The best resorts to buy ski property in the French Alps

There are more than 300 ski resorts in France, including dozens of large resorts. Where do I start?

Refine your ski property search criteria

This can be approached in several ways. To start, where do you like to ski the most? Other key factors we at Alpine Property intelligence urge all potential buyers to consider upfront are:

  • A large ski area. If you are considering a smaller ski area with say up to 100km of pistes, a competent skier could complete all the runs in 2-3 days. And since you’ll probably always go skiing there, no matter how good the slopes, the novelty will wear off. Good advice: opt for a large, well-served ski area.
  • A station with guaranteed snow cover. Climate change as it is, in the French Alps, means opting for altitude and good snow conditions. Even in the snowiest resorts, this is an insurance policy for a year of below-average snowfall. It also means a longer ski season.
  • Proximity to the slopes. Ski-in/ski-out is optimal, but if you’re happy to hop on the ski bus and there’s a stop nearby, that’s fine too. You won’t regret for a moment having easy access to the slopes. Also, the location is a key criterion for its rental prospects.

If all that sounds rather expensive, it doesn’t have to be; the price range is enormous – from €7,000/m² to over €30,000/m². Many factors influence prices: the quality of the snow, the ski area, transport, infrastructure and equipment. Resorts that host top sporting and cultural events tend to be more popular. The amount of development space is always part of it.

For example, Val d’Isère has some avalanche zones; Megève now limits new developments; most resorts have areas strictly enforced for agriculture, and many are in national park areas. Resorts with a scene that appeals to the well-heeled visitor may or may not be your cup of tea. On the other hand, some resorts are simply less known internationally but still offer great skiing. Some villages within larger ski areas can offer excellent value for money compared to their more illustrious neighbours; they may be more family-friendly while still providing easy access to the same trails.

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