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History of Courchevel
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History of Courchevel

Nestled at the heart of the Tarentaise Valley and well located both in terms of skiing and infrastructure construction, Courchevel long ago became one of the most world popular resorts famous for its charming chalets and luxury hotels.

How it all began

Courchevel

Courchevel

Courchevel is on everyone’s lips. Why? Because it is a synonym of “luxury”, “wealth”, and “exclusiveness”. However, the history of this resort actually started not so long ago, just in 1942 with a wise market-speak. Once the leaders of the French Vichy province decided to build an international ski resort as an alternative to Swiss ones thereby attracting tourists to the area.

The idea was to build an international resort with a powerful ski lifts system providing access to the world’s largest skiing area so that one can move around virtually without taking off skis. So now everyone’s favorite ski-in / ski-out concept was invented in Courchevel.

However, the outbreak of World War II postponed the project implementation.  Laurent Chappis, appointed Courchevel’s chief architect, was imprisoned in an Austrian prisoner of war camp and spent 5 years there.

The concept of the resort involved the construction of a city around the pistes so that skiers got to the slopes immediately after stepping across the threshold. Already in 1946, the resort was solemnly opened. The first ski lift was located on Croisette Square (whose name was borrowed from the embankment of the same name in the equally popular Cannes) and Méribel was added to the skiing area in 1951. In 1973, the Three Valleys skiing area really finally became the largest one in the world. Celebrities flocked to Courchevel in the 70s proving that the idea was a success.

The idea was to build an international resort with a powerful ski lifts system providing access to the world’s largest skiing area

Alternative to Swiss resorts

Alternative to Swiss resorts

The first ski lift

The first ski lift

Courchevel nowadays

The resort consists of 4 ski stations: Le Praz (1300), Courchevel-Village (1550), Courchevel-Morgiond (1650) and Courchevel 1850. The latter is that legendary village. By the way, it is just a stone’s throw from the same to-class resorts: Méribel and Val Thorens.

No wonder that the resort is so popular as it is located in the center of the vast ski areas of Three Valleys with 600 kilometers of pistes, 185 ski lifts, and eight resorts. Skiers of any level will feel comfortable in Courchevel. There are plenty of pistes of various difficulties at the resort. Both beginners and reckless daredevils will like the skiing here.

We recommend those who are just starting to ski to pay attention to the Belkot and Pralon pistes, which will suit even very young skiers. Average holidaymakers will like La Wiesel and the most beautiful Buk Blanc piste running picturesquely through the forest. As for extreme-lovers, Col du Paz du Lac, Les Aval, and Gran Coulois will be best for them. But what is most important, ski areas are interconnected by lifts so the question “How to get from point A to point B?” will not arise.

There are plenty of pistes of various difficulty at the resort

Everyone will have fun

Everyone will have fun

The resort consists of 4 ski stations

The resort consists of 4 ski stations

Not just skiing

Rather surprising, but according to statistics only fifty percent of those arriving in Courchevel really ski or snowboard. Others come here just to relax. Luxurious restaurants, expensive boutiques, and fun parties are the main things the word “Courchevel” is associated with now.

So if you get tired of skiing or do not like skiing at all, you can choose another pastime: go shopping (there are about 100 stores in Courchevel), arrange a gastro-trip to local Michelin-starred restaurants or hang out at a nightclub. You can also ride a toboggan (there is a 2-kilometer long toboggan run) or go ice skating at the Courchevel 1850 sports center. By the way, figure-skating shows and ice-hockey matches are often held here. You can also bowl, play squash, and even go rock climbing here.

Courchevel 1850 preserved beautiful national architecture. You can see chic alpine chalets here, which now house popular hotels, restaurants, and shops. This is the best area to have a walk. You can combine exploring architectural sights with tasting popular national specialties.

According to statistics only fifty percent of those arriving in Courchevel really ski or snowboard. Others come here just to relax

Courchevel Restaurants

Courchevel Restaurants

Views of Courchevel

Views of Courchevel

It doesn’t matter whether you stay in a chalet, hotel or just come for a few hours to ski, you will definitely plunge into the unique atmosphere of Courchevel, which makes this resort so popular.

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