Resort Mini-Guides: Courchevel
One of the most popular though somehow often overlooked resorts in all of the French Alps is Courchevel – a stunning area home to five of the best resorts you’ll find in the Three Valleys. All in all, travellers making their way to Courchevel will have a good 150 km+ of runs to choose from, over 60 lifts taking care of the uphill stuff and some of the most highly-reputed hospitality in Europe.
Needless to say, it all seems to measure up to quite the package.
For those looking for a taste of the high-life – or at least a nosy at those living the high-life – there is no place in the French Alps quite like Courchevel 1850. Pound for pound, you’d be hard-pressed to find anywhere with a larger concentration of millionaires, socialites, champagne bottles, fur coats and plastic surgery in the hemisphere – it really is a sight for sore eyes! Beyond the social scene however, it isn’t really that much of a visual delight in terms of a resort in its own right, though the five-star hotels are good enough to never leave the grounds of, if you can even afford a single beer, that is.
Mercifully, other nearby haunts like Courchevel 1650, Courchevel 1550 and Courchevel 1300 are massively more laid-back and don’t even come close to the kind of expense you’ll be looking at toward the top. These are generally where the masses head and Courchevel 1850 is seen more as something of a day or night trip to see how the other half live.
Right at the bottom is Saint Bon, which at 1100 meters is the lowest of the resorts and doesn’t have any ski lifts – plenty of shuttle buses, though.
For families and those more interested in the simple things in life, Courchevel1650 is probably the best bet and by far has the friendliest and most accommodating atmosphere. Courchevel 1300 on the other hand is a better bet for those who take their skiing a little bit more seriously, though still don’t want to fork out top-dollar to hob-nob it with the elite at the top of the hill. And the good news is that Courchevel 1300 has really easy access on offer to Courchevel 1850, so technically you can enjoy the best of both worlds without bankrupting yourself!
Skiing in and around Courchevel is truly a delight and there are enough runs on offer to keep the most competitive souls fully entertained for at least a week or two. In fact, the only downside would be the costs should you stray into one of the exclusive areas – think a good €200 at least for a family meal. That being said, there’s every chance you’ll find yourself close enough to a few celebs or even some royalty to take a few sneaky pictures and sell them to the tabloids when you get home!
High prices or not, Courchevel as a whole is only growing in popularity and becoming a favourite of weekend-trippers with limited budgets and high-society aspiration. A resort not to be missed if in the area.
Are you planning your next ski holiday in Courchevel? If you need ski coaching or lessons in Courchevel visit Fabulous Ski!
Photo Source: ih6//ggpht.com