Posted on 23 January 2017
What better way for France’s Alpe d’Huez to celebrate its 80th anniversary than by being crowned Europe’s Best Ski Resort for 2017 by the Belgium based “European Best Destinations” organisation.
Notably it was the ordinary skier who decided the winner after more than 58,000 people from 92 countries voted in the poll. Who would you rather believe: real tourists or a panel of judges with a vested interest in certain areas? It’s quite some achievement when we consider the other contenders. Alpe d’Huez fought off stiff competition from world-class resorts like La Plagne and Courchevel, as well as Kitzbuhel in Austria and Gstaad in Switzerland. But visitors were so taken with its 135 alpine pistes that cater for all abilities and its renowned snow parks, that it secured a whopping 9,550 votes and with it the coveted title.
It doesn’t look like Alpe d’Huez intends on resting on its laurels either. Yes it has certain natural attributes that money can’t buy, like its glacier that ensures sufficient snow cover for a long season that stretches from early December to late April. Not to mention its reputation for delivering a plentiful supply of bluebird days, giving rise to its nickname “l’Isle du Soleil”, which translates as the Island of the Sun.
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But here’s the really interesting part for anyone with designs on purchasing their very own alpine bolthole in this desirable location: Alpe d’Huez has announced a new investment of 350 million euros to make the resort even more attractive to the international market. The proposed work includes the renovation of existing accommodation and the building of new high-quality properties, as well as the creation of one of the largest ski areas in Europe by 2020.
If you thought all that would generate more than enough potential to make Alpe d’Huez a safe investment with great capital gain potential in the coming years, you shouldn’t underestimate the resorts summer allure. With the expanses of the Ecrin National Park and the villages of the Oisans on its doorstep, it’s also a paradise when the snow melts at the end of the ski season. There’s a multitude of activities on offer such as walking, climbing, rafting, horse riding and more; but it is the mountain biking for which the region is most renowned when the temperatures soar. With 140 miles of marked routes, Alpe d’Huez is one of Europe’s most legendary mountain bike destinations for adrenaline junkies that love hurtling downhill on two wheels. With such year round rental potential, your dream alpine retreat in this up and coming resort will practically pay for itself.
Getting to this fabulous French ski resort won’t present you with any obstacles; it’s situated less than 60 kilometres from Grenoble, the nearest airport. The 90-minute drive is rather spectacular too, as you wind your way up the 21 bends made famous by the Tour de France.
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