Courchevel Ski Resort

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Courchevel is the glamorous face of the 3 Valleys, where celebrities go to be seen and the Paris jet-set fly in on their private planes. But it's not all glitz and bling. There is also excellent skiing to suit all standards, and the lower Courchevel villages are actually quite affordable.

Courchevel has the most varied skiing in the 3 Valleys. It has superb off-piste, wonderful tree-lined runs, a good range of terrain for all levels, and a state-of-the-art lift system. Around 60% of Courchevel’s pistes are groomed every day and mosts are north-facing so excellent snow conditions are the norm throughout the season.

Given what is on offer in its own valley, it’s not surprising that many visitors to Courchevel rarely venture over the ridge to Meribel to explore the rest of the 3 Valleys. But that’s a pity, because there is no other connected ski area in the world that can match it for size. And whilst Courchevel might have something for everyone, the Three Valleys as a whole has a lot more.

There are six resort bases in the Courchevel valley. Courchevel 1850, now sometimes simply called ‘Courchevel’, carries the most allure, and has the quickest access to the best slopes and the rest of the 3 Valleys. It’s also the most expensive place to stay, eat and drink in. Although it’s a purpose-built, high-altitude resort, and no great beauty, it mostly escaped the architectural horrors inflicted on other ski resorts of its era. And somehow, it’s retained its veneer of Parisian chic, even though half its visitors come from abroad.

The lower, quieter, more family-friendly, Courchevel villages are more affordable. Courchevel-Moriond, formerly known as Courchevel 1650, has an attractive centre and is in a nice setting, but it can feel a bit out on a limb because its own uncrowded slopes are separated from the rest of the Courchevel by a ravine that can only be crossed in a few places. Courchevel-Village (Courchevel 1550) is the closest to Courchevel 1850 and is in its shadow, sometimes literally and always metaphorically; it has its own lifts but they only go to Courchevel 1850. The pretty old mountain village of Courchevel-Le Praz (Courchevel 1300) has its own identity and its own area of tree-lined runs which it shares with with La Tania, which is regarded by most people as a separate resort. Finally at the bottom of the valley is the village of Saint Bon at 1100m. If there is good snow cover, a solitary piste runs down to it, but there is no lift back up, so people who stay here commute to the other villages to ski.

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Courchevel Pros & Cons

+ A large local ski area with runs for all
+ North-facing, snow-sure slopes
+ Part of the world’s largest lift-linked ski area
+ Plenty of accommodation near lifts and pistes
+ Good tree cover, especially around Le Praz
+ A choice of villages fitting all budgets

– Courchevel 1850 is too expensive
– Le Praz is too low to have consistently good snow
– Courchevel 1550 feels like a dormitory suburb
– Courchevel 1650 is rather isolated

Courchevel Ski Area

Courchevel's ski area is a well-balanced mix of different terrain and runs with intriguing contours. Courchevel’s well-groomed pistes (150km) are especially good for beginners (59%) and intermediates (33%) and there’s plenty of good off-piste for experts.

Courchevel's ski area is a well-balanced mix of different terrain, clearly defined ski areas for different levels of ability and runs with intriguing contours both above and below the tree-line. The heart of the ski area is Courchevel 1850, which has a range of different gondolas and chairs heading south, east and west out of the resort base known as La Croisette. 

Saulire (2,738m), directly above Courchevel, is accessed by the Verdons gondola and then either the emblematic Saulire cable car or the 12-man Vizelle gondola. Between and around these two lift stations lies a playground for stronger intermediates and advanced skiers, giving access to a whole range of couloirs and steep reds and blacks. Off the back of here is also the primary way down into Meribel and the rest of the Three Valleys network.

There are several different ways to get from the centre of the resort to Col de la Loze (2,274m), which is on the right-hand side of the piste map. The Chenus bubble is quite slow so you are better either taking the higher Coqs chair or skiing down through the village to catch the Plantrey chair. This gives access to some excellent reds and a couple of black pistes that are amongst the best in the Three Valleys, all of which drop down 1,000 vertical metres through the trees to La Tania and Le Praz respectively. The Col is also a path which links round to Meribel above which stands the imposing cliffs of Rocher de la Loze (2,526m) where the extreme ski championships are held.

The other side of Courchevel 1850 can be subdivided into two areas. There is the Creux valley, overlooked by the towering Aiguille du Fruit (3,051m) which can be accessed from the top of the Vizelle and Saulire lifts along the lovely Creux red. Alternatively, hang skier's left and drop down the wonderful black of Suisses. On the opposite side of the valley is the Chanrossa chairlift with a couple of nice steep runs and good off-piste running adjacent to it. It is also an ideal way to drop off the back into the Courchevel 1650 ski area. The 1650 ski area is perfect for intermediates with lots of well-pitched fast reds through the trees. It is generally much quieter than the rest of Courchevel, but can be difficult to get back from if you're boarding as the returns are flat.

Courchevel Ski Lifts & Lift Passes

Courchevel is famous for many things including its generally excellent lift system forms part of the largest connected ski area in the world, Les Trois Vallees.

Although Courchevel's modern ski lift system is extremely efficient, several lifts, particularly the gondolas coming out of Courchevel 1850 get very busy in the early morning and just before afternoon ski lessons start. However, these gondolas can easily be avoided at peak times by riding surrounding chairlifts and not dropping fully down into Courchevel 1850 unless you plan to ski through and down.

Courchevel-Moriond (Courchevel 1650) has seen a large investment in its lift system over the last decade, and it now feels less isolated. The Arionadaz buble out of the resort was built for the 2017/18 season and noticeably speeds up access to the wider area. And the chairlift going up to Signal is a big improvement on the old draglift it replaced.

Courchevel Ski Lift pass information

The big choice is between a Courchevel Valley Only pass and a 3 Vallees pass. The former tend to be about 75% of the price of the latter but it only have about a quarter of the skiing. So for keen intermediates and above who are staying for 6 days or more, we recommend the full 3 Valleys lift pass. It is expensive but it does cover the biggest lift-linked ski area in the world.

Less confident intermediates, occasional skiers and weekenders should consider the Courchevel-only pass. If necessary you can buy a 3 Valleys one day extension.

Beginners should be aware that there are free nursery slopes in all the villages, so they won't need any pass for their first few days. There can also be special beginner passes for the next step.

There are discounts for children, seniors, groups and families.

In the past there have also been passes covering Courchevel and Meribel, and one covering just Courchevel 1650. 

For full prices and details and online purchases, please see www.courchevel.com/winter/en/ski-passes

 

Courchevel Beginner Skiing

Courchevel’s ski area includes plenty of easy green and blue runs and the resort has worked hard to improve facilities for beginners of all ages and to ensure that the resort’s mostly wealthy clientele can access the mountain restaurants as easily as possible regardless of ability.

Beginner Skiing in Courchevel

Courchevel's ski area now includes four beginner areas, known as "Evolution Zones," and another beginners' area in La Tania. Best for beginners is the area next to the altiport at Pralong, near Courchevel 1850. Beginner-friendly improvements include lifts and rope tows specially designed for beginners, but novices may find it difficult or intimidating to ski back to Courchevel 1850 as the runs home can be a bit daunting with faster ski traffic coming through. 

Complete beginners would be better off starting at the Evolution Zone sandwiched between the Biollay and Jardin Alpin ski lifts, which provide the best access to a good network of green runs. The green runs here also link to the main runs leading back to Courchevel 1850 so here too after a good day in the beginner zone beginners have to ski back on busy runs with better skiers, which may affect their confidence. 

There's another good network of nursery slopes above Courchevel 1650, which is accessed by riding the Mickey chairlift. Then, when ready to progress, beginners can ride the Ariondaz lift to the top of the wonderfully long Praline green run. This is one of the best greens in the Alps and links up with the Belvedere green run down to Courchevel 1650. Also in the same sector, the Indiens blue run is very gentle run that winds beautifully through the trees.

Both La Praz and La Tania have Evolution Zones, accessed by the Envolee and Troika lifts, but they are small and snow conditions here are not as good as some other beginner zones. 

All lifts to Evolution Zones are free, apart from to the one at the altiport.

Ski Schools & Ski Lessons in Courchevel

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Courchevel Intermediate Skiing

Courchevel’s ski area is great for intermediates with plenty of well-groomed, well-linked pistes including wide open blue and red runs for crusiing and some excellent tree-lined pistes, which aid visibility in bad weather.

Intermediate skiers love Courchevel's ski area which has an interesting mix of terrain including tree-lined and high-altitude skiing, all of which is extremely well-linked. The resort also has a good snow record and lots of nice mountain restaurants. 

The central run of Combe Saulire is marvellous when not busy and well worth skiing first thing in the morning before the crowds have chance to trash the snow up and block your route - think empty motorway and get there early! 

Likewise, the red runs off the Creux Noirs and Marmottes chairlifts are spectacular, especially the Creux red run, which takes you all the way down through different cambers and pitches to the base of the Aiguille Du Fruit chair and the link to the Roc Merlet sector. There, the high blue runs accessed by the Pyramide double drag are excellent for improving your turns and are often uncrowded.

The reds of Courchevel 1650, particularly Chapelets, Rochers and Bel Air may be slightly short but are wonderful runs through trees and are blessed by far less crowds. It can often be difficult to get back, particularly for snowboarders, as the Gravelles and Pralong blues are essentially flat for much of the way or you have to take the Aiguille Du Fruit chair and then the Suisses chair if you want to avoid the Altiport blue, which is also flat in places. 

On the other side of the valley Dou du Midi is another stellar red, which is very long and perfect for the return home to Courchevel 1550. The Bouc Blanc red off the Cretes chairlift is a great run down towards the reds leading to La Tania, whose rolling humps through the trees almost lead you to believe that you could be a downhill skier.

Early intermediate skiers and boarders will enjoy the fine blue runs from the Loze/Chenus sector back towards Courchevel 1850 and Folyeres is a pretty blue alternative down towards La Tania.

Courchevel Advanced & Off-Piste Skiing

Courchevel has some excellent black runs including steep mogul runs, a couloir reputed to be among the most difficult black runs in the world and plenty of good off-piste.

The steep slopes in the centre of Courchevel's ski area are excellent for strong skiers. There is a huge range of couloirs at the top of Courchevel, particularly off Saulire. The Grande Couloir is a wonderful pisted introduction to couloir skiing (though by no means gentle) and you can increase the difficulty by hiring a guide to show you the many other couloirs descents to Courchevel. 

Many of the runs off the shoulder of Vizelle have an excellent pitch, particularly the black of Combe Pylones and the M black, which is rarely visited. The first 150 metres of Suisses often has some of the steepest and biggest bumps you will see anywhere. The Chanrossa black off the Chanrossa chairlift is similarly testing. 

If the snow cover is good, however, two of the best black runs, perhaps in the whole of the Three Valleys, are from the top of Col de la Loze to Le Praz. Both Jockeys and Jean Blanc black runs wind tightly down through the trees. Jean Blanc was the old World Cup downhill piste when the World Cup tour went to Courchevel. 

Both Jockeys and Jean Blanc usually develop moguls in certain sections and Jockeys in particular features fantastic natural rollers. If you start at the top of the Dou Des Lanches black run from Col de La Loze on the border of Meribel and link up with Jockeys at the base of the Praz Juget lift and the top of the La Tania gondola you can ski nearly 1,000m of vertical black down to La Praz.

Off Piste Skiing in Courchevel

Courchevel has some excellent off-piste skiing including steep couloirs and powder bowls. You will need to be quick off the mark as the local powder hounds track out the best of it within hours of a decent dump, but the local mountain guides can find fresh powder long after the last snowfall.

There is plenty of off-piste skiing in Courchevel and the Saulire couloirs and bowl are an absolute must in good conditions. There's also good off-piste terrain under the Dou des Lanches chair beneath Col de la Loze. Extreme skiers can also hike up to the championship area higher up. 

There are some wide steep slopes either side of the Chanrossa chairlift, but take care here and in the area between Vizelle and Suisses, as the slopes here are avalanche-prone. Some of the best slopes can be reached by skiing from the Chanrossa chair towards the Aguille du Fruit. You can rejoin the Chanrossa black run, which is hard work when covered with moguls, from virtually any point. The off-piste here is a lot more accessible than anything off the Roc Merlet piste on the other side, but there too you can find some testing off-piste. 

The nearby Vallee Des Avals is quite wild and variable including some seriously flat sections and others that are 40 degrees steep and prone to avalanche. There are two good refuges there, both equipped with radio, and if you have ski touring equipment (and a guide) you can skin all the way up past the Chalet Biol 1823 to the top of the Petit Mont Blanc (2,677m) for a fantastic day's touring. 

Go to Courchevel 1650 early after fresh snow and there are lots of nice routes down through the trees and under the lifts. There is also some excellent off-piste skiing from the top of the Creux Noirs chair (2,705m), particularly if you are prepared for a short walk which brings you to a large, secluded bowl. 

Looking right from Saulire to La Croix des Verdons, there's a whole flank of couloirs and cliffs that can all be skied. Starting with the steep gun barrel directly underneath the cable car, there are two other routes before you come to the Grande Couloir. These are accessed along a narrow ridge, where you can also drop off down another couloir into Meribel, and which does not involve any walking. If you can resist the temptation to point your skis downhill, there are several more couloirs that get a lot less traffic further along to the right. 

All of the couloirs are steep with varying widths at the top through the rocks and then open out into the wide flank of steep off-piste leading down to the piste of Combe Saulire. Stay high and continue working your way across the flank, however, and you can tuck in behind a large rocky outcrop to reach a huge bowl of powder, directly above the Lac Bleu chair and visible on the piste map.

When skiing off-piste you should be properly equipped with an avalanche beacon and probes and hire a qualified mountain guide to lead you to the best snow conditions in safety. A good guide will likely help you improve your technique off-piste, unlike your best mates whose powder turns are probably no better than yours and who will not be as helpful to you in an emergency.

Courchevel Snowboarding

Courchevel has plenty to offer boarders and the new school generation of freestyle skiers including three terrain parks, the best of which is the Plantrey Snow Park which includes a half-pipe for intermediates riders and above.

Boarders are well served in Courchevel with three freeride areas for boarders and freestylers, the best of which is the Plantrey Snow Park next to the Dou de Midi piste in the Loze sector. This is the only terrain park with a half-pipe, but it's only open to riders of intermediate level or above. The other two terrain parks above Courchevel 1850 are open to all abilities and include a good mix of jumps.

All the way down the Combe Saulire there are natural pipes, rollers and things to play with, particularly just before the start of the Saulire gondola. Underneath Vizelle is fun, too. Runs to avoid are the Gravelles, Pralong and Indiens blues, which have large flat sections. At the other end of the scale, the blacks of Suisses and Chanrossa often have moguls as does the Marmottes red.

The piste map highlights the more difficult drag lifts, but other than these the draglifts present few problems for most riders.

Courchevel Mountain Restaurants

Courchevel offers an abundance of lunchtime options with over 50 restaurants to choose from, but it’s advisable to check prices carefully before making yourself too comfy as restaurant prices in some of Courchevel’s restaurants, both on and off the mountain, are shockingly expensive.

Courchevel has 16 "mountain restaurants" and as many as 50 restaurants that you can easily ski to for a delicious lunch. Many are also open in the evening, which raises the possibility of a cheeky ski descent after dinner.

L'Altibar, Courchevel

As its name suggests, L'Altibar is an on mountain bar situated at the top of the altiport and next to the Pralong blue run. A convenient meeting point for mixed ability groups, L'Altibar is also a residential chalet, with rooms, apartments and a traditional restaurant, Le Pilatus. On Friday nights Le Pilatus menu includes fondues, raclettes, Pierre chaud and tartiflette on reservation. The cheeky ones among you will ski back down to Courchevel 1850. Le Pilatus is open for dinner and offers traditional Savoyard specialities. Tel: +33 4 79 08 20 49

Bel Air, Courchevel

Bel Air is a great mountain restaurant with a south-facing three-tiered terrace and lovely views over the Courchevel valley. It does a tremendous lunch at prices which are acceptable by Courchevel standards including reasonably priced wine, but if you can't afford the prices, there is a baguette and snack bar underneath with deck chairs that offer similarly wondrous views. Nearby there is also a picnic area with tables and benches for those who don't want to spend any money at all. A good place for any skier, whatever budget, and easily reached from the Ariondaz chair above Courchevel 1650. Tel: +33 4 79 08 00 93

La Bergerie, Courchevel

La Bergerie is an old, rustic, restaurant near the Bellcote lift. Close to Courchevel 1850 and open for lunch, until late afternoon, it's also open for dinner in the evenings until about midnight, and offers free transport to and from the resort. La Bergerie is one of the best for traditional Savoyard dishes but also features seafood including scallops. Tel: +33 4 79 08 24 70

Courcheneige, Courchevel

The Courchineige is open for lunch and dinner and has a fine sun terrace, but you pay for it. The price of a beer here is extortionate, i.e. we're talking more than 10 Euros. You get what you pay for, though, and the food is generally good and they often have a jazz band playing to liven up the proceedings. If money is an issue, you would be better going somewhere cheaper and blowing out later in the week at one of Courchevel's many top restaurants. Tel +33 4 79 08 02 59

La Casserole, Courchevel

La Casserole is close to Bel Air, and sits at the takeoff to the Signal chair. It serves traditional Savoyard food but has been the subject of poor reports lately. Often very busy and the level of service is reflective of this. Tel: +33 4 79 08 06 35

Le Cap Horn, Courchevel

Le Cap Horn is the other restaurant located at the altiport, alongside L'Alitbar at 2,100m. This is a serious place to eat and has a wine list to match. Think caviar or scallops to start, fruit de mer for those who must have a fish course and then onto grilled Camargue beef. They also offer an extensive selection of Japanese sushi. A hefty lunch would involve a triple-figure bill per head, but is certainly worth the price tag if you can afford it. The restaurant also has membership and offers VIP dining rooms, known as the Yacht Club, which has a nautical theme on account of the owner's summers spent in St Tropez. Bizarre, yet fun, Le Cap Horn opened a snack bar and pizza oven a few seasons ago for those who want to simply enjoy the vast sun terrace at a far more manageable price. Also open for dinner. Tel: +33 4 79 08 33 10

Le Chalet des Pierres, Courchevel

Vies with Le Cap Horn for the Russian purse, but remains fiercely rooted in its Savoyard heritage. The restaurant specialises in grilled meats, which are sensational, but with a roasted beef fillet at around €60 and a tartiflette nudging €40 you know what sort of place this is. Often has DJs playing live and is open for dinner for the lucky few that can afford it. Tel: +33 4 79 08 18 61

Les Chenus, Courchevel

Les Chenus is perfect choice for a late lunch if you are coming from or going to Meribel. It is located by the painfully slow Chenus chair that goes back to Meribel. The terrace offers sumptuous views and good cheap food, including a fine French onion soup. The menu features a good selection of traditional Savoyard dishes or lighter meals including salads. Les Chenus vies with the Roc Tania at the top of Col de La Loze. Also opens for dinner. Tel: +33 79 08 06 84

Le Panoramic, Courchevel

Le Panoramic is located at the top of the Saulire gondola. The views of Courchevel are stunning and the food, inexpensive by Courchevel standards, is excellent. Lamb knuckle, fillet of bream in ginger or fillet of beef with morels is the general tone, although if you want to watch your money, the soup, served in an enormous hollowed out piece of rustic bread fills up anyone. Tel: +33 4 79 08 00 88

La Pomme du Pin, Courchevel

La Pomme du Pin is a hotel with a Michelin one-star restaurant. It has a sun terrace, but for serious dining go to the sixth floor hotel restaurant. Surely, one of the more eclectic menus accessible from the piste, La Pomme du Pin's menu features flan of sea urchins' tongue with shellfish emulsion followed by veal sweetbreads, but the one thing that La Pomme du Pin has over its rivals, is the choice of dessert. Their dessert chef reached the finals of 2010 French dessert championship and conjurs up a fantastic selection of to die for puddings. Also open for dinner. Tel: +33 4 79 08 36 88

Le Roc Tania, Courchevel

For those linking up with Meribel, the Roc Tania at the top of Col du La Loze chairlift has a sensational view of the valley below, a good terrace that gets the sun all day and proper dining including meat and fish plates as well as the ubiquitous giant salad. Tel: +33 4 79 08 32 34

La Soucoupe, Courchevel

La Soucoupe in the Loze sector is one of the more expensive restaurants in Courchevel. With so much competition, the service really should be better. It is sometimes painfully slow, but that's partly because of its extreme popularity as a lunch spot. A rustic setting, with superb views, La Soucoupe serves good seafood dishes including oysters, but meat eaters are also very well catered for with most of it grilled on traditional wood-burners in front of you. It's a decent place, but for the money there are better restaurants elsewhere in the valley. Tel: +33 4 79 08 21 34

La Table du Lana, Courchevel

La Table du Lana is a 5-star hotel with a Michelin 2-star restaurant open for lunch and dinner. The restaurant interior is modern rather than the rustic and there's a wide sun terrace which overlooks forest. Tel: +33 4 79 08 01 10


If you are skiing in the La Tania area then Le Bouc Blanc is a good choice and has a large sun terrace. The legendary Bistro du Praz at Courchevel 1300 has changed hands since its heyday, but still has a very good reputation. It's open for lunch and dinner and there are still 12 different foie gras to choose from.

Courchevel Villages

In the Courchevel Valley, prices tend to rise as you go further up the mountain. Courchevel-le Praz (1300m) is cheap, Courchevel Village (1550m) and Courchevel-Moriond (1650m) are middling, whilst Courchevel 1850 can be very expensive.

The former names of the Courchevel villages were supposed to denote their altitude but there was quite a lot of exaggeration built in: most of Courchevel 1850 is actually closer to 1,750 metres above sea level, and rumour has it that the name was only inflated by a further 100m at the last minute so it could claim "equal" status with Val d'Isere.

No matter where you stay, there's a free bus service running between all four Courchevel villages which ensures access to all of Courchevel's bars, restaurants, après-ski, shops and other activities.

Courchevel's various villages

Courchevel (Courchevel 1850)

Courchevel 1850 is the heartbeat of the resort and home to some of the best and most famous luxury hotels in the Alps. These include two six-star palace category hotels, 11 five-star hotels and 15 four-star hotels, of which nine are four-star deluxe, the French equivalent of five star. Known to be fiercely expensive and the winter playground of Russian oligarchs, prices have been driven sky-high by the stratospherically high price of property which appeals to yet more rich and famous clientele resulting in Courchevel 1850 being listed as the sixth most expensive place in the world. There are more Michelin starred restaurants in Courchevel 1850 than in any other ski resort in the world and prices will leave ordinary folk gasping.

Courchevel 1650 (Courchevel-Moriond)

For most of the year a quiet mountain village, Moriond comes to life in the winter and from mid December until the end of April is better known as the chic alpine resort of Courchevel 1650, but quieter and prettier than glitzy neighbour Courchevel 1850. Located at the far side of the Three Valleys slightly off the beaten track, Courchevel 1650 has plenty of hotels, bars, restaurants and a friendly atmosphere. Shops in resort include supermarkets and a weekly market which is handy if you are self catering. Courchevel 1650 has its own ski area, linked to main ski area, and both the ESF and New Generation ski schools have offices in the centre of the village. Courchevel 1850 is just 5 minutes higher up the mountain.

Courchevel 1550 (Courchevel-Village)

Courchevel 1550 is much quieter than neighbouring 1850 and 1650 with just a few bars to choose from but offers cheaper accommodation including ski-in, ski-out accommodation in Briques. Popular with families, Courchevel village is not as attractive as it's more celebrated neighbours, but offers good access to Les Trois Vallees and the opportunity to enjoy a Courchevel sking holiday at reasonable prices, comparatively speaking. Courchevel 1550 has two lifts connecting to 1850.

Courchevel 1300 (Courchevel-Le Praz)

Le Praz is a reasonably charming old village with a few bars and shops whose main claim to fame is the Olympic ski jump from the Albertville 1992 Olympics, which dominates the village landscape. The lowest of four Courchevel villages, Le Praz is a traditional village which remains unspoiled and like Courchevel 1550 is popular with families and groups with young children. Access to the main ski area is easy by riding either of two gondolas which connect to Courchevel 1850 or to the Col de la Loze area for Meribel, and with snow cannons covering slopes from 1850 down to 1350 it's easy to ski back down from Courchevel 1850 to Le Praz.

La Tania

Although it's in the Courchevel valley (only just - the Meribel valley is around the corner), La Tania is usaully considered a separate resort, and so we have created a separate Ultimate-ski guide to La Tania. 

Click here to check latest prices and availability in a wide range of accommodation, from luxury hotels to self-catering apartments, in all the Courchevel villages >>>

Courchevel Tourism

Web: www.courchevel.com

Courchevel Bars & Restaurants

Courchevel 1850 is the place to be for nightlife, but in some of the most fashionable places you need to reserve a table before you go and at peak periods, including Russian Orthodox Christmas 7 January to Russian Old New Year 13 January, there’s plenty of competition for tables.

Courchevel Apres Ski Bars

Courchevel understands apres-ski in a way that nearby Meribel, with its heavy reliance on chalets and dinners at a set time, does not. Once the ski lifts stop churning, there are plenty of bars that kick-start the evening's entertainment.

In Courchevel 1850 the liveliest bars to go are Le Tremplin, in the Place du Tremplin, or Le Milk Pub in the Place du Forum, both of which are affordable. If you want somewhere that will stay open until dawn, Bar Le Jump near La Croisette is a good destination. Kudeta, which is part of the famed Le Kalico nightclub, gets things going with live music from 4pm and is a legendary haunt for both holidaymakers and seasonnaires. Le Kalico fills up later in the evening with a mostly beer-drinking crowd and stays open for live music, cocktails and raucous partying until the early hours of the morning. 

Others apres ski venues of note are the Purple Cafe on the Rue des Tovets which offers cocktails as well as S'no Limit and Bar Le Schuss, which is one of the newer arrivals on Courchevel's bar scene. Piggy's Pub is a very cosy bar, the sort of place you may want to light a big cigar and seems far removed from the Alps.

Courchevel 1650 is much smaller and quieter than 1850, but includes a good selection of bars and restaurants, which are pleasingly cheaper than their 1850 equivalents. Popular bars in Courchevel 1650 include Rocky's Bar, the Signal Bar, the Bubble Bar and, for late night festivities, the Space Bar and the By Night Tavern, which stays open until 4am. 

Further down the mountain in Courchevel 1550 the Chanrossa is an Anglicised bar, which serves Guinness and has an appealing happy hour until 6pm to help draw the the best apres-ski crowd and regularly has live bands.

Courchevel Restaurants 

Courchevel has more Michelin starred restaurants than any other ski resort and is renowned for its fine dining. A total of 7 restaurants share 11 Michelin stars, including three restaurants which have been awarded two Michelin stars.

There are three restaurants in Courchevel that boast two Michelin stars, Le Chabichou, La Bateau Ivre and Pierre Gagnaire pour Les Airelles. Each has considerable merits, but of the trio it is the exquisite service at Les Airelles that tips the balance. The chef, Pierre Gagnaire, had three Michelin stars when he worked in Rue Balzac in Paris, so from that point of view, the food could be seen as value for money, too. 

Le Strato, L'Azimut in Le Praz, Le Bateau Ivre in the Hotel Pomme de Pin and the restaurant in the Hotel Kilimandjaro all have one Michelin star, while Il Vino offers something a little different. Set up by Enrico Bernardo, who held the title of best sommelier in the world in 2004 at the age of 27, you choose your wine from an extensive menu. Then, the chef does the rest and tailors the food to complement your wine.

More reasonably priced gastronomic restaurants are the Saulire, which is a favourite, and the Genepi. La Cendree serves stylish Italian cuisine and for those who just want to get away from French cuisine for a night Aux 3 Bo, in Porte Courchevel, has a decent Japanese restaurant downstairs but is not cheap. 

Further down the price ladder the La Mangeoire is popular and both the Cafe de la Poste and Le Passage are reliable cheaper options. Some of the best raclette and fondue in Courchevel can be eaten at the appropriately named La Fromagerie, while Kalico does the best junk food for cost-conscious diners and those who flock there for apres-ski from 4pm and beyond. 

In Courchevel 1650 the Petit Savoyard is a good option and La Boite a Crepes serves pizza and pancakes until 11pm. Le Bistot in La Praz (Courchevel 1300) is famed for its traditional French cuisine and extensive wine list. Around the corner the Ferme de la Tania serves excellent traditional mountain food in La Tania.

The choice of restaurants for dinner extends beyond Courchevels' villages as many mountain restaurants are also open in the evenings and then generally less crowded. Skiing back down to Courchevel after dinner is also an option.

Le Chabichou

Quartier des Chenus
73120 Courchevel 1850
Tel: +33 4 79 08 00 55

La Bateau Ivre

Les Chenus
73120 Courchevel 1850
Tel: +33 4 79 00 11 71

Pierre Gagnaire pour Les Airelles

Le Jardin Alpin
73120 Courchevel 1850
Tel: +33 4 79 00 38 38

Le Strato

Route de Bellecote
73120 Courchevel 1850
Tel: +33 4 79 41 51 60

L'Azimut

Immeuble l'Or Blanc, 
Le Praz 73120 Courchevel 
Tel: +33 4 79 06 25 90

Hotel Kilimandjaro

Route de l'Altiport
73120 Courchevel 1850
Tel: +33 4 79 01 46 46

Il Vino

La Porte de Courchevel
73120 Courchevel 1850
Tel: +33 4 79 08 29 62

La Saulire

Place du Rocher
73120 Courchevel 1850
Tel: +33 4 79 08 07 52

Le Genepi

Rue Park City
73120 Courchevel 1850
Tel: +33 4 79 08 08 63

Aux 3 Bo

La Porte de Courchevel
73120 Courchevel 1850
Tel: +33 79 08 29 62

La Cendree

Le Maroly
73120 Courchevel 1850
Tel: +33 4 79 08 29 38

La Mangeoire

Rue Park City
73120 Courchevel 1850
Tel: +33 4 79 08 02 09

Cafe de La Poste

Place du Forum
73120 Courchevel 1850
Tel: +33 4 79 00 42 75

Le Forum

Place du Forum
73120 Courchevel 1850
Tel: +33 4 79 08 20 42

La Fromagerie

La Porte de Courchevel
73120 Courchevel 1850
Tel: +33 79 08 27 47

Other Activities in Courchevel

There are plenty of non-skiing activities in Courchevel and provided your wallet and credit cards are fully loaded you can have a great time off the slopes including sightseeing flights, hot air ballooning, ice-driving, skidooing and horse drawn sleigh rides, then shop until you drop.

Courchevel likes to market itself as "the place where dreams come true" and Tourist Office literature lists as many as 38 other activities as well as downhill skiing. While Courchevel is undoubtedly one of the best ski resorts in the Alps, but to meet the needs of its high end clientele it necessarily focuses on luxury and, therefore, is mostly very expensive. If you have to ask the price of anything or care much about the cost of living, then you may struggle to have a good time when not enjoying the skiing. 

For instance, Courchevel boasts 39 hotel spas, 27 of which are accessible to non-residents if they can afford it, but a day of blissful relaxation does not come cheap. Courchevel has its own altiport, which is handy for the rich and famous as well as for those keen on short sightseeing flights or for tandem skydives. Paragliding and hot air ballooning are other ways to get an aerial view, but none of these aerial entertainments are inexpensive. There's a good climbing wall, an ice-driving circuit with cars and snowmobiles and several English language cinemas. Dog-sledding, skidooing, horse-drawn sleigh rides and snow-shoe walking are also available.

A more relaxing non-ski activity is shopping and the nature of the resort means there are plenty of high-end shops to browse at your leisure. If you an emergency means being without Fendi, Gucci and Givenchy, or just like window shopping, you're in good company as there numerous designer boutiques selling top fashion brands including Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Valentino, Prada, Zilli and Chanel to name just a few. Courchevel is not just for fashion, however, and all the best mountaineering and ski shops also have a presence in the resort.

Other Activities Courchevel
Aero-club des Trois Vallees
Tel: +33 4 79 00 20 64 
Email:  contact@aeroclub3vallees.com
Web: www.aeroclub3vallees.com

Aero-club du Dauphine
Tel: +33 4 79 08 31 23
Email:  aeroclub.courchevel@wanadoo.fr
Web: www.aeroclub-courchevel.com
Parapenting
Tel: +33 6 63 54 33 14 
Web: www.paraglide-alps.com
Email:  craig@paraglide-alps.com

Bowling de Courchevel
Open from 12pm to 2am
Le Forum
Tel: +33 4 79 08 23 83

Cinema
Le Tremplin
Tel: +33 4 79 08 38 69 
Web: www.megarama.fr/tremplin

Climbing
Bureau des Guides Courchevel
Tel: +33 4 79 01 03 66 
Email:  guides.courchevel@wanadoo.fr
Web: www.guides-courchevel.com
Ice driving
Tel: +33 4 79 08 39 60 
Email:  chardonloisirs@gmail.com
Web: www.chardonloisirs.com

Hot air balloon flights

Tel: +33 6 83 97 53 26 
Email:  skivol@wanadoo.fr
Web: www.skivol.com

Ice skating
Le Forum
Tel: +33 4 79 08 33 23 
Email:  patinoire@mairie-courchevel.com

Courchevel Tourism

Le Coeur de Courchevel
BP 37, 73122 Courchevel
Tel: +33 (0) 479 08 00 29
Web: www.courchevel.com

Courchevel Rating
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