Courchevel is brilliant for beginners.
You can learn your first turns on its vast ski area which is perfectly groomed. Its size and investment means there are multiple nursery slopes with plenty of space.
The wide open runs mean that once you find your ski legs you are able to quickly progress your level. In no time, your instructor will have you exploring the world’s largest ski area far and wide.
Keep reading to find out the top tips, free skis lifts, plus reviews of all the beginner ski areas and slopes.
Courchevel 1850 for Beginners
In 1850 you have multiple choices for beginner skiing areas. You’ll see them marked on the piste map with a pink highlighted area. This means the zone is a dedicated learning area with barriers to stop high speed skiing.
The Altiport is a long and wide nursery slope with an easy access drag lift alongside. You’ll need at least the Courchevel Mini-pass to use the lift. It is one of the best learning zones due to its size and mellow angle.
Jardin Alpin beginner area is perfect if you are staying in that area of the resort. You will benefit from 3 magic carpet lifts which make getting up and down the slope super easy. Plus the Jardin Alpin gondola means you can easily get to the area from the centre of the resort.
Once you’ve learnt the basics you can then start to venture out of the nursery slopes. In Courchevel 1850 you can progress to the Bellecote green run and drag lift. This is a mellow and long run that curls through the trees back to the snow front. Once you’ve mastered this the Verdons piste awaits. Another green run that’s wide and gives you the full thrill of skiing the Alps!
Courchevel 1650 for Beginners
In Courchevel 1650, also known as ‘Moriond’ , you have 2 choices for beginner skiing areas. They are marked on the piste map with a pink highlighted area. This means the zone is a dedicated learning area with barriers to stop high speed skiing.
Mickey’s beginner slope is the perfect starting point. It’s right on the snow front just a few metres from the hotels. It’s got a free ski lift and is protected away from the crowds and main slopes. You can spend time here getting comfortable on the snow.
The Western Park is located at the top of the Ariondaz gondola. It’s particularly popular with children. You can’t miss it with its large welcome sign. A free covered magic carpet allows you to do laps of the area without stress and anxiety. When you’ve finished your lesson simply get the gondola lift back down.
If you’re feeling confident you can progress to slopes like the Belvedere green piste. It is a long mellow run which is quiet and avoids fast moving advanced riders.
Courchevel 1550 for Beginners
Courchevel 1550, also known as ‘Village’, has one beginner area called Roys. It is marked on the piste map with a pink highlighted area. This means the zone is a dedicated learning area with barriers to stop high speed skiing.
Roys was located on the snow front in 1550. It is a small learning area which is perfect for getting your first taste of skiing.
Your instructor might quickly decide to head up to the larger beginner areas in 1850 or progress to the Verdons and Bellecote pistes higher up. These are easy to access via the Grangettes gondola.
Le Praz for Beginners
The Le Praz snow front has been upgraded in recent years and now includes a learning area with a lift called Envolee. It is a simple magic carpet lift that makes your first lessons anxiety free. It is a quiet zone away from the fast moving crowds. You’ll see it marked on the piste map with a pink highlight.
There are no green or blue runs running in and out of Le Praz, only red runs which can get icy and bumpy. Your best to use the Le Praz gondola to access the green runs like Bellecote and Verdons in 1850. Then use the gondola or free ski bus to return to Le Praz.
La Tania for Beginners
La Tania has a large beginner area located at the top of the snow front. You can spot it by the fencing which sections it off from the main piste. Plus you’ll see it highlighted in pink on the piste map. Here there are two magic carpet lifts designed to make your first experience very easy.
Higher up at the top of the La Tania gondola, there is another nursery slope. This is quite small but great for kids and first timers to get high on the mountain. You can get a feel for the mountain life while still being in a safe mellow area.
When you’re ready for a longer run, try out the Plan Fontaine green run. It snakes through the trees without ever getting too steep. You’ll love it, trust me! It runs from the top of the La Tania gondola all the way back down into the centre of the village.
Learning to Ski in Courchevel – Top Tips
Here are the top tips to starting your ski adventure:
- Book a ski lesson
You can’t rely on your friends and family to teach you. A qualified instructor is important to learn the correct technique. This helps you to progress quickly, stay safe, and avoid injury.
- Get the right equipment
Make sure you hire beginner skis from the rental store. Equipment that is too advanced will be hard to learn correct technique.
- Wear a helmet
Always wear a helmet when skiing. Beginners sometimes don’t think it is necessary as they ‘won’t be going very fast’. But there are lots of dangers on the mountain, even at slow speeds.
- You don’t need a full lift pass
Don’t waste money on a full Three Valleys lift pass to start with. Many of the nursery slopes have free ski lifts or can be accessed with the Courchevel Mini-Pass. You can always upgrade when you want to explore further.
- Wear sun cream
Although skiing is a winter sport, you should wear suncream on your face and other exposed skin. It can be sunny and UV rays will reflect off the snow.
- Look for green and blue slopes
Ski run difficulty is marked by its colour on a piste map and sign post. Green runs are the easiest, followed by blue. Avoid red and black runs when learning.
Free Ski Lifts in Courchevel for Learning
The free ski lifts in Courchevel are marked by a pink star on the piste map:
Bellecote – A drag lift running from the Courchevel 1850 snow front alongside the Bellecote green piste.
Mickey – A short beginner lift on the snow front in Courchevel 1650.
Envolee – A magic carpet lift on the snow front in Le Praz.
Roys – A small lift on the snow front in Courchevel 1550 village.
Etoiles / Jardin Alpin – The Jardin Alpin beginner area has multiple short magic carpet and drag lifts.
You’ll also see other free ski lifts such as Grandes Combes, Petit Moriond, and Cospillot. These are not used for beginner skiers, instead these are designed to help skiers get from accommodation onto the slopes.
Booking Ski Lessons
It is best to book ski lessons in Courchevel before you arrive. During peak weeks ski schools quickly become fully booked and private instructors can be busy months in advance.
You can choose from large ski schools and private ski instructors anywhere you are staying or planning to ski in resort.
Beginner Ski Hire and Equipment
It is a good idea to pre book your ski rental equipment. This helps to avoid queues and make sure you don’t miss out when the town is busy during weekend arrivals. In addition, you will get a discount for booking online, usually between 20% and 40%.
If you’re a beginner make sure to select learner equipment. This will be the cheapest basic package. There’s no point splashing out on premium equipment as it won’t be helpful to learning your technique!
Is Courchevel Good for Beginners? YES!
I hope you have found the answer to your questions about learning to ski in Courchevel.
All of the villages offer tranquil learning zones which have barriers to keep you safe from speedsters. In addition, you usually find a free ski lift suitable for making your first experience easy.
To spot learning zones on a piste map look for a pink highlighted area, plus free ski lifts are marked with a pink star.
Once you’ve got your confidence, you can head out onto the bigger slopes. Green runs are the easiest and blue runs add more of a challenge to progressing skiers and snowboarders.
Thanks to large investment in the ski area, the lift system is easy to use with high-speed gondolas, drag lifts, and chairlifts. Skiing is a dream for all abilities with wide open pistes which are perfectly groomed before the start of each day.