The world's most famous bike race, Le Tour de France 2017 finished up in Paris this weekend. Over the past 2 weeks, the participants of Le Tour cycled over 3,500km through some of France’s most stunning villages and cities. Last year, the mountain stages took place around the Mont Blanc Massif, home to the world famous ski resorts of Chamonix, Morzine and Megève. This year the cyclists are winding their way through some of the smaller ski resorts of the Alps and the Pyrenees – a perfect time to remind us that when it comes to ski resorts, bigger isn’t necessarily better, and that sometimes the often overlooked small resorts can be the perfect destination for our ski homes.
The "Capital" of the Alps, Chambery has more than 20 resorts within 3 hours drive of the city centre. The three closest resorts are Flumet and Brides Les Bains, both within 1 hours of the airport. Little known Brides Les Bains is actually a part of the world's largest ski area – The 3 Vallees - and gives you all the perks of the ski area at a fraction of the cost. Chamrousse, famous for its role in the 1968 Winter Olympics is set to become France’s first fully "Smart Station" with a 13 year plan to completely change the perception of what a ski resort is, is only 75 minutes away. See more about that here.
Nestled in the centre of the Pyrenees, Peyragudes gained notoriety as the location for the opening sequence of Bond film "Tomorrow Never Dies".
Created in 1988 by combining the two villages of Les Agudes and Peyreourde, the Southern France ski resort has some of the most family-friendly yet varied skiing in the area. The proximity of the Spanish border means many for many Spaniards it is the ski resort of choice, and as a result there is a distinctly cosmopolitan vibe which is often lacking in ski resorts.
Peyragudes is perfect for those looking for a value-for-money ski home in one of the friendliest ski resorts in France, surrounded by beautiful mountain scenery.
St Girons is home to the ski resort of Guzet, a lovely family friendly resort frequently listed as one of the top 10 ski resorts in the Pyrenees. Though the winter season is short, the snow is consistent and the north facing slopes hold the snow well.
There is plenty of varied skiing for all abilities and the 1000m vertical drop is well above the average for French resorts. The two villages which the resort is based around are incredibly picturesque nestled in the pinetree woods and both offer a good variety of shops, restaurants and après-ski fun.
Definitely one of the overlooked gems of the Alps, Serre Chevalier is not a single resort, but the collective name for the string of villages from Briancon to Le Monetier. The variety of terrain is huge – lots of trees, drops, bowls and gullies – so all abilities are catered to, and the charming villages of the valley make a welcome change from some of the larger resorts further north.
WHILE YOU ARE HERE...
Looking for a ski property? Start your search here!
Need help with a mortgage to buy a property in the French, Swiss, Austrian or Italian Alps? See our mortgage tips and advice from experts.
Want to know which ski resort is best for your ski property purchase? Check out our ski resort guides.
Need to swap some Pounds for Euros? All you need to know about currency exchange.
Want to know about buying a ski property in the Alps? Get the lowdown with our buying guides.