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Look at a map of France and that large area curling around Switzerland and Italy can get a little confusing, since the French government reorganised its regions and created 13 vast metropolitan areas from the previous 22. The great news is that the intricacies of French regional politics do not affect the quality of the snow or the après social scene and France has all that in abundance and variety.

Popular places to ski in France sit in the eastern and south-eastern regions: Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, Grand Est and Occitanie. If you do not recognise some of those names, don’t worry, some people living in them don’t either! However, when you are planning your ski holidays, it can help to know your Alpes from your Auvergne so here are the basics of French geography.

Popular Places to Ski in France Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes

Reaching halfway across France, this vast region was created by adding Auvergne in the west onto Rhône-Alpes in the east. It is the same size as the Irish Republic and home to over seven million people. The Rhone-Alpes bit will be most interesting, including places like Savoie, Haute Savoie, Hautes-Alpes and Isere.

It is, in fact, the world’s largest ski area, with 160 resorts including Courchevel, Meribel, Val Thorens, Chamonix and Morzine. Property here can be pricey – for a good reason, skiing is superb – but there are also cheaper areas, such as Les Deux Alpes and Les 7 Laux. Les Deux Alpes offers a high altitude (1650m) and reasonable prices for ski lifts, lifestyle, and homes.

Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur

South of Rhône-Alpes, the region nicknamed PACA for short has the advantage of being close to the Italian border and the Mediterranean, offering the possibility of skiing in the morning and, if not swimming in the sea in the afternoon, at least enjoying the view of the seafront at Nice or Cannes.

Isola is the closest to the Med (75 kilometres from Nice) and is an excellent resort for beginners. Further north is Serre Chevalier, with over 400 acres of pistes between 1,200 and 2,800 metres and including famous names like Briançon.

A home in a town like Briançon has ski season appeal, being next to the Écrins National Park. Elsewhere the region offers a string of pretty villages where you can enjoy that wonderful French lifestyle but where you happen also to ski for a third of the year.

The Three Valleys: Size matters

It is that age-old question: sizes matter? Home to more than half of the world’s ten largest ski areas, the French Alps has nothing to be embarrassed about in the size department. So, what is the region’s undisputed world number-one for variety of slopes.

The mammoth Three Valleys area, comprising the three parallel valleys of Courchevel, Meribel and Belleville combines top ski resorts with access to an endless supply of interconnected slopes. Stats show the sheer scale of what could be your new back garden:

  • 600 kilometres of interconnected runs, catering for all abilities
  • 105 square kilometres of skiable area
  • 183 modern high-performance lifts
  • Over 2,100 artificial snow-making machines covering 1/3 of the area
  • Minimum altitude: 1,300 metres / Maximum altitude: 3,230 metres
  • 85% of the area is above 1,800 metres
  • 335 Alpine runs: 48 green, 135 blue, 119 red, 33 black
  • 25 accessible summits, including ten above 2,500 metres and six glaciers
  • 35,000 hectares (135 square miles) of nature

Since 1973, it has been possible to ski the interlinked valleys using a single pass, making it a vast snowy playground for ski and snowboarding enthusiasts from across the globe. So where should you begin your house hunt in the daddy of domains?

Courchevel: Long maintaining a reputation as the top ski resort, this world-renowned, elegant destination breaks down into four main villages: Le Praz 1300, Courchevel 1550, Courchevel 1650 and Courchevel 1850.

Meribel: sat in the middle of the Three Valleys, the Meribel valley splits into four distinct areas: Meribel-Mottaret, Meribel, Meribel Village and Les Allues.

La Tania: located between Courchevel and Meribel, lying at an altitude of 1400m, La Tania is a family-friendly resort set in beautiful surrounds of a pine forest.

Les Menuires: nestled between Val Thorens and St Martin de Belleville, not only is Les Menuires an excellent choice for beginners, but it also has unique après activities for all ages.

St Martin de Belleville: the family-friendly resort of St Martin de Belleville is a quieter, affordable base for exploring. Keeping in line with the more traditional feel of this village, après revolves more around local bars than larger international venues.

From upmarket Courchevel to affordable and unpretentious Les Menuires there’s something for everyone. Off-Piste animals, first-timers, millionaires and property buyers with a somewhat more modest budget will be guaranteed to find their idea of high heaven; such is its reach both on and off the pistes.

Find Paradise in the Paradiski area

Imagine the scale of the outcome if you linked two mountain resorts and their surrounding slopes in the heart of the French Alps, to create an interconnected alpine playground? That happened in December 2003 when the purpose-built, multi-levelled resorts of Les Arcs and La Plagne, plus their smaller neighbours, joined hands courtesy of the €15 million Vanoise Express double-decker cable car to create the Paradiski area.

Ranked number three in the world in terms of size, this vast snowy expanse boasts 425 kilometres of endless pistes and 261 slopes, all of which is skiable up to an altitude of 3250 metres. So, the slopes and super-fast lifts that whisk you to the top are top notches in the mighty Paradiski, but what about the resorts in France you could call home when you snap up that alpine retreat you have been pining after?

Get a Season Pass in Les Arcs

If you like your French resorts more contemporary than traditional, traffic free and apartment-heavy, then you need to look no further than Les Arcs. Set high above the town of Bourg St Maurice, the resort comprises seven purpose-built villages scattered across the massif central of the 3226m Aiguille Rouge.

Situated two kilometres apart both Arcs 1600 – the first Arc – and 1800 comprise large apartment blocks sat at the foot of their slopes. 1800 is most extensive of all the Arcs, and has expanded up the mountainside – you can pick up a brand-new, luxury apartment here for less than £157,000.

On the far side of the prominent mountain ridge – and separate from their lower altitude contemporaries – Arcs 2000 and 1950 are close neighbours. 2000 comprises half a dozen massive, linked apartment blocks, plus more built ski chalets. Just below it and connected by a short gondola, they built the mini-mountain village of Arc from scratch in 2003.

La Plagne

If you thought Les Arcs was dispersed across the mountainside, then try La Plagne for size. Comprising 11 separate villages – some of which are miles apart – this unique resort stretches across a giant and gentle plateau alongside a steep mountain.

Three are low-lying traditional farming villages, while the rest are purpose-built French ski resorts at different altitudes. Belle Plagne and Plagne Centre are the main hubs of the resort, providing the focal point for shops and après-ski. below Centre is the suburb of Plagne 1800, where you could buy a new two-bed apartment for less than £293,000.

The best ski-in/ski-out resorts in the French Alps

Our love for skiing and snowboarding means we will do whatever it takes to hit the slopes. If that involves trudging to the cable car in heavy boots while carrying our equipment, or cramming onto a crowded bus then so be it. However, it does not have to be such a chore.

Imagine rolling out of bed straight onto the mountain, before returning right to your front door when the days shredding is done.France is the spiritual home of the ski-in/ski-out resort. We are not talking about alpine locations that contain a few slopes-side residences; it is purpose-built resorts high in the mountains that are all about the sport.

Heli-Skiing in Avoriaz

In the vast French/Swiss Portes du Soleil ski area, this mountain resort above Morzine offers a perfect skiing environment. Avoriaz has been car-free since it was created in the 1960s, an accessible policy that adds to its charms and makes its facilities essential and high-quality.

Ski holidays in La Plagne

What happens if you scatter 11 separate villages across a vast plateau alongside a steep mountain? Head to La Plagne, and you will find out. Many communities are purpose-built ski-in/ski‑out resorts at different altitudes, with convenient access to neighbouring Les Arcs via a double-decker cable car.

Snow Sports in Les Menuires

A terrain makeover in recent years has meant Les Menuires no longer has to rely on its altitude alone to attract visitors. Today snow sports enthusiasts can purchase renovated ski-in/ski-out properties, before jumping straight onto its snow-sure slopes. This has helped it develop into a top destination in the giant Trois Vallées area alongside Courchevel, Méribel and Val Thorens

Les Arcs Ski Resort

Les Arcs spoils skiers with choice. Constructed in the 1960s and 70s the original Arcs 1600, 1800 and 2000 comprise big, wood-clad apartment blocks. However, it is the newer yet more traditional Arc 1950 that offers an appealing base from its ski chalet style buildings.

Best Ski Resorts for Beginners: In this article, we look at the best mountain retreats for newcomers to this sport like Meribel and Alpe d’Huez. Reviewing ski schools, slope conditions, rental shops to hire equipment like skis and ski boots, private instructors for ski lessons, and more, we have listed our four favourite destinations to help you get started.

Mountain Resorts with Guaranteed Snow Fall: Snow conditions are everything. They break or break a ski holiday. We look at popular places to ski in France that have sure-fire snowfall, and whether they offer additional skiing activities like night skiing, heli-skiing and cross-country ski routes.

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The first bit of advice on buying a ski chalet in France is to think big because there is more to consider than snow conditions and hitting the slopes. Savvy home hunters will not just be planning their ski trip but also weighing up long-term investment potential, monitoring the local property market, crunching financial data, organising their budget, finding out what long terms plans are in place for the ski resort, and thinking about their chalet investment as a year-round home.

There are plenty of new builds alpine properties to choose from thanks to an increase in residential construction, with the number of allowed dwellings up 6.7% year-on-year in July 2017. The French housing market is showing no signs of slowing over the coming months, with low-interest rates making the cost of borrowing cheaper and improving economic conditions.

Price tags sometimes put buyers off, but there are ways to ensure a chalet is a worthy investment, not a financial drain. To make the best investment, here are seven snippets of advice when buying alpine homes.

Advice on Buying a Ski Chalet in France 1: Ski Areas in France

Bigger is better as they say, and this is true with the size of the ski area. A broader terrain ensures something for everyone and chalets hold more appeal for all levels of skier and snowboarder, from those who want to learn to ski to experts. Obvious candidates here are huge lift-linked areas like the Portes du Soleil or the Three Valleys. Be warned, such world-famous domains are pricey, so be prepared to settle for a mid-size resort with access to around 150 kilometres of slopes if working to a tight budget.

2: New Lifts, Shops and Accommodation

According to a report from Knight Frank, what impresses ski home-buyers is the financial commitment of resort owners. That includes chair lifts and gondola services being upgraded or replaced, smart communal areas such as shopping malls and open-air food courts, snow parks, plus all the ways of accessing the resort.

Watch out for luxury brands opening shops and upmarket lodging groups committing to the area; they will have done the legwork already! It’s a winner all round because skiers love the new facilities, rental investors have a higher yield potential, and property values flourish. An exciting project is taking place to modernise and upgrade Val d’Isère resort.

3: Buying in a Resort with Varied Amenities

Anyone on a ski holiday wants a wide range of amenities on their doorstep. Aspects to consider are the après-ski scene. Is it party all night bars or quiet establishments accommodating families? Rental investors need to look for resorts featuring the best ski schools to attract beginners who will sign up for ski lessons.

Snowboarding is another feature that some resorts are gearing up to accommodate, but hardcore skiers will also look at backcountry trails, and maybe even heli or night skiing. Off-piste activities are just as important as the slopes and will keep the non-skiing fans entertained. Also, look for a rental shop with ski equipment for hire, and kids ski runs to keep the little ones entertained.

4: Buy a Chalet in a Dual Season Ski Resort

Buying in a region with plenty of summer visitors will mean two bites of the cherry. Do the lifts operate in summer? Are there cycling events planned for the summer? Is there a summer festival? A great example of a mountain resort doing this well is Chamonix, which thanks to an ongoing investment plan have become a multipurpose year-round resort.

Rather than leaving your property empty and gathering dust during this period, take advantage of this army of adventurous summer holidaymakers who shun package holidays on the coast in favour of fresh mountain air.Seeking dual seasonality towns will maximise rental income throughout the year. It might be easy to forget, but there is more to life than just skiing. Once the mercury rises, people flock to the Alps to bike, hike, fish, canoe, raft, climb and play golf, or to relax and enjoy the views.

5: Advice on Selling – Think Ahead

As any mountain enthusiast will say, before setting off, have a plan for getting out! While you are all excited at buying a gorgeous mountain home and the salesperson is offering the earth, what will potential buyers see a few years down the line?

This is pertinent if buying new-build luxury chalets or off-plan, where agents may offer rental guarantees. You cannot provide that when you sell, so will the resort and property qualities be enough to compensate? Factors affecting selling potential include location, access to an airport and amenities, views, ability to ski-in and ski-out, plus the usual basics of adequate parking and storage.

6: Buying a Ski Chalet to Rent out

You are buying a bolt hole in the French Alps for two reasons; to indulge a passion for hitting a ski slope whenever you choose, and to afford the time to enjoy the alpine slopes at your leisure, rather than being rushed by an annual whistle-stop holiday. To ensure you have the financial resources to achieve your goals, you may opt to enter the chalet hotel market. If you conduct the research and make a quick purchase with rental potential, the property could pay for itself.

Check the summer rental potential – You will not have any trouble renting out your property during winter, but what about the summer months? Rather than leaving it dormant while you continue to pay the mortgage and bills why not be savvy and rent it out before the season kicks off again? This way it could end up paying for itself.

Even in the winter month’s work and family commitments may not permit you to be in residence permanently. Rather than leaving their property dormant, many alpine home owners cash in by renting out their prize possession. In agent lingo, a ski property often ‘needs to wash its face’ by generating enough rental income to either cover its maintenance or fund the family’s biannual visits.

7: Don’t Just Buy in Winter

Anyone serious about snow sports will countdown the days between the dreaded melt and the first dump of the following season. However, how are you going to kill time during this endless sun-drenched period? Life is such a chore! If you plan to buy a chalet in your favourite resort, the summer months are a great time to head over for a viewing trip.

When the landscape turns green, flowers bloom and snow turns to rush streams; the French Alps are a sight to behold. Only by heading out to resorts between May and September can you gauge whether the local area and property will attract visitors when the temperatures soar?

So why not treat it as a holiday with the excitement of checking out properties with potential thrown in? Plus when you’re not viewing chalets or apartments, a host of activities fills the skiing void, from mountain biking, parasailing and white-water rafting, to hiking and rock-climbing – the lifts don’t stop ferrying visitors up and down the mountains just because the snow has melted.

Unlike the typical summer destinations on the Mediterranean coast where the sangria is flowing and the property market is in full swing, the French Alps experience a more sedate pace of life at this time of year. For making an offer on your dream home, you might be in an excellent position to negotiate a price well within your budget during this slow period for local estate agents.

Where to Buy a Ski Chalet in France?

Deciding where to buy a French ski chalet can be a headache because over 100 places are worthy destinations. It is a cliché but the “three rules” of buying a chalet; location, location, location apply to any property venture being a success, once you pack away the skis and snowboards.

Many high-altitude, snow-sure resorts are a magnet for snow sports lovers once the white stuff has settled but stop out of season. While destinations lower down the mountainside attract visitors when the flowers bloom and landscapes turn green, plus they are more affordable. It is about finding a resort with the right balance of snowfall in winter and activities in the summer.

Dual Season Mountain Resorts:  Many mountain resorts offer wealthy choices of outdoor activities that make them great for adventure sports enthusiasts and those who love the great outdoors. Chamonix, Alpe d’Huez, Val d’Isère are a prime example of year-round resorts offering visitors a plethora of non-ski activities outside of the winter season.

Snow Sure Ski Areas: For anyone serious about shredding powder, altitude is everything. Buy a chalet above 1850 metres in Val d’Isère, Tignes, La Plagne, and it will come., Val Thorens is the highest ski resort in Europe with ski lifts going up to 3200 metres. Other resorts include Les Arcs, Chamonix, and Les Menuires. (The best French ski resorts with guaranteed snowfall.)

Luxury Ski Resorts: Luxury is all about the more delicate details, and chalet buyers will be glad to know luxury resorts in the French Alps are experts at comfort, style, and finesse. Courchevel 1850 is one of the most famous and often visited by glitzy celebrities and esteemed royalty, yet there are many other luxury ski resorts to choose from.

For more advice on buying a ski chalet in France, call or email us. We can answer questions, outline the process of how to buy, and send a portfolio of properties suiting your budget, reasons for buying and preferred lifestyle themes. You can also see our wide range of French ski chalets for sale here, and for more information on any of them fill in the enquiry form or use the chat messaging feature.

(Feature property photos: A gorgeous five bedroom chalet for sale in Meribel.)

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In 2019, Belgium-based “European Best Destinations” organisation crowned Alpe d’Huez town and the surrounding terrain, Europe’s best ski resort for the 2nd year running. Notably, it is ordinary skiers, both experienced and beginners who decided the winner after over 58,000 people from 92 countries voted in the poll.

Who would you rather believe:  real tourists or a panel of judges with a personal stake in certain areas? It is quite some achievement when we consider the other contenders. Alpe d’Huez mountain resort fought off stiff competition from world-class resorts like La Plagne, Tignes, Courchevel, Kitzbuhel and Gstaad.

However, 135 alpine pistes that cater for all abilities and its famous snow parks, lifts, gondola rides, ski schools, lift passes, villa accommodation and much more impressed the visitors so much, it secured a whopping 9,550 votes and with it the coveted title.However, it has not rested on its laurels since then.

The town strives and implements new programmes designed to keep the resort top of the skiing market for the near future. As well as introducing a new network of state-of-the-art snow cannons and an alpine roller coaster, it is rising in prominence as a year-round destination because of its summer sports activities. Indeed, any savvy property investor looking for a dual season French Alp ski resort would do well to look at the town.

Alpe d’Huez Town: The French Alp’s Star Dual Seasons in Alpe d’Huez: From Winter to Summer

During the winter season, specific natural attributes that money cannot buy, like its glacier ensures enough snow cover for a long season that stretches from early December to late April. Not to mention its reputation for delivering a plentiful supply of bluebird days, giving rise to its nickname “l’Isle du Soleil,” which translates as the Island of the Sun.

One aspect that makes a ski trip stand out is high-tech computer-controlled snow cannons lining the slopes from the DMC and La Folie Douce après-ski social scenes down to resort level at 1850 metres, guaranteeing powder on some ski runs including Chamois, Couloir, Vachette and Olympique to name but a few.

Their huge turbines spread a much finer powder-like snow across a far greater “dump” range than the old machines they have replaced, which many other Alpine resorts still use. This is of particular benefit on the lower altitude slopes around the DMC and Les Bergers because even Mother Nature’s natural snowfall needs a day off sometimes. Also, Alpe d’Huez also offers night skiing, heli-skiing, and backcountry routes for hardcore fans.

If you thought all that would generate more than enough potential to make Alpe d’Huez, one of the best ski resorts in the Alps, you should not underestimate the resorts summer allure. With the Ecrins National Park and Oisans villages on its doorstep, it is also a paradise when the snow melts at the end of the ski season.

There is a multitude of activities on offer such as walking, climbing, rafting, horse riding and more; but it is the mountain biking for which the region is most renowned when the temperatures soar. With 140 miles of marked routes, Alpe d’Huez is Europe’s most legendary mountain bike destination for adrenaline junkies that love hurtling downhill on two wheels. With such year-round rental potential, your dream alpine retreat in this up-and-coming resort will practically pay for itself.

Also, if hurtling down the local slopes on skis or board is not enough of an adrenaline fix for you, why not try the Alpe d’Huez alpine roller coaster that opened in December 2017. Situated on the Les Berger’s area lower slopes, this attraction offers high-speed thrills for visitors of all ages throughout the year.

Like other roller coasters, gravity, rather than electricity drives it, plus you can control your speed using brakes as you plunge down the metal track in a go-kart style cart around bends over humps and through tunnels. Don’t expect Alton Towers style loop-the-loops, but you will still have a fun ride.

Property Buyers in Alpe d’Huez

However, here is the exciting part for anyone with designs on purchasing their very own alpine bolthole in this desirable location: The local council is investing 350 million euros in making the resort even more attractive to the international market.The proposed work includes the renovation of existing accommodation and the building of new high-quality ski in ski out properties, as well as the creation of one of Europe’s largest ski areas by 2020.

Getting to this fabulous French ski resort will not present you with any obstacles; it is situated less than 60 kilometres from Grenoble, the nearest airport. The 90-minute drive is rather spectacular too, as you wind your way up the 21 bends made famous by the Tour de France. See property for sale in Alpe d’Huez and find out more about its real estate market.

A Family Friendly Ski Holiday in Alpe d’Huez

It is not only skiing fans who love Alpe d’Huez town either because of the vast amount of off-piste activities makes ski holidays all year-round fun. They also contribute towards its family-friendly status as awarded by the French tourism board. Think para-gliding, helicopter tours, a state-of-the-art sports centre and a 9-hole golf course. Read more about off slope activities to do in Alpe d’Huez.

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Courchevel ski resort, a former small farming community, is now one of the world’s most luxurious mountain destinations. Created from scratch in 1946, a dash of grand hotels and luxury chalets, followed by a gentle sprinkling of boutique shops and Michelin star restaurants offer everything and anything for a luxurious skiing holiday.

In between the Petrossian caviar and designer handbag shopping, the skiing’s not bad either. In Les Trois Vallées, at one end of the world’s best ski areas, the mountain resort features 600 kilometres of pistes, 170 ski lifts, a ski school for every grade of skier.

Its north-facing slopes ensure the dumps are plentiful, with terrain to suit all tastes and skill levels. Thanks to this favourable geographical location, combined with the resort’s pioneering work in snow conditions, grooming and maintenance, grab your skis for excellent snow cover throughout the season.

Courchevel Ski Resort and the Luxury Market

The alpine elite feels at home in these lavish surroundings; it’s worth noting the resort includes four separate villages: Le Praz 1300, Courchevel Village 1550, Moriond 1650 and the famous Courchevel 1850, the largest of the quartet.

Populated by wealthy Parisians and Russians, celebrities – including A-listers like George Clooney – and royal families on skiing holidays, it’s easy to see why Courchevel 1850 is the St. Tropez of winter sports. Even our very own Wills and Kate holidayed there only last year, so you could end up sharing the slopes with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge while taking in majestic Mont Blanc views.

Home to 17 five-star hotels – not including three elusively named “Palaces” – decadent ski chalets, designer boutiques and 11 Michelin stars across seven restaurants serving gastronomic dishes, a skier’s every whim is easily accommodated for.

Is Courchevel Good for Beginners?

Courchevel is one of the best French alp destinations for any skiing and snowboarding beginner. If you are not sure whether the sport is something to take up long term, don’t splash out on gear because many shops in resorts offer ski rental equipment at reasonable prices. To learn to ski in this high-altitude destination, sign up for private lessons with a ski instructor or one of many schools for group sessions.

Experienced Skiing in Slalom Park

As part of one of the world’s largest ski areas, Les Trois Vallees, Courchevel offers access to over 26,000 acres of skiable terrain, over 320 downhill tracks, more alpine trails than you could shake a ski pole at, heli-skiing adventures and much more. However, that isn’t enough for this ambitious resort. If after watching the first women’s parallel slalom in the history of the FIS World Cup, you’re left thinking “I could do that”, the resort is now giving everyone the chance to prove it on its new Epicéa run – a permanent competition-level stadium open to everyone.

Gondola and 3-kilometer Toboggan Run

Getting up the slopes is about to get even more comfortable thanks to an ultra modern 8-seater gondola lift, which can transport 2,400 skiers an hour. If you thought ski areas couldn’t get any more scenic, think again. The new lift system adheres to a minimum visual and environmental impact policy. You can hop in the gondola to reach the top of a new 3km toboggan slope that opened in 2018. Kids of all ages will glide down to Moriond’s snow front day or night thanks to its illuminated course.

Ultramodern Eco-Friendly Snowmakers

As a member of the exclusive altitude ‘Club of 1800s’ Courchevel offers excellent skiing from December through to late April, in a spectacular setting. However, even the highest resorts can’t rely on Mother Nature to supply the white stuff all the time.

To guarantee great coverage throughout the season, Courchevel leaves no stone unturned, by utilising the best snowmaking equipment. The modernised kit includes 115 state-of-the-art machines, meaning 75% of its “snow factory” is now “eco-friendly.

Property for sale in Courchevel: Alpine Glamour

If you consider the overall French Alps property market bulletproof, thanks to its stunning setting and world-class resorts, Courchevel must be atomic bomb proof, thanks to its status as the world’s most luxurious ski resort.

With properties boasting of wood features and a cosy chalet atmosphere. Courchevel is one of the original ski resorts amongst the French Alps, and this is reflected in local architecture themes. Oozing history and culture, stunning and sleek homes also combine the latest in modern living, making them, at the end of a long day on the slopes, a haven for family and friend gatherings.

Charming yet intimate chalet-style apartments strays far beyond the realms of basic. Set amongst dramatic valley views, they are an après-ski oasis. To find out more about Courchevel ski resort and buying property there, get in touch with our expert team who would be more than happy to help you explore the possibility of a mountain home.

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Val d’Isère, a famous mountain resort has captured the hearts of British skiers as tourism officials estimate 40% of visitors, either travelling there or on holiday packages come from across the channel.

The town’s background history is a familiar tale of a once rural, isolated farming community high in the French Alps that has transformed into an unrecognisable ski resort over the decades. However, Val d’Isère’s story is unique because it has evolved into the bastion of the British skiing set.

“Val” as it is known to its army of loyal visitors opened its first ski lift 81 years ago but following the 1992 Albertville Winter Olympics, during which it hosted the blue-riband men’s downhill, it came of age.

The Games injected much needed financial investment into the area, and the vision to go with it. This resulted in a more traditional alpine approach to development. Something Val is enjoying today as British snow-sports enthusiasts’ travel to sample its mix of tradition and sophistication. However, what other reasons make Brits flock to Val d’Isère?

Why British Skiers Love Val d’Isère British Celebrities and Royals

Us Brits love to follow in the footsteps of royalty and celebrities, and over the decades, Val d’Isère has hosted its fair share. Princess Anne was skiing down the slopes during the 1960s, and in years to follow, Prince William and Harry also graced the ski resort with their presence.

Thanks to the substantial number of British ski schools in the resort, any wannabe beginner receives the best ski lessons on how to navigate the slopes like a pro. Outspoken chef Jamie Oliver, pop star Sarah Harding of Girls Aloud and Olympic rower and CBE Matthew Pinsent all learned how to ski in Val d’Isère by booking up for private lessons.

Skiing Conditions and Solaise Gondola

Sitting in the Savoie region of France, Val d’Isère is one of the best French ski resorts with guaranteed snowfall. Linked to neighbouring Tignes, the two resorts share access to the Espace area, the world’s third biggest ski terrain that accommodates everyone including beginners, who upon signing up with a ski school can hit the learning slope with perfect snow conditions.

Skiers and snowboarding fanatics also enjoy 78 lifts, 300 kilometres of slopes with various difficulties, 153 pistes and 60% of runs are above 2,200 meters leading the way to its reputation as a snow-sure resort. In case of slush and a lack of snow for the lower runs, their ultramodern snow machine pumps out a cool 2,5000 cubic meters an hour.

The Solaise lift that opened in 2017 is nothing short of sleek, and state-of-the art. 91, ten-person gondolas can transport 3000 skiers to ski areas, off-piste runs and various backcountry trails within an hour, and the ride is made for comfort with built-in wi-fi and heated seats.

British Skiers and Après-ski

Whenever there is a party, we Brits are often the first to show up at the door, and Val d’Isère caters for our wild side with its lively après-ski social scene. After taking off their skis, partygoers who want to let their hair down often head to La Folie Douce, the place to be seen and dance on table tops, while the DJ pumps out the latest hits to a roaring crowd. Other bars and restaurants offer the same or a lower-key ambience, but, the après-ski scene is one of the best in the French Alps.

What Language Barrier?

Brits have garnered a worldwide reputation as being lazy for learning a second language, but that doesn’t hold Val d’Isère back, because the locals learned English. Bridging the language gap helps two cultures to live side by side, and us Brits more than make up for it with a heartfelt indulgence of French wine, cheese and chocolate.

Val d’Isère and a Future Vision of Excellence

Val d’Isère opened its first chairlift 81 years ago. Since then, this commune in the Tarentaise Valley has developed into a bastion of British winter sports. However, the time came for a €200 million (£170m) facelift to help it keep pace with competitors like Courchevel and Verbier.

Renewal is in the air in the Alps, with many rival resorts implementing multimillion-euro upgrades of their lift systems and Val d’Isère doesn’t want to be left behind.

The project called Le Coin de Val will reshape the resort’s centre when completed in 2022. Some are describing it as the most daring development in the French Alps since Arc 1950 – a village built from scratch in the Les Arcs ski area back in 2008.

So, what does €200 million buy an ambitious developer in the French Alps today?

  • 100 new homes – a rare occurrence in this sought-after resort
  • Underground moving walkway to get skiers to the slopes
  • Underground bus station and roads
  • New crèche and kindergarten
  • New welcome centre and tourist office
  • 50 room hotel accommodation
  • Val Tower – a new feature including a restaurant, residence & entrance to the ‘water drop’, shops and cafes
  • La Tarentaise hotel, connected to Val Tower
  • Covered pedestrian area around the Petit Danois
  • New shopping street including La Poudreuse, Bar Jacques and Le Lodge
  • Vaquier zone – a new area built in the same style as the overall project, to accomdate businesses.
British Skiers and Second Homes in Val d’Isère

Such is the long-term love affair between Brits and Val d’Isère, their real estate sector is booming. While our grandparents could only dream of owning a second home, these days, holiday homes are the norm, as is investing in real estate for buy-to-let accommodation income and long-term appreciation. Many Brits own property in Val d’Isère and for the more fortunate who don’t have to work, they live there, either for winter or all year round as the town markets itself as a summer hotspot.

Getting to Val d’Isère is Easy

By far, a big reason, British Skiers Love Val d’Isère Resort is the easy access. Chambery Airport is 145 kilometres away, Geneva is about 220 kilometres and Lyon 240 kilometres, and with flights of just an hour, you can be on the slopes in next to no time. Bourg-St-Maurice railway station is also a 40-minute drive down the valley, while Val is just a 705-kilometre drive from Paris for those who want to combine a road trip with a skiing holiday.

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There’s no business like snow business, espically when looking at French ski resorts with guaranteed snowfall so when the white stuff’s in plentiful supply, you can put on those skis and indulge in this time-honoured sport.

For snow-sure resorts, France delivers in abundance with many towns and villages offering swift access to the best conditions. Mountainous alpine getaways above 2000 metres that also have north-facing slopes guarantee the powder you crave, so, let’s look at the best French alps towns and villages for a flying high ski holiday.

What is The Highest Ski Resort in France?

Val Thorens is not only the highest in France but also in Europe. The village sitting at an altitude of 2,300 metres has easy access to high ski lifts at 3,200 metres. While height plays a large part of snow-sure seasons, its north-facing slopes also provide fantastic terrains for experienced skiers. Out of all the resorts, Val Thorens is a guaranteed cert for long skiing seasons.

The Best French Ski Resorts with Guaranteed Snow Fall 1: Val d’Isère: Altitude with Attitude

For peaks and slopes, Val d’Isère has it all: an attractive village, classy bars, restaurants and landscape views worthy of gracing pages of any travel magazine. However, that’s not all this world-famous resort offers its loyal army of visitors because snow doesn’t melt during the ski season. Pissaillas Glacier reaches 3300 metres, with one slope dipping below 2500 metres. To top it all off, take in fabulous views of the Grande Casse and Mont Blanc.

2: La Plagne: Ski it if You Can

At an altitude of 1800 to 2100 metres, La Plagne’s purpose-built villages ensure you’re already sky-high in the Paradiski area even before you jump in the chair-lift. Belle Plagne (2050 metres) offers convenient access to Bellecôte and Chiaupe glaciers, which stretches across the 3417-metre-high Bellecôte Mountain. Here you’ll whiz down a black or red slope, kept cold and fresh by an average of 4.5 to 5 metres of snowfall a year.

3: Les Arcs: Every Day is a Snow Day

If you buy in Arc 1950 or Arc 2000, you’ll have direct access via chair lifts to the Paradiski area’s unbeatable altitude, with 70% of its runs above 2000 metres. And being located high above sea-level, both villages are nestled inside a north-east facing bowl, preserving snow well into springtime. Towering over manmade structures below is Aguille Rouge, which rises to a peak of 3225 metres and offers visitors easy access to Glacier du Varet. Les Arcs also offers night skiing facilities for those who can’t relax after dark.

4: Chamonix: Guaranteed Snow Fall

Sat at an altitude of 1035 metres, Chamonix wins no altitude bragging rights but it has one ace up its sleeve. Not only do surrounding areas and its six glaciers reach heights of 3300 metres, but the valley is also the biggest in western Europe. High, north-west-facing slopes, on the Argentière glacier in the Grands Montets ski areas ensures skiers can shred powder until May.

5: Les Menuires: Something for Everyone

When looking at quality, it’s all about location, lifts and infrastructure. In 3 Vallées, Les Menuires has the world’s largest linked ski area right on its doorstep. With most pistes being high-altitude (2000 metres+), and one whole side of the Menuires valley facing north, snow is not in short supply here. The slope sweeps down from Val Thorens above and surrounding glaciers, including Péclet, Thorens, Bouchet and Pointe Renod, ensure a healthy season from November right through to May.

6: Avoriaz: A Snow Sure Destination

Avoriaz, at 1,800 metres goes up to snow-sure landscapes at 2,466 metres. Sitting in the Portes Du Soleil region, one of the world’s most extensive ski terrains, Avoriaz also connects with Chatel and Chamberry via gondolas. A hard-core skier will be in their element once they catch sight of 650 kilometres of pistes suiting those who want to learn to ski and experienced lovers of the sport.

Newcomers should sign up with a ski school, but the bonus is that stunning landscape views are also yours for the taking. With an average fall of 8 meters of snow every winter, Avoriaz also opens 38 kilometres of cross-country skiing and is one of many mountain resorts offering heli-skiing lessons and sessions.

7: Tignes: Sportiest Ski Resort

Five villages of Tignes sit between 1550 to 2300 meters, but the best ski terrain excels at 3,456 meters. It is a sure-fire bet for guaranteed snow conditions in the Espace Killy area that attracts skiers from all over the world. The highest village, Val Claret, faces west so also gets much sunshine but snow machines keep powder turning. Deciding where to go in Tinges, is just a matter of lifestyle preferences because all villages each have their characteristics, and off-piste activities. More about Tignes and its five communities.

8: Courchevel: The Legend Mountain Resort

Courchevel attracts attention for the off-piste and après-ski social scene, but the splattering of communities formed over altitude between 1300 to 1750 metres, provide easy access to 2,700-meter lifts. Courchevel 1850, the highest village also has pistes running through it, making it ideal for ski-in, ski out accommodation. Any skier has 150 kilometres of runs to test, and terrains of the Three Valleys.

Which Mountain Resorts are Best for Snowboarding?

High altitude slopes suit everyone but for snowboarding, look at Tignes, Courchevel, Les Arcs and Alpe D’Heuz who all embrace alternative sports with open arms. Newcomers should take their snowboard to one of many ski schools who rate snowboards just as important as skis.

You might also like to read….

Best Skiing Resorts for Beginners: It’s ok looking at French ski resorts with guaranteed snowfall but some stand out more than others as ideal places for beginner skiers, who need easy, downhill runs, schools, ski lessons and a qualified instructor to help them get on the slopes.

Best Luxury Ski Destinations in France: Which towns and villages earn worldwide recognition for their upmarket hotels, villa rental, shops, facilities, restaurants and social scene?

Tips on Buying French Alp Property: Navigating the real estate market in France is different to that of your home country so what should you know when hunting for an alpine house?

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Our tips for buying ski property in France cover the entire process from financing your purchase to choosing the ideal resort. You may be eager to sign the title deeds, take the keys and put your feet up by a log fire, but this is the time to take it easy. As with any real estate investment, it is a big life decision to make, and the French alpine ski resort market is no exception.

For a nation that doesn’t experience a great deal of snow and grinds to a halt when it does, Britain is teeming with winter sports enthusiasts, and increasingly more people are looking at property in the French Alps for holiday homes, rental opportunities and ideal long-term real estate investment.It’s easy to see why: some slopes and resorts are just a short flight away; will other popular mountain ranges make for a scenic road trip.

There are over 200 ski resorts to choose from, with a comprehensive portfolio of properties for sale including rental leaseback schemes, studio homes, apartments and ski chalets, so tailor your purchase to not only lifestyle preferences but also finances and potential for long-term capital appreciation.

Advice and Tips for Buying Ski Property in France

1: Financing a Ski Property Purchase

The first step is to work out how much money you have to spend and where to get the funds from. If you have the cash, see you on the slopes! If you need to borrow a little or a lot of extra money, don’t be discouraged, there has never been a better time to fund your French property purchase through the many loan options, including a mortgage.

Like the UK, France has several mortgage options and while conditions may be higher than before the fiscal crisis at least the rates are lower! Mortgage rates are like the UK, set by lenders based on low rates put in place by the European Central Bank.

It is sensible to speak to an overseas mortgage broker about current offers. The Lending criteria is different, and worked on the basis that the total monthly mortgage payment should not exceed one-third of the purchaser’s gross monthly income.

Establish how much cash you need as a deposit; for non-French nationals, this is usually between 20 and 35%. You will also need to supply proof of income and identity, bank account details and credit cards.

If getting an overseas mortgage feels too complicated, investigate buying property in France through re-mortgaging your British home. Be clear about how much monthly repayment figure are, as well as  the maintenance cost of keeping property and daily living costs in France.

The mortgage company will have a say in this but how many of us have bought properties on two incomes when we know well that one of us will stop work to have a baby or retrain into a new career! Choose an affordable mortgage without stretching yourself.

2 Resorts Investing in Infrastructure

According to a recent report from Knight Frank, decisions of ski resort home-buyers are driven by financial investments made by local councils. Your thought process should be no different to cash in on an alpine dream.

Discover if there are plans to create a wider ski domain, if lifts will be upgraded, if luxury brands lease retail space or if new hotel groups are exploring key sites. By investing in progressive resorts, real estate becomes desirable and is more likely to appreciate long-term.

3: High Altitude Ski Resorts in the French Alps

There is a rising demand from overseas buyers for apartments and chalets in the snow sure, high altitude resorts like Val d’Isère and Tignes. A development that has led to stable or rising prices in resorts found at 1,800 metres and above.

For example, the L’Espace Killy ski area, which covers both resorts, is often regarded as having the most reliable snow in the Alps, due for high altitude skiing – 60% of its 300 kilometres of slopes are above 2500m. Investors have also seen good rental returns in these higher resorts, because of consistent dumps of snow over the past few seasons, resulting in high occupancy levels.

4: Dual Seasonality

When the snow melts, you’ll be left counting the days until the next ski season. Rather than leaving your alpine retreat empty while you continue to pay the mortgage why not be proactive and rent it out during the summer months?

To do so choose a destination with dual seasonality. If any destination ticks this box and attracts visitors throughout the year, its rental potential will rocket. Chamonix is a notable example of a 12-month resort, where an ongoing investment plan has enabled it to become a multipurpose year-round resort.

5: Your Property’s Resale Prospects

Consider how much your home might be worth when the time comes to sell up. You don’t need a crystal ball to calculate this. As already mentioned, the level of local investment will come into play.

Other beneficial factors when the time comes to sell up include access to an airport and amenities, and location. Opting to buy in high-altitude, snow sure destinations such as Val d’Isère or Tignes will ensure the local real estate market remains buoyant. Don’t forget to give your property a little ongoing TLC inside and out to keep it looking spick and span.

6: Take Advantage of Low-Interest Rates

We have become accustomed to living in a world of low interest rates since the global monetary crisis in 2008 made borrowing money far cheaper. The Euro-zone is a prime example of favourable conditions for overseas buyers where rates are set at low levels. This has enabled Brits to lock in low mortgage rates that swell budgets. You may afford an extra bedroom or even live higher up the mountain.

7: See a Currency Specialist

Before heading off to find that home, sort your currency out. Buying a ski property in Europe will expose currency market volatility, whether it is mortgage payments, rent repatriation, maintenance costs or the above.

A currency specialist can prevent exchange rate fluctuations from hurting plans. A personal account manager will devise an effective currency strategy, such as how and when to transfer funds.  This dedicated expert can explain how to secure the cost of a dream home purchase by fixing a current exchange rate for up to 12 months, using a forward contract.

You cannot expect to get the newsworthy rate or the currency websites – that is the interbank rate and banks will offer less – sometimes a lot less. Instead, a currency specialist gives as close to that interbank rate as possible – within a percentage point or two. We suggest using Smart Currency Exchange, who are specialists in overseas property.

To start your search, browse our portfolio of ski homes for sale, and just us the enquiry form or call us to discover more information about any listings. For more advice and tips for buying ski property in France, use the messaging service at the bottom right-hand side of the screen.

Also download our free ski property brochure here, which talks more about current market conditions and alpine homes for sale. As an estate agent specialising in ski property, we are ready to walk you through the process from start to finish.

(See more of the featured property photos in this article.)

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Forget about summer homes for sale in the sun. French ski resort property offers just as much and more when making an ideal long-term real estate investment. For a long time, the international market has watched resorts in France, as they transform from winter-only destinations, into dual season tourism hotspots.

That is one of the biggest lure for buyers these days. They get to experience the snow-filled alps from October to November and as the white landscapes clear to reveal beautiful alpine plateaus; they enjoy summer activities while staying in scenic mountain villages. If the slopes are calling you, there are also many more reasons to look at ski properties in France.

4 Reasons to Buy French Ski Resort Property 1: 200 Resorts in France to Choose From

There are over 200 resorts with alpine property for sale. The variety of prices, grades of slopes, architecture styles, an après scene, summer activities and more prove the diversity of the market, whether it’s in among international clientele or sharing the slopes with friendly locals.

Keep an eye on new developments too, resorts like Val D’Isère are investing in infrastructure. Otherwise, look at the choice of year-round activities. For example, Chamonix has much to do including an 18-hole golf course. Each resort has its characteristics, and personal lifestyle preferences will dictate where to buy, but our article on the best places to purchase ski property in France will help decide by listing which ones are best for après-ski, shopping, beginner skiers, and more.

2: Ideal Locations Easy to Get To

France’s choice of amazing resorts also means that wherever you come from, and in these days of remote working, it could be Majorca, Manchester or other global destination, there is an airport within reasonable reach or travel by train or automobile from the coast in just a few hours.

That accessibility lasts all year while in some countries the flights disappear with the snow, cutting off access to the resort if you fancy a summer hike. For example, the international airport of Geneva is just 70 kilometres from Les Gets, La Clusaz and Morzine. It’s also only a 90-minute drive to the Grand Massif area that offers 142 slopes of excellent skiing opportunities.

3: Sensible Selling Prices

While studios and apartments in resorts like Vail and Jackson Hole in the USA are so pricey, you needn’t bother turning up without a few million dollars, in France, good-quality apartments in stylish resorts like Les Arcs or Les Menuires sell for under £200,000.

Budget buyers should also look at backdoor alpine resorts in France. These are close to the main hubs, but homes sell for a fraction of the price. For example, everything about Megeve is upmarket from the hotels to restaurants to clientele visiting the place, but in Combloux, a ten-minute drive away, alpine property is a lower price per square meter, if you forgo the Michelin starred restaurants.

Tignes is rising in popularity as an alternative to pricier Val D’Isère, and buyers in Les Menuires can buy ski properties for 40% less, than in Meribel. Read more in our article about tips and advice for buying property in the French Alps.

4: Extensive Ski Property Portfolio

You name it; you can buy it. French alpine property includes budget, luxury, off-plan and key ready studios, ski-in, ski-out apartments and chalets. While in some countries older homes never reached the age where they became old and beautiful, the French love renovated country homes as much as the British do!

However, the French are also serious builders and in many resorts, have created amazing apartment developments with stunning mountain views, in classic resorts like Courchevel 1850 and Meribel. France also has a range of leaseback schemes offering buy-to-let income for investors. See our portfolio of studios, apartments and chalets for sale in France.

To speak to a sales advisor about French ski resort property, use the chat and messaging feature at the bottom right-hand side of the screen. Also, our blog has more advice, hints and tips on making a sound real estate investment in the French Alps.

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Some say they have never heard of Megeve ski resort yet in select circles, it’s earned a hardcore group of fans who cannot stay away from an upmarket, savoy ambience found no-where else in France.

In fact, this exquisite resort was the original Courchevel back in the 1920s. Built as France’s answer to swanky St Moritz in Switzerland, it is the original purpose-built French ski resort as envisioned by the Rothschilds family.

It might not be France’s top resort 90 odd years later, but it has kept much class that made it the skiing elite’s favourite back in the days of wooden skis. Its medieval heart with its high-end hotels, restaurants and shops is as picturesque as ever. Here you will find well-heeled French people strolling through car-free cobbled streets.

Megeve has remained a hidden gem oozing old-fashioned charm, which is a big achievement given town’s size and skiable areas. Plenty keeps you entertained away from main attractions. Off-hill options include an open-air ice-skating rink, tennis, climbing, swimming and bowling.

While Megeve is less boisterous than some other French resorts for a good old post-skiing knees-up, there are still plenty of good après options for anyone that wants a drink or two on the way back to their new alpine retreat.

There is more to Megeve than the alpine opulence of Courchevel and Brits perennial favourite Val d’Isère. A snapshot view shows the resort offers a lot to first-time visitors and newcomers including…

  •  The best in luxury ski travel
  • Many pistes and schools for beginner skiers
  • Off slope and summer activities for the young and old makes this resort an all-rounder
  • Wide choice of bars and restaurants for après-ski and dining
  • Luxury real estate with modern, new build chalets and apartments.
Where is Megeve Ski Resort?

Megeve sits in the alpine range of South-eastern France, near the Swiss and Italian borders and belongs to the Mont Blanc Massif mountain range. The easiest and quickest way to get there from other countries is via Geneva International airport, 90 kilometres away that just takes one hour. Another airport to use is Lyon Saint in Lyon 119 kilometres away.

How High is the Altitude?

Megeve is a low-level town sitting at 1,100 metres, the lowest pistes are 1050 metres, and the highest lift goes to 2350 metres.

When Does Megeve Ski Resort Close and Open?

As snow conditions change every year, opening and closing dates vary. See updated news reports for official days, but rough guidelines are from middle of December to end of April.

Why Beginner Skiers Feel Right at Home

Talking of skiing, this is the perfect place for anyone who wants to avoid overpopulated pistes and lift-queue melees. The area is suitable for all levels of skiers who will enjoy stunning views of Mont Blanc once on the 445 kilometres of slopes.

Within Megeve ski area, beginners have access to 19 green pistes, but Mont Blanc area delivers with 54 green beginner runs. Should you take to it like a natural, both areas also offer 183 blue runs, the next step up from beginners but not as advanced as intermediate.

Après-ski and Dining: Time to Socialise

When translated après-ski means after ski. This time-honoured tradition is a cultural ritual of sharing a drink with friends before heading home for dinner. In some resorts, après-ski is just as famous as the slopes and Megeve is no exception.

Lasting from late afternoon, to just before dinner, Megeve delivers over 100 bars and restaurants to ensure an excellent end to the day. Don’t think of rowdy bars though with skiers hanging from chandeliers because après-ski is much more of a refined affair.

Guardian Newspaper recommends La Folie Douce for a fast-paced party atmosphere and Les 5 Rues Jazz and Blue Club in Megeve centre. Power Beds recommends the 540 café, Le Wake Up, and Palo Alto. While Daily Telegraph newspaper says head to Cocoon club with its DJ, live music-themed parties and snooker.

For dining options, 100 restaurants of which eight are Michelin starred offer a variety of menus including fine dining, European, local French cuisine or pizza to go. On Trip Advisor, Restaurant etoile Flocons de Sel is winning first place with its top-notch menu and service while Le 1920 belonging to the Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts brand comes in at second place despite it pricey à la carte menu. Meanwhile, Fork Publication rates Japanese inspired Kaito and La Table Des Cochers.

Megeve in Summer and Off Slope Activities

Don’t assume Megeve is a winter giant and dormant summer destination, because once the snow clears and temperatures hot up, visitors get to see the green side of this typical alpine village. As many ski resorts around France strive to prove themselves as dual season, Megeve has already cemented its reputation as a year-round luxury resort.

Mountain bike trails replace pistes, helicopter tours and para-gliding enter their peak time as weather make for ideal flying and stunning views. La Palais sports centre with its climbing wall, parkour course, tennis courts, wellness centre, indoor and outdoor pools, and ice rink stays open all year round. The list includes marked walking trails, cultural activities and even an 18-hole golf course.

Luxury Homes to Die For

Given that Megeve is one of the best ski resorts in France that caters for high-end markets, it is no surprise that luxury apartments and chalets dominate its real estate market. Prices peak at an all-time high in the centre but heading towards the outskirts, prices drop while being only a four to 6-minute drive from main facilities and amenities. The difference in prices can be as much as 10,000 euro per square meter.

Property investors looking for a buy-to-let income will benefit from rental management services offered by many companies. Mainstream travel markets aren’t dominant in Megeve, so there is a holiday accommodation market to tap into.

Those looking for the best luxury homes in the French Alps, either as an investment or for permanent living will find millionaire chalets with the feel and traditional materials of an alpine home but with all modern touches.

Our portfolio of property for sale in Megeve is a perfect example of how the current real estate market is performing. Also read more about ski resorts of the French Alp, in our latest blogs and news articles.

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With an extensive list of places to choose from, anyone buying ski property in France should know it’s an attractive market with a good deal of new build, modern homes for sale but the location of your new home is just as important as the actual home itself.

Normally, buyers look for easy access from nearby airports and trains stations, a range of bars, restaurants and shops within the resort and guaranteed alpine snowfall. However, the French ski real estate market is revolutionising itself.

More resorts are turning into year-round tourism destinations, so both second home buyers and savvy investors should locally research which destinations offer the most months use.

Another aspect to consider is which resorts are investing in infrastructure and urban planning. We’ve all seen mistakes from the past when mass interest in a destination but a lack of planning turned towns and villages into concrete jungles with nothing to offer residents and holidaymakers. So, we put together a list of ski resorts with potential that should be on every buyer’s radar.

Buying Ski Property in France

1: Val D’Isère: A Ski Resort to Watch

In 2018, Forbes listed Val D’Isère as one of the world’s best skiing resort. Daily Telegraph newspaper has also listed it as their favourite resort. This glowing testament reflects Val D’Isère diversity, guaranteed snowfall, skiing opportunities but there is much more to the resort. They are undertaking a massive urban project called Le Coin De Val that will change the town’s architectural and introduce new public amenities like an underground parking. Having already spent 16 million on the Euro Solaise gondola, this additional 200-million-euro project will ensure it stays a favourite alpine destination.

2: Combloux: Idea for Budget Buyers

Often marketed as an alternative to upmarket Megeve, sitting 4 kilometres away, buyers looking for a year-round destination will be more than pleased with Combloux. Attractive prices per square meter, but also the massive range of outdoor activities like mountain biking, horse riding, hiking and bathing by the lake prove its summer potential. Sitting in southeast France, 2000 residents also tap into the famous Mont Blanc area offering suburb skiing opportunities.

3: Les Carroz: Family and Environmentally Friendly

Belonging to the Grand Massif area, Les Carroz offers bundles of traditional Alpine ambience, but the biggest lure is a family-friendly atmosphere. Hence it received an official award from the French tourism board. The local council involves itself in environmental policy and tourism and disability initiatives. With easy access to Geneva airport and the Grand Massif slopes, Les Carroz is for families who want everything on their doorstep.

4: Alpe D’Heuz: Dual Season and Mass Potential

In 2017, Alpe D’Heuz won an award as Europe’s Best Ski resort, but they pumped millions of Euros into urban projects including a planned link up with Les Deux Alpes, therefore increasing skiing opportunities. As a summer destination, it also wins top marks for activities for the young and old alike. Catering to beginner and experienced skiers, other things to do include dog sleighing; the 21 hairpins ride for bikers and the recent alpine coaster ride winning raving reviews from locals and tourists.

5: The Five Villages of Tignes

Sitting in the valley below the Val D’Isère resort, Tignes has easy access to the Espace Killy area making it ideal for all levels of skiers. Its promotion as a summer destination is also taking off, because of activities like the golf course. It’s easy to get to, and its global green certification proves its dedication to preserving the local culture and environment. Lastly, a choice of five small villages from lively Val Claret to family-friendly Les Brévières proves Tignes is an all-rounder bursting with diversity.

Lastly, investors buying ski property in France will find appeal in the official leaseback scheme including rental management services, potential rental yield between 3 to 5% and the ability to claim back 20% purchase VAT. For details use the messaging contact form at the bottom right of the screen or see example leaseback properties here.

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