Courchevel is part of the Trois Vallées the world’s largest ski area with over 370 miles of slopes and 58 lifts. It is synonymous with luxury and is a favorite winter retreat of both royals and celebrities. There are also fabulous aprés-ski options including Michelin-starred restaurants, wonderful shopping, and gorgeous hotels packed with amenities for young and old. Read on to discover French Side Travel’s winter ski guide to Courchevel.
French Winter Ski Guide: Courchevel
How to Get to Courchevel
There are several different ways to get to Courchevel. Because of ease and convenience, one of the most popular options is flying into Geneva and then taking a private transfer to Courchevel. The transfer time by helicopter is 30 minutes and by car two and a half hours.
It’s also possible to take a high-speed train from Paris to either Chambery or Moutiers. From Chambery the drive to Courchevel is just over an hour. From Moutiers the drive is about 20 minutes.
Lastly, you can drive to Courchevel. While this option might be tempting for those who like to try different ski areas, we don’t recommend it in case of inclement weather or heavy traffic.
What to Do in Courchevel
Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, the most popular activity in Courchevel is skiing. With eight black runs, 34 red runs, 35 blue runs, 19 green runs and fun and relaxed ‘zen’ areas, there is truly something for every level in Courchevel.
The best way to discover the slopes in Courchevel is with an official ski guide. Your private guide will create a custom experience depending on your desires for the day. They will take you to the runs with the best snow conditions and that best match your level. Another bonus of using a guide is you’ll have lift queue priority, so you’ll be able to spend more time skiing and less time waiting.
Instead of traveling with bulky gear, let French Side Travel handle your ski equipment and skiwear rental. Test out the newest equipment each season for enjoyable high-performance skiing. You’ll have everything you need to hit the slopes safely and stylishly. At the end of your stay, you can simply leave the ski equipment at the hotel for a hassle-free experience.
Unique Activities in Courchevel
Hot Air Balloon Tour Over the Alps
At the break of dawn, under favorable weather conditions, you will meet with the hot air balloon crew for a three hour adventure. Upon inflating the balloon, an impressive spectacle unfolds as you embark on a flight completely guided by the wind.
Setting off in a gentle ascent, you will be carried over treetops, lightly brushing the clouds, all without experiencing any vertigo. Throughout the journey, the pilot maintains communication with the ground crew, ensuring a warm welcome upon landing.
Following the flight you’ll have the opportunity to savor a traditional “Toast of Balloon Brigade” to share your thoughts and experiences with fellow travelers.
When it comes time for aprés-ski, the choices are plenty in Courchevel. There are fabulous restaurants, sophisticated bars and nightlife, renowned boutiques for shopping, and activities ranging from snowmobiling to hiking.
After a full day on the slopes, one of the best ways to relax is with a soothing bespoke massage. Your massage therapist personally prepares the organic oils used during the experience to optimize the benefit of your massage, during and after the treatment. For those looking to stretch and unwind, a great option is a private yoga class atop the mountain. The combination of skiing and yoga is a great way to see the mountains, relieve mental stress and rejuvenate.
It’s impossible to mention aprés-ski without mentioning La Folie Douce, a popular spot between Courchevel and Méribel for an afternoon of celebrating. The party atmosphere is renowned worldwide. It’s accessible either by skis or on foot, so even non-skiers will love Courchevel!
Where to Eat in Courchevel
There is no shortage of delicious food in Courchevel with eight Michelin-starred restaurants.
After a long day of skiing, the best way to warm up and recharge is with local Savoyard cuisine, where cheese and potatoes take the center stage. Be sure to try raclette, a melted cheese scraped off from the wheel and typically served with potatoes and meats, tartiflette, a gratin-like dish made with potatoes, reblochon cheese, onions, and lardons, and fondue, a melted mix of Comté, Beaufort, and other local cheeses that you dip bread into using a fondue skewer. Two restaurants where you can find typical Savoyard cuisine in Courchevel are La Table de Marie and Restaurant Le Petit Savoyard.
To satisfy everyone in your group, La Table des Airelles is a wonderful option. You’ll find a fabulous lunch buffet filled with all types of food: seafood, sushi, meats, cheeses, regional specialities, and Italian food but a few of the choices. A new addition for 2023 is renowned pastry Chef Cedric Grolet who will oversee all of the hotel’s sweet creations, including the legendary desserts at La Table des Airelles.
For a special occasion in Courchevel, visit Le 1947. Located in the Cheval Blanc hotel, Le 1947 is the only three-star Michelin restaurant in Courchevel. Diners will enjoy Chef Yannick Alléno’s creative cuisine in a light and bright setting overlooking the snowy panorama of the Jardin Alpin.
Where to Stay in Courchevel
French Side Travel’s favorite hotel in Courchevel is Les Airelles. The location of this ski in ski out property is perfect for both serious skiers and those who want to enjoy the Courchevel 1850 district. You’ll feel warm and cozy in this extraordinary property that truly resembles a winter palace. At Les Airelles you’ll have access to six restaurants – four on site and two on the slopes, a La Mer spa, a Winter Camp for children, and unparalleled service including ski butlers.
Another great option for snow lovers and ski adventurers is L’Apogée, uniquely crafted with the 40-meter private conveyor belt that carries guests off of the slopes directly into the heated ski room.
The individual and spacious rooms are gorgeously warm and furnished with luxury and comfort. At the restaurant, guests can enjoy a gourmet cuisine with a spectacular view of ski slopes,
After a full day on the slopes, relax in the wellness center with its Sisley Spa, sauna, hot tub and indoor pool. Guests can also enjoy unique activities like dog sledding, night skiing, tobogganing and snowmobiling.
Courchevel for Children
Les Airelles for Children
Children will be delighted and enchanted by Les Airelles’ kids club, the Winter Camp. The youngest of guests will be entertained with activities just for them. There’s a heated treehouse and ice rink outdoors. Inside they can enjoy a fort, arcade, private cinema, air hockey table, ice rink, video games, and daily afternoon tea time.
During the holiday season there are extra activities including dog-sledding, magic shows, pastry classes, hockey games, and formal dress parties. Les Airelles makes it easy for the whole family to enjoy the best of Courchevel!
We hope our French winter ski guide to Courchevel will help inspire a trip to the mountains. With the winter ski season rapidly approaching, don’t hesitate to contact French Side Travel to start creating your custom itinerary. We offer a whole host of itineraries based in the French Alps including Fabulous Skiing in Val Thorens, 5-Star Ski Vacation to Chamonix and the Mont-Blanc Valley, and A Winter Trip to Courchevel with Half Board.