Courchevel Ski Resort Information
There is a wide choice of activities in Courchevel besides skiing and snowboarding. Outdoor options include snowshoeing, quad biking, ice karting, toboggan runs, snow rafting or a leisurely sleigh ride. While indoors Le Forum has an Olympic-sized ice-skating rink, 13m-high (45ft) climbing wall, games room and a bowling alley. Spa facilities are available in numerous upscale hotels, and in many cases are open to the public.
For those with a head for heights, paragliding and hang-gliding are available. The same views can also be enjoyed by helicopter, balloon or scenic plane flight – with the option of learning to fly the plane yourself.
More unusual opportunities include a cultural tour of Courchevel, cookery courses with a Michelin-starred chef, or language lessons in a resort where some 60 different nationalities are normally present. And, after years of collaboration with the renowned Galeries Bartoux, Courchevel has also established itself as a centre of contemporary art in the mountains, with galleries in the resort and ski area.
Courchavel keeps a firm eye on satisfying the needs of its younger clientele; indeed in this sector Courchevel initiated a world first, pioneering a clever system involving magnets that help to keep kids safe on chairlifts.
When the lifts close, toboggan runs are set up; running down from Courchevel’s slopes to its villages, where a fast gondola is waiting to whisk sledders back up.
Off the slopes, Le Forum sports centre in Courchevel has a rope swing and ‘mini-guides' course. There's also a specially designed bowling alley for children aged five and over, and the resort's cinemas show family films in school-holiday periods.
Children aged from 18 months and up can be cared for by the École de Ski Français (ESF) nursery (tel: +33 479 080 772; www.esfcourchevel.com).
With more than 150 shops in Courchevel as a whole, the resort is a shopaholic’s paradise. The majority of stores are concentrated in the main Courchevel resort and, as you would expect given its upmarket reputation, these include the kind of designer fashion, jewellery, lingerie and perfumery boutiques you would find in the most exclusive districts of Paris, London or New York.
There are plenty of non-designer establishments available too, ranging from souvenir shops to bakeries.
Courchevel's Animation Services (tel: +33 479 220 107; www.animationservices.net) can organise amazing treats and feats limited only by imagination and budget. Its ‘Declaration of Love' concept involves a series of 20 increasingly wonderful surprises, many set against spectacular mountain scenery, with the aim of leaving the woman or man in your life lost for words.