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Courchevel Darling!! - Champagne Lifestyle on Beer Money – Part Three

So, we’re finally in resort and ready to hit the snow.  But have you got your ski’s/board, lift pass, otherwise you’re not going anywhere.


Most tour operators can offer you good deals on ski hire and lift passes. To get them ordered and organised on the coach is the best case scenario if you have this option. This means everything is arranged for you, you’ll get your lift passes there and then and all you have to do is go and pick up your equipment at the hire shop that has been selected for you. You can order different grades of equipment depending on your ability (and budget) and you’re ready to go


If you are travelling independently it can be a good idea to arrange these things beforehand. Lift passes are available at the local tourist office/lift pass office, these are in La Tania, la Praz, 1550, 1650 and 1850.  You can go from 8.30am. Rates for Courchevel and 3 Valleys vary depending on the time of year, but this could quite possibly be one of your biggest expenses during your stay so make sure you look into the deals and group discounts on offer.  For an extra twenty or so euros per week, you can add a carte neige which is an added insurance to get you off the piste etc. without having to pay an excess on your travel insurance.


Equipment is fairly easy to get hold of in resort and all offer competitive prices.  One thing I would note is if you are planning on booking your equipment before you travel; please make sure that the store is based in the resort you are staying. Sounds simple I know, but as a former rep, I lost count of the number of people that booked the cheapest deal with a reputable supplier, but turned up with a booking to collect their equipment from a shop in Brides Les Bains or even as far as Albertville without realising what they had done.  Try and go on the day you arrive, I know that you’re super keen to explore, but if you arrive on Saturday afternoon, its better to go, whilst the resort is on changeover (and many out of resort)rather than on the Sunday morning when everyone is up early trying to get up the mountain at the same time.  Also note that if you have any issues with your equipment that hire shops generally close between 12 and 4 (so their staff can get a few hours on the snow themselves) so make sure you get to them either in the morning or early evening to get the issue resolved.

Once on the mountain, there is a whole host of places to visit, if you are keen to explore, the entire 3 valleys is on your doorstep and stopping for snacks or lunch can be a little hit and miss.  I remember being on a group lesson to make sure I was up to a guiding standard when I first went to Courchevel. During one of the afternoon sessions the weather had come in and one of the group decided he’d had enough and after offering to buy the drinks for everyone (in total 7 of us), we didn’t take much convincing to call it a day. When asked for the nearest place to stop, the instructor directed us to the Le Cap Horn near the Altiport where he ordered 7 Tia Maria coffees. But when the bill came round at 168 euros we almost choked on them. As I haven’t yet won the lottery, I haven’t been back.


If you are staying in the Courchevel Valley, there are a few places I would suggest. La Tania I tend to visit the Ski Lodge for lunch, you can get a burger and chips for around 15 euros, or for a quick hot chocolate there is a small ‘hole in the wall’ type café called Snow Food, where you can get a drink, bar of chocolate and Panini’s if you want a quick stop. In 1650, you have La Boulotte (aka Katie’s), you do have to walk a little way (200 yards or so, but the food is great and reasonably priced.  In 1850, if you don’t mind the walk and want a quick bite, you have the Bakery in the Forum building, but on the mountain there is Les Chenus, which has amazing views and great food, it did used to be self-service, but they have this year renovated and changed the menu which is a bit more pricey, they were however happy for 4 of us to share a couple of pizzas and really looked after us.  These are just a few places that I’ve been to recently, have still been reasonably priced and really enjoyed. Also, if you have kids (and this is non-food related) the Indiens run towards 1650 has a recreated indian village with Tee Pee tents where they can spend 10 minutes looking around and for a small donation have their faces painted.


Across the rest of the 3 Valleys there are so many restaurants to choose from and prices vary greatly.  One thing I cannot stress enough, if you are on a budget, do not sit down in a restaurant anywhere before checking out the menu outside, you don’t want to have to re-mortgage just for a couple of drinks!

skichevel · 1442 days ago
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The brave don't live forever but the cautious don't live at all
11.03.2014 (1442 days ago)
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Courchevel Darling!! - Champagne Lifestyle on Beer Money – Part Three