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Ski & Snowboard Schools & Lessons in Courchevel | Learn from the Best

How to book your ski lessons in Courchevel with the best schools


Are you looking for the best ski and snowboard schools in Courchevel? Wondering whether to book group or private ski lessons? Which ski or snowboard level you are at? At what age children can join a ski school? Or how much are ski lessons in the Three Valleys? To find the answers to these questions and more, read on.

Whether you’re a complete beginner or a seasoned pro skier, ski lessons are an essential part of any winter holiday. However, there are lots of options when booking a ski school, from choosing the type of lesson to understanding the different ski and snowboard levels, selecting a ski area and even knowing what to bring to your first ski or snowboard lesson in Courchevel. We’re here to help you make the best choices so that you can fully enjoy your holiday in our beautiful ski area.

Why book snowboard & ski lessons?

The quickest way to learn to ski or snowboard and to get better at skiing or snowboarding is to learn from a professional. Qualified instructors aren’t only expert skiers and snowboarders, they’ve also spent years mastering the best ways to make the most of your time on the hill while ensuring that you’re safe and having fun. An added bonus is that you can skip the queue at lifts when accompanied by an instructor, giving you more time on the slopes.

Whether it’s the first time you’ve put skis on, you want to learn how to make your first turns or you’d like to venture off-piste and get the hang of riding powder, you’ll learn quicker and more safely with an instructor without picking up any bad habits. Plus ski and snowboard lessons are a lot of fun for all ages!

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What types of ski & snowboard lessons are there?

Ski schools in Courchevel offer a wide range of lessons, catering to all levels of skiers and snowboarders from complete beginners to expert off-piste riders, as well as all ages and budgets. Below are the main types of snowboard and ski lessons on offer in the Trois Vallées, all of which are available in English.

  • Group ski & snowboard lessons: Group ski lessons are arranged by getting people at the same level of ability together, which means that you share your instructor with a few other skiers or snowboarders. Groups are usually limited to around 6 to 8 people, so you’ll get plenty of attention from your instructor while also being able to progress at your own pace. Lessons typically take place over the course of 6 days for 2 to 4 hours, either in the morning or in the afternoon.

  • Private ski & snowboard lessons: Booking an instructor just for you or your small group of friends or family (usually up to 6 people) means that you’ll get more direct coaching thanks to one-on-one tuition. Private ski and snowboard lessons are perfect for all levels, from beginners wanting to rapidly grasp the basics to intermediates and experts who wish to focus on specific elements of their technique. Private lessons also offer a good degree of flexibility on dates, times and hours, especially outside of peak holiday dates.

  • Off-piste ski & snowboard lessons: If you’re looking for off-piste technique and ski guiding, then there are a number of local ski and snowboard instructors and mountain guides who know the area like the back of their hands and will be able to take you exploring. When booking an off-piste lesson with an instructor, you’ll be able to hone your skills and master riding all kinds of snow, from powder to crust and corn. You’ll also learn how to be safe in the backcountry with avalanche and glacier rescue training.

  • Clinics & courses: There is a number of specialist courses and clinics offered by the Courchevel ski schools focused on specific skills, which can help build your technical ability and improve your overall skiing or snowboarding. There may be clinics specifically designed for tackling bumps and moguls, powder snow, steep skiing, freestyle jumps and tricks in the snowpark, ski racing, boardercross, glacier rescue, avalanche training or courses meant only for women.

  • Disabled skiing: Handiski makes skiing much more accessible for disabled skiers and less-able bodied people. Highly qualified instructors will accompany you around the pistes and onto the ski lifts, making sure you are safe and have a great experience. There is usually a range of equipment available, including sit-skis, uniskis and dual skis.

  • Cross-country skiing, ski touring, splitboarding, telemarking & biathlon lessons: Do you want to learn something new? Courchevel is the place to do it! Many ski schools in the Three Valleys offer lessons in lesser-known disciplines such as:
    • Cross-country or Nordic skiing: pushing yourself across flat(ish) snowfields on narrow skis, either using the classic or the skating style. Available to all levels of skiers
    • Ski touring and splitboarding: going up the slopes on your skis or splitboard aided by the skins attached to the base of your planks, being able to explore outside the ski area bounds. For expert skiers and snowboarders only
    • Telemarking: a ski style that combines aspects of Alpine and Nordic skiing where your heel is always unattached to your bindings
    • Biathlon: a combination of cross-country skiing and shooting

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Should I book group or private ski lessons?

When booking your ski or snowboard lesson in Courchevel, you’ll find that there are two main ski school options: group or private. These depend on whether you book the whole lesson for yourself and your group or you share it with other people.

When to book a group ski lesson? At a group lesson, ski schools group skiers and snowboarders of a similar level together, cutting costs down. These usually run for 5 or 6 days (either Sunday to Friday or Monday to Friday) for 2 to 4 hours in the morning or the afternoon. Most ski schools also offer 3-day ski and snowboard group lessons, normally taking place over the weekend. Groups tend to be pretty small, comprised of 6 or 8 people and up to 10. The main advantage of group lessons is their cost as they’re less expensive than private lessons. They're recommended for beginner and intermediate skiers who want to learn the basics of skiing and snowboarding at an affordable price. They’re also very popular with children, who are grouped with other kids their age allowing for a fun, friendly environment.

When to book a private ski lesson? Having an instructor all to yourself has some great advantages, the main one being that you’ll get more personalised attention so you can improve at your own pace and focus on the skills you want to master or those you struggle more with. Private lessons are flexible in time and duration, usually offered for between 2 hours and a full day, so they’re also a good option when you want your lesson to start and end at specific times or meet your instructor in a specific place in resort. Instructors can accommodate from 1 person to 6 people so, even if they’re more expensive than group lessons, costs can be split when sharing your instructor with your friends and family. Private lessons are recommended for intermediate to expert skiers who want to focus on specific skills or who have hit a plateau in their learning. They’re also ideal for those looking for a unique experience on the slopes as the instructor will be able to tailor the lesson to your specific interests and needs.

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How much are ski & snowboard lessons in Courchevel?

Ski lesson prices in Courchevel depend on your chosen dates, times and, of course, whether you’re booking a private or group lesson. 

How much are ski & snowboard lessons in Courchevel? 6-day group ski lessons (2-3 hours per day) start at around €325. Private ski lessons for one or two people start at around €150 for 2 hours, rising up to around €450 for a full day.

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Which snowboard or ski level am I at?

Every ski school has its own system to assess the skier’s and snowboarder’s level, in order to place them in the best-suited group lesson or decide which areas to focus on during a private lesson. Your instructor will perform a level assessment before starting your lesson to ensure that you’ve been assigned to the right group.

There are four basic skiing and snowboarding levels that can be applied to both adults and kids, usually divided into more specific sub-levels. Different ski schools will give them different names.

Snowboard & Ski Lesson Levels in Courchevel
Beginner Skier Level 1 You’ve never skied or snowboarded before
Level 2 You can do the snowplough (skiers) or side slip and do the falling leaf (snowboarders)
Level 3 You can do snowplough turns (skiers) or basic C-shaped turns (snowboarders)
Intermediate Skier Level 1 You can link turns at moderate speed on green and blue runs and are starting to master parallel turns (skiers) and S-shaped turns (snowboarders)
Level 2 You’re confident going down blue runs. Snowboarders are starting to attempt their first tricks
Advanced Skier Level 1 You ski red runs in control
Level 2 You can carve turns on easier runs and ski black runs in control
Level 3 You’re starting to venture off-piste and beginning to ski all kinds of snow, from bumps to powder. Snowboarders are attempting their first tricks in the snowpark
Expert Skier Level 1 You can ski on and off-piste confidently and in control, regardless of the snow quality, and can hit almost any feature in the snowpark
Level 2 You want to improve certain specific skills or want to start racing or instructor training

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At what age can children join a ski school?

The best way for your kids to learn how to ski or snowboard is to put them through ski school, where they’ll also get to enjoy fun activities and meet other children their age.

At what age can children join ski school? The youngest age ski schools usually accept children is 3 years old, even if younger children can sometimes be taught by a private instructor. 3 to 4-year-olds can join most ski schools, which usually have special programmes that combine short ski lessons and other activities in a snow garden, a fun area for kids to learn in a safe environment. These can sometimes include lunch and daycare, either for half or full days.

5-year-olds and older can join normal group ski lessons for 2 or 3 hours, either in the morning or in the afternoon. Some ski schools offer group lessons for older children and teens, with the possibility of learning freeride, freestyle and off-piste techniques. Ask the ski school if they offer anything like this, otherwise, consider putting your child into an adult lesson.

At what age can children join snowboard lessons? Ski schools usually offer snowboard lessons for children aged around 7 to 10 and over. This is because it’s been argued that snowboarding requires more muscle development in the legs, as well as coordination, balance and stamina than skiing. However, things are changing and there are more and more ski schools offering snowboarding lessons for kids aged as young as 4 years old. Ask when booking.

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Where are the ski school meeting points in Courchevel?

Most ski schools meet at the bottom of the ski lifts in Courchevel 1850, as this is where the largest of the beginner areas is. Some ski schools and private instructors may also be able to meet you at a location of your choice, you just need to ask if they offer this service.

Ski Areas in Courchevel

What is Courchevel like for beginners skiers or snowboarders?

The Three Valleys is a paradise for beginners with more than 180 green and blue slopes, 54 of which are located in Courchevel. Seven dedicated beginner slopes are also available throughout Courchevel – these are called 'Zen Areas' or 'Easy Rider Areas' and marked on the piste map.

Beginner areas in Courchevel 1850
Courchevel 1850 has the biggest concentration of nursery slopes with easy, gentle green pistes, some of which are quite long, as well as wide blues, all heading back down into resort. There are two main beginner areas here, located on opposite sides of town: the Altiport area with two dedicated drag lifts and the Jardin Alpin with three free magic carpets. The Family Park snowpark, served by the Verdons gondola, is perfect for those who want to try out their fist tricks.

Beginner areas in Courchevel Moriond (1650)
The next largest beginner area is located in Courchevel Moriond (1650). It has a free, fenced-off area dedicated exclusively to beginners serviced by a free drag lift called Mickey where you can build your confidence without having to deal with other skiers. There are another three drag lifts here accessing green slopes, as well as a couple of fun areas with games and features: the Indiens and the Western Ski Park.

The beginner area in Courchevel Village (1550)
Courchevel Village has a dedicated nursery slope serviced by the free Roys magic carpet. There are also three blue pistes running back to the village from the top of the Grangettes gondola, as well as a fun luge track for when your legs start to get tired.

Beginner areas in Courchevel La Tania
La Tania also boasts a free magic carpet, Troïka, located at the bottom of the lifts. It's connected to another small beginner area, Mon Tania, at the top of the La Tania gondola, via a long, winding green run called 'Plan Fontaine'.

Beginner Ski Areas in Courchevel

Are there beginner ski passes in Courchevel?

Before purchasing your ski pass, talk to your ski school or private instructor, they'll be able to recommend the most suitable lift pass for your needs depending on where they're going to take you and your ski and snowboard level. Many ski schools also sell discounted ski passes to those booking a lesson with them, ask when reserving your course.

Courchevel offers beginner skiers access to several of their lifts for free. These include the Mickey drag lift in Courchevel Moriond, the three magic carpets in the Jardin Alpin in Courchevel 1850, the Roys magic carpet in Courchevel Village and the Troïka magic carpet in La Tania. There is also a one-day beginner ski pass available, the Mini Pass Courchevel, giving you access to the lower parts of the ski area. This pass can only be bought at the ski pass offices in resort.

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What should I wear the first time skiing in Courchevel?

The key items to bring with you, along with the obvious skis, poles and boots or snowboard and boots, as well as a ski jacket, ski trousers, helmet and goggles or sunglasses, are as follows:

  • Helmet: Wearing a helmet in ski lessons is strongly recommended, even if it’s not a legal requirement.
  • Layers: Weather on the mountain can change pretty quickly, so you’re much better off wearing layers of thinner items as opposed to a big, bulky jumper. Try thermal tops and leggings, fleeces and hoodies.
  • Socks: Bring a variety of socks ranging in thickness. It may sound weird but, in our experience, rental boots can be quite painful with the wrong socks.
  • Sunscreen: Even when it’s cloudy the sun here can (and will) still get you. Don't forget to slather a good layer of sunscreen underneath your nose and chin, as the sun reflects off the snow. A lip salve with an SPF is also a must.

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Skiing & snowboarding tips

The best way to learn to ski and snowboard, and the only way to do it safely, is to book a group lesson or a private instructor. For those keen to practise a bit on their own after their ski school course, we've teamed up with some of the top Courchevel ski and snowboard instructors who have compiled a list of the key Skiing Tips and Snowboarding Tips to improve your riding. From the basic techniques to mastering moguls, dealing with steep slopes or carving.

Skiing Tips for Courchevel