Homes in the French Alps offer a lot more than just fantastic, world renowned skiing. Alpine resorts have a lot going for them, from high-end restaurants and shopping to exciting nightlife. To help you choose where you should call “home” – or at least “home away from home” – consider these five areas of the Alps, based on what’s most important to you.
Val d’Isère – If you want a lively après ski scene
Attracting a younger crowd, Val d’Isère has bars on the pistes and also in the resort, ranging from calm and cozy to loud and bouncing. The area’s most famous spot is Dick’s Tea Bar, which has DJs and live music every night during the season. If you’re on the mountain, La Folie Douce has DJs and bands that perform on an open terrace at the top of the La Daille gondola. You can stay out until the sun comes up or hit the hay early so you can ski with the early risers.
Get your rest in this eight-bedroom chalet at the top of Sainte-Foy-Tarentaise, which is perfect for living in part-time and renting to visiting families the rest of the year. The home has a lift, staff apartment, wine cellar and cave.
Megève – If you want: lust-worthy architecture
Since Megève is one of the French Alps’ oldest resorts, it’s no wonder that it still looks like something out of a storybook. When the resort was created in the 1920s by Baroness Noémie de Rothschild, her idea was to pay homage to the luxury resort town of St. Moritz in Switzerland. She had 200 chalets built, all in the traditional style of mountain farmhouses. Today, those chalets make up the centre of the resort, along with cobblestone streets and horse-drawn carriages.
This spacious villa in Megève has a beautiful wood interior, cathedral ceilings, a wrap-around deck, and vast windows that show off the stunning mountain view. Luxury amenities include an open-plan kitchen, Jacuzzi and ski room.
Courchevel – If you want: delicious cuisine
Head to Courchevel for the most dense selection of Michelin-starred restaurants in the French Alps, like Le 1947 with three stars and a Savoie menu, and La Chabichou with two stars. While there are enough high-end dining options here that you could eat in a new place every night of the week, there are also other notable restaurants for whatever mood you’re in. Chabichou’s sister restaurant, The Chabotté, is a simpler alternative that’s just as delicious, and both Azimut and La Table de Mon Grand Père are simple, unpretentious and mouthwatering.
This apartment in Courchevel has four bedrooms and bathrooms, sunny terraces, a sauna and a ski room. If you need more space, consider this modern chalet, which has a private swimming pool, cinema room, fitness center and the opportunity to add a sixth bedroom, or this ski-in/ski-out chalet with ample space that can be converted into a cinema, fitness or game room.
Chamonix – If you want: high-end shopping
A lot happens in Chamonix, and it’s considered by some to be the heart of the French Alps, where all else branches off from. If you’re going to Mont Blanc, you’ll probably start in Chamonix, and it’s a popular area with both tourists and residents. There are plenty of shops here if you need outdoor sports gear, clothing, or equipment, but you can also explore boutique shops for fashion, accessories, antiques, books, art and specialty foods.
Set in the Les Bois neighborhood, this in-demand, five-bedroom Chamonix chalet has panoramic views of Mont Blanc, plus a wood burning stove and a gym. If you’re looking for a more intimate home, consider this apartment in Chamonix, which is a five-minute walk from the town center and has three bedrooms, two bathrooms and a balcony.
Méribel – If you want: diverse street markets
While many of the resorts in the French Alps have a weekly market, Méribel puts one on twice a week on the Route de la Chaudanne. Locals head there to shop for groceries, and you can get everything from candy and produce to cured meat and gourmet cheese. Just like nearby Courchevel, there are three distinct sections to Méribel: Altiport, Belvedere and Méribel village. The area has a British feel, which can be seen in the local architecture.
If you’re in the market for luxury property in the French Alps, then search our site to discover a selection of homes currently for sale. You can also speak directly to one of our property consultants by calling +33 (0)970 44 66 43.