Skiing La Tania for beginners

If you’re a total or near beginner then La Tania is a friendly and easy place to start making your very first turns on skis or a snowboard.
At Ski Dazzle we can heartily recommend that beginner ski or snowboard lessons are the best way to progress and get your technique correct from the beginning. We can put you in touch with one of the ski schools listed here.

TOP TIPS

Hire a helmet. We use Ski Higher for our guests and strongly recommend that you hire a helmet with your ski or snowboard equipment. Protect your head! (You’ve only got one!)
Ski Passes. You won’t need a ski pass on your first day as the La Tania nursery slope is free to use. Your ski school will let you know when they think you’re ready to use the main lifts so let us know and we’ll organise your ski pass for you.
Energy Levels. It’s pretty tiring, learning to ski! So it’s really important to keep energy levels up with a snack and a drink every so often. A perfect excuse to head for a hot chocolate (and you can stock up on snacks in the Sherpa supermarket in La Tania.
We’ve all been there. Those people you see whizzing around so effortlessly? They’ve all done exactly what you’re doing now. Try your hardest, don’t give up, and you’ll soon be one of them!

FIRST ATTEMPTS ON SKIS/SNOWBOARD

Your instructor will probably have you walk a few steps up the slopes then put on your skis/snowboard and gently snowplough or slide your way down a very gentle slope. Once you’ve got the hang of this then you’ll want to go a bit higher. It’s time to hit the Nursery Slope!

THE NURSERY SLOPE

There’s a drag lift which takes you to the top of the nursery slope. Which sounds daunting and indeed IS daunting to a beginner! However, everyone has fallen off a drag lift in their time, so don’t be nervous or embarrassed. Laugh it off, and try again!
Once you finally make it to the top(!), take a deep breath and carefully follow your instructor’s advice. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. (Then have a snack!)
The feeling of really starting to ski or snowboard is just brilliant and so encouraging! Keep practising and you’ll just get better and better.

THE GONDOLA

Clanky, noisy and it doesn’t stop! The gondola is a bit of a strange experience for the first time, but watch those in front of you and remember that your instructor is there to help. Sit back and enjoy the ride to the top, and once you’re there, don’t forget to take a moment to enjoy the stunning scenery! The green run back into La Tania is quite a long one so take it steady and have lots of rests (and drinks) if you need to.

The most important thing is to relax and enjoy the experience. It’s not always easy to learn something new but skiing is definitely something worth the effort! You’ll fall over, probably a lot of times, and you’ll get very hot! But if you keep a smile on your face then you’ll find yourself getting better and better with each turn.

The Courchevel Valley’s best value lunches

You may think that Courchevel is full of swanky places to drink and dine, and you’d be right – BUT at Ski Dazzle, we have the lowdown on how to keep your lunch budget at a minimum during your chalet holiday. After all, our catered chalet service means you’ll be well fed at breakfast, afternoon tea and your evening meal, so you feel in need of a cheap and cheerful lunch during the day!

PICNICS

Stocking up

There’s a little supermarket called ‘Sherpa’ in the main village of La Tania which stocks all you’d need for a picnic on the mountains – cheese/ham, chocolate bars, crisps, fruit and drinks. You can find bread in the ‘Au Pain d’Antan’ bakery for sandwiches – a baguette is the cheapest and of course, most French option! The boulangerie also sells pizza, quiche and sandwiches which make for a nice change.
Another option which means that you don’t need to carry your picnic around all morning is to head to Le Forum in Courchevel 1850. If you ski down towards the two main bubble lifts (Chenus and Verdons) you’ll see a bridge to the left of this large building. Ski under the bridge but keep the speed down. Just after the bridge on your left you’ll see a restaurant. Just before the restaurant is a door (it’s not all that well signposted!) If you take your skis off here and go through this door you’ll find yourself in a set of stairs which are part of Le Forum. Go down to the toilets, or up to the top of the stairs you’ll find another ‘Au Pain d’Antan’ which has tables so you can sit inside, or alternatively you can grab your lunch and head back out to the slopes to a picnic spot (recommendations here!)

COURCHEVEL’S TOP SNACK BARS

Le Bouc Blanc – The snack area on the side of this friendly restaurant at the top of La Tania’s bubble lift is definitely worth a stop. It’s easily accessible for non-skiers and has a selection of well-priced lunch options and drinks.

Le Bel Air – At the top of Ariondaz bubble in Moriond, (ski down the Ariondaz or Rochers pistes) serves soup, hot dogs, chips and sarnies at a reasonable price and with lovely views.

Le Courchneige – The snackbar is just below the main restaurant on Bellecote in 1850 is a nice place to sit and enjoy a snack lunch. It’s easily accessible for beginners because it is on the beginner drag lift (though it’s a good idea to get the bus) If you’re feeling flash, the main restaurant also does a reasonably priced all-you-can-eat buffet lunch.

Polar Café – This new and reasonably-priced café is in the main building of La Croisette in 1850. If you ski down to the 1850 bubble lifts Chenus and Verdons, it’s on the right of the lift entrance and you can leave skis outside. Its popular with locals as a good place to enjoy a coffee and cake without a huge price tag.

The Courchevel Bucket List

Courchevel is a fabulous place for a ski holiday. There’s glitz and glamour if that’s what you want, but for simply incredible skiing, super-efficient lifts, stunning views and a friendly atmosphere then staying in La Tania is a great way to experience this amazing ski area.

THE SKI DAZZLE COURCHEVEL BUCKET LIST

1) Be the first on the gondola
2) Ski Folyères when it’s beautifully groomed (‘corduroy’)
3) Conquer the Grand Couloir – France’s official steepest black run
4) Dance in your ski boots to a live band
5) Take to the air on a tandem paraglide
6) Ski Jerusalem in St Martin de Belleville
7) ‘Say Cheese’ – try a fondue or raclette in a local restaurant
8) Take the Toboggan Run from Courchevel 1850 – 1550
9) Relax with a post-ski massage in your chalet
10) Ski all the way to Orelle in the 4th Valley
11) Race down one of the snow-cross tracks
12) Try the bargain seafood buffet at the Courchneige and blow the savings on fizz!
13) Have a group day in fancy dress
14) Try something new for a day – snowboarding, snowshoeing, telemark, ice-skating…
15) Relax in an outdoor hot tub
16) Discover the off piste safely with a mountain guide
17) Picnic at the top of a mountain
18) Get your boots fitted properly at The Boot Lab in 1650 or Meribel
19) Enjoy a vin chaud at the Bouc Blanc before the last run down
20) Feel glamorous at the Chabichou spa
21) Michelin-star lunch at Le Farcon
22) Ski Mont Vallon without stopping
23) Take a lesson – you can always improve!
24) Do après-ski at the Folie Douce
25) Give husky-sledding a try

Feel free to add any we missed in the comments section below!

Ask your resort team for more information on any of the above, or email us here.

What’s Courchevel’s Aquamotion Centre really like?

After several years of anticipation, in 2016 Courchevel finally opened the doors to the fancy new swimming centre Aquamotion which is located between Courchevel Village and Courchevel Moriond (1550 and 1650 in old terms!) Ski Dazzle’s La Tania guests can access the pool using the free ‘navette’ bus – ask your chalet host for a bus timetable.

WHAT’S INSIDE?

You’ll get to the reception desk and will be asked what kind of ticket you’d like. You have two options:
1) Aqua Ludique – This main area has a lanes pool, warm main pool, children’s fun area and two slides as well as an outdoor area with lazy river.
2) Aqua Wellness – If you don’t have young children with you, this area has quiet spaces, a sauna, steam room, salt cave and outdoor ‘lagoon’. It’s more expensive but more relaxing!
The lockers are a bit confusing to start with but there’s usually an assistant that helps out (they have pin codes rather than a 1 euro coin!)

Aqua Ludique

If you’re visiting with children then you’ll be heading straight to the ‘Espace Aqualudique’ which is a huge area with lots of places to explore.
There’s a colourful children’s area with squirty flowers and a fun slide for the littlest swimmers.
Proper swimmers have a 25m lane pool, which is at a cool temperature so you have to keep going! There are exercise classes run in this part of the pool, such as aqua bike & aqua boxing.

For lounging around, there’s a main pool which is lovely and warm and at a standard depth, with bubbly bits at one end and shoulder/neck massage showers. The heated exterior pool is separate to this – enter on the inside then swim through to the outside which has several fun areas such as relaxing bubbly spots, power massage showers and a swooshy lazy river. This outside area is lovely even when the snow is falling gently around you, just dunk your head every so often to warm up!

Inside this area is also a large red luge (hold your nose as you splash into the main pool!) which anyone over 1m20 can use. There’s a ‘pentagliss’ slide which is fast and furious – anyone aged 5 or over can use this slide. There’s also a diving pool which has a small jump and a much higher one – anyone who dares is allowed to use it, children included!

Adults Only

For grown-ups (over 18) there is a separate ‘Espace Wellness’ with a darkened salt cave with chromotherapy lights and a projector (yes, really!) so you can float around and watch the atmospheric films.

There’s a main pool which is both interior and exterior, with bubbly bits and water jets. The sauna and steam room are in this area, with a plunge pool to cool down after your heat treatment.

Indoor Surfing – This area is specifically designed for fun! Water jets allow activities such as wakeboarding, wake surf, wake skate and bodyboarding.

Spa Treatments – As you’d expect, there are all manner of relaxing options on offer in the Balneo & Spa area – facials, waxing, massage – as well as aqua treatments such as ‘hydrojet’ massage, seaweed wrap, hot and cold water baths and very fine ‘rain’ treatments.

Top tips

1) You don’t need cash for the locker – they work by pin code
2) You can take a towel and your bag in with you
3) Swim shorts for gents are OK! No swim hat is required

2016/17 Prices were:

Aqualudique: 3 hours 22€ adult, 12€ children 3-12
Aquawellness: 3 hours 34€ (INCLUDES entry to Aqualudique also)
Indoor Surf: Beginners 25€

If you’re thinking of going more than once, then there are 18 hour passes available.

Click here to read more – https://www.aquamotion-courchevel.com/en/

Best Three Valleys picnic spots

Here at Ski Dazzle we know Courchevel pretty well, having looked after catered chalets for many years…

We’re lucky to have a huge range of mountain restaurants, but if you’re looking to save your spending money or want to make the most of soaking up the sunshine then have a look at our suggestions for a perfect place to picnic in the Courchevel Valley.

OUTDOOR PICNIC SPOTS:

Top of Signal and Chapelets chairs, Courchevel Moriond – These two areas are very close and are spots with benches as well as cracking views of the Breche de la Portetta (the jagged and curved rocks in the Vanoise National Park area)
Fact: Apparently the remains of a crashed WW2 aircraft can be seen the other side of the rocks…

Top of La Saulire, Courchevel 1850 – Heading up in the huge Saulire cable car is an experience you shouldn’t miss whilst you’re in the area. Once you reach the summit you’ll feel like you’re on top of the world with these breath-taking views. Don’t forget a camera!
Fact: The Grand Couloir to the right as you reach the top is Europe’s steepest black run. Never pisted, it has huge moguls and is an exciting but nerve-wracking piste for experts to tick off their list.

Top of Creux Noir chair – the barrier and signs mean that the area isn’t blasted for avalanches to make it safe to ski, but you can duck under and enjoy a picnic with a magnificent view towards Meribel and Val Thorens and beyond. As long as you head back down the red/black pistes after your scenic picnic you’ll be safe as houses!
Fact: In the summertime this rock sticks out like a sore thumb due to its black colour.

INDOOR PICNIC SPOTS:

Le Forum, Courchevel 1850 – Whilst you’re not supposed to bring your own food in here, to save you carrying your picnic the ‘Au Pain d’Antan’ boulangerie has some well-priced sandwiches, pizzas and quiches with tables you can sit at to eat them. And the dessert section is not to be missed! Drinks can be expensive so take your own bottle of water.

Salle Hors Piste, top of Verdons – once you reach the top of Verdons gondola in 1850, if you turn right you’ll find this room which has tables & chairs for picnickers as well as sinks for water/rinsing. Ideal in snowy weather!

Pas du Lac, Meribel Mottaret – if you are heading down into the Meribel Valley, new for 2016 is a picnic room which has sofas, a kitchen, WiFi and phone recharging spots. It’s under the Pas du Lac gondola and is called ‘Piknic N’Relax’.