Courchevel, one of the most beautiful places
Ski paradise – immense space wavered with red, blue, black, green…
Les Trois Vallées - Courchevel
Courchevel is not one resort village, but four distinctly separate ones. They are linked by lifts, pistes and a road which winds its way up from Courchevel Le Praz (formed in 1300, an old, rustic village at heart), through Courchevel Moriond (formed in 1650, on the main road, but the traffic isn't intrusive and the village centres around the main lift base) to the highest resort which is now simply known as Courchevel (formed in 1850, by far the biggest resort village and the prestige place to stay). Courchevel Village (formed in 1550) is set off the main road and is a bit of a quiet backwater.
Courchevel has its own airport right on the slopes, accessible for small planes and helicopters.
Experts have plenty to enjoy in the Trois Vallées and around Courchevel in particular. Mont Du Vallon (2952m, Meribel) is an isolated and forever appealing red slope, which is long enough to suit even the most persistent skiers. A long black mogul run is accessed from the Chanrossa lift after the huge Les Creux bowl. Le Creux is the best carving piste for intermediate skiers, with an even prettier and unexcelled forest piste Lanches, Arolles and Folyêres (or Moretta Blanche) towards the settlement La Tania. This piste and lift La Tania is special for its spirit, which will take you back to the past and make you experience the long French skiing tradition. This place is ideal for children and beginners. Nevertheless, Chanrossa takes you up to Roc Merlet (2734m) wherefrom you can go to the other side taking blue slopes Pyramide, Lac Ariondaz and Arion towards my favourite destination, ski lift Chapelets.
Courchevel boasts one of the largest armies of ski and snowboarding instructors in the world. There are a 1000 of them teaching all levels of all snow sport disciplines and each able to speak a number of languages.
Courchevel is a great option for all levels of skiers and there is plenty for non-skiers to do too. The local Courchevel ski area has a great selection of runs from gentle greens to the Grand Couloirs, graded black, and of course the vast areas of off-piste. Experienced skiers will want to upgrade to the full area pass so they can explore Meribel and Val Thorens, each covering a local area with 150km of pistes.
As for Courchevel Moriond – a very interesting piste is Têtras (the above-mentioned Chapelets lift), which offers a unique feeling of skiing on an off-road piste in an incredibly silent and forestry mountain ambient. The whole ambient reminds of a huge funnel, which makes all your negative energy, supposing you have any :) , go away and inevitably makes you smile. No minus degree or bad weather with rainfall will influence your peace and the feeling of completeness that you can feel at this unique piste. If you are not a fan of the off-road skiing, there is the Rochers piste. This 1650 ski area is perfect for intermediates with lots of well-pitched fast reds through the trees. The connection with the ski lift Marmottes is the Roc Mugnier ski piste, which will sometimes disappoint you, as the rocks on the piste will make you wax your skis and sharpen the edges the same evening (checking their condition before going to the piste!). Courchevel 1850 offers a real French charm in the wide variety of chic shops and fine restaurants. It is renowned for having one of the longest ski seasons and the best snow cover in the whole of the Alps, and has headed skiers’ list of prestige resorts for many a year now.
Les Trois Vallées - French charm
In Meribel valley I would like to point out, together with the afore-mentioned Mont du Vallon, pistes that lie aside the lift Cóte Brune (off-road and Venturon) as well as Mouflon, red piste for advanced skiers.
'Les 3 Vallées' is the biggest ski resort in the world and is simply magical with infinite possibilities. This is a place that ski fans have to check out and once they see it … hm, they will be hooked and they will have to come back again and again… :)
Let’s not forget that the slalom world cup competition for ladies will be held in Courchevel in December (Ladies Alpine World Cup).