Ski property in France
Find great skiing and ski property for sale
France has long been a favourite with skiers not only because it has some of the best and most varied skiing in the world but also due to its great lifestyle, culture and cuisine. There are many resorts and ski zones to choose from - each offering a different style and of varying skill levels and at very different prices.
You will find today that most new build and renovated residences are sold under the leaseback scheme although there are still some classic new build purchases to be made without lease contract tie ins. There is however a huge choice of existing ski property for sale in the French Alps, Pyrénées and the Massif Central so there is no shortage of holiday homes available to buy. Read our introduction to the main ski areas and resorts in France and then have a look at some of the ski property presently available throughout France.
The French Alps
The Three Valleys
The Three Valleys is probably the best known and most popular ski zone in Europe with 600km of downhill ski runs and has some of the best facilities of all ski areas. It consists of the big three - Courchevel, Méribel and Val Thorens but also the smaller ski stations of La Tania and Les Menuires. There is something here for every level of skier and with slopes reaching nearly 3500m in altitude you are virtually guaranteed to have some snow even when other areas don’t.
If you are looking at purchasing a 3 bedroom ski chalet for sale here be prepared to spend upwards of 1m Euros. 2 bedroom apartments are around 600,000 Euros, 1 bed apartments around 400,000 Euros and studios from about 250,000 Euros. If you are prepared to buy in the less sought after resorts of La Tania and Les Menuires however you can get your foot on the ladder from about 190,000 Euros which will get you a 1 bed apartment.
Portes du Soleil
The Portes du Soleil ski zone is actually bigger than the Three Valleys with 800km of downhill ski runs and is spread over many ski stations in both France and Switzerland. Ski slopes reach about 3000m at their highest and like the Three Valleys has something for everyone. The facilities are generally excellent and the architecture typically Savoie in keeping with the environment and is actually better value for money than The Three Valleys.
Popular resorts here are Morzine, Avoriaz, Les Gets and Chatel - the highest being Avoriaz at 1800m. If you invest in a ski apartment for sale in the Portes du Soleil you can expect to pay about 350,000 Euros for a 2 bedroom apartment, 220,000 Euros for a 1 bed apartment and 150,000 Euros for a good size studio apartment.
Paradiski is the third largest ski zone in France with 425km of ski runs and altitudes reaching nearly 2500m. At the heart of the Paradiski ski zone you have La Plagne which is an excellent resort with all facilities including restaurants, bars, ski schools etc. It is perhaps not as pretty as Portes du Soleil or The Three Valleys but prices here are very attractive and skiing is excellent - again with something for all levels. Les Arcs has also become very popular over the years as has Montchavin-Les-Coches although the latter does not have pistes as diverse and challenging as La Plagne and Les Arcs. To invest in a studio in La Plagne will cost roughly 120,000 Euros while a 1 bedroom apartment around 200,000 Euros and a 2 bedroom apartment 270,000 Euros while Les Arcs is a little pricier but not too much.
Probably the second most famous ski zone in France after the Three Valleys and arguably the best of all the ski areas, Espace Killy offers 300km of ski runs with altitudes of slopes reaching the dizzy height of 3650m at the Glacier of La Grande Motte. The facilities here are truly excellent and plenty of entertainment on and off the slopes with skill levels to suit everyone - especially the more seasoned skier. The two resorts in Espace Killy are Val d’Isère and Tignes - and are very functional but not quite as pretty as some of the other resorts in the Alps but incredibly popular none-the-less. You can buy a one bed ski apartment in Val d’Isère from 450,000 Euros and a decent 2 bed apartment from 620,000 Euros.
The Grand Massif
With 265km of ski runs, many of which are at a high altitude of up to 2500m the Grand Massif has some of the best skiing in the French Alps. The ski zone is made up of 5 main ski resorts - Flaine (the largest and best known), Les Carroz, Morillon, Samoëns and Sixt Fer à Cheval. Flaine is the most popular of the resorts and has some of the best on and off-piste skiing. The resort has a lively atmosphere and has such an array of activities on offer you couldn't possibly get bored! Pieces of Art are scattered throughout the resort which was initially built in 1959 and has been added to since then and does still have a bit of a 1960's feel to it. If you are looking for something more authentic and traditional then Morillon or Samoëns is more suitable which are surrounded by typical alpine hamlets and villages.
The ski zone of Valmeinier is smaller than the others but certainly worth considering when looking to invest in a ski property in France. Valloire ski station at its heart is an authentic French village dating back to the 14th century and still has its 14th century church to show for it. It is the most typically French of all the resorts and because it was not purpose built has a lively atmosphere all year round and plenty of facilities. Valmenier ski resort is smaller and purpose built but like Valloire represent excellent value for money. The ski runs reach good altitudes of 2600m meaning snow coverage is very good and its 150km of ski runs mean there is plenty to keep you busy.
An investment in a French ski property for sale in Valloire will require just 150,000 Euros for a brand new 1 bedroom apartment, 225,000 Euros for a 2 bedroom apartment and 280,000 Euros for a 3 bedroom apartment which all represent a real bargain when compared to the other more famous resorts.
Chamonix Mont-Blanc is a very traditional and beautiful part of the French Alps which is made up of a number of ski areas based around traditional year round villages as supposed to other purpose-built resorts. It therefore has much to offer besides skiing and has a busy summer and winter season. There are 170km of slopes to enjoy and lots of off-piste skiing especially around Les Grands Montets (around Argentiere).
The town of Chamonix itself is lively and bustling with plenty of attractions along with a good selection of bars, resturants, shops and a lively nightlife. With altitudes of up to 3842m and a permanent glacier, there is virtually guaranteed skiing in the Chamonix Mont-Blanc ski zone. The different ski areas include Les Grands Montets, Aiguille du Midi, Le Tour, Le Brevent La Flegere, Le Domaine de Balme, Les Houches, Les planards, La Vormaine and Le Savoy. These ski areas are based around the traditional year round villages of Chamonix, Argentiere, La Houches, Servoz and a few others.
Domaine Evasion Montblanc
Megève is another traditional year round alpine village based around a 13th century settlement and oozes with charm. Its cobbled streets, character properties, warm atmosphere and real French living is quite a contrast to the purpose built resorts that France has now become quite famous for. Megève links up with the other smaller satellite alpine villages of Saint-Gervais, Combloux and Saint Nicolas de Véroce and has a total of 300km of slopes although many are green and blue and not quite as challenging as in other resorts. Saint Gervais Les Bains is a smaller alpine village just 10km away from Megève but like Megeve is a functional village by itself with year round activity. Both Megève and Saint Gervais Les Bains have access to the Chamonix ski domain and together they make up 445km of ski runs.
Both villages are now becoming increasingly popular again after their initial popularity in the 1920's as one of the earliest ski resorts and prices in Megève are as expensive as the Three Valleys. Prices of French ski property in St Gervais Les Bains however are a fraction of the cost and offer investors and skiing enthusiasts alike an excellent alternative to the more famous ski resorts and at much more affordable prices.
The Espace Diamants
The "Espace Diamants" ski domain is one of the lesser known, more authentic ski domains in the Alps dominated by typical savoyard architecture of wood and stone. The year-round villages are typically charming and are not purpose built like many that you find across the Alps today. Because they are year-round villages you will also find them equally beautiful in the summer as in the winter with activities that include skiing, cross-country skiing, natural lake ice skating, hiking, mountain biking, paragliding and water sports. There are 185km of linked slopes which go up to 2500m in altitude in Espace Diamants made up of no less than 5 resorts: Crest-Voland & Cohennoz, Flumet & Saint-Nicolas-La-Chapelle, Notre-Dame-de-Bellecombe, Praz sur Arly, Les Saisies and Hauteluce.
Ski apartments and chalets for sale here are also competitively priced compared with many of the larger, more famous resorts. If you enjoy a quieter holiday home in natural surroundings with good skiing then Espace Diamants is worth checking out.
The Foret Blanches
La Fôret Blanche is the largest ski area of the Southern French Alps. Risoul's large sunny terrain (with 300 days of sunshine/year ) is almost entirely within a vast snowbowl that allows runs to radiate out in all directions. The connection over to Vars, which was completed in 1986, is well established at a high point on the circuit giving a snowsure link and enabling a total skiable terrain of 180km. Risoul and Vars have everything one could want in a warm and friendly setting for a great winter getaway. With peaks rising up to 3000 metres above sea level, La Foret Blanche welcomes you in both summer and winter and winter. Winter activities include Skiing, Snowboarding, Skating Rink, Snowshoes, Cross-Country Skiing, Snow Scout, Spa, Jacuzzi while in the summer you have Walking Trails,Squash, Swimming Pool, Sauna, Paragliding, Canoeing, Mountain-Biking, Horse Riding, Climbing, Tennis, Yoga, Quad Biking and Trampolining. The resort is surrounded by several different national parks of outstanding beauty: Les Ecrins, Queyras, La Durance, le Guil and the Serre-Ponçon Lake.
Hidden in the Southern French Alps, Risoul is a compact, uncrowded, sunny gem of a ski holiday resort. With a good snow record and excellent ski school, you’ll enjoy the wide & varied terrain from the handy nursery slopes to the numerous black runs burning down the mountainside into neighbouring Vars. The resort of Risoul was set up in 1960’s and was established right from the beginning as a ski resort with traditional architecture, very carefully blended in with the surrounding environment, with wooden and slate finishings on all buildings to create a typical mountain feel.
These two resorts are linked by a shared ski area and constantly updated lift system. Also with a large terrain park and fabulous off piste opportunities throughout your ski holiday, Risoul and Vars have something to offer all levels of skier and boarder. Off the slopes the resort is made up of purpose built blocks and chalet style buildings all offering easy access to the lifts. There are shops, bars and restaurants offering a relaxed and informal atmosphere which continues well into the evening for any keen night time revelers. The slightly longer transfer is worth it for the lack of lift queues and friendly local atmosphere.
Serre Chevalier is located in the Hautes-Alpes department and is one of the biggest ski domains of the Southern Alps with 250km of slopes reaching altitudes of 2,760m, up to 2,150m of which is tree-lined. The resort boasts 300 days of sunshine a year and is next to the “Parc National des Ecrins” and offers excellent winter and summer activities. These summer activities include kayaking, walking, cycling, mountain biking, sledding, climbing, rock climbing and paragliding. The other ski resorts in the domain include Briançon, Le Monêtier-les-Bains, Chantemerle and Villeneuve. Access is relatively straight forward via Grenoble and Turin international airports just 1h30 by car. Briançon also has a mainline train station.
The French Pyrénées may not have the glitzy image nor the hundreds of kilometres of ski runs of the Alps but it does offer good quality skiing in an authentic French environment at affordable prices. Beginners and Intermediate skiers will love the long winding slopes found in the Pyrenées and even expert skiers will find a number of challenging slopes here.
The main ski areas of the French Pyrenées are found in the departments of: Pyrénées-Atlantiques on the west, Midi-Pyrénées in the middle and Pyrénées-Orientales on East coast of France. Property prices in the Pyrénées are about a third what you might expect to pay in the more exclusive resorts in the Alps and prices for studio apartments start at just 85,000 Euros. Each area has a number of ski resorts and ski stations and the main ones are outlined below.
Ski property for sale in Font-Romeu
One of the oldest of France’s ski resorts, Font Romeu boasts 54km of ski slopes and is linked via ski lifts to Pyrenées 2000, Saint-Pierre-dels-Forcats, Les Angles, Err-Puigmal, Eyne and Formiguères. There is so much to do in this authentic all-year-round resort and with more than 3000 hours of sunshine each year it is an entirely pleasant place to come with the family. Facilities include a communal pool, casino and solar furnace with plenty of activities available including horse riding, tennis, squash, hiking canyoning and more. Access is easy via Gerona, Perpignan or Toulouse airports and the Mediterranean sea is only 1h30mins away and Barcelona just across the border. Prices for a studio apartment start from 80,000 Euros, 1 bed apartments from 140,000 Euros and 2 bed apartments from 180,000 Euros, while you can invest in a 3 bedroom apartment from 290,000 Euros.
Ski property for sale in Eyne
During the winter the region of Résidence Pyrénéal is characterised by the winter sports. In the village of Eyne itself and in the surrounding places there are many ski lifts and runs. Beyond these places scores of other runs are to found, so that the winter sports lover will find an abundance of skiing opportunities in this area. In the summer months the green mountains with above them the grey rock massifs are breathtakingly beautiful. Long walks can be taken. And there are several golf links in the immediate vicinity.
Ski property for sale in La Mongie
La Mongie is the largest of all the Pyrenean Ski resorts and has 100km of downhill ski runs including the link with Bareges. Like Font Romeu, the level of skiing difficulty these slopes pose would be suitable for beginners and Intermediate skiers. It is a ski resort with plenty of facilities in a preserved natural environment although not as authentic as Font Romeu. Its ski runs though reach heights of 2,887 metres and the resort has a lively après ski life and offers spectacular walks during the summer period. Prices for studio apartments in La Mongie start from 85,000 Euros, 1 bed apartments from 125,000 Euros and 2 bed apartments from 175,000 Euros.
The Massif Central
The least well known of the ski areas in France is the Massif central but it is also the best value for money and least developed and still offers some very good skiing. The ski resorts are situated on the dormant volcanoes of the Auvergne and all together offer a huge 1300km of pistes with the highest peak at 1886m although sadly these are not generally linked so you have an amalgamation of many small resorts and zones instead. The largest of all these ski zones are the Monts D’Auvergne which includes the resorts of Chambon des Neiges, Chastreix, Le Guery, Le Lioran, Le Mont-Dore and Super-Besse. The two main ski zones within this ski area are the Massif du Sancy (Le Mont-Dore and Super Besse) and the Cantal Massif (Lioran). It is an area of outstanding natural beauty and its remoteness and lack of mass infrastructure are part of its charm attracting people both in the summer and winter.
Have a look at our selection of ski property in France.
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