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How hard is it to ski from Val Thorens to Courchevel?

Posted on: November 2nd, 2022 by SkiGB

Part of our “How hard is it…” series we explain how hard it is to ski from Val Thorens to Courchevel.


There are several route options with slightly different variations for each route. Depending on where you start in Val Thorens might decide which route to take. For example, if you are staying at the bottom of the resort you might prefer to ski the nice easy path down to Les Menuires and make your way over to Meribel from there.

My personal favourite starting point is to stay high and take the lifts up over and ski either under Cote Brune lift – off-piste – or the main piste and end up at the Base of Mont Vallon.

You may have noticed I am not naming the lifts or even pistes as you wouldn’t believe this but the resorts keep changing their names. Granted mainly due to lift upgrades or replacements but it might confuse you if I did name them and you can’t find them on the map.

Anyway, back to the route. So far we have only skied one piste, quite a long one though. If it isn’t too busy – timing is everything here – this is a really nice piste. The top is a little steeper – Red level – but quite wide to traverse if needed, further down it does get thinner but nowhere need as steep – Blue level.

From Mont Vallon –  worth a trip up the Mont Vallon lift and ski down if fresh snow as it’s amazing – you can either grab a short lift up and ski down to Motteret or take the picturesque path through the trees. The path is not very snowboard friendly as it is quite flat. Wouldn’t advise boarding down there on fresh snow, take the lift.

Skip through Motteret and climb up the other side.

Once you get into the Courchevel ski area you will notice the pistes get wider and less steep. Great for less confident skiers or just if you fancy a blast. There is a great little boarder-cross course at the top which is fun. Keep your eye out for the famous airport from one of the James Bond films as you gently slide your way past some rather posh-looking Chalets. Incidentally, if you have £20 million spare and looking for a Ski Chalet you should check out Belle Air in Courchevel.


Part 1 complete you are at Courchevel 1850.


If you choose to return via the same route you came via then bear in mind you will need to use a very very very long drag lift, definitely not snowboard friendly.

So I tend to stay low and take a route back via Meribel village. The biggest “pain” with this route is Meribel, don’t get me wrong Meribel is beautiful and well worth a visit or even a whole ski holiday stay. But it can get a little crowded at certain times. With the Val Thorens crew skiing over to Courchevel and the same vice versa, they tend to meet up at the same time in Meribel. Add on top of the holidaymakers staying at “Britain in the Mountains” – Meribel – and you have a whole lot of people in one place.

Take the Platiers lift – oops I mentioned lift name – to get some height as at the moment if you climbed over the mountain where you would end up in Les Menuires or even St Martin de Belleville.

Meribel has upgraded its lift system a lot lately and planning more upgrades soon too which has made the return trip from Meribel to Val Thorens much better. They upgraded the lifts to help people staying in Meribel get to the better snow higher up around Mont Vallon and into Val Thorens.

Take the Cote Brune lift up and over into Val Thorens and you’re back home just in time for a quick drink – or two – at the Folie Douce.


How long does it take to ski from Val Thorens to Courchevel?

Obviously, everyone skis at different speeds and some stop more often than others. That said if you are a good skier – Ski Blacks well – then you could do the whole route in a few hours – depending on queues.

If you are a Red piste skier I recommend starting early, say within an hour of lifts opening just to make sure.


Is it Snowboard friendly?

Yes, I would say so, I mentioned the path at Mont Vallon earlier but apart from that, you are good to go!


Minimum Skiing ability

I would say you need to be able to get down a red piste – in fact you would have to do just that – if you want to do this route. Also, bear in mind your fitness as you will be skiing most of the day and depending on how many courses you had a lunch you might have to put a wiggle on if you are close to lifts closing.


Considerations before you go

My main concern is wind, not the smelly type but mother nature’s breath. Val Thorens in particular can get quite windy which forces the lift companies to close certain lifts due to safety concerns. Can you guess which lifts they could close?

Yep, the ones taking you back over from the Meribel valley. The new lifts have helped this but still can happen.

Just so you know if you get stuck in either Courchevel’s or Meribel’s valleys when lifts close you have four options.

  1. Take a taxi which would need to drive right down to Moutiers and back up the Val Thorens valley. Not the cheapest taxi ride you would have had.
  2. Jump on a public bus that takes you to Moutiers then get another one up to Val Thorens. Bare in mind if the wind closes the lifts it more than likely has caught out many people, so stand room only on the buses.
  3. Find a room in Meribel for the night. Good luck with that one!
  4. Strap your skis to your back and start walking up the pistes.

Well worth downloading the E valley Apps beforehand so you can monitor wind warnings. If you are down in Courchevel you might not know it’s windy at the top.


Do I need to hire a guide?

If you are a lone skier then I would recommend joining a group or ski school to go with. If you got stuck or injured a long way from Val Thorens you might need help.

Other than there is no need to hire a guide. Read the piste map beforehand, plan your route and make sure you are somewhere in the Val Thorens valley before Apres!

Cave des Creux restaurant in Courchevel – Review

Posted on: February 16th, 2018 by SkiGB

There are certain things you expect when you arrive at a restaurant in a top end ski resort. Kerb appeal is the first thing, then a tangible warmth as you go through the door. Friendly staff who make your arrival a pleasure, being shown to your table quickly and the dining area surpassing all expectations are another 3 key items. Sadly, even those restaurants which have the highest rating can fall down on one, or more, of the above.

We must applaud Boris and Florian Glise

For those planning a visit to the Cave des Creux restaurant in Courchevel I am delighted to report that you have absolutely nothing to worry about. This restaurant was opened in 2013 by a couple of ski instructor brothers who heard many complaints from visitors about there being nowhere to eat actually on the mountain and the fact that they had to go right down into the village to satisfy their hunger. Once a shelter for those shepherds who roamed the mountains of the Trois Vallées with their sheep, this unique restaurants offers fine dining at altitude, and some of the most amazing views of the Courchevel Valley and Mont Blanc.

From the beginning of December through until the end of April the Cave des Creux is open daily and offers Alpine diners a refined yet simple brasserie menu to satisfy all palates. Every item on the menu is created from the finest local produce and all under the watchful eye of the head chef Daniel Thibault. Daniel hand picks the producers of every ingredient that enters his kitchen and throughout the season offers a fine selection of Savoyard specialities. The wine list is equally superb and will satisfy the needs of even the most discerning of oenophiles.

As delicious as the fare is it is well worth leaving some room for one of the many mouthwatering and home made desserts offered as a buffet. Each one looks more delicious than the last and the only complaints we heard from fellow diners was that there was too much choice! After your meal relaxing on the south facing terrace is an absolute must.

Sipping a coffee looking out over the view is akin to sitting on the Rive Gauche in Paris; you can’t really believe what’s in front of you and what you are experiencing. The outdoor fireplace ensures that even if you fancy a spot of alfresco dining you are protected from the chill in the air.

It’s positioning at 2112m on the main ski area means there are many people eating in ski suits who have stopped off for lunch before returning to the slopes and making their final run back down into the actual village itself.

Good quality, hearty fare is just what’s needed after a long day on the slopes and this restaurant delivers on every level. Its high altitude position doesn’t mean sky high prices either, and the general consensus amongst diners is that they have paid a lot more for a good meal actually in the village where there is a lot more competition. We must applaud Boris and Florian Glise for not only creating this restaurant in such a magical spot but for making it so enjoyable. A true mountain gem.


Ski Season 2014 – 2015 Resort opening Dates

Posted on: August 16th, 2014 by SkiGB

The summer is coming to an end which means only one thing, it’s time to think about this years ski season!

The ski resorts of the 3 Valleys have released their opening and closing dates for this season, here they are:


Val Thorens: 22nd November 2014 to 10th May 2015

Les Menuires: 6th December 2014 to 24th April 2015

Mottaret: 6th December 2014 to 24th April 2015

Meribel: 6th December 2014 to 24th April 2015

La Tania: 13th December 2014 to 24th April 2015

Courchevel 1850: 6th December 2014 to 24th April 2015

Courchevel 1650: 6th December 2014 to 24th April 2015

Courchevel 1550: 6th December 2014 to 24th April 2015

Courchevel 1300: 6th December 2014 to 24th April 2015


There you have it, if you would like to see what apartments are available to stay in head over to Apartments for Rent page!


Cheap Eurostar Train Tickets to France

Posted on: July 29th, 2014 by SkiGB

We know we are all in the swing of summer and not really thinking too much about this coming winter ski season (unless you are like us when we are counting the days!).

We have have been quiet over the last couple of months working on new things for this season but when something important happens we have to break our silence.

Every year Eurostar release early-bird cheap tickets for the coming winter ski season, these are often a lot cheaper and get bought up VERY quickly! The time is upon us once again so get prepared and get up early to buy your cheap Eurostar tickets, here are the details you need:


Date of Ticket Release: 31st July 2014

What do you need to do?:

  1. These tickets go very quickly, we mean within hours possibly minutes for school holidays so have the dates you want ready.
  2. Also have a couple of reserve dates ready in case your first choice has already gone.
  3. Get up early and be on the Eurostar website at the right time and keep refreshing your browser when you are close to the release time. Doing this you will see the BUY button quickly.
  4. Make sure you have enough money in your bank account (maybe have a spare card just in case).

You don’t have a lot of time (going by the previous few years) so if you need confirmation from friends/family to see if they are going, you should have this sorted in advance!!

Now that you have the travel sorted don’t forget to look at our early bird prices for accommodation for Courchevel Apartments, Meribel Apartments and Val Thorens Apartments.

Our new website and service is coming very soon so follow us on Twitter, Facebook or this blog and we will keep you informed.

Here is the all important link to the Eurostar Ticket website and good luck! :

The 3 Valleys in the Summer

Posted on: May 11th, 2014 by SkiGB

Just because most of the snow has left us for a while (the glacier will still have some snow on it but sadly not enough to ski on) the 3 valleys is still a wonderful place to visit. In fact in July the sun is out and it’s a beautiful place to be.

Many of the staff visit Val Thorens and Meribel over the summer to get a tan (oh yes that’s possible!!), relax and take in the stunning views.

If this is something you would like to experience yourself here is a run down of the each of the resorts opening dates:


Val Thorens, Les Menuires and Courchevel

All three of these resorts will be opening their lifts from 6th July until 29th August 2014.



Meribel will be opening their lifts from 29th June until 29th August 2014.


Details on links about lift passes can be found here on our Val Thorens Lift Pass page.

Avalanches – Val Thorens, Courchevel, Serre Chevalier

Posted on: December 29th, 2013 by SkiGB

The Alps have seen several avalanches over the last few days in several resorts from France to Switzerland. Sadly many people have been caught up including five people who have died and two people who were seriously injured.

For the last week we have had warnings of very unstable conditions when this dump finally appeared. If you would like to be kept up to date with future warnings follow SkiGB on Twitter, Facebook or our RSS feed from our blog.

A total of 6 avalanches have happened (update: more since writing this), 4 in the French Alps and 1 in Switzerland.

We know this is a morbid subject and can scare holiday skiers and boarders, but it is a fact of life if you go off piste skiing. As far as we can tell (from early reports) all the skiers were off piste and had been warned of dangers by signs put up by the resorts.


It is VERY rare to be caught up in an avalanche skiing on-piste, so for non off piste skiers please don’t worry and obey the signs.


We can’t help to think though that a sign is not enough. After all how many times do drivers on the UK roads ignore warning signs. I think there needs to be more pro-active safety messages from the pisters or/and ski resorts. Something that people don’t take as a challenge or young lads use as a badge of ‘extreme skiing’. Some resorts in America take away your lift pass if found off piste, this looks to do the job and certainly stopped the skiers we have met. European resorts please take note, it’s not right to just say ‘We put up warning signs’ and wash their hands of it. We are not saying that off piste skiing should be banned (far from it), just enforce when in times of danger.

We just think better policing by the resorts may help reduce the number of deaths on our slopes.

Until that happens we urge off piste skiers and snowboarders to follow reputable websites that cover the area you will be skiing. Many ski resorts own websites are completely useless (unlike Val Thorens and the 3 Valleys which are very good) so find local based sites and follow their posts.

We of course will be on the case for the 3 Valleys as per our tweets for the last week have been reporting. If you would like more in depth information please let us know and we will add in future reports.

So back to the recent avalanches, the 3 Valleys have had two areas which have been affected, Courchevel have sadly reported a death of an experienced local man who had been skiing with his son. Fortunately the son managed to survive. The other area was in Val Thorens in the Bosmint area where several people were buried waste deep. Fortunately all survived, we have spoken to several people who have been buried waste deep in other avalanches and it can take many hours to dig yourself out. Then there are the injuries, broken bones to being mentally effected.

One thing we have learnt over the years is that you can never be too experienced, it doesn’t matter if you have skied all your life and skied off piste safely many times, respect the mountain and keep learning.

The best thing is not to be caught up in the first place.


Our condolences go out to the families effected by these deaths.


The Winner of the Best Ski Resort for 2014 is…

Posted on: December 22nd, 2013 by SkiGB

Every year the Ski industry creates a top 10 Ski resort list and the latest one is out for 2014 (I know it is still 2013, I never understood that).

Once again the 3 Valleys is included TWICE into the list which surely means it is the best place to ski, doesn’t it? 🙂

We were thinking of creating some kind of suspense like X Factor or Strictly, but we thought nah forget it, here are the results:

The Best Ski Resort for 2014

10 Solden 4.2% of votes
9 Courchevel 5.9% of votes
8 Ischgl 7.2% of votes
7 SkiWelt Wilder Kaiser-Brixental 7.5% of votes
6 La Plagne 8.6% of votes
5 Saalbach 8.4% of votes
4 Are 10.3% of votes
3 Alpe d’Huez 13.1% of votes
2 Baqueira Beret 13.9% of votes
1 Val Thorens with 16.4% of votes


Well done Courchevel and Val Thorens who keep on picking up awards (Val Thorens Ski Awards this year).