Courchevel – Four Villages, One Stunning Year-Round Resort

SAF-Courcheval2Each and every year, more and more towns, villages and resorts all over the French Alps are being discovered by the tourist hoards heading over for their annual jollies on the white stuff. More often than not it doesn’t take long at all for the next big thing to become yesterday’s news, or the biggest secret in the Alps to become the most over-travelled destination of them all and lose most if its lustre.

If fact, it takes something really special for any ski retreat in the French Alps to hold onto its image, its reputation, its charm and indeed its dignity in the face of such mass tourism from all four corners of the world.

…and that, ladies and gentlemen, is exactly why Courchevel is such a standout location for ski trips and jaunts for singles, families and groups of all sizes.

Courchevel occupies an enviable plot in the French Alps right in the very centre of the Three Valleys, which is of course the biggest ski area on the planet today – at least in terms of ones we know about and have so-far domesticated. The area is reputed for having some of the most stunningly pristine runs in the world and also a practically limitless array of off-piste ski opportunities for the more adventurous type, not to mention plenty of more accommodating runs for those still finding their feet…so to speak.

Skiers making a beeline for Courchevel after hitting the tarmac at Geneva Airport have a total of four villages to choose from of which the resort is comprised.

Right at the top lies Courchevel 1850, which is where you’ll find the so-called crème de la crème of what’s on offer in Courchevel for high society, and those on the lookout for luxury and refinement. Think five-star resorts, world-class dining, boutique shops and an annual influx of billionaires that seem to take over in peak season and you’re about half way there. Even if not planning to stay, the sight of the place is unmissable.

Back in the real world, the vast majority of standard seasonal visitors make Courchevel 1650 their base, which is massively less expensive and less pretentious than its neighbour to the north, though still offers superb refinement and comfort.

Head a little further down to Courchevel 1550 to find a village that isn’t blessed with the same picture postcard look of the above two, having been liberally sprinkled with more concrete apartment blocks than quaint wooden chalets. The good news is however that 1550 is an absolute bargain in terms of accommodation and living costs, plus is linked directly with Courchevel 1850 with a bubble lift.

And right at the bottom you’ll find La Praz, which is a superbly accommodating and affordable place ideally suited for families and those not yet ready to leave the nursery slopes.

Even after the snow melts, life in Courchevel continues and offers stunning year-round activities and abundant opportunities for relaxation and refinement – be sure to check it out at least once in your annual rotation.

SAF-Courchevel Summer

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