Looking to make a move to the slopes? In this article, Jana Korpova-Harris from The Luxury Property Collections shares with us four of the best places to live as a ski lover in Europe, as well as some top tips for buying your property near the slopes.
With the stunning snowy landscape, cosy chalets, and the adrenaline-pumping activity itself, it’s easy to see why ski holidays are so popular. In fact, the ski market is worth over £2.9 billion in the UK alone, with 1.76 million passengers heading to the slopes annually (Statista).
While a ski trip is great for a winter getaway, more avid skiers may be tempted to turn this trip into a long-term relocation. If you’re considering making the move to the slopes, read on to discover three of the best places for ski lovers to relocate to in Europe, as well as some top tips to help you search for a property in your dream destination.
For a lively buzz: Val Thorens, France
If you’re looking for a location with an energetic vibe and plenty of fun activities, Val Thorens is perfect for you. The resort town has a vibrant nightlife scene, being home to over 40 après ski bars, as well as three late night clubs and bars. On top of this, there are a number of sports shops to purchase all the ski gear you need, as well as plenty of local amenities like supermarkets, a leisure centre, a cinema, and reliable transport links.
Val Thorens slopes are also considered some of the best in the continent. This resort town has one of the longest and most reliable ski seasons in Europe thanks to its high altitude — the vast majority of the ski area sits at over 2000 metres (On The Snow). With 140 kilometres of slopes and stunning panoramic views, it’s easy to see why this resort has been voted the best in the world an impressive seven times.
But if some members of your household aren’t huge ski fans fear not, as there are a number of other activities to give a go too, such as go-karting, ice-skating, and even paragliding. And if you don’t want to live in the heart of the resort but would still like access to these impressive slopes, there are a number of nearby villages you may be interested in instead, such as St Martin de Belleville and Les Menuires.
For a high-class resort town: St. Moritz, Switzerland
With a rich skiing history and a wide array of upmarket establishments, St Moritz is one of the most high-class ski resort towns around. As well as being home to high-end designer stores such as Chanel and Gucci, there are a number of boutique shops, gourmet restaurants, and luxury hotels. There’s also a selection of sophisticated après ski bars to enjoy an evening tipple at.
The slopes at St Moritz are also some of the highest quality in the world, as evidenced by the fact that the resort has hosted the Winter Olympic Games twice (St Moritz). There are a whopping 350 km of snow run, as well as 150 km of hiking trail and facilities for other fun winter sports such as curling, ice skating, and mountain biking.
While this exclusive resort town feels sheltered and secluded, it actually has great transport links. The roads are well maintained, and the town isn’t too far from a number of popular cities, with it being three hours from Zurich and four from Milan. There’s also a train station around five minutes from the centre which gives you access to all the nearby attractions. And there’s a great selection of local amenities too, such as supermarkets, cafes, and wellness facilities.
For the ski experts: St Anton, Austria
If you’re an avid skier with plenty of experience on the slopes, you’ll likely be searching for somewhere with the opportunity to practice advanced skiing. With a selection of incredibly challenging pistes and high open bowls, St Anton is a dream for advanced skiers. There is also the opportunity for freeriding for the real experts, although some require you to ski with a guide as they’re incredibly challenging.
If not everyone in the household is an advanced skier, the good news is that there are slopes available for intermediates too, as well as a number of other activities such as hiking, climbing, and tobogganing. The resort also offers more relaxed indoor activities, including yoga and swimming.
The village itself is an incredibly charming place. St Anton is the perfect mixture of modern and traditional, with stunning scenery and a pedestrianised main street filled with cafes, restaurants, and world renowned après ski bars. There are also a number of fun activities to enjoy in the centre, including bowling, ice skating, and sleigh rides. St Anton is a well-connected ski resort too. The village has its own rail station, an airport just over an hour away, and is just under three hours away from Munich by car.
For the whole family: Chamonix, France
Chamonix is a great area for families, and offers a range of activities for both younger and older kids, and of course their parents too! There are plenty of fun things for kids to do in this popular resort town, including ice skating, sledging, and taking on the indoor climbing wall. There’s also an animal park and amusement park nearby that’ll make great day trips for the whole family.
Chamonix is also great for junior skiers. It offers a range of beginner slopes, as well as dedicated kids ski areas. There are also a few ski schools nearby for kids who want to improve their ski skills. And for teens and adults who are up for the challenge, there are a range of intermediate and advanced pistes available, with some offering runs of over 2000 meters (See Chamonix).
There are great local amenities in the town too. As well as having nearby primary and secondary schools, there are a number of childcare services available in the area. Other amenities include supermarkets, shopping areas, and top-quality restaurants and cafes. And as the resort town is one of the most popular in Europe, it has many reliable transport links. Chamonix can be accessed by train, bus, and car. The nearest airport, Geneva, is also just an hour away by road.
Tips for buying a property near mountains and slopes
It’s a big step to purchase a new property in any area, but especially in one which you’re not familiar with. Plus, there are a number of extra considerations to take when buying a house near the slopes. To help find the right home for you, make sure to use the following tips when searching for your property.
- Always visit the area at least a couple of times before you make the final decision on your relocation, to get more of a feel for the area and to do preliminary checks on your property before making your purchase.
- Consider what living in the resort will be like year-round, and whether this is something that you and your household will be happy with.
- Make sure that you are comfortable living at a high altitude, as some may experience altitude sickness.
- Think about how you can make your chalet an investment. Make sure to consider resale value, and look into renting it out for part of the year if you aren’t planning on living in the property year-round.
There’s no better way to make the most of your love for skiing than by moving to one of these picturesque ski resort towns and villages. And for more handy ski tips and advice, make sure to check out the rest of the articles at WeSki!