The French resort of Courchevel is known as one of the most exclusive and expensive resorts in the world, attracting a number of high-profile celebrities each year. Whilst many will believe that this makes it off limits for those on a tight budget, I actually have a number of savvy tricks that cash-strapped visitors could use to take advantage of the excellent skiing that’s available here. For my insider tips on cutting costs in Courchevel, read on.
Stay in the Lower Villages
Courchevel 1850 and Moriond 1650 are lovely places to stay high in the Three Valleys, but are also quite expensive. To save money, head down the mountain to the satellite resorts, which have much more affordable accommodation. While you do not get the convenience of doorstep skiing here, you’ll be connected to the pistes via ski lifts and/or free buses. The following resorts are the best cheap alternatives.
Le Praz 1300 – Le Praz is the original Courchevel village and still retains the same charm, and there are all kinds of affordable hotels, chalets and self-catering apartments available. What’s more, there are two gondolas that take you up the mountain to 1850.
Saint-Bon-Tarentaise 1100 – Saint-Bon is connected to Le Praz via a free, three-minute bus ride. Basic accommodation is available here at low costs, making it a popular choice with groups on a tight budget. The descent from Saulire (2,738 metres) to Saint-Bon is a vertical drop of 1,638 metres, which is one of the biggest in The Alps!
Orelle 900 – Orelle has affordable self-catering accommodation, a ski school, a snack bar and ski hire. Due to its low altitude, it’s also a popular choice among day skiers. You get direct access to the Three Valleys with the five-kilometre télécabine, and have brilliant skiing opportunities that’ll take you down the Glacier du Bouchet and the Glacier de la Pointe Rénod.
Purchase a Group Ski Pass
If you plan on spending the days skiing as a crew, it is certainly worth picking up a group ski pass, as opposed to buying individual passes. You simply need to book as a group of three or more in one transaction, which is bound to save you a tidy sum. This is known as the TRIBU pass, which provides a discount on a 6-day or longer Vallée or 3 Vallées ski pass. When you buy a pass for the entire Three Valleys, you’ll have a huge amount of skiing available to you, as well as access to the pistes no matter where you are staying.
Of course, one of the major costs of a skiing holiday is the food. It is very easy to spend vast sums eating out for every meal (especially in Courchevel!), which is why budget-conscious skiers should consider booking a self-catered apartment. You can stock up on food at the supermarkets, take turns cooking, pop open a bottle of wine and enjoy each other’s company each night. For lunch, consider packing a meal before hitting the slopes.
How to Get There
To reach Courchevel, you will want to fly into Geneva, as there are many flights made by budget carriers from the UK that only take around 90 minutes. Pre-book a transfer from Geneva to Courchevel with Shuttle Direct to keep the costs down on onwards travel – we offer economical group transfers and transport your sports equipment for no additional charge if you tell us in advance. A transfer takes around three hours from Geneva to Courchevel.
These above tips can help you experience this fantastic resort without breaking the bank, so book your flight and transfer from Geneva to Courchevel now and see what all the fuss is about!
Lukas Johannes is a driver for Shuttle Direct, the number one provider of shared and private airport transfers all over Europe and northern Africa. If you’re looking for an affordable Geneva to Courchevel transfer , Lukas and his colleagues can make sure that you and your luggage get to and from the airport swiftly and safely.