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Skiing in Courchevel, France

19 March 2016

image from Skiing in Courchevel, France

Originally we had planned to return to Corvatsch for our February ski trip but by the time we got around to booking, the hotel we wanted was already completely sold out. With limited options and escalating prices we decided to try something a bit different a booked a chalet in Courchevel, France.

About Courchevel

Courchevel is located in the commune of Saint-Bon-Tarentaise in the French Alps. There are four villages that make up the resort of Courchevel. Originally they were all named by their altitude but the names were changed a few years ago which makes things a little more confusing. Courchevel 1850 is now simply Courchevel, 1650 is Courchevel Moriond, 1550 is Courchevel Village and 1300 is Courchevel Le Praz.

Getting there

We flew into Grenoble Airport and the bus transfer to Courchevel was around 2.5 - 3 hours. Alternatively, Geneva, Lyon and Chambery Airports are also close by. Once you arrive in Courchevel there is a free shuttle bus you can use to travel between the four villages.

Accommodation

We booked a package holiday through Skiworld, staying in a beautiful, newly opened chalet in Courchevel Village (formerly known as Courchevel 1550). The location couldn’t have been better for skiing - the Grangettes cable car is just a short walk/ski from the chalet and you can ski all the way back to the front door at the end of the day. There’s also an Intersport store a couple of doors down from the chalet so this was very handy for picking up ski hire.

We stayed in Room 5 on the second floor which featured a king size bed (can also be made up as twin beds depending on your preference), ensuite bathroom and balcony. L’Occitane shower gel and soap were provided in the bathroom, as well as bathrobes, slippers, towels and a hairdryer. There are no locks on the bedroom doors in the chalet but there was a safe in the room to store any valuables.

One of my favourite features of the chalet was the hot tub! There’s something oddly enjoyable about soaking in warm water while the snow falls down around you. It’s the perfect way to unwind after a long day on the slopes!

The skiing

Courchevel caters to all levels of skiing. There are plenty of gentle green and blue runs for novice skiers as well as challenging red and black runs for those with more experience.

Courchevel is part of the 3 Valleys lift system, which also includes the resorts of Meribel and Val Thorens. You choose to purchase a lift pass just for the Courchevel area or a 3 Valleys lift pass if you fancy checking out the other resorts.

Our holiday was in the middle of the peak ski season so the pistes did get quite crowded. We found that the best place to avoid the crowds were the pistes above Courchevel 1650 (Courchevel Moriond) at the eastern end of the resort.

Resort dining

There are some expensive restaurants in and above Courchevel 1850 and generally the higher up the mountain you go, the more you will pay. The two restaurants we tried in this area were Cave des Creux and Les Verdons. Les Verdons was slightly more causal than Cave des Creux but both did excellent food. Lunch and drinks cost around €30-40 per person at these restaurants.

Food was a bit cheaper over on the Courchevel Moriond side. We loved Le Bel Air restaurant and dined there twice during the week.

We ate out for dinner one night when our chalet staff had the day off. Our resort rep recommended a restaurant in Courchevel Village just down the road from our chalet called Le Caveau. We shared a raclette which was enormous but so delicious. It’s also a great place to go if you want to try fondue at a reasonable price.

Après ski

Courchevel doesn’t have a strong après ski scene. In Courchevel Village there’s only really one bar so you have to get the bus over to Moriond where you have a few more options. The Bubble bar and Rocky’s seemed to be the most popular with the Brits. If you’re looking for nightlife in the 3 Valleys, Meribel or Val Thorens would be better choices.

What’s your favourite ski resort? I’m already thinking about places to go next season so would love to hear some recommendations!

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