Ski Property Blog: News and Information from the region

HAUTE SAVOIE – Saint Gervais Le Bains …

St Gervais le Bain photo

St Gervais-le-Bains is one of the most charming and attractive of all Alpine ski resorts. The traditional French spa town, with its weekly market, is at the heart of the third largest ski area in France; the Evasion Mont Blanc domain. It has 445km of first class, uncrowded pistes and includes the resorts of Megève, Combloud and Les Contamines. “One of the things I love most is that it has year-round appeal, thanks to its history and character. This makes it a great place to live. You’ll be just as enthralled and entertained in the summer as in the peak winter season” says Andrew Morgan, one of our agents covering the Haute-Savoie.

MERIBEL – a ski resort in the Tarentaise Valley, in the French Alps.


The Meribel ski resort is part of the ‘Trois Vallées’ ski area. The Three Valleys area comprises 180 lifts, 335 marked runs (over 600 kilometres) and over 130 km of cross-country tracks. The Three Valleys was expanded about ten years ago to incorporate a fourth valley, though the area kept the name Trois Vallées. The area comprises the resorts of Courchevel, La Tania, Méribel, Les Menuires-Saint Martin, Val Thorens and Orelle.

The resort comprises the sub villages of Méribel-Mottaret, at an altitude of 1750 m towards the head of the Allues valley, and Méribel Village at 1400 m on the road to Courchevel.

Leggett have an excellent selection of properties in and around Meribel, take a look here …

RHÔNE ALPES – One of the first questions buyers ask …


What is the weather like?

This is clearly one of the important factors that dictate where you would buy a second home or indeed where you’d relocate to work and live.

In the Rhone-Alpes we have many micro-climates due to the mountains and lakes but I think it is clear that if you like “weather” then this is a great place to live. The seasons are very defined, warm, balmy springs, hot, intense summers, warm, lazy autumns and cold, crisp winters – when it rains it rains, when the sun shines it shines and, of course, we are lucky to enjoy snow in the multiple world famous ski resorts of the region.

If you would like to see a quick overview of the weather around France then you may find the below chart interesting, as a benchmark the average number of sunshine hours in the UK last year was 1,341 and the average amount of rainfall was 1,335 mm’s.

Lyon (Rhone Alps)
Sunshine hours – 2,085
Rainfall – 914 mm

Sunshine hours – 1,702
Rainfall – 622 mm

Lille (Nord Pas de Calais)
Sunshine hours – 1,540
Rainfall – 897 mm

Rennes (Brittany)
Sunshine hours – 1,783
Rainfall – 785 mm

Strasbourg (Alsace)
Sunshine hours – 1,821
Rainfall – 609 mm

Dijon (Burgundy)
Sunshine hours – 1,919
Rainfall – 778 mm

La Rochelle (Poitou Charentes)
Sunshine hours – 2,230
Rainfall – 762 mm

Bourges (Centre)
Sunshine hours – 1,931
Rainfall – 690 mm

Bordeaux (Aquitaine)
Sunshine hours – 2,139
Rainfall – 846 mm

Perpignan (Languedoc Roussillon)
Sunshine hours – 2,612
Rainfall – 449 mm

Nice (Provence Alps Cote d’Azur)
Sunshine hours – 2,928
Rainfall – 800 mm

Contributed by: Heather Byrne – Regional Manager Rhône Alpes – Leggett Immobilier

Critérium de Dauphine comes to Saint Gervais

Andrew Morgan, our star agent in Saint Gervais took this winning shot of Chris Froome seconds before the finish line in Bettex, Saint Gervais les Bains. Well done Andrew and well done Chris Froome! :

Chris Froome & banner
“Chris Froome leading the way, ahead of his rival to win the penultimate stage of the Criterium de Dauphine here is St Gervais on Saturday , before doing it again yesterday to be crowned overall race winner in Val Frejus !”

007 takes his favourite method of transport to the top of Mont Jovet

Last month, Yann, our secret agent of the Alps team in the 3 Valleys, took his bike “up the hill” before changing to skis for the season….

Yanns bike

And here was the reward at the top:

Views over Mont Blanc, the Vanoise, the Cervin, the Ecrins.

La fête du lac

Fete du lac

The summer has arrived! Daytimes spent hiking and biking in the mountains, followed by a swim in the local pristine lakes, then BBQ filled evenings with a bottle of rosé and sunset lit Mont Blanc. Does summer get better than this?

Yes it does! All through summer are various events, one of which many of the lakes host a “Fête du Lac”.  Beginning with activities, displays, concerts, food and drink, then the main event, a spectacular firework display where mountains echo whistles and explosions and lakes reflect illuminations.

For a more pampered experience, you can pre-book a dinner cruise on the main lakes where the biggest fêtes take place: Lac Leman (Geneva), Lac Annecy or Lac du Bourget (Aix les Bains):

Better still, you can have your very own private viewing spot – in one of these divine lake view properties for sale:

Lake Geneva:

36172LK01 lead_blof

Lake Annecy:


Lake Bourget:



Summer 2014

Another fun fuelled and prosperous winter season has flown by. Within the property market, the demand is up and prices are at their lowest since 2008 proving a great time to buy.

With snow melting in the approaching summer heat, the Alps dramatically change into a completely different world.

Buyers who are seeking all-season properties come to experience what this beautiful haven has to offer, whether it’s for the chilled out atmosphere at the lakes and beaches, the family friendly activities, or the more challenging adrenalin filled sports…


One sport in particular simply replaces skis for bikes! The resorts lifts re-open and become the transport link to 100’s of kms of biking terrain.

Here is an insight, put together by a specialist guide and friend of the Alps team in the Belleville Valley (Val Thorens, Saint Martin de Belleville and Les Menuires):

If you think that’s hairy, then get over to Alpe d’Huez to see the MEGA AVALANCHE event – the biggest open downhill bike race in the world:

Road biking is also very popular in the Alps with the challenging ascents and descents and dramatic backdrops. There are numerous races through the summer and of course the Tour de France. This year it will be passing through Jackson Collins’ home turf, les Hautes Alpes. Starting in Grenoble passing Bourg d’Oisans, La Grave, into Briancon les Hautes Alpes, then over the  Col d’Izoard, ending in Risoul.

Here are just some of the biking events to look out for this summer:

  • 27-29 June – Passport du Soleil: Day MTB Tour of France/Switzerland
  • 6 July – Three Valleys: Mountain Biking open to all
  • 17-20 July in Les Menuires : French MTB Championships
  • 3 August – La Bourgui: Road Biking Race
  • 21-24 August – Meribel : World MTB Championships
  • 7-13 July – Alpe d’Huez: Mega Avalanche
  • 19th July – Grenoble-Risoul : Tour de France

Rumour has it….

Alpe d'Huez

There will be a “super” lift linking the two resorts of Alp d’Huez with les 2 Alpes! There has been speculation of this project for years but our sources reveal that the project is to go ahead in 2018.

The link will be between the top of Signal de l’homme in the Auris sector of Alpe d’Huez and Le Cret in les Deux Alpes. The estimated transit time 17 minutes.

If the link goes ahead, here is how the area will sit among the 10 largest linked areas in Europe:

  1. 3 Valleys (France): 600kms
  2. Les Portes du Soleil (France/Swizterland): 650kms
  3. Les Deux Alpes/Alpe d’Huez (France): 474kms
  4. Paradiski (France): 425kms
  5. 4 Valleys (Switzerland): 412kms
  6. Milky Way (France/Italy): 400kms
  7. Matterhorn (Switzerland): 360kms
  8. Evasion Mont Blanc (France): 445kms
  9. Espace Killy (France): 300kms
  10. Grand Massif (France): 265kms

With property prices here remaining modest compared to other large resorts, perhaps now is the time to be looking to invest!

To see properties for sale in Les Deux Alpes and Alpe d’Huez, please visit:

Lac du Bourget, Aix-les-Bains and Chambery attracting buyers

Lac du Bourget’s neighbour, the renowned lac d’Annecy with its beautiful city located on one end of the second largest lakes in France is chic, expensive and bustling with energy and fun –  and has long attracted foreign property buyers.

However, if you want a more relaxed, green experience then the larger Lac du Bourget is a great option. The nearby city of Chambery is both historic and beautiful, while Aix-les-Bains offers splendid mountain views, lakeside beaches, thermal baths and a relaxed and very French atmosphere.


Many British and foreign buyer are showing interest in Lac du Bourget, already very popular with the French, and it looks set to be one of the next major areas for property price growth in Savoie and indeed the Rhône Alpes.  Thierry Barry our agent based in Aix les Bain has some fantastic properties for sale in Aix-les-Bains  and around the lac.



Winter vs Summer

We are nearing the end of a spectacular ski season in the Alps with copious amounts of snow, powdery on and off-piste and endless slopes. It’s always sad hanging up the skis and saying goodbye to the winter… but on a positive note, summers on its way!

Always a hot topic amongst the team, summer or winter, which do you prefer?
Winter vs Summer
• Shorts and shades or staloppettes and goggles?
• Evening al-fresco dining or lunch times on the sunny slopes?
• Beautiful walks in the mountains or a snow shoe through the forest?
• Bbqs at the beach or a hearty fondue in a cosy Alpine setting?
• Sunbathing at the lake or relaxing in the hot tub?
• A crisp glass of rosé or a warming vin chaud?
• A leisurely bike ride in the green Alpine hills or a day skiing/riding down powdery, white mountains?
• An outdoor festival or an après ski concert/gig?