About Winter Activities in Courchevel
Whatever you choose to do on your winter holiday you are sure to find a huge range of activities across the Courchevel & 3 Valleys area. From relaxing to full on adrenaline there is something for everyone, every ability and every age in Courchevel. Check out the selection of things to do below for some holiday inspiration!
At night time you can strap your skis on and join others in a group to make your way down the piste holding a torch in a torchlit descent. Definitely something fun, different and challenging, and the perfect activity for groups or families. A traditional alpine experience you can enjoy the quiet of the pistes at night. Some companies offer the experience with a traditional Savoyard mountain meal at the top of the slopes followed by a descent down to Courchevel with professional guides. Speak to your ski school to see if they can take you.
Courchevel is a winter walker's paradise, with lifts giving access to the higher ground and a network of groomed trails in the winter, it's very easy to discover the resort on foot. Don’t forget to check the weather forecast before you set out as conditions can change rapidly in the mountains. You do not need any particular equipment, just a pair of sturdy boots and layers of warm clothing that you can take off or put on as necessary. A pair of walking poles will come in handy for extra balance on icy patches and for checking snow depth before you go striding forth. Top tip: buy ‘grippers’ for your walking boots to prevent slipping which you can buy from most local Sport Shops.
Hurtle down the slopes at night with this new form of mountain biking. The perfect fun, sporty and playful after-ski activity. The activity costs around 50 euros, which may seem steep but can definitely be worth it with the beautiful view, the sun setting and the thrill of the experience. Plus it includes the rental of the bike, safety gear and a state qualified guide to take you down, teaching you as you go. You can try this crazy new sport every day of the week, by reservation only.
Ever heard of an Airboard? It's a new way to descend the mountain in the form of a posh sledge, like body-boarding on an inflatable. This relatively new twist on snow sports is a bit like body boarding down the piste. Lying stomach-down on an inflatable sled-like cushion you slide head-first down the mountain, picking up speed and using your bodyweight to shift direction. Many resorts enforce age restrictions and only allow airboarding within certain areas, so don’t go plummeting down your favourite black run before checking the rules first!
Play badminton indoors at the sports centre in Le Praz.
You can play basketball indoors at the sports centre in Le Praz in summer and winter.
Modern Winter Biathlon is the combination of cross country skiing and rifle shooting and tests not only fitness but also patience and control. In Courchevel you can try your hand at this Olympic Sport. If you like cross country skiing but want to add another challenge then Biathlon is the perfect way to escape in to the natural,quiet surrounding mountains sand then shoot stuff. Bit of a contradiction this one but it's fun all the same.
If you're in a group and fancy doing something different, especially on bad weather days, head to the bowling lanes! The lanes in Courchevel's Bowling 3000 are also specially adapted for children.
Catch the latest films and releases in Courchevel on your winter or summer holiday. Some cinemas open their doors early on a bad weather day, otherwise you'll find most screenings in the evenings. Look out for VOST for English speaking films.
Get back to nature and explore the lovely tranquil cross-country ski trails. There are two different techniques – classic and skating. Classic is the easiest for beginners; you simply place your skis in two parallel grooves, push off and glide around the trails. Skating is more energetic and a slightly harder skill to grasp; you push your feet out to either side as though you are ice skating and use your poles simultaneously to gain momentum. You can hire the comfortable boots and lightweight skis and poles fairly inexpensively from most sports shops and book a group or private lesson to learn the basics from most ski schools or private instructors. A number of adventure companies also offer cross-country skiing guiding, tours and lessons too. Find your way around with the cross country skiing maps.
Also see: Cross-country Skiing in Courchevel
Play indoor football all year round at the sports centre in La Praz.
There are over 2.5 million people doing geocaching around the world and some of them (perhaps surprisingly) are right here in Courchevel! It’s a relatively new craze that started taking the world by storm in May 2000 after a computer geek decided that GPS could be “really exciting”. He hid some treasure at his home in Portland, America, for people to find, broadcast the GPS coordinates and said, “Come and get it”. His only rule: “Take some stuff, leave some stuff”. And that’s exactly what Geocaching is…you go in search of treasure by using the GPS system on your mobile device – once you’ve found it, you write your name in a logbook and replace the treasure you decide to take. It’s pretty simple really and means, as a family, you can be adventurers together. You won’t usually find anything quite as precious as gold, silver and diamonds but nevertheless it’s quite exciting!
Gym / Fitness centres
A public gym & fitness classes can be found at the main sports centre in Courchevel and a number of hotels also have their own facilities to keep you trim while you're on holiday.
Handiski / sit-ski
Enjoying the thrill of being on the pistes need not escape you if you're less mobile or have special physical needs. Resorts all over the Alps offer equipment and fully qualified guides to help you get the most out of your experience. Sit-ski, taxi ski, Vertiski, Handiski.. whichever method you're used to, or would like to try there will be at least one ski school or activity company in Courchevel that offers this service.
Also see: Disabled Skiing in Courchevel
Sit back and admire the mountains from even higher up! Unfortunately, heli-skiing is not permitted in France, however, some of the ski schools, adventure companies, local flight companies and mountain guide companies will offer a pick-up/drop-off heli-skiing service for you where you will be taken over the border into Italy or Switzerland. It is expensive, but definitely a once in a lifetime experience!
Sit back and admire the mountains from even higher up. Daily panoramic helicopter flights are available (weather permitting) with a number of local flight companies. Relax and enjoy the stunning views as you fly over the snow-capped mountain tops, glaciers and alpine forests of the Alps.
Hot air ballooning looks serene, but there are moments of excitement; once the creaking wicker basket rises off the ground you are uncomfortably reminded that you are suspended hundreds of metres above the ground in a small twig structure! The views are stunning, and as you glide over the forests you may see deer and other animals normally hidden from view. The pilot controls the height but the wind determines which direction you take, so the flight can take anything from one to two hours, depending on when a suitable landing site comes into view. The take-off point is from the Altiport in Courchevel.
Be in charge of your own sled and team of excitable husky dogs, driving them along forest paths in winter. After a brief explanation of how to make your team stop and start, you set off following the guide’s team. If this all sounds a bit much you can opt for a less physical outing where you sit in the sled and the guide does all the hard work! It's a very popular winter activity, so booking at least 48 hours in advance is a must. They run from early December to the end of April (snow-permitting).
If you want to try something different in Courchevel, other than hitting the slopes, then why not try Ice Climbing. Whether you are an experienced climber or a beginner you can have a go at ice climbing on Courchevel's very own ice climbing wall or on one of the various beautiful frozen waterfalls in the 3 Valleys. If you are a beginner and have never done ice climbing before then a mountain guide will teach how to climb the slightly scary but incredibly beautiful looking ice wall. Alternatively, they may take you to one of the spectacular frozen waterfalls in the Valley. The ice climbing wall is also open for your personal use if you are an experienced climber, the vertical ramps of the ice wall will raise the difficulty of the climb for those who are experienced.
Ice-skating / Hockey
Put your skates on and head for the indoor rink, or watch the local teams play ice hockey in Courchevel.
A couple of local companies offer igloo experiences where you can either dine or stay over in an igloo. Definitely something you don't find in every ski resort!
If you don't fancy climbing outdoors, or you're new to climbing and want to give it a go in an indoor centre, then Courchevel has somewhere for you to go. Climbing equipment is normally provided, or you can bring your own and insurance is normally needed before you hit the climbing wall.
Light Aircraft / Microlight Flights
Take a ride in a microlight aircraft with only an instructor joining you this 2 seat aircraft will take you over the mountains and give you the opportunity to explore the fantastic views below. The instructor will guide the plane and give you a tour of the beautiful landscape below. A great idea for a gift or for a new experience on a sunny day in Courchevel.
Or learn to fly. Take a spin in a small aeroplane designed especially for the mountains. A pilot will take you and your family and friends on a flying adventure around the Courchevel mountains and the Three Valleys. Courchevel has the only high altitude International mountain airport. The snow is usually kept clear from the runways so flights can land all year round. There is also a flying school at the airport where you can train to get your pilots licence.
There are a number of companies who can take you mountaineering in both summer and winter, from local guides to ski schools, private instructors and activity companies.
Fancy a bit of night skiing in Courchevel? Come along for the chance to ski down to resort to the sound of music on a floodlit Verdons piste. Every Wednesday during the school holidays you can ride from Courchevel 1850 on the Verdons gondola and Sources drag lift at night, have fun in the family park and enjoy a hot drink or dinner at the mountain restaurants Les Verdons and Le Chalet de Pierres.
Paragliding / Parapenting
If you’ve never tried paragliding before then Courchevel is a great place to learn how to fly. Known as “parapenting” in France & Switzerland, there are a great number of clubs and organisations in the area whose sole purpose is give you the experience of flying. From the heights of the mountain tops you can glide down to the bottom of the valley on a tandem paraglider controlled by the instructor. He manoeuvres the parachute while the passenger enjoys the ride and fantastic views. Top tip: go on a sunny, warm day when the thermals will keep your airborne for longer.
A tandem Hang Glide is another way to enjoy the scenery from above. You can do this with your skis on so take off and landing should be as smooth as possible. Strapped into a harness you will be able to sit back and enjoy the ride whilst your pilot takes control.
The Segway is a two-wheeled scooter that allows you to transport around town in a fun, and a little silly, way. Now you can experience Segway fun on the snow. You can scoot around Courchevel centre and on some off beaten tracks, a fun activity to do in a group or a quick and easy way to get around on the snow. Contact Courchevel Aventure for more information.
Many people would not automatically think of Courchevel as a place to shop. However the town boasts some great stores. As you would expect from an outdoor sports Mecca, there are plenty sports stores where you can get your hands on some of the top mountaineering, ski and snowboard brands but there are also some fashionable clothing stores, and plenty of shops selling traditional mountin goods.
Courchevel is popular for ski touring, whether it's going up the pistes that most people normally ski down, or tackling more of a back country route. A number of ski schools, private instructors and companies can show you around, or if you've got all the necessary equipment you can head out in your own group.
Skiing & snowboarding
The main draw for people coming to Courchevel in winter is of course the skiing and snowboarding. With the whole of the 3 valleys to ski in, as well as a wealth of off-piste areas, Courchevel has something for every level of experience.
Also see: Ski Areas in Courchevel
Sky-diving & parachuting
If you want to experience the beauty of the mountains and the thrill of falling through the mountain sky then you can do just that in Courchevel. Head to the Skydiving school where they will teach you all the basics you need to know about skydiving in a quick session and take you up in small plane, and take the leap with you. Skydiving gives you an extreme thrill seeking experience like nothing you have ever done before. It is a truly new experience, with the total free fall at the beginning of the jump and then once your parachute is up the gentle movement through the sky, if you want to give skydiving a go then Courchevel is definitely the place to do it!
Sledging / Tobogganing
This is one winter activity that doesn't require a lot of expensive equipment, just grab your sledge and head for the nearest snow-covered hill! You can pick up a sledge at one of the many ski hire shops or sports shops in Courchevel or take a look through the adventure companies who might offer something a little different.. Courchevel has its very own 2km long sledge run - this is one thrill you don't want to miss out on.
Snow-grooming / Piste-bashing
Have you ever thought about what it would be like to drive one of the Snow Cats that are busy through the night grooming the pistes to perfection? Well now you can not just think about it, you can have a go at it for yourself. In Courchevel they are now offering you the opportunity to drive the Snow Cat under the supervision of a professional co-pilot. For 20 minutes you can bash, groom and alter the pistes with this lesson held in the beasts that tame the mountains for us. This introduction is available for ages 6 and above, so it can be a special treat for anyone, as you get an introduction into the world of Snow Cat driving!
Raquette à Neige or Snow-shoeing in and around Courchevel is a perfect activity for bad weather conditions or for non-skiers. Don't forget to wear comfortable and waterproof boots. Either set out on your own, or join a group led by a knowledgeable local guide and explore the hidden parts of the ski area. Snowshoes and ski poles are provided by most companies offering this as an experience, or you can hire snowshoes from most Sports Shops or Ski Hire Shops, grab a trail map from the Tourist Office and head off on your own adventure. Be sure to check the weather forecast before you go.
Snowmobile / Skidooing
Those who enjoy speed will love riding a powerful snowmobile (like a motorbike with caterpillar tracks) around Courchevel. Discover the different dimensions of driving; carving turns, accelerating in a straight line, ascents and descents. Snowmobiles are a great way to explore Courchevel especially as you get to ride them when the resort is at its quietest. Disappear into the woods and blast around empty snow fields on your scooter with your own guide. Remember to wrap up warmly especially if you go after dark, and bring goggles if there is powder.
Where to go to jib, bonk, spin and pop in the 3 Valleys.
Also see: Snowparks in Courchevel
Spas & massages
If it is calm and relaxation you are after then head to a luxury day spa or book in for massage therapies and beauty treatments. A day spa is also the perfect activity when the weather turns. You can keep warm and revive aching muscles in saunas, steam rooms and jacuzzis or take a refreshing dip in a swimming pool.
Speed-riding / Speed-flying
The idea behind speed riding is to combine the sensations of skiing and paragliding into one activity, and then descend off-piste sections of the mountain using a mini-wing to enable you to access areas that you might not normally go. Learning and having fun with speed riding comes very fast as long as you are a competent skier; you need to be able to ski red pistes with confidence in any type of snow. Speak to one of the companies offering this activity who can show you the ropes (literally).
Most hotels, lots of chalets and apartments have their own swimming facilities, however there are also municipal swimming baths that you can visit, which often come free with your lift pass purchase. Although the new Aquamation centre in Courchevel Moriond is THE place to take a dip and relax whilst you're in the area.
Telemarking is a form of downhill skiing where you are only attached into the binding at the toe, so to turn, you have to lunge and bring your heel upwards. Talk to one of the ski schools or private instructors who can teach you how to telemark and take you out on excursions using this technique.
Location: Courchevel Valley