Alpine ski homes: buying property in Val d’Isère and Tignes, where ski-in-and-out flats cost from £198,000
The French resort of Val d’Isère is for true skiers. They love its technical and demanding slopes and its high, snow-sure altitude reaching up to 11,320ft.
But most of all, says Emmanuel Ferrando, chief of Val d’Isère tourist board, everyone loves it as an authentic French mountain village.
“It is the only high-altitude ski resort in France built around a historic village,” he says.
“Val d’Isère is not only a ski resort, it is first a mountain village with many old farming families and a typical French atmosphere. That’s the real reason British skiers love it.”
Cool crowd: La Folie Douce, for an après ski boogie on the table in your snow boots
The 1,600 year-round population swells to 25,000 in peak winter weeks, with half of all visitors from the UK.
Property in Val d’Isère
Local resident Jean-Charles Covarel, an architect, developer and hotelier, has built some of the resort’s best-known chalets. He is co-developer of Le Refuge, which is set to be Europe’s highest hotel and spa when it fully opens late this year.
“We want a mixed population with locals, skiers and non-skiers and not only super-rich visitors,” he says. So while prime homes are the most expensive in Europe with the best chalets at £22 million-plus, Covarel points out many bars and restaurants have not raised prices this year.
“Val d’Isère is a compact and practical resort with the shops and slopes all together,” says Charles-Antoine Sialelli of Athena Advisers. “The resort has constantly updated with new lifts and refurbishment of older Sixties and Seventies buildings. There are good areas for beginners, a good regular bus service and plenty of chic places to party.”
New-build flats for sale with Athena Advisers include the final one of four at Legettaz 2, a ski-in-and-out four-bedroom home of 1,377sq ft with a shared pool and wonderful views on the sunnier southern side of the resort. This is one of the best locations in Val d’Isère, reflected in the £2.7 million price tag.
Alaska Lodge, five minutes’ walk from the centre towards La Daille, is a new-build chalet with six flats where a three-bedroom home of 1,518sq ft is £1.75 million. Immediately in front, Le Petit Alaska has a newly completed ground-floor two-bedroom flat with bunk room, at £1.19 million for 818sq ft.
At the top of the resort in the smart Fornet area and two minutes’ walk from a ski lift, Athena Advisers is selling eight flats at Chalet Arolay, from studios to four-bedroom homes. Due for completion next year, prices start at £422,000.
Where to go in Val d’Isère
Le Refuge: this smart but reasonably priced table-service restaurant at the top of Solaise opened this season, with superb views across the mountaintops (lerefuge-valdisere.com/en)
Le Garage: new this season in the village centre and already a hit, with young families in the early evening through to seasonaires late into the night, this spacious and informal bar serves generous portions of pizza, burgers and hearty mountain food.
Cocorico: the resort’s only ski-in-and-out après ski venue offers live music, DJs and a fun atmosphere (cocoricovaldisere.com)
La Folie Douce: if dancing on a table in your snow boots with the cool crowd is your favourite après ski, this is for you (lafoliedouce.com)
L’Etincelle: excellent family-run restaurant at the base of the slopes (letincellevaldisere.com)
Le Blizzard: whether you have a cocktail by the roaring fireside or a full meal in the restaurant, this five-star hotel has a justified name for excellence (hotelblizzard.com/en)
Party on: Cocorico, Val d’Isère’s only ski-in-and-out après ski DJ venue
Better-value homes in Tignes
Val d’Isère shares its slopes with Tignes, making up the 190-mile ski area of Espace Killy, while the Grande Motte glacier means the season extends for 10 months. Tignes is purpose-built and spread out, covering four levels.
“Val d’Isère is chic and sporty while Tignes is young and dynamic,” says Athena Advisers’ Sialelli. “Tignes shares the exact same ski slopes and gets more sun yet property is around half of the price.”
Recently launched ski-in-and-out flats at Phoenix in Tignes Le Lac start from £460,360 for two to five bedrooms with Athena Advisers. Homes are all south-facing and come with storage rooms, ski lockers and a potential five per cent rental yield.
In Tignes 1800, MGM is selling Residence Kalinda, ski-in-and-out one-bedroom flats from £198,000. Homes are completed and part of a village beside shops, restaurants, a bakery and a ski school.