Courchevel may be famous for its ski slopes but it’s not all about skiing and snowboarding, there are plenty of other ways to experience a magical winter holiday without putting ski boots on!
Here are our top tips for ways you can happily fill your week’s stay in Courchevel without skis, including not-to-be-missed experiences such as husky sledding, sledging and snow shoeing as well as more indulgent relaxation activities and some of our favourite shops and cafés in Courchevel…
Getting around without skis
First things first: it is easy to explore the resort and the Courchevel Valley on foot and using the free shuttle buses that run between the various villages of Courchevel (La Tania, Le Praz, Courchevel Village, Courchevel Moriond and 1850). There will be a bus timetable in your chalet.
Our chalets are all situated within a short walk of the village centre in La Tania or Le Praz, and the bus stops are easy to locate on the main road. Please note that in La Tania and Courchevel 1850 the same bus stop is for dropping off and collecting passengers whereas in Le Praz, Courchevel Village and Courchevel Moriond the bus stops are on opposite sides of the road.
Explore a side to Courchevel that skiers don’t usually get to experience… Snow-shoeing is a truly magical way to discover the secret life of the forest, observing the footprints criss-crossing the 17km (10 miles) of walking tracks, enjoying the peaceful sounds of streams and birdsong and feeling in awe of nature, far away from the slopes.
You’ll need to hire snow-shoes and poles from a local sports equipment shop, and wear walking boots and waterproof trousers and carry some water. Maps are available from the tourist office, or even better – hire a guide who will be able to share their vast knowledge of the mountain flora and fauna and give you an insight into the history and geography of the valley.
Pip Line is a qualified International Mountain leader and offers various packages or tailored trips:
- Lunch in a mountain refuge
- A twilight walk
- Group or private outings
- Half or Full day
- Call: +33 (06) 71 09 75 95
- Email: email@example.com
Swimming and spa
Courchevel’s fabulous Aquamotion swimming and spa centre is well worth a visit for any non-skiers during a stay in Courchevel. There are two areas inside the pool: one large space with a lanes pool, interior and exterior zones with lazy river, bubble zone and massage jets, diving pool, water slides and a fun area for small children. The separate spa area is for adults only (18+) and features saunas, steam rooms, jacuzzi pools, a plunge pool and salt cave. The Aquamotion centre also features a surfing zone which can be viewed from the café, as well as a beauty treatment and massage wellness area and an indoor climbing wall which is great for children.
Pricing is available on the website. If you think you will visit several times during the week to swim it is worth investing in the 18-hour pass which allows changing time as extra.
The Aquamotion climbing area is also home to an indoor climbing wall (11m high) and bouldering area, open in the afternoons and costing (in 2021) €15 for half a day pass. There is a great children’s climbing area upstairs with self-belay devices and plenty of fun, colourful walls to try out and boulders to knock down! It is open to children aged 6 and over (or 20kg and over).
Courchevel’s Forum Centre
Located in 1850, the Forum is also home to a climbing wall and high ropes trail which is open in the afternoons from 5pm or from 3pm on bad weather days.
Also in the Forum is an indoor patinoire – ice-skating rink. Open in the afternoons from 3pm, you can hire ice skates and skate around to your heart’s content. Events at the ice rink include skating galas and ice hockey matches – keep an eye on the ‘what’s on’ part of the Courchevel website or the brochure from the tourist office.
Shopping & cafés
The Forum has plenty of lovely boutiques, a boulangerie, home furnishings shops and the gorgeous Chocolaterie Piste Noire which smells utterly divine and has the very best hot chocolate in Courchevel.
Elsewhere in 1850 you’ll find all manner of designer shops for clothes and jewellery, as well as ski gear, wine and souvenirs. In the Croisette centre, we recommend the buzzy Polar Café which makes a reasonably price pit-stop for coffee and cake. Further down the road in Moriond (get a bus from outside the Croisette) you’ll find shops with wonderful cheeses/delicatessen counters, ski gear and clothing including a Super Dry as well as gifts from the Maison de la Presse.
Pedestrian lift pass
You don’t need skis to ride the gondolas! Pedestrians can easily get on the bubble lifts too, in order to meet up with skiing and snowboarding friends for lunch or a drink, or simply to wander around and enjoy the views and take some photos of the magnificent scenery.
The Courchevel pedestrian pass is available for different durations, ranging from one return trip (includes the journey up and down), to a week-long pedestrian lift pass. Our top tips for using your pedestrian pass include experiencing the incredible views of the endless white peaks from the top of La Saulire (start from the Verdons in 1850’s Croisette building, then take the large La Saulire cable car), or enjoying a leisurely lunch, people-watching and enjoying the sunny terrace of the Bouc Blanc restaurant from the Tania gondola which departs from La Tania village. Sometimes in the late summer there’s also live music in the afternoons. For a change of scene we also recommend getting the Ariondaz bubble from Courchevel Moriond and heading to the Bel Air restaurant, which also has a fabulous terrace from which you can watch the skiers and relax over a drink or lunch. There is a picnic room and toilets at the top of the lift, and the Wild West themed beginners area has a tipi you can visit, offering tea or vin chaud for the grown ups and facepainting and dressing up for the youngsters!
Hot air ballooning
Floating peacfeully way above the tiny skiers and snowboarders, what better way to see Courchevel than by air? From the mountainside altiport you’ll take to the skies and drift on the breezes whilst taking in the action below and see the mountains stretch far into the distance. A truly amazing experience for a special occasion.
SkiVol operates two balloons for 5/6 passengers every morning.
There are several different options for sledging in the Courchevel Valley, ranging from gentle slopes to rather more hair-raising experiences!
In the afternoons, children and their families gather on the La Tania snow front to enjoy an après-ski drink and for the children to sledge at the foot of the slopes. In Le Praz, the nursery slope with its ‘magic carpet’ escalator lift makes sledging extra easy for children.
For older children and adults, there is a long (and free!) toboggan track which runs from 1850 opposite the Croisette building all the way down to Courchevel Village at 1550m. It’s a great ride through the forest with lots of twists and turns. You can hire sledges in Courchevel Village and take them up on the Grangettes bubble lift if you have a lift pass (or after 16.45 when it is free), or alternatively you can walk up to the bus stop and get the free bus up to 1850. We recommend wearing ski pants, a helmet and even goggles as the snow can fly in your face!
On the Moriond Racing sledge run, helmets are obligatory! This is a paid track, which includes a sledge and helmet. Its a fantastic shaped 3km trail with loops, hairpins and tunnels – definitely worth a visit!
Yoga and pilates
If you would like to keep up with your usual yoga or pilates activities during your holiday then we can put you in touch with teachers that will visit you in the chalet for a workout in the mountains. What better place to reconnect with nature than whilst enjoying the views from your chalet during a yoga session?
Contact us for details.
Massage and beauty treatments
Indulge in some ‘me’ time whilst your friends and family are out skiing. Make sure your holiday is all about relaxation and book a massage or beauty therapist to visit you in the chalet. We can help you to organise daily relaxation massages, sports massage, pedicures, facials, even a mobile hairdresser to make sure you look a million dollars… You name it, we can find someone locally that can provide it!
Experience a wild ride through the snow, snuggled in a fur blanket in your sled driven by an authentic musher and pulled by huskies. Dog-sledding is a real adventure!