Courchevel is situated in the French Alps in the south-east of France. It is a well known ski resort but also a popular summer destination, with beautiful scenery and mountain sports. Courchevel is actually not one resort, but four, and each one has its own defining characteristics and price range. Each also has access to some of the best skiing in Europe, as Courchevel is in the Three Valleys Ski Area, which is the largest linked ski area in the world.
The ski domain in Courchevel
Good for: Families Groups Off-piste Non-skiers
Getting to Courchevel from the UK is straightforward. You can fly to either Geneva or Lyon (St. Exupery) with a number of airlines. By train, you can get a Eurostar to Paris from London, and then catch a TGV (fast train) to nearby Moutiers.
Skiing in Courchevel
The skiing in Courchevel is exceptional, as it is part of the massive ski area of the Three Valleys, and you will find everything for all levels and tastes here. Ski schools abound, and there are facilities for children to learn safely in special groups whilst their parents can go and enjoy the steeper slopes free of worry. The runs and off piste skiing is as extensive and varied as you could hope for anywhere, and the scenery quite stunning.
Courchevel in summer
In the summer, the Courchevel resort offers numerous activities. Terrain that is good for skiing is also good for hill walking and mountain biking. The great advantage Courchevel has in the summer is its lift system. The main gondolas operate throughout the summer holidays, so you can easily get to the top of the mountain resort.
The resort opens at the beginning of July, and remains open until towards the end of August.
The area in front of the Croisette at 1850 becomes an area popular with children—swings, trampolines, crazy golf, mountain bike practice circuit. There is a nine hole golf course at Verdons, and several lakes provide the opportunity for fishing.
Other activities in Courchevel
Courchevel is not only about skiing! The 1850 resort is predictably full of expensive bars and restaurants, including Chabichou, a two star Michelin restaurant with an elite international clientele. Courchevel 1650 is hip and young in spirit, with clubs and partying going on into the small hours, whilst Courchevel 1550 and 1300 are gentler and family oriented, with friendly bars and reasonably priced pizzerias and bistros. All the resorts are well equipped with shops, banks and other necessities, and there are many non-skiing entertainments available too, particularly in the higher resorts where you will find bowling, ice skating, climbing walls and all sorts of diversions.
Courchevel also hosts the annual International Academy Festival, called Music Alp, running high-level music courses for many instruments, supported by world renowned music professors. Courses run from July to August, including several concerts.
You can eat very well in Courchevel, but you have more choice if you have a substantial budget. In 1850 there were three places with two Michelin stars – two of the swankiest hotels, and the more appealing Chabichou. Nearer to planet Earth are the one-stars – the Bateau Ivre, the Table du Kilimandjaro and the Strato.
The Refuge was tipped for 2011 – ‘really good, with efficient service, generous portions, good Savoyard food’. Other recently tipped places include the Cloche (‘traditional dishes at reasonable prices’); the ‘refined’ Cendree for excellent Italian food; the ‘rustic’ Anerie; the Chapelle for open fire grills; the self-explanatory Fromagerie; the ‘delightful’ Genepi; and the Saulire (aka Chez Jacques).
Our team of sale advisers at Sextant Properties will be happy to help you to find a property in Les Arcs. We have a large network of agents in the French Alps. All of them are registered French real estate agents and speak both French and English. Whatever kind of property you are looking for: flat, chalet, gite or B&B we will do our best to find a property in the French Alps matching your requirements. To find out more about our selection of properties for sale in Les Arcs do not hesitate to contact us.