Infamous stomping ground of the rich and famous, in the midst of the 3 Valleys.

Courchevel Ski Holidays

Courchevel is made up of 4 villages from 1330m to 1850m, and is known as the infamous, super luxurious and ultra expensive stomping ground of the rich, glamorous and famous.

That's perhaps a misleading reputation – there's plenty of reasonably priced accommodation in the lower villages, and some truly excellent ski terrain on surprisingly uncrowded slopes. You can use your spare time to celeb spot.

Huge ski area
Luxury chalets
Celeb spotting

Chambery, 2h. Geneva and Lyon, 3h.

150km of pistes. 600 km in 3 Valleys.

Ski from 1100m – 3230m.

Courchevel Ski Chalets

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Guide to Courchevel Ski Holidays

Courchevel (AKA St Tropez on snow) is the infamous, super luxurious and ultra expensive stomping ground of the rich, glamorous and famous. You're as likely to bump into the Beckhams, the odd Duke and Duchess and a Russian oligarch or ten, as you are your ski instructor during apres.

That's not the whole story however. A ski holiday in Courchevel can be reasonably priced, and there is some excellent ski terrain to be had. You can use your spare time to celeb spot.

You'll find the largest branch of the ESF in Europe and loads of beginner terrain.

Great connections between resorts and lots of long, wide, progression runs

There's a fair amount of off-piste and challenging on-piste to keep you entertained for a week.

You'd imagine that with all this glamor, snowboarding might have been outlawed. Not so.

Resort facilities are excellent but prices for most services are exceptionally high.

High Altitude
1100m - 2952m, which pretty much guarantees snow all winter long.

Scattered, but there's something for everyone with some less expensive options.

Pretty Village
Two of the four villages are charming and characterful, two aren't so.

Budget busting, whichever way you look at it, it'll probably be the most expensive ski holiday you'll ever have.

Large Ski Area
600km of linked pistes across the huge Three Valleys network.

Close to airport
3 hours from either Geneva or Lyon. Chambery is 2 hours away.

In resort convenience
Free, regular and well-organised ski bus running into the evening, connecting each of the villages.

So in sum then:

Courchevel ski holidays are great for:

  • Access to the enormous Three Valleys ski area
  • Uber-luxurious chalet and hotel accommodation
  • Beginner skiers, with loads of green runs and beginner areas
  • Celeb spotting

Courchevel ski holidays are not great for:

  • Budget holidays - everything costs lots here
  • Charm and character in Courchevel 1850 and Courchevel Moriond 1550
  • Raucous, beer swilling apres parties

Skiing in Courchevel

The Daily Telegraph newspaper describes Courchevel as 'the best ski resort in Europe, if you can afford it', and that's because it genuinely offers an excellent ski and snowboard experience.


As we previously mentioned, there are more ESF ski and snowboard instructors based in Courchevel than in any other European ski resort. The local area piste map includes 'zen' ski areas, which are specially reserved for beginner skiers to learn and progress in a safe, calm environment. There are also 27 green runs, mainly through wooded pistes surrounding the village, which are especially popular with children. The ESF ( pretty much dominate here, but another excellent ski school is Snow d'Light ( who offer both adult and children lessons all season long.


Progressing skiers and snowboarders will find long, progressive blue and red runs, without having to stray too far into the huge Three Valleys piste map. The ski area immediately around Courchevel is packed with fun runs, and brave intermediates will love the easily accessible off-piste opportunities just to the sides of the slopes. If you're looking to develop those powder legs, Courchevel after a fresh dump doesn't come any better.


Some of the most experienced and accomplished skiers in the world call Courchevel their favourite ski area. The Three Valleys lift infrastructure is excellent, which means that speed fiends can cover a considerable distance in one day. Fans of the bumps will find huge mogul fields in the Charossa sector, while the long black pistes above Le Praz are very challenging, especially in cold, icy conditions. It's worth noting that not all black pistes are actually groomed, so try and scope them out or speak to a local guide before giving them a go. The off-piste routes towards La Tania deserve a special mention, especially after fresh snow.


Since Prada, Fendi and Dior don't make snowboard or freestyle clothing, you might imagine that such pursuits had been banished to the neighboring party resort of Meribel. Well, you'd be wrong, as Courchevel boasts no fewer than three terrain parks. A family favourite is the 'Family Park', just below the Verdons lift, where you'll find jumps, obstacles and an airbag. There's a fun and well managed boardercross just above 1650 and the 'Bio Park' with boxes and rails above 1550. It's not a 'freestyle paradise' like some of the other high altitude French resorts like Tignes, but it's not a bad effort either.

Snow Conditions

Only in the most exceptionally poor winters will Courchevel suffer. Most of the resorts pistes face North, which means they hold their snow well. It's also good to see that the resort has invested heavily in improving the lower runs and links between villages so that they stay in good condition until the end of the winter season.

A snow history for Courchevel is coming soon!

Courchevel Resort Facts

Resort altitude: 1330m / 1550m / 1650m / 1850m

Highest lift: 2952m (Mont du Vallon)

Lifts/Drags: 62 in Courchevel Valley, 198 in Three Valleys area

Total km of slopes: 150k in Courchevel Valley, 600km in Three Valleys area

The Three Valleys

  • 66 green
  • 207 blue
  • 175 red
  • 49 black
  • 5 snowparks

Courchevel Ski Area

  • 27 green
  • 44 blue
  • 38 red
  • 10 black
  • 3 snowpark

Open: 8th December to 26th April

Cost of lift pass:


Adult: Courchevel Valley = €48.00 / Three Valleys = €57.00 Child: Courchevel Valley = €38.40 / Three Valleys = €45.60

Week (6 Days)

Adult: Courchevel Valley = €234.00 / Three Valleys = €277.00 Child: Courchevel Valley = €187.20 / Three Valleys = €221.60

Piste map

Download the Courchevel Valley piste map here -


All four villages in Courchevel offer the range of resort amenities that you'd expect in any ski resort. There are a range of supermarkets, banks and post offices, as well as souvenir shops for you to browse. There is one thing that Courchevel offers, than you won't find in many other ski resorts, and that's a ridiculous range of designer boutiques. In 1850 alone there's Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Valentino, Prada, Cartier, Fendi, Dior and Chanel, mostly located within the Jardin Alpin sector, and you'll stumble or ski across them in the woods. It's a rather surreal experience to spot a skier carrying a Dior shopping bag, probably containing a new cocktail dress for tonight's apres party, Courchevel style.

Pamper Yourself

Pampering is big business in Courchevel and in 1850 especially, all of the smart hotels have spa facilities that are open to the public.The five star Mahayana Spa at the Hotel Manali ( example, has five treatment rooms, an indoor heated swimming pool and a sauna and steam room, while treatments include everything from luxurious scrubs, purifying wraps and oriental massages. Alpine Therapies ( offer another option. They'll visit your chalet or accommodation so you can enjoy massages and other treatments in the comfort of your own space.

Snow Activities

Cross country skiing, dog sledding, snowshoeing and off-piste guiding are all readily available in Courchevel by a number of local companies. Magic In Motion ( also offer afternoon speed-riding lessons for those after a more thrilling challenge. Prices start at €230 per person. Other in-resort activities include bowling, a cinema which has two daily screenings of current movies and cookery lessons with Michelin starred chefs.


It's estimated that over 80% of Courchevel's winter visitors are British, and to serve the army of families and small children that holiday in the resort each year, a number of British owned and operated childcare companies have established themselves. Jelly and Ice Cream ( for example, cover all Courchevel villages and offer qualified and experienced nannies and babysitters to entertain children with weather and age appropriate activities. The local branch of the ESF ( also have a snow club for younger children, offering a relaxed introduction to skiing and lots of play time too.

Eating out

As much as possible at MuchBetter we like to use our own local knowledge and experience to guide and inform you. We only wish this were the case with the full spectrum of the Courchevel restaurant scene! Seven Courchevel restaurants share 11 Michelin stars, making it the ski resort with the most Michelin stars in the world.

Fine Dining

We've been reliably informed that Le Chabichou is the finest, most exquisite restaurant in the area. It boasts two Michelin stars for its exceptional menu of local ingredients produced in the true spirit of French gastronomy. What we can recommend from personal experience however, is Bistro Le Chabotte, the little brother of Le Chabichou, located in the same hotel. Here, the menu is similarly refined and elegant, but without the white tables clothes and army of sommeliers.

Local Food

Restaurant Le Genepi is one of the most popular, reasonably priced restaurants in Courchevel, serving a delicious menu of Savoyarde classics alongside a moderately priced wine list. The restaurant seats around 40 people, giving it a cozy, authentic atmosphere. It's also a good idea to book in advance as word has truly spread!

Pizzas, Pasta and Grills

From all the stereotypes banded around about Courchevel (in this guide included) you might also imagine that it's tricky to find a straight forward, good quality pizza joint in the resort. Wrong again. Black Pearl's pizzas are priced from just €9 and they are very tasty indeed. Which goes to prove that you don't need a Sultan's trust fun to sustain yourself in Europe's most expensive ski resort.

Drinking and Dancing

If you're keen to avoid that sickening moment when the barman totals up your round and you wonder if you'll need to remortgage to pay for it, then stay clear of Courchevel 1850. Magnums of Cristal champagne and Jeroboams of Petrus flow like water here, but it's worth a wander round just to soak up the atmosphere. The one bar we are a fan of in 1850 is La Refuge, which seems to have ward off the Oligarchs to retain a chilled out, reasonably priced, loyal local following.

Further down the mountain in 1650 is a more lively, late night scene that's a bit more friendly on the wallet. We like Le Bubble for it's live bands and friendly atmosphere, and it's late night opening. The Funky Fox is a good recommendation too.

Which brings us to 1550 and Le Praz, both of which have something to offer in the way of apres and nightlife. There are just a couple of bars in 1550, both are French owned and offer good, friendly service at reasonable prices. In Le Praz you'll find a fun apres scene, especially at L'escourchevel which offers live music and a local following. Over at the Drop Inn you'll find quality wines at real world prices.


Getting to and from Courchevel

You're unlikely to have seen Courchevel Airport on any airport departures board, but the resort does indeed have its own airport. Think twice before booking the private jet however. The landing strip has been classified as the seventh most dangerous in the world.

Chambery airport is well served by airlines from the UK, and it's the next closest airport to Courchevel. It's just 109km away and by road it takes around 1 1/4 hours to complete the journey, typically on an airport transfer vehicle. Lyon and Grenoble airports are 2 hours by road, and Geneva is 3 hours. Cool Bus ( run regular airport transfers to Courchevel from all regional airports.

Getting Around Courchvel

The four separate sectors of Courchevel are connected by a free, regular bus service which runs into the evening. It's a handy way to get between the resorts once the ski lifts have closed.

Green Courchevel

What Makes Courchevel MuchBetter?

  • Although Courchevel isn't ISO14001 approved, the resort does have a green policy and is working to minimise the impact of the ski industry on the local environment.

  • Hydro-electric energy is used to power the resort's 1920 snow cannons, 183 ski lifts and 67 trail groomers.

  • The local Ariondaz Dam is used in snow canons to produce artificial snow when required.

  • New chairlift installations are constructed and set into existing base rock, rather than creating new concrete tower bases.