Last updated

Courchevel 1850.JPG
Courchevel 1850
Alps location map.png
Red pog.svg
Location within Alps
Location Savoie, France
Nearest major city Chambéry
Coordinates 45°24′54″N6°38′02″E / 45.41500°N 6.63389°E / 45.41500; 6.63389
Top elevation2,738 m (8,983 ft)
Base elevation1,100 m (3,600 ft)
  • 96 total
  • 19 beginner
  • 35 easy
  • 34 intermediate
  • 8 difficult
Lift system 58 (Capacity 67,254ph)
Courchevel 1850, the highest part of the resort Courchevel.jpg
Courchevel 1850, the highest part of the resort

Courchevel is a French Alps ski resort. It is a part of Les Trois Vallées, the largest linked ski areas in the world. Courchevel also refers to the towns of Courchevel 1300 (Le Praz), Courchevel 1550, Courchevel 1650 (Moriond), and Courchevel 1850, which are named for their altitudes in metres. The resort centre of Courchevel is at 1,747 metres (5,732 ft). [1] The name Courchevel 1850 was chosen for marketing reasons to compete with rival ski resort Val d'Isère. It is the Jardin Alpin area of Courchevel 1850 rather than the centre which is located at 1,850 metres (6,070 ft).[ citation needed ]



Courchevel used to be part of the commune of Saint-Bon-Tarentaise, but in 2017 that was merged with La Perrière into the new commune of Courchevel. In spite of the name, the commune's administrative offices are not located in Courchevel, but still in the nearby village of Saint-Bon-Tarentaise. Courchevel is in the Tarentaise Valley, Savoie département , Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. Courchevel is part of the Trois Vallées, which comprises the resorts of Courchevel, La Tania, Méribel, Les Menuires-Saint Martin, Val Thorens and Orelle. [2]


View from Saulire peak, 2700 m. Saulire-2700m.jpg
View from Saulire peak, 2700 m.

The original resort was planned during World War II with a study in 1942 by the Vichy regime and in a doctorate by the town planner Laurent Chappis. Chappis was a natural choice to direct the development of the resort in the immediate post war years. Courchevel 1850 was significant, as it was the first resort in France to be constructed from scratch, rather than based around an existing village.

Tarentaise Valley Skiing

Within the Tarentaise Valley you find the biggest concentration of world-class ski resorts in the world. Most well known neighbour systems are Paradiski (Les Arcs, La Plagne) and Espace Killy (Val d'Isère and Tignes). A weekly lift ticket in Courchevel/Les Trois Vallées gives you a choice to ski one day in each of the other two systems mentioned. There were once plans to interlink all systems and resorts to create the – by far – largest ski area in the world. However, that vision was ended with the creation of the Vanoise National Park.

1992 Winter Olympics

The Courchevel valley also includes the town of La Tania, built as competitors accommodation for the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville. Le Praz hosted the Olympic ski jumping and Nordic combined competitions for those games took place at Tremplin du Praz in Le Praz. [3] There was a ski jump in Courchevel 1850 on the snowfront, which was removed recently due to safety precautions.

2019 Fire

Before dawn on January 20th 2019, a fire broke out in one of the buildings in the hamlet of Courchevel 1850, which houses seasonal workers of the resort, killing two and injuring at least 22. A local French newspaper reported that 130 firefighters were on the scene. [4] [5]

2023 Alpine Ski World Championships

In May 2018, Courchevel was named a joint host of the 2023 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships with Méribel. [6] It will be the first time since 2009 that France has hosted the FIS World Championships, when they took place in Val d'Isère. Races in Courchevel will finish in Courchevel Le Praz. A new super-leisure centre called L'Alpinium is under construction in Le Praz and will improve connections to Courchevel 1850 and provide more parking. [7]


Courchevel is the most western resort of the Three Valleys, the biggest connected ski area in the world. It consists of four satellite villages: Courchevel Le Praz, Courchevel 1550, Courchevel 1650 and Courchevel 1850. Its highest resort, Courchevel 1850, is considered exclusive, attracting wealthy clientele including royal families. In the 2011–2012 season, Courchevel rebranded, changing the names of each of the four villages in a move away from the association with altitude. Courchevel 1850 is now known simply as Courchevel, Courchevel 1650 was renamed Courchevel Moriond; Courchevel 1550 is now called Courchevel Village and Courchevel 1330 was renamed Courchevel Le Praz. [8]

Courchevel has 11 luxury hotels with a 5-star ranking. In 2011 France introduced a 6th star ranking for hotels, named "palaces". Eight hotels in France have received this rating, of which two are in Courchevel's Jardin Alpin area. [9] The resort has seven restaurants with Michelin stars, of which four have two stars, including Le Chabichou. [10] It also hosts a variety of luxury shops including Louis Vuitton, Hermès, Valentino, Loro Piana, Prada, Cartier, Fendi, Dior and Chanel.[ citation needed ] The majority of Courchevel's visitors are Russian.[ citation needed ] Many Russians visit during New Year and Russian Orthodox Christmas on 7 January. As a result, the first two weeks of January are high season weeks in Courchevel. The resort's name is associated with the super-rich in Russia. [11]

Courchevel has one of the largest bases for ski instructors and other seasonal workers due to the size of the three valleys area. Courchevel's couloirs are considered some of the most difficult black runs in the world.[ citation needed ]

Courchevel's sister city is Park City, Utah in the United States, and it has a red-graded ski piste named "Park City".


Courchevel's Altiport Courchevel aeroport.jpg
Courchevel's Altiport

Courchevel's airport has a very short and steeply sloped runway, with a length of 525 metres (1,722 ft) and a gradient of 18.5%. The airport has a dangerous approach through deep valleys, which can only be performed by specially certified pilots. On landing there is no go-around procedure, as most of the world's airports have; there is merely a very steep hill which has seen a few accidents since the airport first opened. Larger propeller aircraft such as the Twin Otter and Dash 7 (carrying up to 50 people) have been regular users of the airport over the years, but have since been phased out of use and smaller Cessnas and helicopters are now the main users.[ citation needed ]

The History Channel program Most Extreme Airports, ranks it as the 7th most dangerous airport in the world. [12]

Sister cities

Related Research Articles

Savoie Department of France in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes

Savoie is a department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of Southeastern France. Located in the French Alps, its prefecture is Chambéry. In 2017, Savoie had a population of 431,174.

Val-dIsère Commune in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France

Val d'Isère is a commune of the Tarentaise Valley, in the Savoie department in southeastern France. It lies 5 km (3 mi) from the border with Italy. It is on the border of the Vanoise National Park created in 1963. During the Albertville 1992 Winter Olympics, the Face de Bellevarde was the site of the men's downhill race. Other alpine skiing events held during those games included men's giant slalom and alpine combined. Val d'Isère regularly hosts World Cup alpine events, usually for the men in early December, and hosted the World Championships in 2009. It is located in the Savoie région with good transport links in and out of Lyon, Geneva and Chambéry. The ski area of Val d'Isère and Tignes forms the Espace Killy, named after the triple Olympic champion Jean-Claude Killy who grew up in Val d'Isère. There are two mountain huts owned by the Vanoise National Park on the territory of Val d’Isère: le Refuge du Prariond and le Refuge du Fond des Fours.

Val Thorens

Val Thorens ([val tɔʁɑ̃], located in the Tarentaise Valley, Savoie, French Alps, located at an altitude of 2300m, is the highest ski town in Europe,. It is located in the commune of Saint-Martin-de-Belleville in the Savoie département. The resort forms part of the 3 vallées linked ski area which, with over 600 km of piste, is one of the largest linked ski areas in the world.


Méribel is a ski resort in the Tarentaise Valley in the French Alps, situated near the town of Moûtiers. Méribel refers to three neighbouring villages in the Les Allues commune of the Savoie département of France, near the town of Moûtiers, called Méribel Centre, Méribel-Mottaret and Méribel Village. The villages are within the Vanoise National Park and a part of the Les Trois Vallées interlinked ski system.

Les Trois Vallées Ski resort in France

Les Trois Vallées is a ski region in the Tarentaise Valley, Savoie département of France, to the south of the town of Moûtiers, partly in the Vanoise National Park.

French Alps Portion of the Alps mountain range within France

The French Alps are the portions of the Alps mountain range that stand within France, located in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur regions. While some of the ranges of the French Alps are entirely in France, others, such as the Mont Blanc massif, are shared with Switzerland and Italy.

Tignes Commune in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France

Tignes is a commune in the Tarentaise Valley, in the Savoie department in the Rhône-Alpes region in south-eastern France, known for the highest skiable area in Europe and the longest ski season in Europe. It is located in the Savoie region with good transport links in and out of Lyon, Geneva and Chambery.

Moûtiers Commune in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France

Moûtiers, historically also called Tarentaise, is a commune in the Savoie department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in south-eastern France.

Laurent Chappis was an architect and town planner, born in Aix-les-Bains, France. He created the French ski resort of Courchevel located in the Trois Vallées and in doing so practically wrote the rule book on how to design a ski resort. Chappis was a keen ski tourer exploring the mountains around Grenoble in the 1930s before joining the army and serving in the early stages of World War II. A decorated war hero he was captured in an attack on a German position in the final days before the French surrender and served five years in a PoW camp in Austria.

Saint-Martin-de-Belleville Part of Les Belleville in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France

Saint-Martin-de-Belleville is a former commune in the Savoie department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in south-eastern France. On 1 January 2016, it was merged into the new commune of Les Belleville.

Les Menuires

Les Menuires is a ski resort in the Belleville valley of Les Trois Vallées between Saint-Martin-de-Belleville and Val Thorens. Owned and operated by Compagnie des Alpes, it is in the Savoie département of France.

Paradiski is a ski-area in the Tarentaise Valley of France that offers uninterrupted skiing in between the areas of Les Arcs, Peisey-Vallandry and La Plagne. The area is linked, since December 2003, by the Vanoise Express lift. In total over the three resorts there are 160 lifts and 425 km (264 mi) of pistes, with 152 green/blue (beginner) runs, 79 red (intermediate) runs, and 22 black (expert) runs.

Tarentaise Valley

The Tarentaise Valley is a valley of the Isère River in the heart of the French Alps, located in the Savoy region of France. The valley is named for the ancient town of Darantasia, the capital of the pre-Roman Centrones tribe.

Vanoise National Park French national park in Savoie

Vanoise National Park is a French national park between the Tarentaise and Maurienne valleys in the French Alps, containing the Vanoise massif. It was created in 1963 as the first national park in France.

La Thuile, Aosta Valley Comune in Aosta Valley, Italy

La Thuile is a town and comune in the Aosta Valley of northwest Italy.

Saint-Bon-Tarentaise Part of Courchevel in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France

Saint-Bon-Tarentaise is a former commune in the Savoie department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in south-eastern France. On 1 January 2017, it was merged into the new commune Courchevel.

Sainte-Foy-Tarentaise Commune in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France

Sainte-Foy-Tarentaise is a commune in the Savoie department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in south-eastern France.

Tremplin du Praz

Tremplin du Praz is a ski jumping hill at Le Praz in Courchevel, France. The complex consists of four hills: a large hill with construction point of K125 (HS137), a normal hill at K90 (HS96), and two training hills at K60 and K25. The complex also has a cross-country skiing stadium used for Nordic combined. Jörg Ritzerfeld holds the large hill winter record of 134.0 metres and Nicolas Mayer the normal hill record of 100.5 metres.

2014–15 FIS Alpine Ski World Cup

The 49th World Cup season began on 25 October 2014, in Sölden, Austria, and concluded on 22 March 2015 at the World Cup finals in Meribel, France. The defending overall champions from the 2014 season - Marcel Hirscher and Anna Fenninger, both of Austria, defended their titles successfully. The season was interrupted by the World Championships in February, in the United States at Vail/Beaver Creek, Colorado. Combined events were not awarded as a discipline trophy.

Col de la Loze Mountain pass in the French Alps

The Col de la Loze is a mountain pass in the French Alps, with an elevation of 2,304 metres (7,559 ft). A path up the mountain was opened in May 2019, and is the seventh-highest mountain pass in France. The ascent featured in the 2020 Tour de France, as well as in the 2019 Tour de l'Avenir.


  1. Courchevel battle
  3. 1992 Winter Olympics official report. pp. 88–91. (in English and French)
  4. "Two killed in fire at French ski resort". 20 January 2019. Retrieved 20 January 2019.
  5. Willsher, Kim (20 January 2019). "Fire at French ski resort of Courchevel kills two". The Guardian. ISSN   0261-3077 . Retrieved 20 January 2019.
  6. "Hosts for 2022 and 2023 FIS World Championships Elected". Retrieved 17 January 2019.
  7. skichaletblogger. "The new Alpinium in Courchevel opens December 2019 |" . Retrieved 17 January 2019.
  8. Courchevel Changes Village Names
  9. "Two hotels in Courchevel receive Palace ranking". Archived from the original on 31 March 2012. Retrieved 28 August 2011.
  10. "Michelin Guide 2010 rankings for Courchevel are in". Archived from the original on 31 March 2012. Retrieved 28 August 2011.
  11. Winter sport Russia 2006/jan/22
  12. Most Extreme Airports ; channel 5; October 14, 2010

Coordinates: 45°24′54″N6°38′02″E / 45.41500°N 6.63389°E / 45.41500; 6.63389