Courchevel Le Praz (1300)
The authentic, alpine village of Le Praz is one of the most picturesque resorts in the Courchevel Valley. It’s set amidst un-spoilt woodland with a lake & village centre based around the Peupliers Hotel, where skiers can often be found sitting in the sun recounting tales of the day.
A couple of thousand people live there all year round & it has the feel of a real village community. There is a brand new medical centre, supermarket, six restaurants, five accessible bars, two ski shops, post office, laundrette, tabac/newspaper shop, baker & an excellent butcher who specialises in regional produce – in fact everything you'll need is very close at hand. And a local co-operative shop selling regions goods.
This is the Courchevel village most traditionally Savoyard in architecture & ambience & continues to boast the lowest prices across the five levels of the resort. With its narrow streets, quaint centre & old world charm it's an age away from the concrete apartment & purpose built complexes very often associated with French ski resorts.
The real advantage of Le Praz is that you can ski back throughout the season because the runs are fully serviced with snow cannons. The winding run from 1850 takes you through trees, or there’s a quick black run for those wanting some speed on the last run of the day. There’s also a free-to-use beginner’s piste adjacent to the lift station.
Courchevel 1850 is a ten minute lift away via a choice of two gondolas. The Meribel valley is easily accessed from Le Praz via lifts but also has road access to the resort of La Plagne & its extensive ski area.
Lively après ski activities can be found every day in the Escorchevel sports bar & pizzeria, with live bands every Tuesday & Friday, plus UK sports coverage & free WiFi. Or you could bump into your ski instructor in The Drop Inn which is another après ski bar popular with locals & visitors alike.
The free bus also offers a ride home from the other stations for those wanting to hang around 1850, 1650 or 1550 when the lifts shut, or teenagers wanting some space.
For those wondering what the Olympic rings are doing in Le Praz, it was the setting for both cross country & ski jumping events in the 1992 Winter Olympics. And if you’re lucky, you may see even some floodlit ski jumping.