- Endless Trois Vallées
- Country life
- The place to ski
Courchevel has built a reputation as a high-altitude, high-living resort where the beautiful people come to see and be seen, yet every winter it’s the vastness of the Trois Vallées that steals the show.
The largest ski area in the world has 330 separate runs to point your Chanel skis down and there’s challenging off-piste skiing too. Even if you eschew the upscale piste-side restaurants – and we recommend you don’t – you’ll never tackle the Trois Vallées in a single visit. Conserve your energy; you’re going to need it for some of the most glamorous nightlife in the French Alps.
- Call +33 (0)4 79 01 10 10 to pre-order a taxi from Locatax, based in the heart of Courchevel.
- Tipping culture
- A service charge is normally added to your bill (‘service compris’) in restaurants and cafés but it’s still customary to leave a small tip. For taxi fares, add 10 per cent to the metered charge
- Siesta and fiesta
- Keen skiers start their day early, with most slopes up and running from around 9am until around 5pm – then the après-ski scene kicks in – most bars and clubs stay open until early morning.
- Raclette, tartiflette and fondue are deliciously filling and will replace all the energy you’ve expended on the slopes. Wild mushrooms are particularly good in fondues while the local smoked pork and cured ham are full of flavour. Epogne is baked dough filled with cheese and vegetables and makes for a great snack. Forest berries and orchard fruits are often made into irresistible desserts.
- Regional specialities
- Savoyard specialities include the region’s strong Beaufort and Reblochon cheeses. Pike, perch and trout come from the Alpine rivers and from Lake Annecy; Fera fish paté is a delicacy. You should also try the herb-laden pormoniers sausages and the terrines; both are excellent with the local Mondeuse red. Chez le Gaulois at Le Forum in Courchevel has an extensive selection of gourmet goodies, including hams, cheeses, and a superb range of Cognac.
- Time zone
- GMT +1.
- Dialling codes
- Country code for France: +33. Courchevel: (0)4.
- Do go/don't go
- The ski season lasts from early December until April, with Christmas the busiest time. The resort is popular with Russians so Orthodox Christmas on 7 January is lively too. Courchevel needs the rest of the year to recover; it’s very quiet out of season.