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Lying at the northernmost tip of the Tarentaise Valley is the fashionable and ever-popular resort of Courchevel, the first purpose-built ski resort in France and one of the venues for the 1992 Winter Olympics. Previous vistors include the Beckhams, George Clooney and Robbie Williams!
Consisting of four villages, there are just short of 100 runs for skiers and snowboarders of all abilities, including some of the most challenging black runs to be found in Europe, but it is the seemingly inexhaustible choice of intermediate runs that gives Courcheval its strong appeal to UK winter sports enthusiasts. With north-facing slopes, pretty tree-lined pistes and an extensive network of snow cannons, great skiing conditions are as good as guaranteed on the perfectly maintained pistes.
But the real reason that so many Brits return year after year is that Courchevel is one of the key resorts in the 3 Valleys, one of the largest ski areas in the world. Along with Méribel and Val Thorens and the smaller but no less interesting resorts of Les Menuires, Orelle, Saint-Martin-de-Belleville, la Tania and Brides-les-Bains, this ‘super ski area’ comprises a truly staggering 600kms of pisted runs and over 200 ski lifts. Strictly speaking there is now a fourth valley, the Maurienne valley near Val Thorens, but let’s not split hairs.
The après-ski is as varied and lively as you would expect, with many bars and restaurants offering live music and great food, including ski favourites such as raclette and fondue, all with a stunning Savoyard village backdrop. Make time to visit the state-of-the-art Aquamotion, the largest European water park in the mountains, with a choice of pools (including one for children with slides and water fountains), an indoor and outdoor lagoon, a jumping pool, slides and a ‘wild river’. This amazing facility also houses a climbing wall, gym, spa room with sauna and Turkish baths. Elsewhere in resort there’s an outdoor ice rink, cinema and bowling alley.
Courchevel Piste Guide
Resort Height: 1,300-1,850m
Snow Range: 1,300-3,230m
Ski Area: The Three Valleys
Pistes: 172 Easy | 125 Intermediate | 33 Difficult
Lifts: 3 Funicular | 4 Cable Cars | 33 Gondola | 6 Chairlifts | 4 Drag Lifts | 20 Magic Carpets
4 Snow Parks
Courchevel Piste Map >>