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From the gentle and wide motorway pistes of groomed perfection to the adrenaline-fueled steep blacks and couloirs at the top of La Saulire, Courchevel 1850 has something special up its designer sleeve for everyone.
In terms of best kept secrets, a good place to start is the Chapelets red piste situated on the upper parts of Courchevel Moriond at 2,268 meters. This twisting and winding piste offers extraordinary views towards the Avals valley, Dent du Villard and the Portetta Mountain at 2,867 meters. This is an absolute treat following fresh snowfall or early morning when groomed to perfection.
Onwards to the Cave des Creux red piste situated between Pralong and Les Creux, which is conveniently located next to a gem of a mountain restaurant of the same name. It is a wide piste groomed daily and you’ll just catch a glimpse of the altiport and heliport as you cruise down.
For the more adventurous, the Combe de Pylones black piste (so named after the first cable car pylons were installed in 1952) is a favorite of the locals and hides away among the jagged peaks of La Saulire. It is usually quiet, as not everyone will find it, so it always has great snow. It can be steep and challenging in places, so adrenaline is guaranteed.
At the heart of Courchevel’s ski area, and the crossroads of all the valley’s ski routes, you’ll find a paradise for families, teens and keen freestylers. The Family Park is a wonderland of rails, tables and jumps, moguls, boarder crosses, a big air bag and more.
It opens one night a week as part of the Verdons By Night, which a great chance to enjoy the park and music beneath the stars. The Verdons By Night XXL event, held twice during the season, is a feel-good celebration with large-scale firework displays and beautiful torch-lit descents.
Carried by the wind, swirling in the thermals and gliding over ranges and valleys, all while on skies … welcome to paragliding skiing. Tandem flights take off from high up on the Loze near to la Soucoupe restaurant with experienced instructors offering a moment of escape and freedom above the Les 3 Valleés ski area.
After an exhilarating day on the slopes, Six Senses Spa Courchevel, which is part of Six Senses Residences Courchevel, offers all local residents, chalet owners and skiing enthusiasts a welcome respite. It offers a range of restorative therapies focusing on warming tired muscles, rehabilitating fatigued joints and boosting circulation; signature massages to re-energize and relax; and facial and body treatments by The Organic Pharmacy adapted or designed exclusively to keep the skin nourished and hydrated during the winter season.
The NormaTec dynamic compression boots are available to guests who wish to recover faster between workouts or skiing sessions by reducing muscle soreness and improving circulation. A wearable electrotherapy device, iTENS, delivers effective and lasting pain relief by sending tiny electrical signals through the skin to intercept pain signals from reaching the brain and to help release endorphins.
Refreshed and restored, why not head back out to the slopes, this time for some sledding. The husky sledding tour takes you through the forest in the safe hands of a professional musher while you remain comfortably seated in the sledge. The luge experience is where you take your life in your own hands down the luge tracks and is not for the faint-hearted.
Another bucket-list experience is having a go at driving a giant piste basher, flattening everything that lies in your path. This somewhat quirky experience will make you appreciate all the hard work that goes into preparing the pistes at night, especially on your first run down the pristine piste the next morning that you helped to prepare.
If all of that activity is hungry work, Courchevel is world-famous for après ski. Le 1947 recently acquired its third Michelin star in a resort boasting the highest concentration of Michelin-starred restaurants in Europe. Other favorites include Nammos and CapHorn; it is recommended you book in advance. Before you leave, there is just time to experience the thrill of off-piste driving on a snow-scooter tour led by a guide, leading to a woodcutter’s hut for an evening with music, wine and traditional Savoyard food.