About Courchevel

Courchevel is the name of the quality ski resort located in the Tarentaise Valley, part of the Savoie region of the French Alps. It forms part of Les Trois Vallées, the largest linked ski area in the world.

Courchevel

The original resort was planned during the Second World War with a study in 1942 by the Vichy regime and in a doctorate by the town planner Laurent Chappis. In March 1946 the first ski lift was begun and a chairlift between Courchevel and Les Tovets was installed. The plateau of Les Tovets was developed to become what we now know as Courchevel 1850 and the renaming of the various levels of the resort proved to be controversial. Courchevel was already the name of a small hamlet further down the valley (just below the current Courchevel 1550), the local inhabitants were not happy at having their name appropriated and being relegated to the title of ‘Courchevel Dessous’ or ‘Lower Courchevel’. A compromise was reached whereby it was agreed to name all the levels Courchevel, with their altitude included in the name to distinguish one from the other. The inclusion of the altitude was not merely a naming convention though as much as a cunning marketing ploy – Courchevel 1850 was thus named in direct competition with rival resort Val d’Isère (at 1800 metres), despite only really being at an altitude of 1747 metres. Courchevel 1850 was significant as it was the first resort in France to be constructed from scratch rather than based around an existing village. Courchevel also refers to the towns of Courchevel 1300 (Le Praz - the original village), Courchevel 1550, Courchevel 1650 (Moriond), and Courchevel 1850. The Courchevel valley also includes the town of La Tania, built just before the  1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville. Le Praz hosted the Olympic ski jump in that year.

Courchevel's couloirs are renowned as some of the most difficult black runs in the world.

Courchevel also has an airport or Altiport (Courchevel Airport).

Courchevel's airport also has a certain degree of infamy in the aviation industry as home to one of the shortest runways in the world, with a length of 525 m and a gradient of 18.5% in order to help slow down the  landing aircraft. The airport has a dangerous approach through deep valleys which can only be performed by specially certified (or certifiable) pilots.

Resort information - 3 Valleys

  • Top station (Val Thorens): 3,300m
  • Maximum vertical drop: 1,438m
  • Snow cannons: Over 500 in Courchevel
  • 3V uplift capacity per hour: 200,000
  • 600kms of pistes in the 3V

More 3 Valley information / Trois Vallee


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View La Tania & Le Praz Chalets & Resort Info in a larger map