It's very cold and the days are short, but the skies are blue and the pistes are quiet, so wrap up warm and get outside to find new year adventures.
After the Christmas holidays are over, January is the quietest part of the main winter season in resort. This means you have the slopes to yourselves, rarely have to queue for a lift and can enjoy pistes in great condition.
The quiet conditions on the mountain don’t translate to quiet nights in the town. There are fewer families and more adult visitors, meaning it can be easier to get a table at a restaurant, and the bars are buzzing with plenty of live music and party nights to keep you entertained whilst you warm your hands on a glass of vin chaud.
Read on for a look at what we like to do in resort throughout January.
What are the weather & snow conditions like in Courchevel in January?
There is regular snowfall - on average 12 days - and subzero temperatures keep it nice and fresh. In January the average daytime temperatures generally fall between a high of 1°C and a low of -7ºC, getting around five hours of sunshine. Definitely pack those thermals!
The Biollay piste is spectacular at this time of year, a perfect blue run for warming up those ski legs.
What's on in Courchevel in January?
Russian Orthodox Christmas
On 6th January, Courchevel celebrates the Russian Orthodox Christmas where everyone is invited to join the party. It all kicks off between 18:00 and 20:00 and there will be a fantastic show on the snow front in 1850 followed by a torchlit descent at 18:45 by ESF. At 19:00, you can enjoy a pyrotechnic firework show that is definitely not to be missed – the most exciting part is when Orthodox Father Christmas arrives to give out gifts to the children. It’s a completely free event and great for families. Restaurants in resort often offer a Russian-inspired menu to celebrate the day along with their signature dishes.
On 26th January, our antipodean friends celebrate their national day. Australia Day has become a day to celebrate for all nationalities and it’s now an institution across the Alps. You'll probably see large groups of seasonnaires BBQing on the slopes and then hitting the town afterwards.
With all those empty pistes, no lift queues and perfect conditions, we like to get out into the mountains on our skis and snowboards as much as possible.
If you visit the resort in January you can buy a lift pass and join one of the local ski schools' many ski or snowboard lessons taking place around the resort.
Things to Do
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.
Alternative Winter Sports
It doesn't just have to be piste based adventures you take part in. Ski-touring and split-boarding have become extremely popular in recent years, and there's nothing that gets the heart pumping like gaining altitude under your own steam. When it's a 'white out' you'll find us changing tack entirely, pulling on some raquettes (snowshoes) and venturing forth into the wilderness on one of the many snowshoeing routes around the valley, all the while dreaming of tomorrow's bluebird powder day.
Relax and Unwind
Courchevel is well known for its luxurious spas. One of the most high-end wellness centres is located in Le Strato luxury hotel, spread over two floors featuring a heated pool with fantastic views of the mountains, as well as three treatment rooms where you can book an exclusive treatment service.
Bars & Clubs
Party on the pistes
If the sun shines, it's the perfect place to enjoy a drink on the slopes. Waikiki is a great Hawaiian-themed bar to stop off on the piste and it is easy to access from the Pralong piste, where it joins Jardin Alpin – there's an outdoor firepit to keep you warm and delicious happy hour cocktails. If you're looking for cheap drinks with an awesome balcony seating area, then look no further than Hotel La Pomme de Pin just off the Stade de Slalom. Another top spot with a 360° panoramic view of Courchevel is Les Chenus at the top of Chenus gondola, a good place to meet non-skiers if there are any in your group.
At this time of the season we can look forward to some live music sessions, whether from local bands or even one of the open mike nights and jam sessions that the local bars often hold. So, whether you fancy yourself an Adele, Bob Dylan or a Satriani, there's definitely somewhere you can 'entertain' the crowds.