspective!)

  • 57% (or 85km) of the piste trails are rated beginner.
  • Even though all are brilliantly integrated into the resort, villages vary greatly in style & can be quite polarising depending on your tastes & expectations – choose wisely.
  • Restaurants & bars vary markedly in cost & quality throughout the resort (brown-bagging on one of the many picnic tables provided throughout the resorts avoids the problem during the day).
  • The resort has only lame terrain parks that are just trying to cater to the clientele.
  • Accommodation can be amongst the most expensive in the world in some villages (Courchevel 1850) & books out quickly during high season.

Skiing & Snowboarding Terrain

Courchevel has 150km of piste served by 58 lifts and gargantuan freeride off-piste skiing & snowboarding. The massive on-piste skiable vertical of 1640m is doable from the top of Saulire all the way down into St-Bon-Tarentaise village. The resort has a fabulous assortment of terrain for all ability levels across the entire spectrum of mountain from forested slopes up to extreme alpine. The range of greens & blue for novices provides the best learn-to-ski terrain in the region (something the Powderhounds did not expect). This is evidenced by the incredible numbers of beginner skiers (not too many snowboarders here) in large groups with ski instructors. Whilst these groups may utilise the groomed intermediate cruisers, the steep reds & blacks are all but deserted, so strong intermediate to advanced riders will have a ball. The huge amount of world renowned off-piste across the upper mountain is similarly deserted & an absolute delight. It varies from easy bumped up slopes next to the piste, to serious couloirs off the 2740m Saulire that can be somewhat testing even for experts, plus everything in between!

See the Courchevel ski trail map here.

The ski resort has state of the art lift infrastructure. Sure, there are a few slow lifts that are a bit of a drag (hee hee) plus some gondolas that have seen better days, but mostly they’re high tech & efficient with new lifts going in every season. There’s a good distribution of gondolas for those that enjoy taking their skis off! Some folks claim that the lift queues are rather good compared to other French ski resorts, but it’s really all just relative isn’t it? Our experience was that other than at 1850 & the Saulire cable car, there were zero lift queues …….. but that was in mid-January!

You probably won’t get bored with the amount & variety of terrain at Courchevel, but if you can explore an amazing 600km of piste across the Three Valleys network. Courchevel is directly interconnected via the lifts & slopes with the fabulous Méribel at 3 high alpine locations.

See the 3 Valleys ski trail map here.

Lift Passes

There are essentially two main ski lift pass options. The local resort lift pass is for the 150km of trails in the combined Courchevel - La Tania domain. It is around €7-8.40/day cheaper than the full 3 Vallees lift pass which includes Meribel, Val Thorens, Les Menuires & St Martin de Belleville.

Where is Courchevel France?

Courchevel is the furthest east of the 3 Vallées in the Savoie, Rhône-Alpes region of the French Alps. The nearest major town is Moutiers, 24km (15 miles) to the northwest. Paris is 666km to the northwest & has fast train services to Moutiers & Bourg St Maurice.

If you can get hold of a jet or light aircraft, the quickest way to get to Courchevel is to fly into the local altiport! Alternatively, there are a several gateway airports from which it’s easy to get transfers. Airports include: Geneva (GVA) - 140km (2-2.5hr); Lyon St Exupery(LYS) - 187km (2-2.5hr); & Chambéry (CMF) - 110km (1.5hr) (note- Chambery only has flights on weekends from limited origins).

Search & book all airport transfers to Courchevel ski resort here.

The train station in nearby Moutiers has direct trains from London (one day a week on Saturdays) & Paris via Eurostar plus easy connections from other airports & major cities. From Moutiers station it’s a short bus (on the T5 line) or taxi to any of the resort villages.

Search & book train tickets to Moutiers here.

Courchevel Accommodation

Courchevel is made up of a series of 5 villages which are all interconnected via lifts, slopes and roads. The names of the villages tend to correspond with their elevation in metres and whilst they’ve now been renamed, old habits are hard to break, and most people still refer to them by the elevation name. From highest to lowest, the village are called Courchevel (at 1850m elevation), Moriond (1650m), Courchevel Village (1550m), Courchevel La Tania (1400m) & Courchevel Le Praz (1300m). Each has its own character, pros & cons plus range of affordability.

Search & book all Courchevel ski accommodation here.

Courchevel accommodation includes lots of chalets, loads of apartments & about 40 hotels that range from affordable 2-star hotels up to utterly exorbitant 5-stars & higher. Much of the accommodation is ski-in.

Away from the ski lifts, the valley villages of Saint Bon, Bozel & the larger Brides les Bains provide alternative lodgings. Brides les Bains has the widest range of hotels plus a gondola lift link to Meribel & hence Courchevel via the Col de la Loze; making for a versatile, affordable base from which to explore the entire ski region.

See detailed information about lodgings in each village on our Courchevel Accommodation Info page.

Ski Rentals, Lessons, Guiding & Services

Ski rentals are available in all the Courchevel villages. Search & book Courchevel ski or snowboard rentals here.

A mind-boggling array of ski guides ply their trade in the Courchevel ski resort & adjoining valleys. A good mountain guide can make all the difference to an off-piste powder day in an unfamiliar ski resort. See our Courchevel Ski Lessons & Guiding page for more information.

If you need a new ski outfit comprising modern jacket, pants, gloves & goggles, Courchevel is one of the French ski resorts served by a ski clothing rental company. Order online & your ski outfit is delivered direct to your accommodation at the resort.

[AdListings Filter="Courchevel Ski Rentals Clothing"]

Mountain Dining

On-mountain dining is plentiful at Courchevel & for many it seems that lunch is the most important part of the day. It is the stuff of legend that dining in a mountain restaurant here will cost an ‘arm & a leg’. Whilst that’s true, for every stuffy, over-priced extravagance, there is a casual reasonably priced restaurant, an affordable take-away or free to use picnic table. Indeed it is easy to spot the visitors from Meribel at Courchevel – they are the ones with smiles on their faces, enjoying the stupendous views whilst eating a home-made packed lunch at one of the fabulous picnic tables set up throughout the resort at places like the Col de la Loze. It is worth checking online reviews on the higher priced ‘panoramic’ restaurants before booking into them. Such due diligence allowed us to avoid the dreaded combination of sensational view, but appalling food, service & price! The high quality & service restaurants at lunch spots like Le 1928 on Col del la Loze contrast markedly to ghastly overpriced poorly served alternatives elsewhere. Further down the mountain ski-in ski-out cheap eats in La Tania are great, as is the Le Bouc Blanc above it. The dining in Courchevel 1850 tends to cater for those who want fine dining restaurants with lots of Michelin stars, something we have zero interest in!

Activities

Other than skiing and snowboarding at the resort, other activities include cross country skiing along 65km of trails. Or if you want the ultimate adrenaline rush you can go heli skiing from Courchevel. Even though heli skiing in France is officially banned, it’s just a quick helicopter flight to some amazing Italian and Swiss mountains.

If you’re super hard-core, there is some amazing tobogganing at Courchevel. The hair-raising toboggan slope that plunges from Courchevel 1850 down to 1550 is definitely not just for the little kids! Adults who want to scream or giggle will also enjoy it!

And shopping, or at least window shopping, seems a mandatory activity. Considering that Courchevel is a magnet for the uber-rich, it comes as no surprise that there are many diamond shops and high-end French designer shops where the wealthy, overdressed tourists can go crazy. Of course, there’s also a smattering of shops to cater for another clientele too.

Nearby Ski Resorts

In addition to the Three Valleys (i.e. Meribel & Val Thorens), not far away via Bourg St Maurice are La Rosiere, Sainte Foy, Les Arcs, La Plagne, Tignes plus Val d'Isere. A nearby sneaky powder stash away from the limelight is Pralognan la Vanoise. Enough choice for several lifetimes of French Alps ski holidays!

More Reasons to Ski Courchevel

This is a mega ski zone that provides seemingly infinite slopes to schuss down. Despite its high-end reputation, Courchevel is also incredibly family & Powderhound friendly. Views across to Mont Blanc and the many alpine peaks are breathtaking. When not skiing, a highlight is to relax on one of the many restaurant terraces & feast on the amazing scenery.

Review

The Powderhounds finally reviewed Courchevel & the 3 Valleys in 2020. We were surprised by how good it was & suitably impressed by the quality of the overall experience. Read the review via the links in the left column (or top of page if on a mobile).

See how Courchevel compares to the rest of the European ski resorts on the Europe ski resort ratings page.

Follow Powderhounds Europe on Facebook or Instagram to see where we are currently skiing.

Tours in or near Courchevel

Safari (Road Trip) Tours

Tarentaise Powder Ski Safari
GUIDED OFF-PISTE ADVENTURE
8 Days | 7 Nights | 6 Days Skiing | 3+ Resorts
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
Ski some of the most famous ski areas of the world in France with an experienced guide riding vertical descents of up to 2,000m through untracked powder even days after a snowfall. Join a "fixed date" tour or get your own group of 4+ together for a custom tour.
Price p/p From price based on twin/double-share room occupancy & min group of 7.
Base/invoice currency is in EURO inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 2,229
View Details
 
See all Safari (Road Trip) tours that visit Courchevel here

Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area Tours

Tarentaise Valley Star Ski Tour
GUIDED OFF-PISTE ADVENTURE
3 - 4 Days | 3 - 4 Nights | 3 - 4 Skiing Days | 3+ Resorts
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
Ski some of the most famous ski areas of the world in France with an experienced guide riding vertical descents of up to 2,000m through untracked powder even days after a snowfall. Join a "fixed date" tour or get your own group of 4+ together for a custom tour.
Price p/p From price based on twin/double-share room occupancy & min group of 4.
Base/invoice currency is in EURO inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 1,182
View Details
 
See all Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area tours that visit Courchevel here
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