Posted on 19 January 2021
When you’re looking at buying Alpine property, the amount of choice can be overwhelming.
Most buyers, therefore, come in with a checklist; is it easy to get to? Does it have access to a good ski area? Is there ski-in / ski-out property for sale? Is it easy to get around? What is the town like? Is there a summer season?
All of these questions will be ranked, in terms of how important they are and what the ideal answer is.
A person who doesn’t mind travelling, but is certain they need ski-in / ski-out convenience, will be looking at somewhere like the Trois Vallées. A person who absolutely doesn’t want to travel far, but is unfazed by a comparatively limited ski area might look towards La Clusaz. Your response to the questions above, and the relative importance you assign each answer will decide whether your eye turns to La Clusaz or Meribel, Val d’Isere or Chamonix property for sale.
Why then, I hear you ask, should you buy Alpine Property in Chamonix?
Proximity to the Airport
Unlike some ski resorts, getting to which feels a little like trying to summit Mount Everest, Chamonix is an easy breezy hour from Geneva Airport. It’s a simple trek for those buyers looking to buy Alpine Property for weekend breaks and short getaways.
More importantly for some, the drive is an easy one by Alpine standards. The route to Chamonix follows along the motorway towards the Mont Blanc Tunnel; no winding roads or steep switchbacks to be seen, just a striking overpass that deposits you into a picturesque French town. Not only is this a resort where you can easily spend weekends, but when it comes to Chamonix, viewing property for sale is simple.
In a mountain range where three-hour drives are the norm, Chamonix stands out as one of the few genuinely good compromises that offers a town that has real-life, skiing that’s well known worldwide, and an easy drive from the airport. Plus, it’s on the Swiss and Italian border so it makes a great jumping-off point if you want to explore resorts like Verbier and Courmayeur.
The Ski Area
Chamonix is famous for being the birthplace of extreme skiing. The Aguille du Midi is the highest point in Europe and has the distinction of being home to the Vallée Blanche. Known as the longest lift-served off-piste in the world, the Vallée Blanche is a bucket list ski. That, in and of itself is a huge draw both for tourists and for buyers looking to let their apartment full or part-time.
If all you’re after is to get your mile count up, this might not be the area for you as it is a little disjointed, but there’s a reason it’s so famous. The skiing here isn’t for everyone, that’s true. However, if you like acres of unpisted snow, access to a nature reserve, and some of the most famous ski touring routes in the world, Chamonix might well be the only place on your list.
Honestly, the chances are that when it comes to ski area you already know whether you want to look at the selection of Chamonix property for sale.
Having said that though, if the only objection you have is the challenging skiing, I’d urge you not to be too hasty. Try the gentle blues at Le Tour or the Les Houches slopes before you strike the whole valley off your list thanks to the terrifying steeps at Argentiere.
If you’re planning on spending whole winters in the mountain, ski days at Courmayeur and Verbier are included on the Mont Blanc Unlimited ski pass, too. Even when Chamonix itself is closed, the skiing in Switzerland is a short drive away.
Chamonix town, in many ways, is totally unlike any other ski town in Europe. One of the first things you will hear if you’re looking at Alpine property here is that the town is a rare case where the summers are as busy as winter, if not more so. This is a genuine working town, with a year-round population of a few thousand and only three real quiet months.
The wider valley is less open when it’s not in season, but if what you’re looking for is a classic ski resort with great slopes and a few good bars, Argentiere can be a great base for hardcore skiers. This is doubly so if you’re looking to use your Alpine property specifically during the winter and summer months.
Further up the valley, there are two small, pretty mountain villages that are like an escape from the real world. They’re both utterly postcard pretty and very quiet year-round. When it comes to Chamonix, there’s property for sale that will suit the first-lift-chargers, the mountain hermits, and the après ski party-goers.
So, have I persuaded you to look at Alpine property in Chamonix?
The chances are, you already had a good idea of whether you were going to go to Chamonix to look at property for sale. It’s a divisive resort that tends to have a following that either loves it dearly and would never think of buying property elsewhere, or else it’s just too gnarly.
Whether you’ve already ranked your list of criteria, or you’re looking for that magical unicorn of Alpine Property that’s something that checks all of your boxes, this article aims to help. If you’re undecided, and you’re looking at your list of criteria and trying to decide how important each bullet point is, I hope this article has brought you some much-needed clarity. Happy searching!