The Alps

France

Les Trois Vallées is a ski region in the Tarentaise Valley of the French Alps, and the largest connected ski area in the world. It is characterised by snowy landscapes, lively resorts, and charming alpine villages where time stands still.

As the largest ski area in the world, Les 3 Vallées comprises 600km of ski slopes, almost 200 green-blue ski runs and over 140 red-black ski runs. As you take to the skies in high-tech ski lifts, or race down the Alps’ famous white slopes, take in panoramic views of Mont Blanc and other legendary peaks.

Seven extraordinary ski resorts make up Les Trois Vallées:

Enclosed in enchanting forestry, the six villages of Courchevel abound with history. This resort’s north-facing slopes offer some of the best skiing conditions in the Alps.

Méribel’s name is thought to have come from the Latin “Mirare”, meaning “beautiful to look at”. Nestled in the Tarentaise Valley, with its snow-topped chalets built in the traditional Savoyarde style, it is easy to see why Méribel is considered one of the prettiest ski resorts in Europe.

Other resorts in Les 3 Vallées are equally renowned: Brides-les-Bains, for its Grand Spa Thermal, the largest spa in the French Alps; Val Thorens, as Europe’s highest ski resort at an altitude of 2,300m. Brides-les-Bains, Les Menuires, Saint-Martin-de-Belleville and Orelle also have defining features and a unique feel that attract ski holiday enthusiasts from across the globe.

Aside from the obvious multitude of winter sporting activities, these resorts offer unforgettable experiences through summer and spring, thereby attracting visitors all year round. The rich history of the region is written in its historic hamlets, age-old architecture, and museums—all of which are fascinating to explore. And when you need an escape from the cold, atmospheric bars and exceptional restaurants offering gourmet cuisine can be found across all seven resorts.

Easy access to shops and restaurants makes Les Trois Vallées an ideal holiday or weekend break location, with multiple airports within a 2 hours drive.

In a typical year, over 120 million tourists journey to the French Alps; as the largest ski area in the world, Les Trois Vallées naturally welcomes a large proportion of these visitors. When Méribel and Courchevel hosted the Alpine World Ski Championships in 2023, this unmatched ski area drew an even greater number of travellers from around the world.

Our experts say

“The French Alps have long been a popular vacation destination for tourists. France was the EU’s Top Travel Destination in 2022, and its ski resorts are a hub for relatively wealthy tourists in search of luxury short-stay accommodation.

Méribel is one of the most popular ski resorts in Les Trois Vallées. It holds the Famille Plus quality award, so it attracts a large number of families and skiers of all levels.

The region sees daily rates in excess of €500 euros, and despite having higher occupancy rates through winter, the resorts also benefit from year-round rental demand.”

– Matt Lavin, Director

How to get there

By road

Les Trois Vallées is just a few kilometres away from Moûtiers, and driving to this nearby town is relatively easy; take the motorway to Albertville before joining the RN90 (dual carriageway) to Moûtiers.

By train

The Eurostar is a popular way to travel to Les Trois Vallées. After crossing the channel, you can get the TGV train to Moutiers (which is a short taxi or bus ride from the resorts).

Travelling by train is not only an easy way to reach your destination but also allows you to sit back and enjoy the region’s spectacular scenery.

By air

The two largest international airports near Les Trois Vallées are Lyon St Exupery (LYS) and Geneva (GVA). Both airports serve well over 100 destinations worldwide and are around a 1.5-hour drive away from Les Trois Vallées.

The international airports, Chambéry and Grenoble, are also close by.

By boat

As an alternative to the Eurotunnel, you can take the ferry over to Calais, France. There are over 50 daily crossings from Dover to Calais, with a single adult ticket costing as little as £30. From Calais, you can either travel by train or road to Les Trois Vallées.

Weather

Temperatures vary greatly in Les Trois Vallées, ranging from around 25 degrees Celsius through the summer to below-freezing in the winter. The region’s ski resorts naturally see most visitors from December through to February, when the snow is at its deepest.

Spring/Summer

The hottest months to visit Les Trois Vallées are June through September, with temperatures averaging around 27 degrees Celsius in August. This attracts tourists who favour more comfortable temperatures, as well as families looking to make the most of the school summer break.

Autumn/Winter

As you might expect, the coldest months in the French Alps are December and January. The daily average temperature is -1 degrees celsius, which falls even further during the night time. Snow is at its deepest during this period, and December is the best time to visit the ski resorts when the snow is freshest.

Why invest

The French Alps are a popular destination for international visitors, offering extraordinary views of alpine landscapes and mountain ranges, great snow conditions, fine cuisine, and incredible experiences.

France was the EU’s Top Travel Destination in 2022, and its ski resorts attract a large number of affluent tourists in search of luxury accommodation and experiences. The Knight Frank Ski Sentiment Survey revealed that France is the most popular location amongst those looking to buy a ski home, with 50% of respondents naming the country as their top destination. In a typical year, tourism in the French Alps generates an annual turnover of around €50 million euros and provides 10-12% of jobs.

As the largest connected ski area in the world, Les Trois Vallées naturally attracts a large number of international visitors. Two resorts in Les Trois Vallées, Courchevel and Méribel, recently made the list of The Best Ski Resorts in Europe 2022, having been selected by readers of Condé Nast Traveler.

With an increasing number of visitors flocking to the resorts of Les Trois Vallées, new developments are cropping up across the region. Notably, architecture and hotels from past Olympics are being transformed into prime property developments with 5-star on-site amenities.

In the French Alps, property prices have been on an upward trajectory over the past five years, with Méribel and Courchevel experiencing the highest growth rate.

Moreover, due to the strength of the dollar, property in France was 15% cheaper for US buyers in October 2022 when compared to the previous year.

With so much to offer as a unique, luxury holiday destination, Les Trois Vallées is an incredible place to own a holiday home. Its resorts host activities and events through winter and summer, meaning you can escape to your chalet all year round for an unforgettable stay.

And when you’re not using your property for personal use, Les Trois Vallées sees some of the highest daily rates across both French and Swiss Alp ski resorts with rent prices exceeding €500 euros. Despite having higher occupancy rates through winter, the resorts benefit from year-round rental demand, making it a strong option for buy-to-let investors looking to have their hand in something a bit more niche.