Free Bus Service
There is a free ski-bus service (called ‘Navettes’) around all 4 levels of Courchevel which operates throughout the Winter and Summer seasons. The journey time is approximately 25 minutes between Le Praz and Courchevel. Buses run frequently during the season, from early morning until late at night, every 10 minutes between Courchevel Moriond and Courchevel. It is therefore possible to go out for a meal in any of the resorts, and return home on the bus later in the evening.
During the last two or three weeks of the season, a reduced timetable operates, but still enables you to get around without a car. Timetables are available in the Tourist Information Offices.
There are 12 maintained paths throughout the resorts - six in Courchevel, four in Moriond, and one each in Courchevel Village and Le Praz. The paths are marked and regularly maintained, but are not watched over, so you may wish to check at the Tourist Office before setting out, to ensure they are clear, particularly after a heavy snowfall!
You can pick up a detailed ‘walk map’ from the Tourist Offices, but we thought the following brief descriptions may give you a flavour of what to expect.
- Altiport Descent (1 hour) — Start behind the Altibar (get the free ski-bus shuttle to the start). A sunny downhill walk alongside the piste (yellow markers), crossing the farmland at Pralong and linking with the ski run at Bellecôte.
- Le Lac des Verdons – Jardin Alpin (1 hour) — An exceptional and sunny panorama of the Saulire slopes. Start at the Jardin Alpin residence (after the Byblos hotel), 250 metres after the Bellecôte bridge.
- Sandraz Pralong loop (2½ hours) — Start at Clarines Street, walk through Bois du Ban forest to Prameruel valley. Walk about 700m up the valley (watching out for skiers!), then turn right towards Pralong along the forest path. Walk down towards the resort along the Bellecôte ski run.
- Le Chemin des Ecureuils (2½ hours) — Start on the bend above the Chabichou Hotel (one of Courchevel’s most exclusive). Cross the Plantrey run at the half-way point of the snowpark (careful, as this is the snowboarders funpark!). Continue in the forest as far as the exit on the Jockeys run.
- Balcons of Courchevel 1850, 1650 & 1550 (2 hours) — Start in 1850 at the toboggan run, then right to the ‘Teppes’ path as far as the ice tower. Then take a narrow path ending at the bottom of the 3 Vallées Chairlift (next to our apartment!). Walk down the road for 100 metres, then a series of paths on the left take you between some chalets, and lead down to 1550.
- Courchevel 1850 to 1550 (1¼ hours) — Same as above until the ice tower. A path then leads directly to 1550 along the left hand side of the valley (watch out for skiers!).
From Courchevel Moriond
- Lac de la Rosière (Descent ½ hour, ascent 1 hour) — This is an easy descent to a magnificent site (you can get a free ski-bus to the start), although the return ascent is a bit harder! (In the summer, this is a particularly lovely walk, with many alpine flowers to see).
- The Laition Forest (1 hour) — Take a free ski-bus to the start, at the end of the Belvédère road. A circular route through the forest.
- Prairie de Pralin (1½ hours) — This starts alongside the Mickey ski lift, then the Belvédère by following the yellow markers. The trail ends on the Prairie de Pralin plateau at the foot of the Mont Bel Air.
- The Corbière loop (1¼ hours) — From the front of the Tourist Office, the road goes down the Vieux Moriond, then a path leads as far as La Corbière Hamlet. You walk to the left of the karting circuit then in fron of the climbing wall, before returning to 1650.
From Courchevel Village
- To Le Praz (1 hour) — Starting at Brigues Street, at the beginning of the cross country piste, follow the path through Montgellaz and La Choulière hamlets. Cross the road by the bridge on the Jean Blanc run, then pass immediately to the right to avoid the final wall of the ski run. You can walk back to Le Praz via ‘Allée de Cerisiers’, and then take the free ski-bus back home.
From Courchevel Le Praz
- Le Chemin du Paradis (2½ hours) — This walk takes you down to St Bon through the glades, then on to Le Freney hamlet, before heading back to Le Praz, finishing at the Olympic ski jumps. It is worth taking a visit to the tower by funicular, to enjoy the panoramic views.
To make the most of your walking, check the weather forecast at the Tourist Office before leaving. To make walking easier, you can get special soles (called ‘Gliss 'Pas’), that you attach to your shoes to stop you from slipping. These can be bought from some local sports shops.
Exploring by the Lift system
You can take advantage of certain ski lifts without ski equipment and during the Summer season, to enjoy the exceptional panoramas. You could combine this with a stop at one of the mountain restaurants, before heading back home.
You will need a lift pass, but can buy a pedestrian pass, on sale at the ski lift offices.
- Praz / Chenus / Col de la Loze (2½ hours) — From Le Praz, take the Forêt gondola and the Crêtes chairlift, followed by a 10 minute walk at the side of the piste, to reach Chenus (mountain restaurant here!). You can either take the Col de la Loze chairlift, or walk alongside the piste, to enable you to benefit from the magnificent view from the summit of the Dou des Lanches.
- Courchevel / Saulire / Pierres Plates (½ hour) — Take the Verdons gondola to the foot of the Saulire cable car. Stop here for the mountain restaurant, if you like, before taking the Saulire cable car to the highest viewing point of the resort.
- Courchevel Moriond / Bel Air (½ hour) — Take the Ariondaz gondola from the Tourist Office building, and stop at Bel Air at a height of 2,050 metres. You can sit and enjoy the view of Mont Bel Air from the restaurant, which has a large open-air balcony.