Courchevel

Courchevel

Overall Rating

Courchevel

Courchevel4.5/54
Courchevel4.5 out of 5 based on 4 reviews
  • Recommend
    100%
  • Would Revisit
    100%
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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 - Reviews

Courchevel - Reviews

Worth Every Penny

11/05/2020

POWDERHOUNDS EUROPE

Powderhounds Ambassador
Powderhounds Ambassador

POWDERHOUNDS EUROPE

Powderhounds Ambassador
Powderhounds Ambassador
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Telemarker
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    36-50
  • Month Visited:
    January
  • Admin Rating
    5

Worth Every Penny

11/05/2020

Simply put, the experience of skiing at Courchevel is awesome. What we found was a wonderfully eclectic mix of gnarly & mellow off-piste, deserted on-piste, loads of beginner groomers, no lift lines but lots of people (huh?), seemingly the highest instructor/guide to guest ratio in the world (a good thing for powder hounds!), numerous picnic lunches & silver service fine mountain dining, Christian Dior & a super scary looking altiport. Way more approachable than its 5-star veneer & fearsome terrain reputation would lead one to believe, it is without a doubt a great resort.

From a freeride & powder ski point of view the ridge, couloirs & bowls running from Saulire north to the Rocher del la Loze have a multitude of fantastic advanced & expert routes. The section beyond the Grand Couloir through to La Croix des Verdons might be best initially explored with a local guide as access points can be complex. On the opposite side (eastern boundary) of Courchevel is the outbound off-piste into the Vallèe des Avals. Access is from the top of the Pyramides surface tow (classically flattish rolling post-glacier ground) or higher up via the 2540m Col de Chanrossa. In the central sector of Courchevel, the inbounds off-piste is terrific from the Chanrossa, Marmottes and Suisses chairs.

And whilst we discovered Courchevel’s ‘dirty little secret’ that most of its many skiers appear to be beginners, that does not mean the off-piste terrain is pristine & untracked. This is a big, big, busy resort interlinked with an even bigger, busier resort – 3 Vallèes. If it hasn’t snow for a while, expect that the popular couloirs or Saulire, the steeps & bowls below Vizelle & the broad side of Chanrossa are going to be heavily tracked & even bumped in parts. However, even though new to the resort, we still skied some untracked snow within the resort boundary by just pushing that little bit further, that little bit wider.

Strange but true. The quickest way to access the best steeps on the Courchevel side of the 2740m Saulire is from Meribel Centre. The new very comfy gondola deposits one with minimum fuss to where you can choose a challenge or take the easy way out on a gentle groomer.

On the subject of groomers, that Courchevel has over 85km of easy blue & green slopes was no surprise to us, but openly stating that it is the best place in the 3 Vallees to learn to ski, does surprise us. But doing a grand lap of Vizelle via the Saulire highest point is a memorable experience for anyone new to skiing. We loved the all but deserted, steeper pistes streaming down off the Col de Loze into La Tania & Le Praz & from the important peak of Vizelle. They would all be wonderous on a powder day. Intermediates will love the runs of Chenus, but we found the terrain above Moriond village up to Signal underwhelming …….. meaning it is perfect for beginners progressing to intermediate runs. The terrain parks at Courchevel are best described as ‘lame’. We suspect that is more a reflection of the predominant clientele than the resort personnel that make them.

Lift passes at Courchevel are terrific value for money, but a day here cost a bomb if you did not play your cards right. At Courchevel 1850, lunch with a drink could easily cost you as much as the entire day’s lift pass. Luckily, the village & eatery options at Courchevel are as diverse as the terrain. We found great affordable food & vibes in La Tania village, at le 1928 on Col de Loze, the Le Bouc Blanc in between the two, plus Le Pause Zen near Pralong & Le Pilatus toward the Altiport (where it is super cool watching planes take off from). Expensive, fine dining is everywhere, but service standards tend to decrease at some of the higher elevation ‘panoramic’ restaurants - which shall remain nameless. Lower down along the easy beginner runs leading to 1850 several fine dining stops are worthy of a visit, not the least of which is Le Chalet de Pierres. The Le Tremplin was heaving early (& most of the day) at 1850, but probably more due to its central location at the lift base than any exceptional dining, libation, or price rationale!

Deciding where to stay at Courchevel will be dictated by one’s budget. If able to afford it, having a chalet high up the mountain near Courchevel 1850 would be delightful. For anyone on a budget, of all the places to stay in Courchevel, Le Praz looks to be the most pleasant & authentic. Sure, it does not get as much sun as the higher villages, but who cares. A brand-new gondola to Courchevel 1850 and an express chair toward the Col de la Loze are only a short flat walk from the village. The nearby ski jump ramp is worth watching. Le Praz is also a paragliding landing spot from the Col de la Loze. The Col has some excellent off-piste terrain on both the Courchevel and Meribel sides plus the fabulous tree-lined piste trails (like Jockeys & Murettes) back down to the village are all but empty for most of the day. At a similar elevation to Le Praz, La Tania can be an alternative budget option at Courchevel. It benefits from a ski-in ski-out design & cheap eateries, but its numerous multi-story apartment blocks lack the ambiance of the narrow streets & lanes of Le Praz. For the super budget conscious, the town of Bozel in the valley has swift regular bus connections to the Courchevel ski lifts. It is a non-resort village, has a full range of services plus loads of bars & restaurants.

We think everyone with a skiing bone in their body should experience skiing the 3 Vallees & Courchevel at least once whilst still breathing & upright. In combination, it is unlike anything you will ever experience in the ski world. Save your pennies and check it out in January or some other off-peak time in December or March.

You can see our thoughts on the pros and cons on the Courchevel overview page and also see our European ski resort ratings regarding how we score it compared to other skiing areas.

The Best of the Best

jenny
23/09/2019
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    36-50
  • Month Visited:
    February
  • Admin Rating
    1

The Best of the Best

jenny
23/09/2019
The Best of the Best

Among the rich and famous (who don't ski but stay on the sunny terraces)

Dieter Mestdagt
04/10/2018
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Snowboarder
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    18-35
  • Month Visited:
    March
  • Admin Rating
    2

Among the rich and famous (who don't ski but stay on the sunny terraces)

Dieter Mestdagt
04/10/2018
Large Larger Largest - this is the 3 Vallees in France. Courchevel is one of those vallees and is made up by a few resorts that make up Courchevel. There is a lot of the 'jet-set' and there is even a airplane strip in the middle of the pistes!

Nightlife is good (but expensive). The pistes are wide and the infrastructure very good . The links to Meribel and the rest of the 3 Vallees is super easy. A lot of piste and off piste because of its size

See how the other half lives!

Bruce Sutherland
24/01/2014
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Snowboarder
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    36-50
  • Admin Rating
    3

See how the other half lives!

Bruce Sutherland
24/01/2014
Bit biased here - as this is one of our favourite resorts... it gets better snow than the other 3 valleys other than when you have to go to really high and then Val Thorens comes into play.

1800 is split with the posh bit just slightly uphill and off the slope -- but the "golden people" do come into town and they do wear those hideous ski clothes and hire UIAGM guides on a one to one basis for them and their wife and each child and ... some of them can ski!!

We on the other hand spent a month in 1550 in a small apartment eating in ....

Epic lift system and the key to the slack country off piste is to work out the blasting pattern.. when it dumps then only a few lifts open and then the art to freshies is to follow the pattern and after two or three runs move on. Clue -- Suisse is quite early and then you can go over the shoulder

There are some really quite surprisingly good proper off-piste -- buy the book or get a guide - the couloirs are wicked when in condition but remember this is France and they are more likely than not to be icy as heck not soft and fluffy and 40 degrees of steep ice may be more than you were expecting?

The size of the resort is huge -- and yes it is linked -- but don't miss the links and allow for lines. Their is no sympathy if you miss a lift.. Their friend is probably the taxi driver who will charge you $200 to take you round the mountain....

Enjoy!