Crew tips: World-Class skiing in Courchevel
SAS flight attendant Angelica Hedlund shares her top tips.
Buy ski passes for all three valleys
“Before we left, I had some questions about Les 3 Vallées, as the three valleys of Courchevel, Méribel and Val Thorens are known. When we arrived, I quickly learned that they are all connected—the lift systems are built to easily move between them.
Here’s my first tip: buy a lift pass for all three! It gives you much more freedom when skiing and you never have to worry about getting stuck somewhere your lift pass isn’t valid.”
Rent a car
“We booked a transfer to take us up to Courchevel. It took about three hours as there was a lot of traffic. But I actually recommend renting a car instead—it’s about the same price, even a little cheaper if you’re only going to be there for the weekend. I also recommend renting a car so you can travel around inexpensively once you’re there.
Courchevel is built over four different levels; 1550, 1650, 1750, and 1850, and taxis are expensive. We stayed in 1650, which meant that 1850 was not within walking distance, especially since it is all uphill.
Why did we want to go there all the time? Well, that’s where the lifts to the top start, and where the après-ski, restaurants and shopping can be found. It’s simply where the action is.”
Find a rental car here.
Courchevel’s best après-ski
“If you like rowdy après-ski parties with huge decking areas full of people singing along to Sweet Caroline, I’m afraid you’ll be disappointed at Courchevel. Things are more sophisticated here with a glass of rosé and house music over the speakers. Remember to book a table in advance because otherwise it can be difficult to get a seat.”
Angelica Hedlund’s five après-ski favorites:
“A lovely place in the middle of the slopes. Unbeatable when sunny and the food is top notch. They recommend that you order a little of everything and then share it around.”
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“For an aviation enthusiast like me, this was my absolute favorite place for the simple reason that it’s right next door to Courchevel Airport. The super-small runway might be one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen. Anyway, Le Cap Horn is a great après-ski venue. The sun is almost always shining there and the parties are really good.”
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“Here’s where you actually go for a little après-ski, Sweet Caroline-style. It’s messy with a really great vibe.”
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“Bagatelle is situated at the top, so make sure to go when there is good weather as it can get a bit cold otherwise.”
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“Last but not least: Le Tremplin may not look like much compared to the other places but there’s a vibe here. They have live music and serve good food. And you don’t have to ski away from here afterwards as it’s in the middle of 1850.”
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“In addition to buying lift tickets for all three areas, I want to highlight one place in particular. The lift is called Granges and here you can access three different slopes to get back down to the lift. I tested all the slopes across the entire system and Granges stood out. Every time I passed by, the sun was shining and the sky was clear blue, even when it was overcast—in other words, it’s a real gem.”
Courchevel by night
“If you want to party in the evening, you certainly can in Courchevel!
There are plenty of dining options in all price ranges, from Michelin-starred restaurants to dance and cabaret venues. I can recommend L’Aventure, an incredible place where you should order champagne after dinner. Then there’s a show where they come in with ice torches and flags from your home country.”
Talk to the flight crew
“As a crew member, I’m always in an extra good mood when I fly as a passenger, so I stood in the galley for a long time talking to my colleagues. When you’re flying, never be afraid to talk to us! We love sharing our passengers’ adventures and experiences around the world.”
Courchevel in figures
Location: Courchevel is a world-famous ski resort in the French Alps, within Les 3 Vallées ski area, around 150 kilometers from Geneva, Switzerland. It normally takes about 2.5 to 3 hours to arrive by car from Geneva.
Altitude: Courchevel consists of six small towns, including Courchevel 1850, Saint-Bon, Courchevel Le Praz, Courchevel La Tania, Courchevel Moriond and Courchevel Village, with their specific altitudes and characters.
Number of inhabitants: Courchevel is a popular destination for ski tourism, and its population varies throughout the season. According to Le Monde, Courchevel has 2,400 inhabitants and welcomes 1.5 million skiers annually.
Slopes: Courchevel offers over 150 kilometers of slopes within its own borders and is connected to Les 3 Vallées, which boasts a further 600 kilometers of slopes, making it one of the largest ski areas in the world.
Lift system: the ski resort has an efficient, modern lift system that includes gondolas and chairlifts to transport skiers and snowboarders up the mountain.
Ski season: ski season in Courchevel usually runs from December to April, with the best conditions in January and February.
Text by Angelica Hedlund