Less advanced than its neighbor in higher altitude, Courchevel 1850, the small village of Courchevel 1650 nonetheless provides almost the same ease of access to the largest ski area in the world. Attracted by the authentic’ mountain village ‘ ambiance, the resort is particularly popular with families in Les 3 Vallées searching for a comfortable and relaxing location.
Renowned for its varied terrain and calm, well-groomed hills, the pistes of Courchevel 1650 appear to be much less active than the ones higher up at 1850. At the foot of the resort, there is a beginner ski area where the long blues and rolling red runs are ideal for intermediates. Anyone finding a challenge will note that the steep black ski runs and couloirs above Courchevel 1850 are only a ride away from the ski lift. There’s also plenty of spectacular off-piste terrain including several routes down the Les Avals valley to the left of 1650, where fresh tracks can often be found days after snowfall.
Courchevel 1650’s main portion has developed along the road connecting Courchevel Village to 1850. The center is attractive and lined with low-key shops, lively bars and restaurants serving delicious Savoyard cuisine, beneath the lift base area. Chalets spread from the main gondola down the hill, and there are many luxurious ski-in / ski-out chalets in the prestigious Belvedere area.
Although Courchevel’s focus is skiing, the resort has plenty to keep non-skiers amused. The biggest European water park in the alps, Aquamotion, is situated at the Grandes Combe, between Courchevel 1650 and Courchevel 1550. In summer and winter, Aquamotion is open seven days a week and has a range of exceptional facilities including several swimming pools, a spa, fitness center and climbing wall. Courchevel also has some excellent walking trails, and snowshoeing is a particularly scenic experience amongst the trees.
Ski area: Les 3 Vallées
Resort altitude: 1650 m
Top altitude: 3230 m
Pistes: 600 km
Nearest airport: Chambéry – 1h20min by car / 100 km