Courchevel is a glamorous resort in the Three Valleys ski area, which includes Val Thorens and Meribel. With 600 kilometres of ski runs and covering an area of 105 square kilometres, it is the largest ski area in the world.
Courchevel is comprised of four settlements: Courchevel 1850 has the best skiing, shopping and nightlife; Courchevel 1650 is more traditional, and more reasonably priced; Courchevel 1550 is quieter with a mixture of accommodation; and lastly, Courchevel 1300 is an authentic Alpine village full of character.
Resort Altitude: 1,300m
Resort Skiing: 3,000m
Total Ski Area: 600km
Green Runs: 96km
Blue Runs: 240km
Red Runs: 204km
Black Runs: 60km
Cross Country: 120km
Les Trois Vallées is one of the largest ski areas in the world, with its three largest resorts being Val Thorens, Courchevel and Meribel. Les Trois Vallées consists of 600km of skiable area with a good mix of runs for every level of skier. The height you can ski at in this area, over 3,000m in Val Thorens, means that you can be certain of good snow cover all season long.
Both Courchevel 1850 and 1650 have a good selection of beginner and nursery slopes around Pralong. Intermediates will find a variety of long cruisey blues in the Pyramides and Grand Bosses areas, as well as some challenging reds.
There are a number of black runs for more advanced skiers, such as the three Saulire couloirs. Freeride skiers will likely want to head over to 1650 or Val Thorens for the best off-piste powder areas.
Snowboarders will find some wide cruisey runs in Courchevel, however it is a popular area so expect quite a bit of traffic. The Trois Vallées offers plenty of choice for freeriders. Head to 1650 for steep cliff drops and powder bowls, or up to Val Thorens for the freshest powder. There is also a freestyle park under the Plantrey chair with good kickers and two half-pipes.
There is an increasing amount of choice beyond the traditional French ESF ski school option. New Generation and Oxygène offer fantastic English-speaking instructors that offer both private and group lessons for all ages and abilities.
In 1850, ESF runs the Village des Enfants which takes children from 18 months to 12 years, with ski instruction commencing at 3 years. Many of the chalet operators offer childcare in 1850, 1650 and 1300, incorporating English-speaking ski school lessons. There is also Kids Club Mini Sivo in Courchevel 1850 who will look after younger children.
Renowned for its sumptuous hotels and fine dining, Courchevel has the most Michelin-starred restaurants in the Alps. Le 1947 at Cheval Blanc has three Michelin stars, the innovative plates are crafted each season and are executed with finesse. The Chabichou, Le Kintessence and Le Montgomerie are all two Michelin-starred restaurants that offer French haute-cuisine and some of the country's finest wines.
Alternatively, La Cabane des Bûcherons serves traditional Savoyard cuisine in a cosy mountain refuge. After your meal, head home by toboggan down a floodlit forest run.
In the early afternoon, ski straight to Méribel's Folie Douce for a lively après session of champagne showers and dancing on tables.
In Courchevel 1850 Le Tremplin is a popular meeting place, if you're heading back to 1650, then the Funky Fox offers a relaxed atmosphere and screens live sports. La Mangeoire is best for a sophisticated drink, while those looking to dance the night away should try the La Grange in 1850, which is open until 5am.
Most of the hotels in 1850 have large sun terraces, making it is easy to meet up with skiers for a coffee break or lunch. A few of the best mountain restaurants are also accessible to non-skiers. The majority of the top-end hotels offer swimming pools, spas and fitness centres. Courchevel 1850 also has a selection of chic boutiques, perfect for browsing on a whiteout.