WEsayPretty tree lined runs and a quiet but friendly village centre, this resort is very family friendly and has a traditional feel about it.
Courchevel has the reputation of being the world’s best ski resort and is undoubtedly the chicest in France. The resort is split into four quite separate villages at different altitudes and between them they offer something for everyone. They are brilliantly linked both to each other and to the whole of the Trois Vallees area, which includes the resorts of Val Thorens and Meribel. The scenery here is beautiful and the pistes are immaculate.
The skiing is truly outstanding and on an incredible scale with over 600km of piste in the Trois Vallees area. From 1850 the pistes and gondolas spread out in all directions providing lots of picturesque, gentle skiing for beginners or those who just want to take it easy. For a more vertical challenge experts can head up to the highest point Souliere with the infamous Couloirs. Only the grand couloir remains a marked piste, but it is something of a rite of passage for all good skiers and is much trickier than it looks.
Courchevel is just as entertaining for non-skiers with swimming, ice-skating, bowling, climbing, snow-mobiling, paragliding, a 2km sledge run from 1850 down to 1550 and 20km of groomed hiking trails. Or alternatively flex your credit card and hit the plethora of shops.
Le Praz, with its winding streets and traditional chalets, is the prettiest of the Courchevel villages and offers a quieter atmosphere, making it ideal for families. Access to and from the resort is easy with the choice of an efficient bus service, the lift system or the beautiful tree lined runs down from the other levels. The two main gondolas provide easy access to the Croisette area and Foret which leads via the Col de la Loze to Meribel. Despite the peaceful nature of the village La Praz boasts some fine restaurants, including 'Le Bistro du Praz' one of the most famous restaurants in the Three Valleys, and a number of popular bars.
New for 2017/18
The big news is in Moriond (1650) where the long-promised replacement Ariondaz gondola from the village to Bel Air will be in place for 2017/18. The old 6-person cabins will be replaced smart new 8-seaters and it will be the first gondola in France to be lit inside and out using power supplied by on-board solar panels. It will carry 2400 people per hour (twice as many as the old one, so cutting peak morning lift queues) and the ride time will be cut from 12 minutes to seven. The run back to the village will benefit from smart new state-of-the art snow cannon some of the extra 115 that will be installed in the Courchevel ski area for this season. A new 3km toboggan run has been built from top to bottom of the new gondola. It has eight underground tunnels and will be open every day and be floodlit until 7.30pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
New for 2016/17
Further major investments in snowmaking were made. The already impressive children s village was further developed and is now the largest children’s village in France, covering over 12 acres of trails and specially decorated lifts. It also has a nuresery, games area and a dining room. As part of the Handiski scheme to make snowsports accessible to disabled people, 75% of lifts are now adapted for people with disabilities, a dedicated teaching area for people with disabilities has opened at Pralong above 1850 and eight specially qualified instructors are available.
- Extensive, varied slopes many visitors don t bother with the rest of the Trois Vallées Impressive snowmaking and piste grooming, and a decent lift system Partly wooded setting means you have options in bad weather Choice of four very different villages Some great restaurants and top-notch hotels and plenty of non-swanky options in lower villages like La Praz.