Courchevel 3 Valleys area
The 3 Valleys is probably the most well known ski range in the world – and definitely the largest with 600km of pistes over 1400 square kilometres, from the far end of Courchevel 1650 (with it’s extreme luxury chalets), past La Tania, then Meribel (and it’s strictly traditional architecture), over to Les Menuires, up to the concrete towers of Val Thorens and back down to the recently added and as such recently discovered village of Orelle, in the Maurienne valley, this can only be described as the most vast and magnificent heaven for skiers in the world.
The resorts each have very distinct characters – Courchevel, without doubt being the most exclusive, and Meribel so very British, and Val Thorens so concrete (but also the most snowsure)!
The resort of Courchevel is divided into 3 separate villages, starting with Le Praz, (aka Courchevel 1550) being the oldest (and with the most character) and definitely the only “year round” village, then 1650 and 1850 (with it’s own altiport just above Pralong), which are all on the pistes higher up the hill. 1650 and 1850 are home to the most prestigious luxury chalets, hotels, boutiques and restaurants in the French Alps, nearly all being ski-in, ski-out.
Meribel (also various separate areas – Meribel Village, Altiport, Belvedere) probably has the most “in keeping architecture” in the entire Alps, thanks to it’s founder, the Brit Peter Lindsay, instilling planning rules worthy of Prince Charles - way ahead of his time all the way back in the 1940’s. The resort is almost 100% English, and also boasts it’s own altiport, next to the exclusive luxury chalets of Meribel Village. Nesting at the top of the valley, you’ll find the more recent Mottaret, while further down the hill rests the old village of Les Allues and Brides Les Bains - famous for it’s health spas.