Less sophisticated than its higher-altitude neighbour, Courchevel 1850, the small village of Courchevel 1650 still offers almost the same ease of access to the world’s largest ski area. Attracted by the authentic ‘mountain village’ ambiance, the resort is particularly popular with families looking for a friendly and relaxed base in Les 3 Vallées.
Renowned for its varied terrain and quiet, well-groomed slopes, Courchevel 1650’s pistes tend to be a lot less busy than those higher up at 1850. The resort has a beginner ski area at the foot of the resort whilst a myriad of long blues and rolling red runs are ideal for intermediates. Those looking for a challenge will find that the steep black ski runs and couloirs above Courchevel 1850 are only a ski lift ride away. There is also plenty of incredible off-piste terrain including several routes down the valley of Les Avals to the left of 1650, where fresh tracks can often be found days after fresh snow.
The main part of Courchevel 1650 has developed along the road that links Courchevel Village to 1850. The centre, below the lift base area, is attractive and lined with low-key shops, lively bars and restaurants serving delicious Savoyard cuisine. Chalets spread down the hill from the main gondola and there are many luxury ski-in/ski-out chalets located in the prestigious Belvedere area.
Whilst the highlight of Courchevel is the skiing, non-skiers will find the resort has plenty to keep them entertained. Located at the Grandes Combe, between Courchevel 1650 and Courchevel 1550, is the largest European water park in the mountains, Aquamotion. Open seven days a week in summer and winter, Aquamotion has a range of exceptional facilities including several swimming pools, a spa, fitness centre and climbing wall. Courchevel also has some excellent walking trails, and snowshoeing amongst the trees is a particularly scenic experience.