Welcome to the second part of our series on the best ski resorts in France. With Europe’s ski season about to kick off in full, now is the best time to start planning your perfect winter sports holiday. Last time, we took a whirlwind tour of the glorious Les Trois Vallées, the largest ski zone in Europe and one of the most popular winter destinations in the world. This week, we take a closer look at some of the other stunning resorts that the French Alps has to offer, each offering their own unique experience.
If you struggle to decide between a ski retreat in France or Switzerland, Morzine is the perfect compromise, offering easy access to the slopes in both of these great Alpine nations. The resort has some of the most reliable snowfall in the Alps, and also caters to non-skiers, with thoughtful amenities including an indoor ice rink, where you can watch the local ice hockey team in action.
Morzine’s location in the heart of the Portes du Soleil ski area makes it ideal for beginners and seasoned professionals alike, with gentle blue and red runs aplenty in the Le Pleney area. Those looking for a bigger challenge can satisfy their adrenaline hunt over at Mont Chery, which boasts an impressive number of black and more difficult red runs. Those with second homes in the area also have access to 40 different gourmet restaurants, in addition to dozens of chic bars that line the streets of the main town.
As part of the Alps’ Espace Killy ski area, Tignes is a popular alternative for those looking to get back to basics. It’s not quite as high as Val Thorens, the highest ski resort in Europe, but at 2100m above sea level it’s not far off. There’s over 20km of beautifully crafted slopes to explore, across both the resort’s glacial and mountainous sections. The season kicks off as early as late November on the former part of the ski area, while snowsports enthusiasts can finally begin to enjoy the latter towards mid-December. Those in need of a mid-afternoon snack can stop to enjoy a crepe at any one of the resort’s mountaintop restaurants, before skiing down into the main town for a well-deserved session of après.
The Alps aren’t the only mountains in France, and the Pyrenees resort of La Mongie is fast establishing itself as an excellent alternative to the Alpine scene. It’s naturally a popular spot for locals, and with a location just 20km from the border, you’re likely to encounter as many Spanish tourists as you do French. The resort spans 100km and has 69 pistes, as well as a number of gentle nursery slopes and an English-speaking ski school. There’s a relaxed après ski scene in the resort, and some excellent thermal baths in the nearby town of Bagnerès-de-Bigorre.
With the French ski property market proving to be resistant to the tough economic climate, now is the perfect time to start investing in property in the area. Having a second home near a French ski resort is an excellent investment opportunity, with high demand for holiday rentals all but guaranteeing you additional income in the winter months. Engel & Völkers have experienced staff working in offices throughout France just waiting to help and advise you on your next property acquisition.