Go skiing in Courchevel

A winter holiday in this chic Alpine resort will keep you busy on and off the slopes, as FRANCE Magazine dsicovers ADVERTISING FEATURE

The most eastern resort of the Trois Vallées ski area, Courchevel is synonymous with glitz and glamour, an A-list clientele and world-class skiing. Considered the Saint-Tropez of winter sports, the resort is a haven for skiers of all abilities with 150 kilometres of well-groomed pistes served by 58 lifts, and a variety of après-ski activities, making it the perfect place for a winter break. The resort is actually made up of four ski villages, all at different altitudes, with Courchevel (1850) by far the biggest.

Beginners can practise in one of four ‘ZEN’ areas, which come with soft slopes and are situated in quieter, more enclosed areas of the resort. For more advanced skiers, Courchevel Valley has plenty of red and black runs, which reach altitudes of 2,700 metres in some parts of the Saulire-Creux ski sector. The black run known as Grand Couloir is one of the resort’s most famous ski slopes, and along with the Jean Blanc and Jockeys runs, will really put your techniques and skills to the test with descents complemented by panoramic valley vistas.

Away from the skiing, visitors have plenty of other winter activities to enjoy, such as exploring the local area on snowshoes with a local guide. Qualified mountain leader Laurence Poulet, who runs Natur’elle Rando, will take you on a panoramic trail past icy rivers, snow-covered spruces and across hidden ski slopes.

Tobogganing is another popular activity, allowing skiers to experience the slopes from a different perspective as they hurtle down a two-kilometre-long sledge run. The route is floodlit in the evenings, and with a 300-metre drop in altitude from start to finish it delivers an adrenalin rush for thrill seekers.

When it comes to après-ski, Courchevel is known for its top-quality restaurants. For typical Savoyard cuisine in a cosy Alpine chalet setting, L’Arc en Ciel makes a great choice for lunch or dinner. The chic On the Roch serves refined dishes based on produce from the terroir, while Le Black Pyramid restaurant at the Hôtel K2 is a place to go for an indulgent treat.

Another luxury is to relax in one of the resort’s many spas. At the Grandes Alpes hotel, the Spa Valmont specialises in hydrotherapy and skincare treatments which will leave you refreshed after a day on the slopes.

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The Hôtel des Trois Vallées makes a convenient place to stay as it stands at the foot of the ski slopes in the centre of Courchevel (1850). The 39-room hotel is the oldest in the resort and has recently been renovated.

For more information on where to stay and what to do, see www.courchevel.com

Eurotunnel Le Shuttle is the quickest way to the continent by car. Book early and get the best fares to explore Courchevel. Visit www.eurotunnel.com or call 0870 850 8133 to book your crossing.