Nestled in the French Alps on the edge of the Three Valleys - the largest ski area in the world, you will find the dazzling ski resort of Courchevel. Many know the resort as one of glitz, glamour, and luxury hotels, but this is only a sliver of what this skiing destination has to offer. Courchevel is actually made up of six distinct villages at varying altitudes on the winding road up through the Saint Bon valley. And with each offering its distinct charm and atmosphere, there really is something for everyone in Courchevel.
Now, here is where you will find that glitz and glamour you may have heard about. The highest part of the resort, Courchevel 1850, is world-famous for its exclusivity, luxury, fashion, and gastronomy. Visited by the likes of Prince William and David Beckham, you truly do not know who you might rub shoulders with here. Catering to its wealthy clientele - who will likely fly in via the private airport - you will find the village dotted with Michelin-starred restaurants, 5-star (and some 6-star!) hotels, and designer shops like Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and Prada.
In the centre of the village, La Croisette houses lifts that will whisk you up in all directions. So whether you want to reach the summit of Saulire at 2738 metres, challenge yourself on the Grand Couloir (the third steepest slope in the Alps), or head straight to lunch on a sunny terrace - 1850 has you covered.
Le Grand Couloir, CourchevelSommet de la Saulire, 73120 Courchevel, France
Courchevel Moriond (also known as Courchevel 1650) has a much more relaxed, laid-back atmosphere than its prestigious neighbour. While there is still a taste of luxury if you are looking for it, Moriond is popular amongst families and groups looking for more casual, rustic accommodation at a more attainable price point. It is also the liveliest of the Courchevel villages, with plenty of different restaurants and bars entertaining from après until late at night. If you are looking for live music into the early hours, Spanish tapas, European bistro cuisine, or traditional Savoyard cooking - 1650 has it all.
When it comes to the slopes, Moriond is perfect for casual skiing, with an abundance of green and blue pistes for an easygoing ride. It is also the sunniest corner of the resort, making it ideal for some late afternoon runs followed by a well-deserved drink on a sun-filled terrace. If you fancy a break from the skis, 1650 is home to 'Moriond Racing' - a luge track going from the top of the Ariondaz bubble all the way down to the snow front.
Moriond Racing, CourchevelPass. du Marquis, 73120 Courchevel, France
Hidden away from the hustle and bustle of 1850 and 1650, Courchevel Village (or 1550) has an intimate atmosphere that is more peaceful than the other resorts. Between the traditional chalets, comfortable apartments, and modern hotels, small businesses line the street for you to indulge in rustic Savoyard delicacies. On the outskirts of Village, you will also find Aquamotion - a relatively new complex boasting swimming pools, spa and wellness, and other adventure, indoor activities to enjoy on those bad weather days.
The snow front sits proudly in the centre of the village, with two lifts to whizz you up into the action of 1850. And if you do not feel like skiing back down, the 2.5 km toboggan run is a hilarious and super fun alternative.
Aquamotion, Courchevel1297 Route des Eaux Vives, Village, 73120 Courchevel, France
Courchevel Le Praz
Le Praz brings that rustic alpine charm everyone looks for in a traditional mountain village. With a real ‘chocolate box’ location feel, the narrow streets and wooden architecture bring a specific magic to Le Praz that you will not quite find in any of the other villages. Located at 1300m, you will stumble upon plenty of traditional chalets, cosy bars, and popular eateries, as well as the iconic Olympic ski jumps at Tremplin du Praz and the finish line for the 2023 Ski World Cup. In addition, the newly renovated Le Praz gondola whisks you up to the centre of 1850 in just six minutes, providing that all-important easy skiing access alongside a taste of authentic mountain life.
Tremplin du Praz, Courchevel73120 Courchevel, France
Courchevel La Tania
At 1400m, La Tania is the newest of the villages to the Courchevel repertoire. Located on the road between Courchevel and its neighbouring resort, Méribel, La Tania’s pedestrianised village (you can even ski right through it!), lined with friendly bars and restaurants, is popular amongst families and attracts many returning visitors. It is definitely not as picturesque as the other villages, mainly made up of apartment blocks built for the Winter Olympics in 1992, but they make up for it in value for money. The tree-lined slopes that run into La Tania are a firm favourite of any visitor to Courchevel, and the La Tania gondola makes it easy to get up onto the mountain and beyond.
While Saint-Bon is not quite a destination for tourists these days, it had to be included as it is technically the birthplace of the entire Courchevel resort. Situated lower down the mountain, just below Le Praz, the village of Saint-Bon saw the resort’s first hotel, the Lac Bleu, constructed in 1908. With winding mountain streets, a baroque church, and panoramas across the valley, Saint-Bon is filled with history and beautiful views. But with no ski lifts and no bars, it is easy to see why visitors decide to base themselves elsewhere. However, saying this, the free resort shuttle easily connects Saint-Bon to the rest of the villages on a regular basis, and with Le Praz only five minutes up the road, it is still easy to enjoy the mountain from here.
The fact that you can experience such different atmospheres nestled so closely together makes this resort a one-of-a-kind destination with offerings that truly suit everyone. These six villages are like individual gems set amongst the crown of Courchevel - each with its unique reasons to shine.
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