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COURCHEVEL // RESORT INFORMATION
- Ski Domain: Les 3 Vallées
- Resort Height: 1850m
- Skiing Elevation: 1260m - 3230m
- Pistes: 600km
- Ability: Green 13%, Blue 39%, Red 38%, Black 10%
Arguably France's most exclusive resort, favoured by celebrities from all over and well located at the eastern end of the world's largest truly inter-connected ski area (Trois Vallées) Courchevel would rate in the top few best resorts. Unsurprisingly Courchevel shares the reputation of St Moritz, Aspen or Lech for exclusivity and high prices but, the tourist board is keen to point out that it is more than possible to stay at and enjoy Courchevel even if you need to watch the spending. Courchevel is home to many exclusive boutiques, luxurious chalets and the wonderful restaurants serving dishes of high gastronomic calibre. The first winter tourists arrived in the valley in the 1930s, with the resort launch in terms of popularity in the late 1950s and the '60s. Today Courchevel has its own special Charter which ensures hotels, restaurants, shops and other businesses provide the best possible service and open as advertised throughout the season. The resort is made up of five different base stations, all self-contained villages and all known by their altitudes, (1300 which still calls itself Le Praz and the other authentic Savoyard village Saint Bon). The best known of the five, and the one on which the resort's reputation is based, is the highest and largest - Courchevel 1850.
Every type of cuisine is available in Courchevel from the relatively cheap paninis served in piste-side takeaways and some bars, all the way through to 3-Star Michelin restaurants with 'Tasting' menus of 8 or 9 courses. With a wide range of restaurants, bars and cafes to keep your energy levels on the high there is something to follow also - a plentiful array of opportunities for a bit of après and late-night venues for a spot of clubbing.The nightlife is exhilirating to say the least!
Conclusively, with four levels of the resort to choose from, each with its own ambience, you'll find yourself spoilt for choice! The countless terraces ensure that you can always find a sunny spot to relax in.
Courchevel 1850 is where the rich and famous come 'to see and be seen'. The secluded Jardin Alpin sector is where all the spectacular chalets and hotels are located, however there is still reasonably priced accommodation in the centre of town. There are gentle beginner slopes and a vast array of intermediate, advanced and off-piste areas to keep even the most accomplished skiers busy.
Courchevel 1650 is lower down the valley, and the price scheme. 1650 still has much to offer with a welcoming atmosphere encompassing its own unique character and style. Piste wise, there are some cruisey wide blue runs in 1650, where frequently you will often find some of the best snow and quietest slopes in Courchevel.
Courchevel 1550 is markedly quieter, with just a few chalets and hotels. A new high speed 6 person chairlift was installed in winter 2004/05 offering a very quick connection to the pistes of 1850. There is also a bubble lift which runs daily from 09.00 until 19.30 taking you into the centre of 1850.