Courchevel 1650, also known as Moriond, is the place to head for a laid back time. It sits further down the valley below the world famous 1850.
You can enjoy a more relaxed ski holiday feel while still having access to the luxuries and high quality skiing Courchevel is known for.
The 1650 ski area is often the quietest area in the Three Valleys with easy going sunny ski slopes that run all the way down into the village centre.
Accommodation ranges from self-catering apartments to full service private ski chalets. It is a compact resort with most places within a short walk of the snow front and village amenities.
On arrival you’ll be greeted with ski shops, local bars, and restaurants as we come to love in European ski resorts. Plus you can easily access other villages via the free ski bus or on the slopes.
There’s everything you need including ski rental shops, ski schools, restaurants, bars, and non-skiing activities like tobogganing, snow shoeing, and spas.
Skiing in Courchevel 1650
If you ask any local, they’ll tell you that the Courchevel 1650 ski area is a hidden gem. There’s something truly joyous about cruising the long open slopes here.
Perhaps a part of this is that the crowds head to the higher parts of 1850 or want to say they’ve skied famous parts of the Three Valleys like Meribel and Val Thorens.
You can enjoy space and freedom away from the masses. Away from the shadows of the mountain top of saulire, it feels like the sun is always shining in 1650. There’s no better place to make your afternoon turns and then watch the sun go down.
Beginners can book ski lessons with local ski schools and private instructors. You’ll be making your first turns in no time on the nursery slopes while kids can start off in the safety of the Western Park.
Kick off your ski day from the village centre. Take the upgraded Ariondaz gondola up the hill. Then you can pick the Signal or Chaplets chairlifts to explore further. For the best run around take the Grand Bosses red run for ultimate fun or disappear into the mellow trees of Indiens. When you’re ready for break, ski the blue run all the way down into the village for refreshment.
Want to adventure further? Then ski down to the Aiguille du Fruit chairlift. This gives you direct access to the 1850 ski area and town. Plus the ability to ski directly to Le Praz and 1550. From here you can more easily ski into the rest of The Three Valleys ski area. Starting from 1650 in the morning head to Meribel, then Val Thorens, then Orelle (the secret 4th valley) and you will have skied the whole area from edge to edge!
Make sure you get back across and onto the Roc Mugnier ski lift before the end of the day (before 4pm). Otherwise you’ll have to finish your day in 1850 and get a free ski bus down the road. Not an issue, it runs every 10 mins and is a 5 minute journey.
You can rent skis from one of the top quality shops in the village. You’ll see all the major suppliers in the village centre, along with independent shops with brilliant service.
You can easily book online, plus even have your ski rental delivered and fitted in your accommodation. It’s always best to prebook to help avoid queues and high prices on weekends.
Is it your first time skiing? Then it is essential to have ski lessons.
If you already have experience, you can take your technique to the next level. The better you become the more fun there is to be had on the mountain.
You have a wide range of ski schools and private instructors to choose from. Private ski instructors help accelerate your learning. Adding to this, they’ll meet you at your chalet or hotel and act as your guide for the day. Group lessons can be booked at bigger ski schools.
Chalets and Hotels in Courchevel 1650
Courchevel 1650 is not a huge ski resort although major investment in the last decade has expanded its offering of accommodation. You can still find places to stay to suit all budgets from self catered apartments to super chalets and luxury hotels.
The majority of the village is quite compact meaning there is no more than a 5 minute walk to the centre or snowfront from most accommodation. Even if you are staying on one of the roads just below the village, you can use the triple escalator which rises up the mountainside to the village centre.
There’s several hotels in the middle of the village which give you direct access to the snow front. You’ll generally find a restaurant and bar in the hotel with a sunny deck for an afternoon drink. Most of these hotels are 4 or 5 stars with fabulous comfort and luxury on offer.
Along the main road, there are multiple large apartment blocks. These offer self-catered apartments of varying sizes from cheap studio flats to 3 or 4 bedrooms for the whole family.
Just a few metres below the village centre are ski chalets which offer full service with a host and chef for the week. These give you a quiet retreat to relax with your friends and family, but still just 2 minutes walk from the bars, slopes, and shops.
You can also stay in an area known as Belvedere. This road winds up into the trees and mountain side. Luxury chalets line the road with quiet and secluded serenity. Easy access to the slopes from ski in and ski out positions make for an easy start to your morning. The only drawback is a long walk into town, especially in the evenings when it gets icy!
How to Get to Courchevel 1650
The most popular way to get to 1650 is via the closest international airports like Geneva or Chambery. You can book a transfer to drive from the airport to the ski resort. Geneva offers the most regular flights and is just over 2 hours drive away. Chambery is the nearest international airport just a 1 hour drive away. It’s a small airport with few destinations and arrivals.
You can treat yourself with a private jet or helicopter transfer arriving at the Courchevel Altiport! Your flight lands right next to the ski slopes on Europe’s highest runway. Then your chalet or hotel is just 10 minutes away.
Moutiers is the nearest train station at the bottom of the valley, then take the 25 minue drive by transfer or taxi. You can’t get lost driving to 1650. The main mountain road runs directly through the centres. Simply follow the signposts and the twisting mountain road until you’re welcomed.
Restaurants in Courchevel 1650
Along the main street you’ll find a number of restaurants. Mostly these include local eateries serving fondue, raclette, and pizza. You’ll find they offer tasty food at a reasonable price for a ski resort. You can also find a small selection of finer dining restaurants with a walk through the village or in the hotels.
Looking for a Michelin star restaurant? Then look at 1850 for a seemingly unlimited choice!
To be honest, Courchevel 1650 is the place to go for a relaxed atmosphere where you won’t feel out of place in your ski pants and boots at any time of day. Its the place to go for a hearty easy going lunch of fresh burgers and pizzas. Or pick up a cheesy raclette sandwich from one of the snack bars.
Lunch on the slopes is a little limited but there’s still a couple of restaurants with fresh food at a reasonable price. The plat de jour or skiers menu is always a winner! Plus there’s the odd snack bar for a quick sandwich, chips and a drink. It is smallish ski area in 1650 so it can be easier to ski back down into the village for a wide selection of lunch choices in the sun.
Bars, Apres Ski and Nightlife in 1650
Courchevel 1650 is primed for a laid-back, cheaper offering for a drink and night out. It’s teeming with bars serving cold beer with a smile and live music after 4pm.
You won’t find any slopeside apres ski, you’re best to ski into the village, unclip your skis and listen to the live music and laughs. You’ll see music and drinks on the snow front and along the main street. Sing and dance on tables with ski instructors or hide away with a quiet glass of wine in an alpine setting.
After dinner, the village comes to life again. You’ll see many of the local workers enjoying a drink in any number of the bars, all of which are in the heart of the village. After 10pm more live music and DJs start playing until the early hours. Once again, just listen for the music and follow the crowd for the evenings hotspot
Shopping in Courchevel 1650
All of the shops in Courchevel 1650 are located along the main street. It is mostly made up of ski hire shops and essentials like food and drink. Although, you will find the odd fashion boutique store or local deli to explore.
At the top end, near the exit to the village, you’ll find the Carrefour grocery store. This offers the widest selection of food, snacks, and drinks to keep you fuelled for the week.
As you walk down through the village you’ll come find the Tabac (for cigarettes), ski shops, and other small retailers.
Head into local souvenir stores to find everything Courchevel including hats, artwork, and even underwear with piste maps on them… (You’ll never be lost again although things might get cold when choosing your ski route…)
All the big brand ski rental shops can be found towards the central roundabout and bus stop. Follow the street past the tourist office to find the Spa grocery store and more ski shops.
Pickup all the ski gear you need including custom ski boots, goggles, jackets, and other accessories.
Things to Do In Courchevel 1650 for Non-Skiers
On the whole 1650 is loved by skiers looking for a laid-back Courchevel escape. The village mainly hosts ski shops, bars, and restaurants.
One unmissable activity is the toboggan run (known as a luge run in France). It is designed to be an epic race track from the top of the ariondaz gondola down into the centre of town. It’s awesome. Jump on the lift up to the start line where you can hire a luge and buy a ticket. Then get ready to race your friends and family down the twisting turning track!
You’ll still be able to find other things to do. The highlight is taking a short 10 minute walk (or 2 minute free bus) down Aquamotion. It’s an amazing swimming pool, spa, and leisure centre. Perfect for after skiing or during a white out snow storm! The kids can play on the waterslides while you relax in the serenity pools and saunas.
For ultimate relaxation, book yourself a massage treatment, you can even have a masseuse come to your ski chalet for the evening.
Wine bars, cafes, and creperies provide a relaxing way to spend. See if you can find the perfect cafe gourmand laid out with bite size sweet treats. Or hide away with a quiet glass of local red.
For the more adventurous there’s a ski touring and snowshoeing track that disappears into the mountain trees. Dog sledding, skidoo tours, hot air ballooning, and heli-skiing can also be organised.
Courchevel 1650: A Laid-back Skier’s Village
I hope you’ve enjoyed this guide to Courchevel 1650 ski resort.
Many who visit decide to return every winter. It’s a perfect balance of quiet high quality skiing and easy going mountain life. You can escape the crowds but still have access to the world’s largest ski area in just a few minutes of skiing.
The village is more reasonably priced than other areas of the resort and you’ll be able to find self-catered apartments at most times of the season. It still attracts the luxury of 1850 with exclusive chalets and hotels for you to enjoy.
When not on the slopes, you can tuck into a local fondue, enjoy a cold beer with live music, and get anywhere you need to be in a short 2 minute walk.