It's the school holidays, the resort is full of families and it's getting a little warmer.
The days are a little longer, and the snow is already deep in the resort. With the school holidays in full force, on the slopes and throughout the Three Valleys it's buzzing with activity.
Read on for a look at what we like to do in resort throughout February.
What are the weather and snow conditions like
The unpredictable nature of the mountains means that there might be a few snowy days - on average 12 - but don’t forget to pack your sunscreen. The average daily temperatures generally fall between a high of freezing and -8°C, definitely not time for going without a thermal under-layer.
The pistes are usually in a very good condition, in particular the higher parts of the resort, like Saulire. If you're out at first lifts, then the black run above La Tania should be groomed to perfection, and the snow that tends to fall at this time of year increases the snow depths and nicely covers any ice patches that may have appeared.
What's on in Courchevel in February?
The International Pyrotechnic Festival returns to Courchevel and we cannot stress enough how you should not miss it, It’s not your ordinary fireworks display, it's usually themed and is a competition between pyrotechnic teams from around the world who put on an unbelievable show to try and win over the judges. It’s all free and hot drinks are provided by Courchevel Tourism.
For an exquisite fine dining experience, then the restaurant at Hotel La Sivoliere, Le 1850 - Be Organic, is the perfect place. The service is exceptional and the food is of a very high standard. Enjoy a delicious cocktail in the bar lounge room before being wined and dined in their restaurant.
For a more traditional option, head to La Fromagerie, an Alpine-style restaurant in Courchevel 1850 where you can gorge on cheese-based local foods like fondue or their speciality which is the 'Potence Flambée' – chunks of beef steak flambéed in whisky, cooked at your table.
If you prefer a fun and lively Valentine’s night with your partner, then head to Copiña Bar in Courchevel Moriond. You can indulge in an impressive range of drinks and tapas, including cutting-edge cocktails, hand-selected craft beers, world wines and Iberian-sourced bites.
How to avoid the February holiday rush in Courchevel?
February is a popular month for families so the slopes are noticeably busier as soon as the four-week French holidays begin. Fortunately, the Three Valleys ski area is so vast, that even in high season you can find quiet slopes and minimal lift queues. Here are our insider's top tips for the school holidays:
- It will be almost impossible to book private lessons over this period, group lessons are the best option. Make sure to get your ski and snowboard lessons booked well in advance to avoid disappointment.
- If you're not in ski school, be an early bird. Arrive at the lifts before they open so that you get up and away before the ski school classes set out around 09:15.
- Ski over lunchtime and take a picnic. The slopes are calmer between 12:00 and 14:00 while the French take a leisurely lunch break.
- Pre-book your lunch and avoid the queues. Some restaurants offer a click and collect service. It's the best way to avoid the queues and make the most of your time in the mountains.
- Seek out the peripheral areas. Courchevel Moriond is often a quieter area to ski as the main resort of Courchevel can often dominate, so head over to enjoy the long red Chapelets run, the most western point of the Three Valleys. Jumping on the Pyramides drag lift will take you to the top of some exceptional long blue pistes.
- Get off-piste. Competent off-piste skiers can book a local mountain guide and explore the vast off-piste areas in the valley or even go touring to find complete solitude in the backcountry.
Things to do
With the school holidays in February, there’s plenty organised for the little ones in your ski group. Starting with a festive ski show in Courchevel, there will be lots of activities to keep the little ones entertained on and off the mountain.
Enjoy the Mardi Gras celebrations in Courchevel Moriond with a great fun carnival, creative make up sessions and fancy dress parades.
Aquamotion, a €63 million centre opened in 2015, is situated between Courchevel Village and Moriond. There’s a whole host of activities available with a leisure pool area including rapids, slides, indoor and outdoor heated pools, a 25m training pool and a wellness centre with spa and treatments.
Bars and clubs
If, like most people, you like to follow several hours of exercise with several hours of drinking, you can hit up any of a number of local après-ski sessions. The Folie Douce Meribel Courchevel is famous for it's apres-ski parties, and afterwards do your best to get yourselves down to the village where you'll find bars offering great music, delicious food and happy hours.
For late night entertainment, the clubs hold special nights on most days of the week.