Posted on 23 June 2021
When travelling commercially has you in the dumps, swapping to private can be the ultimate step. Once you’ve started flying by private jet it’s impossible to imagine going back. That’s why, when you’re looking at where to buy a ski property, it’s nice to consider what your transfer options might be.
As you might expect, many of the famously high-end ski resorts have facilities on hand for private transfers. Sion Airport in Switzerland and Chambéry Airport in France are both open to private aircraft, and close enough to the ski resorts to make helicopter transfer easy.
So, where do you go if you’re choosing a ski property you can reach without stepping foot in a commercial airport terminal?
When you’re looking at where to buy a ski property, Verbier has more than a few things that recommend it. It’s not for nothing that this is the resort of choice for Hollywood stars and royalty alike.
Sion Airport is under an hour’s drive from Verbier; a quick private transfer is a good option if you don’t fancy shelling out for the ten-minute helicopter ride. Sion is not open to commercial flights, but it’s a great little airport to fly into and out of if you’re going private.
From there, it’s an easy, hassle-free drive or flight up to Verbier and the 4 Valleys ski area. The closest to Sion of all the 4 Valleys ski resorts is actually only around half an hour from the city. For maximum ease of travel, a helicopter transfer will take you straight to the resort. You’ll arrive without needing to wind your way up the switchback mountain roads.
If you’re looking at where to buy a ski property in Verbier, you’ll find much of the property for sale in the centre of the resort is very high-end. Of course, in a resort as glitzy as Verbier it’s only natural that the private transfer facilities are top-notch.
In the last fifteen years, Val d’Isere has grown from a town full of ski bums and seasonaires to France’s answer to Verbier. Chambéry Airport is a little further from Val d’Isere than Sion is from Verbier, so if you plump for a private car, it’ll take an hour and forty-five minutes to get to the resort. A helicopter transfer cuts that down to just half an hour, so you’ll be in your chalet in no time.
As Val d’Isere shares a ski area with Tignes, you can just as easily arrange for a helicopter transfer to the neighbouring resort. Tignes and Val d’Isere have very different characters, although both are home to at least one Michelin Starred restaurant. Tignes is not quite as known for luxury and has a more modern look that you won’t find in the slightly more classically pretty Val d’Isere.
When you’re deciding where to buy a ski property, it’s important to consider everything. After all, the more you’ve researched, the less likely it is that you’ll find you’ve accidentally bought a chalet in a resort you hate. If you’re a private jet traveller, it might be best to organise a trip and test out how smoothly it runs ahead of time.
Unlike Verbier and Val d’Isere, it is possible to fly directly to Courchevel Altiport. You should be aware that Courchevel Altiport doesn’t have an easy runway to land on. Only two models of aircraft have landing clearance. Those aircraft are the Vulcanair Aviator TP 600 and the Vulcanair P 68 Turbo Commander.
If you’ve got the right aircraft, and an experienced pilot that’s comfortable with the small, short runway surrounded by mountains, you’re set to fly straight to Courchevel! If you haven’t got those things on hand, you can fly to Chambéry and get on a twenty-minute helicopter ride. As helicopters don’t need to negotiate runways the way a private jet will, this is a far safer way to get to your resort of choice.
The four village bases of Courchevel each have a very distinct character; 1850 is the most exclusive, but property for sale there is rare. If Courchevel tops your list of where to buy a ski property, you might find yourself looking at one of the other villages.
Crans-Montana is another resort in the Canton Valais, and best known for its’ golf courses and quiet class. It’s not a party town the way you might expect in Verbier or Zermatt, and the clientele tends to be a little older than you might find haunting the après ski bars in those resorts.
As with Verbier, a little over an hour away from Crans-Montana, transferring to this popular Swiss ski resort will involve flying into private Sion Airport before getting a car or a helicopter for the final step. The local helipad is a little outside Crans-Montana, and the drive from Sion to Crans-Montana is only half an hour. This may mean that you choose a private car over a helicopter transfer.
Crans-Montana is a very year-round resort. With the European Masters golf tournament played during summers, you will find the airport is sometimes busier than you expect. If this resort is on your list of where to buy a ski property, you might be pleased to find that private jet transfers are simple and easy.
Megève is famous for being the French answer to St Moritz. Megève has a history that stretches back to the Rothschild family, so it offers a brand of old-world glamour that is rare in the French Alps. Reaching Mègeve via private jet is most easily done via flying into Annecy Airport. This airport is not open to commercial airlines, but it’s a good arrival point for many nearby ski resorts. You will then drive or fly the last section to your door.
Reaching Mègeve from Annecy via helicopter is a twenty-minute flight. The helipad in the resort is at Megève Altiport, so it’s a simple matter to fly the final few miles to reach the resort. Driving from Annecy would take an hour, but it’s an easy drive along motorways rather than narrow mountain roads.
If you have your heart set on choosing a ski property in Megève, you’ll find this is a good option thanks to a market mostly comprised of chalets. There are also a whole host of other popular ski resorts nearby.
If you need help with choosing where to buy a ski property, or if you have questions we can help with, get in touch! Wherever you want to buy, please take a look at our selection of ski property for sale. Happy house hunting!