Deciding on the best place to buy ski property in France can be an overwhelming experience, so here is a handy beginners guide written by the experts at SkiingProperty.com

The French Alps are the world’s top skiing destination with hundreds of resorts of all sizes to choose from. French ski property also makes up a fast paced, ever-revolving market with a constant stream of off-plan, new build and resale apartments and chalets for sale.

Julian Walker, a ski real estate agent, says that when making a substantial financial purchase, doing research beforehand avoids any potential drain on the pocket. Additionally, certain French ski resorts are leading the way of ideal places to invest in, and knowing why they stand out helps to narrow down your search. Attributes to look for in a resort with potential include….

  • A committed long-term infrastructure plan

  • A summer and winter tourism action plan with a wide range of off slope activities
  • Easy access via the airport, railways, and road
  • Altitude, snowfall, and length of season
  • Ski slopes, lifts, and amenities

Buyers also need to consider their budget, lifestyle preferences and reason for buying whether this is for a rental income, holiday home or permanent residence. Bearing that in mind, let’s look at which ski resorts are driving the real estate market.

1. Chamonix: The British Favourite

Brits adore Chamonix Mont Blanc and rightly so. Ticking all the boxes of a well-structured town, Chamonix stays ahead in the game and is just 90 minutes’ drive from Geneva airport. Boasting of a wide range of shops, restaurants and a lively après-ski scene, the car-free town centre has attracted skiers from around the world since 1924.

Beginner skiers might be disappointed with the variety of facilities for their level, but intermediate and advanced skiers enjoy 173 kilometres of pistes. The skiing holiday season last 17 weeks, but during summer the alpine landscape attracts outdoor enthusiasts with stunning views, a golf course and summer activities. Over the past seven years, Chamonix has invested over 400 million euros into its infrastructure, making this an ideal resort to invest in. 

2: Charming Meribel: A Ski Favourite

Beautiful Meribel’s style and diversity have been charming Brits for decades. Attracting people of all ages, much of the property market stems around chalets for sale, and the resort has strived to maintain an alpine ambience despite being purposely built.

Meribel also excels in diversity. A lively après-ski scene, children friendly activities and its advantageous position at the heart of the Three Valleys attracts skiers and snowboarders with different grading of pistes and guaranteed snowfall. With a summer season running from July to September, mountain bike riders adore Meribel during these months because of spectacular views and challenging trails.

3: Val d’Isère: A Place to Watch

Val d’Isère captures the attention of property buyers and real estate investors thanks to its many projects aimed at transforming the resort into a top skiing destination. After pumping 16 million euros into upgrading facilities and lifts, their latest endeavour, the 200 million euro Le Coin De Val project will transform the centre of resort. 

The five-year plan that started in 2017 emphasises the traditional alpine feel to the town’s architecture and will streamline traffic, provide a more extensive range of shops, bars, and restaurants, and provide underground parking. Sharing a skiing area with neighbouring Tignes, and utilising the Espace Killy ski area, Val d’Isère is always in demand with British holidaymakers should you want to buy a rental investment property. 

4: Four Villages of Tignes

High altitude Tignes is made up of four villages and scores full marks for guaranteed snowfall. Newcomers to the area would do well to explore, since each town offers something unique. Les Brévières, offering a traditional Savoyard ambience, is the oldest and adored by families thanks to its low-key entertainment scene. It is also marketing itself as a summer destination with much potential for those who like the great outdoors.

Tignes 1800, also called Les Boisses attracts beginner skiers, while buy-to-let investors often turn to Le Lac, because of excellent transport links, a massive variety of off-piste activities, and choice of ski in ski out chalets. Last, Val Claret, the highest village at an altitude of 2300 metres, attracts experienced skiers and is one of a few places to offer a summer skiing season.

5: Courchevel: France’s Upmarket Destination

Last, on our list featuring the best places to buy ski property in France, time-honoured Courchevel, that is much loved by British royalty and celebrities leads the way for luxury ski chalets and apartments. To understand the social scene, think copious amounts of champagne, Michelin starred restaurants and luxury brand name boutiques. For the most comprehensive range of shops, bars, and restaurant, choose Courchevel 1850, although families and beginner skiers would do well to consider 1650 instead.

To maintain its upmarket reputation, Courchevel is always investing in top-notch infrastructure and skiing amenities. It needs to as well since its location in the Les Trois Valles paves the way for 600 kilometres of pistes, but new lifts and gondolas for this season also make getting around the area even quicker than before.

Author: Julian Walker, owner of skiing property.com has helped hundreds of buyers invest in the French ski real estate market. Selling homes in the above ski resorts and many others like Megeve, Les Deux Alpes, Les Gets, and Les Arcs, contact him here to found out more, or to receive a portfolio via email of ski apartments and chalets on the market.