The 600km of skiable domain in the Three Valleys make the area a unique and world-class ski destination. With pistes for skiers of all abilities, fantastic snow conditions, well-connected ski areas and a huge variety of slopes, the Three Valleys has something for everyone. And if there’s one resort which exemplifies all of these qualities, it’s Courchevel. Famous for having the most varied skiing in the Three Valleys, some of the best snow and fantastic self-catered and catered ski chalets, Courchevel is the perfect resort for activities both on and off the piste.
Also known as Le Praz, this village is the lowest in altitude in Courchevel. It’s also the oldest – with many of its rustic buildings dating back to the nineteenth century. Traditional, quiet and friendly, it offers scenic tree-lined runs when the snow is good. But you’ll need to time your stay for those good conditions – when the warm weather comes, you run the risk of sparse snow and slopes scattered with stones. On the other hand, the village is perfect for those who want a peaceful, traditional break in a real alpine community. A stay in 1300 can also serve as a lower-cost way to access the higher resorts.
This is a satellite village for Courchevel 1850, which sits above it. Two lifts provide easy access to the higher town, but don’t worry about getting stuck – the runs back down are gentle blues. For any serious kind of nightlife, you’ll need to travel up the valley to 1850, as it’s a quiet kind of place. However, for those looking for access to all that 1850 has to offer at a much better price, 1550 is the ideal choice.
Arguably the best option out of all of the villages in the resort, 1650 is popular for its fantastic skiing, relatively reasonable prices and varied après activities. Divided by the road that leads up the mountain, the village offers apartment blocks on one side and self-catered and catered ski chalets on the other. Just above the village, there’s an expanse of easy slopes for beginners to find their feet. For more experienced skiers, there are plenty of challenges in the winding reds and blues that lead off from the Signal chairlift.
Renowned for its glitz and glamour, 1850 is where the world’s rich and famous come to ski. To put this into perspective, this small section of the resort alone offers nine 5-star hotels... What’s more, the skiing promises not to disappoint. At the highest altitude, 1850 offers the best access to all the other villages, as well as to the neighbouring valley of Méribel. There are extensive zones right above the village exclusively reserved for beginners, whilst further up the mountain you’ll find some serious red and black runs. Only the most experienced skiers should attempt the black run Grand Couloir – it’s labelled ‘vertical’ on the piste map for a reason…
Making Your Choice
Whichever village you choose, all have the added benefit of boasting a fantastic selection of accommodation, such as self-catered and catered ski chalets. With your accommodation sorted and the snow all but guaranteed to be good, the scene is set for a perfect winter break.
Belinda Smythson works for Ski Amis, a specialist ski travel agency and booking service that has been helping avid skiers craft their perfect winter holiday for over a quarter of a century. If you're looking for the best catered ski chalet accommodation in the Three Valleys, Paradiski, Espace Killy or Chamonix Valley, Ski Amis is the go-to company for winter sports fans searching for the holiday of a lifetime.