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Courchevel 1850 destination guide
Courchevel, Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes, France
‘Courchevel’ is actually made up of four mostly north-facing villages – 1850, 1650, 1550 and 1300 (Le Praz). The numbers refer to the altitude. All of the Three Valleys resorts are linked by lift and piste, with direct lift access from 1850 to the neighbouring valley of Meribel, which is in turn linked to Val Thorens and Les Menuires.
Courchevel 1850 is the most high-profile resort, with terrain that ranges from wide beginner slopes to challenging couloirs. It’s the ski resort of choice for the jet set, but you don’t need to be a millionaire to enjoy skiing here. As part of the ‘Three Valleys’ (Les Trois Vallees), it gives access to the world’s biggest ski area: 650km of pistes, around 180 lifts and some fantastic off-piste terrain.
Our writer’s picks of the best places to stay in this destination
When to go
The busiest periods are Christmas, New Year and February half-term. January and March/April are the best times to avoid the crowds. Recent winters have seen the biggest snowfalls early in the season, although there’s often a late-season dump just before the lifts close.
Even in poor snow seasons, Courchevel tends to have pretty good conditions thanks to a combination of high altitude and north-facing slopes.
Getting there and away
There’s easy access from Geneva (three hours’ drive), Lyon (2.5 hours) and Chambery (1.5 hours).
The most efficient transfer is by shuttle or taxi, although hiring a car may work out cheaper if there are several of you.
The train station at Moutiers (24km away) has direct services from London (weekends only) and Paris, with buses and taxis to the resort from outside the station.
Well-heeled visitors can fly into Courchevel Altiport by light aircraft or helicopter.
Courchevel 1850 is compact enough to get around on foot, while free shuttle buses, which run late into the night, connect up with the other Courchevel villages.
Ski lifts are generally fast and queues are rarely a problem outside peak periods. The Chenus, Verdons and Jardin Alpin gondolas from the centre of 1850 all give quick, easy access to terrain suitable for all levels, and moving between ski areas or different valleys is straightforward.