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Courchevel

Courchevel Ski Resort Guide

Courchevel, France

Rated: 4/5 (from 6 ratings)

Ski Area Highlights
Recommended ForExpert Skiers, Intermediates, Beginners, Snowboarders and Apres-Ski!
Total Piste Length150km
Highest Lift2,740m
Resort Height1,300m
 Nearest AirportsChambery and Grenoble
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Courchevel

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.

Summary

The French ski resort of Courchevel is in the French Alps at an altitude of 1,300m, with 150km of marked runs.

Courchevel is part of the Three Valleys ski area with access to 600km of downhill skiing, with 497 marked pistes, served by a total of 180 ski lifts. In addition to the skiing in Courchevel itself (150km 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.

Snow and Weather

When will it snow in Courchevel?

The next notable snow forecast is 17cm, expected on 3 October, with around 55cm forecast over the next 7 days.

See our long-range Snow Forecast for the latest update, or   Join our Snow Mail Here

Snow this week

Snow Forecast by day for Courchevel
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
Snow
to
1,669m
Snow
to
1,508m
Snow
to
1,612m
Snow
to
1,691m

Ski Area Stats

Courchevel Ski Area

Piste and Lift Stats
Black Pistes
Expert Trails
10
Red Pistes
Intermediate Runs
42
Blue Pistes
Easy Trails
40
Green Pistes
Beginner Runs
27
Downhill
Total Length
150km
Cross Country
Total Length
66km
Ski Lifts
Number of Lifts
67

The Three Valleys Ski Area

Piste and Lift Stats
Black Pistes
Expert Trails
49
Red Pistes
Intermediate Runs
175
Blue Pistes
Easy Trails
207
Green Pistes
Beginner Runs
66
Downhill
Total Length
600km
Cross Country
Total Length
130km
Ski Lifts
Number of Lifts
180

Altitudes

Courchevel Ski Area Heights

Lift Heights and Resort Altitude
Highest Lift2,740m
Lowest Piste1,300m
Resort Altitude (Courchevel)1,300m
Max Vertical1,440m

Ratings & Suitability

Ratings for Courchevel
Expert Skiers
Intermediate Skiers
Beginners
Snowboarding
Snow
Apres-Ski

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.

 Notable Ski Runs

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

Skiing

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

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.

Location and Map

Where is Courchevel?

This ski resort is in the French Alps in The Three Valleys, Savoie.

Map

Tap Show Map in Full Screen for Full-Screen, or see J2Ski's Resort map, showing Hotels and Ski Shops.

How to get there

 By Air

The nearest airport to Courchevel is Chambery, 70 minutes drive away.

Grenoble, Annecy, Lyon St-Exupéry, Geneva, Lyon Bron, Saint-Étienne and Sion airports are all within three hours drive.

Infrastructure

Ski Lift Capacity

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

Snow Making

Snow-making is available, on 21km of ski runs, with 617 snow cannons.

Season Dates

When is Courchevel open?

 Open from : 5 December 2020.

 Closes : 22 April 2021.

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

NOTE:- Ski area, lift and piste opening is subject to Current Snow Conditions.

Piste Map

Courchevel Piste Map
Courchevel

COVID-19 / Coronavirus

We don't yet have specific details of the COVID-19 precautions being taken in Courchevel, but they are likely to include most of the following :-

  • Face masks required on lifts, and in shops.
  • Social distancing in public areas.
  • Reduced lift capacity.
  • Extensive disinfection / sanitization.

French Ski Resort COVID-19 Measures describes further measures that may also be applied.

Visit the Courchevel Tourist Office for the latest.

Talking about Courchevel

Mentions in recent J2Ski News Items and Snow Reports from our users...

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.

Courchevel