Ski travellers hungry for ‘station to slopes’ properties

The end of the ski season, when operators and resorts slash costs and excellent package deals are rife, is typically a time for booming demand within the ski property market in France, Switzerland and Italy. Yet with those who ventured to catch the last of the snow in 2010 wary of the days they spent at the airport struggling to reschedule flights after Iceland's volcano sent the European air travel industry into disarray, more buyers and vacationers are searching for properties that are easily reachable by train and car.

Ski holiday firm Erna Low today reported an increase in bookings for self-drive holidays from British customers, as travellers sought to avoid the hassles of air travel and go at their own pace. "We've found that all the misery caused by the ash and BA strikes at the end of last season has led to an increase in self-drive bookings", said CEO Joanna Yellowlees-Bound. "New research by Icelandic volcanologists tells us to expect more intensified activity for decades to come." 

Resort districts like Savoie – under 10 hours' drive for UK tourists using the Eurotunnel – and Les Arcs, in which most of the villages are around a 30 minute cab ride from the main alpine transport hub of Bourg St Maurice, are particularly in demand amongst regular skiiers looking for their own property. Overseas property agent Pure International reports a large increase in demand for chalets in these areas, with many inspection trips booked over the Easter break.

The smaller station of Aime-La-Plagne, serviced weekly by Eurostar between December and April, also promises some great villages linked to the station by bus and cable car. Leading eco developer Terresens has just released a range of new apartments in the atmospheric village of Belle Plagne, where its previous development sold out in just two weeks. 

Apartments in Terresens' Le Centaure complex at Belle Plagne are now listed for sale on The Move Channel, with prices starting at €190,748.

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