Courchevel and Meribel, 2 destinations in Les 3 Vallées. 1 population, multiplied by 10 in the winter, thanks to its 600 km of ski slopes, 5-star establishments, the typical characteristics of a mountain village, and luxury chalets. Imposing but still cozy.
Courchevel, the long version
Courchevel's destiny was mapped out from birth. With an exceptional location and ideal snowy conditions, the resort had immediate success, even before tasting glory at the ‘92 Olympics. "Courchevel" is actually 5 villages scattered in the Vallée de la Tarentaise, the most famous being Courchevel 1850. Luxury tourism has a strong presence, with over 48 hotels - 19 of them boasting 5 stars, 8 Michelin-starred restaurants, and countless beautiful mountain chalets. Pure luxury and fresh air.
It is also one of the most expensive destinations in Europe, with one square meter costing 7,000 euros, and hotels averaging 400 euros per night. A member of the Trois-Vallées (the largest in the world, where you can explore everything without your taking off your boots), Courchevel offers many options for most sports: skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, rackets, sledding … and for those sensitive to too much force.
The capital, Courchevel Saint-Bon, is a true mountain village at 1,100 meters above sea level, with shuttle buses to the resorts nestled above. One can find delicious Savoyard restaurants, the l'Église Saint-Bon, and many sore skiers aching after a day on the slopes.
200 meters above, Courchevel Le Praz has direct access to 4 ski slopes reaching Courchevel 1850. The resort is famous for its ski jumps, which hosted Olympic athletes in ‘92, and welcome neighboring schools.
Always higher, Courchevel 1550, at … 1550 meters, is the first real ski resort, connected to its 2 elders (Courchevel 1650 and 1850) by several ski lifts and slopes. This is where we find the first huge and comfortable hotels and, recently, the Aquamotion pool complex, to throw yourself in the sauna and melt like snow in the sun.
Courchevel 1650, is a guarantee for a good sunbath; the one we nicknamed "Moriond, the sunny" is perched on a balcony with perfect orientation (southwest, for those who don't know). Slightly offset from its other cousins, Courchevel 1650 has its own ski pass, however still with access to the other destinations (phew).
Finally, Courchevel 1850, the real Courchevel is the best known and most developed resort, with many restaurants, bars and even clubs, a city in the mountains. This is where we also find the most beautiful chalets, true historical monuments such as the Chalet Lang, a symbol of the resort, the Joliot-Curie chalets and Petit Navire, even the Chapelle Notre-Dame de l’Assomption.
Why Courchevel? Because ...
- Safe bets are the best bets
- First sports, then comfort in a beautiful restaurant or chalet
- You have itchy feet, therefore 3 destinations are better than 1
Méribel, my beauty
A destination of prestige in the Trois-vallées, Meribel is certainly less publicized than Courchevel, but equally luxurious. Well, nearly, it only possesses 1 Michelin-starred restaurant. The resort is known for its typical architecture, beautifully conserved according Savoyard traditions. The chalets are impressive, too, but always mixed with the grace of its landscape, whether on the slopes, in a small residential area or haven in the forest.
Also composed of 5 villages, actually more of neighborhoods, Meribel is not as developed as Courchevel. Its center, Courchevel-Centre (easy), includes most of the restaurants, hot, ls and activities whereas Méribel-Mottaret features a lot of housing. The other 3 quarters, Méribel-Village (typical mountain village), Méribel-Les-Allues (capital) and Méribel-Les-Hauts (grounds of the Heliport) are less popular.
Méribel is worth a look for those who ...
- Appreciate the beautiful properties
- Love tourists, but from a distance (in Courchevel)
- Love Savoy, and is not afraid to let it show
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