Posted on 10 November 2016
We’re lucky to have the world’s best ski resorts just a 90-minute budget flight from British airports. It’s quicker and cheaper to get to the Alps from London than it is to get to Manchester by train. Yet for some British people, skiing is just “something that the rich do”. Maybe it’s all those photos of young Royals that create the wrong impression.
In fact, if you want to purchase your own bolthole in the French or Swiss Alps where you can ski to your heart’s content, you don’t have to break the bank. A “backdoor resort” is one where you ski the same mountains as the people living in squillion-euro chalets but return to property that is considerably more affordable. Now any British property buyer has the opportunity to share the slopes with the Alpine elite.
So if you can’t afford Courchevel or Meribel take the short trip to Les Menuires and not only will you unlock the prodigious Three Valleys, you can buy a new-build apartment for €203,000.
Tignes-les-Brevières may only be 12 kilometres up the road from the exclusive resort of Val d’Isère, but it is light years away in terms of property prices. A new one-bedroom apartment in Tignes can be bought for as little as €225,000 compared to Val where some chalets are valued at €17 million.
The rise of these affordable backdoor resorts across the Alps has sparked a revival in the French ski resort property market – one that has been driven by British buyers who have flocked to the Alps this summer. British buyers bought more than half of the new-build apartments in a development at Samoëns this summer, where apartment prices start at just €240,000.
Your hunt for value doesn’t mean you will have to compromise on access to the slopes and amenities. These new-build developments have been complimented by a surge in infrastructure projects. With resorts spending millions of euros upgrading lifts, pistes and leisure complexes to match the growing demand for mid-market ski properties. For example, the €36 million mini-resort, Mille8 opened in Les Arcs in February 2016. This ground-breaking project has created a family-friendly resort-within-a-resort, complete with new nursery slopes, toboggan runs, swimming pool, spa, gym and restaurant.
With Chris Froome and Mark Cavendish showing Frenchmen how to go up a mountain, British buyers have embraced the year-round appeal of the French ski resorts
The increased interest in cycling has been another spur to mountain homes. With Chris Froome and Mark Cavendish showing Frenchmen how to go up a mountain, British buyers have embraced the year-round appeal of the French ski resorts. By bagging your very own piece of alpine paradise, you will have a holiday home for all seasons, one that can be rented out for many more weeks than the average seaside resort.
The Alps in summer remain one of the best kept secrets for outdoor enthusiast. Whether you’re seeking adventurous activities such as mountain biking or a more relaxing pace of life bathed in sunshine, in an unspoilt environment, the Alps has it all.
So, go off piste when searching for your dream ski retreat in the French and Swiss Alps. Explore the increasing number of backdoor resorts for your chance to own a brand-new property on the slopes, without forfeiting your skiing experience.