CourchevelSkiStayTravel

Le Praz Courchevel Resort Guide

Le Praz is the first village you reach in Courchevel with a ski lift and is thought of as the start of the ski resort. 

Sitting at 1300 metres, Le Praz is a vibrant and authentic feeling Alpine village with its own Michelin star restaurant, hotel and smattering of private luxury chalets sitting on a natural plateau. From the village, you jump straight onto chair lifts and gondolas to whisk you up into the Three Valleys ski area, plus ski home in the afternoon.

Off the snow, there’s plenty to enjoy with Apres ski and activities including cross country skiing or snowshoeing. You can easily access the rest of the villages via a free ski bus, gondola lift link to 1850, or private car.

Sound good? Let’s explore further…


Skiing in Le Praz

Le Praz may be a quieter getaway than 1650 or 1850, but it still has excellent access to the three valleys thanks to two new lifts which are a snowball’s throw from the village centre at the new Alpinium building. 

The two main lifts are the Le Praz bubble lift, which takes you up to the centre of Courchevel 1850 in just six minutes. And the Foret chairlift which takes you up to the top of the Bouc Blanc piste from here you are just one ski lift away from Meribel, by taking the Loze chair lift. You will also find the Bouc Blanc restaurant which is a great lunch stop.

For advanced skiers, skiing back into Le Praz is either by the epic new Eclipse piste, this is a black run and is for advanced skiers only. It is the course for the Courchevel Meribel Ski World Cup next winter. For intermediate to advanced skiers, the red Brigues/Amoureux pistes bring you out by the Alpinum building. 

So where are the green and blue runs I hear you say? Unfortunately, there aren’t any beginner to intermediate runs back into Le Praz, but that shouldn’t put you off choosing Le Praz as a base. As mentioned earlier, the Le Praz bubble lift will also get you up and down from 1850 to the bottom of the pistes in just six minutes, and as this lift doesn’t close until 11pm there’s no risk of you missing the last lift down! You can use this lift to access the rest of the ski area from Courchevel 1850 which suits all abilities.

Is it good for beginners and why?

For beginner skiers, Le Praz boasts a covered magic carpet which is free, and accessed just behind the Alpinium building. You can also take the lift up to 1850 where you have access to the Bellecote and Jardin Alpin pistes although you will need a ski pass to use the Le Praz bubble lift. Alternatively use the free bus service.

Ski Rental and Shops

You can rent skis from one of the top quality shops in the village. You’ll find independent shops with brilliant service in the village centre, along with a couple of well known suppliers. 

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.

Ski Lessons

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 Le Praz

Panoramic shot of Le Praz at sunset with cloud inversion

You’ll find a wide range of accommodation options in Le Praz from luxury ski chalets to self-catered accommodation and boutique hotels. At first glance, it appears to be a rustic alpine village but look a little closer through the narrow streets to find hidden gems for all budgets.

As you arrive on the main mountain road you’ll see a number of large apartment blocks. Here lies a selection of self-catered accommodation including cheap studio and multi room flats. This gives a choice of accommodation from shorter weekend breaks and longer stays. You’ll also find options to rent for a full ski season which is why many workers choose to reside in Le Praz.

Further into the village is a choice of hotels including the 4-star Les Peupliers which includes the restaurant La Table de Mon Grand-Père. 

Set back on among the narrow stone streets is a further selection of catered ski chalets and apartments. These provide a tranquil hideaway while still being able to enjoy the famous luxury the resort is known for.

Happily, the relatively small village means that wherever you decide to stay, you’ll be within 5 minutes’ walk of the ski lifts which give you access to the whole ski area and gondola access to 1850.


How to Get to Le Praz

The best way to get to Le Praz is via international airports like Geneva or Chambery. Simply book a transfer to drive from the airport to the village. Geneva to Le Praz offers the most regular flights and sits just over 2 hours away by road. Chambery is the nearest international airport in the winter. It takes just a 1-hour drive. 

You can treat yourself to a private jet or helicopter transfer arriving at the Courchevel Altiport! You’ll land right on the ski slopes at Europe’s highest runway. Then your accommodation is just 10 minutes away by road.

helicopter flying over snowy mountains

If you want to take the train to Le Praz, Moutiers is the station sitting in the valley, You just need to take the 20-minute drive by transfer or taxi. You can’t get lost driving to Le Praz. The main mountain road runs directly into the resort. Turning up the road from Le Grand Carrey roundabout, simply follow the main road through Saint Bon and carry on until you’re welcomed.


Restaurants and Bars in Le Praz

Le Praz offers dishes to suit all budgets from easy-going burgers to fine dining, with its Michelin-starred restaurant, Le Azimut. The excellent Bistro du Praz, Le Bergerie, and Le Table de Mon Grand Père provide a nice selection of local and international cuisine. If you’re looking for burgers, pizzas and steak and chips the L’Elephant is the place to head. 

L’Elephant also has regular live music for Apres Ski and evening gigs, though nothing goes on much later than midnight in Le Praz, for nightclubs you’ll have to venture up to 1650 or 1850, check out our nightclub guide here. 


Things to Do In Le Praz for Non-Skiers

Ice skating on Le Praz Lake

If you’re a non-skier, then you’ll still be able to enjoy yourself in Le Praz. There are beautiful forest walks, hot air balloon rides, easy access (using the free shuttle bus) to the Aquamotion swimming pool and spa in 1550, it also has an indoor climbing wall and wave pool! If you want to use the Le Praz bubble, you can buy a walker’s lift pass specifically for non-skiers which is sold at a reduced price.

You could also try your hand at ski de fond (Cross country skiing) with equipment available to hire from local rental stores.

Tour du Praz signpost

Shopping

The village has a patisserie, butcher, small supermarket, and newsagents. It also boasts a Co-operative laitière, a profit share co-op of fantastic local cheeses, ham and wine sold directly by local producers. Perfect to stock up for your raclette or fondue night!

There’s all the essentials but little else in the way of shopping except for ski shops. You’ll need to head to Courchevel 1850 or 1650 for proper retail therapy! And don’t forget many stores in Le Praz close during lunchtime.


Courchevel Le Praz: A Rustic Ski Village Lined with Elegance

Le Praz is a quieter corner of the resort offering the discerning skier excellent access to the 3 Vallees lift network, fine dining, an excellent choice of accommodation and an authentic Alpine feel. Stroll through the narrow streets after a hard day’s skiing, dip into a cosy bar for a vin chaud and some live music, and relax!