How and where to buy a ski chalet in France

A rental chalet is an asset that can not only be used and enjoyed by your family, but also generate a substantial income and create capital gains. Over the past thirty years, most properties, and the majority of French Alpine locations, have comfortably and consistently delivered on all three. And while tastes may have evolved, the mountains still retain their allure. 

But with holiday rentals becoming a more prolific business venture in the Alps, it can be overwhelming when it comes to choosing a location to invest in, and what kind of property to look for. That’s why we’ve created this comprehensive guide which explains everything you need to know about how and where to buy a ski chalet in France, to help get you started.

Tips for buying a ski chalet in France: what to consider


Location is a key factor to take into account when purchasing a ski chalet in the French Alps. In order to get the most out of your home, you’ll need to take your own preferences into account. Think about the following factors:

  • Your family’s hobbies and interests;
  • The proximity to slopes;
  • Local amenities available;
  • The distance from the nearest airport.

Historically, big-name resorts such as Val D’Isere or Méribel have taken centre stage when it comes to tourism. However, there’s now a lot to be said for smaller, up-and-coming resorts which boast year-round appeal and better affordability.

But the main consideration here is the return on your investment. On the one hand, traditionally sought-after winter destinations may offer higher average daily rates, enabling a good profit during a short period. However, investing in a slightly lesser-known resort, which offers activities during all seasons, means you can:

  1. Maintain an income throughout the year, not just in the peak winter season;
  2. Keep your calendar open and your property occupied, so it’s not sitting empty for long periods;
  3. Provide work for your management team year-round.

Ultimately, there are pros and cons of both approaches, and it really depends on factors such as your budget, personal preferences, market trends and demand.

At OVO Network, we have seen steadily increasing demand for high-quality accommodation in what would traditionally be seen as the “shoulder season”. Visiting the mountains has become more appealing outside the traditional ski season and the July/August period.

Therefore, some rental properties have achieved occupancy levels of 70%+ across the year as a whole. Therefore, opting for a location which delivers in the off-season is strongly advised.

Property prices

Budget is undeniably a crucial factor when considering where to make a property purchase, as prices vary significantly depending on location.

It’s important to acknowledge that the reputation of a resort plays a substantial role in determining market prices. As illustrated in the graph below, the price per square metre of a chalet in Val-d’Isère, for instance, exceeds triple that of resorts like Saint Gervais, Manigod, and Samoëns.

Resorts with a luxury designation attract an affluent clientele, so you can command higher nightly rates. However, it’s important to note that prices in such resorts will be steep. Plus, there is a considerable risk involved if your business plan does not yield the desired results.

In addition, it is important to carefully consider the advantages and disadvantages of each approach to acquisition. For instance, you may wonder whether to invest in a chalet that is already “guest-ready.” Although this option may require a larger initial budget, it allows for a quicker start in generating rental income.

Alternatively, you might prefer purchasing a property that necessitates a complete renovation, or even think about buying a plot of land for construction. In certain instances, this choice may be more cost-effective initially and provide the freedom to personalise your rental offering. However, it is crucial to recognise that this can potentially take several months, or even a couple of years, to complete before they can be rented out.

Investing in French property after Brexit

Brexit has been a huge talking point for many prospective owners looking to invest in France. There was concern about the possibility to buy a property at all and if it would be worth it in the long run.

But, in spite of Brexit, France does not treat buyers from the UK any differently from EU citizens when it comes to acquisition. There are currently no restrictions for foreigners buying property in France and no additional purchasing costs due to Brexit. Acquisition costs will remain around 7-8% for an existing property and around 2.5% for a new build home.

However, there are now some added complications when it comes to long-stay Visas and the amount of time you can stay in the country.

If the duration of your stay does not exceed 90 days per 180-day period, you will be issued a short-stay uniform Schengen visa or national visa depending on your destination.

But, if you are spending between 3 to 6 months a year in France, you are not considered a resident in France. Therefore, you do not qualify for a “Carte de Séjour” under the withdrawal agreement.

To find out more about Brexit and chalet investment in the French Alps, take a look at our complete guide.

Target market

Your target market will also influence your choice, especially if it’s purely an investment. Families, for example, will have different preferences than couples or groups of friends. Remember, different resorts appeal to different core markets, so think carefully about what your chosen location has to offer.

Legal requirements

There are some key legal requirements to be aware of before embarking on our holiday rental business venture. Some will come at an expense, therefore you will need to factor them into your budget, too.

Here are the principal requirements:

  • Declaration at the local Mairie
  • Insurance
  • Obtaining a SIRET number
  • Tax declarations
  • Safety
  • Tourist tax (taxe de séjour)

To find out more about each requirement, take a look at our detailed article.

The top French ski resorts for holiday rental investment

La Clusaz

La Clusaz in summer
Winter or summer, there’s plenty to do in La Clusaz © C Hudry, Aravis Tourism
  • Closest airport: Geneva (1h)
  • Ski-region: Aravis
  • Altitude: 1100m-2600m

La Clusaz, with its enchanting charm and genuine ambiance, presents an exceptional opportunity for ski chalet investment. This captivating village provides the perfect blend of vibrant attractions, including a plethora of bars, restaurants, shops, and recreational activities. Guests can take advantage of all this, while embracing the awe-inspiring beauty of its serene natural surroundings and breathtaking vistas.

The resort caters to skiers of all skill levels, offering a diverse range of skiing options that range from gentle slopes for beginners to challenging runs for experts. This makes La Clusaz the perfect destination for skiers at any proficiency level.

Holidaymakers can purchase a La Clusaz/Manigod lift pass, granting access to 125km of pistes and costs 117-235€ for six days. Alternatively, they can opt for the full Aravis pass, priced at 132-265€ for six days. This includes access to Le Grand Bornand via a ski bus, providing a total of 212km of slopes to explore.

One notable feature of La Clusaz is its “Famille Plus” label, signifying its family-friendly atmosphere and amenities. This makes it an ideal choice for families with young children, ensuring that everyone can enjoy a memorable, hassle-free stay.

Moreover, La Clusaz isn’t solely a winter destination. It boasts a year-round appeal, with an array of activities and events to engage in during the summer and off-peak months. Sports enthusiasts make use of the hiking, cycling, and mountain biking trails that offer thrilling adventures amidst the picturesque surroundings.

Key property data

Here are some essential insights to support your research and provide a better understanding of the average appreciation of your asset.

It’s important to note that variables such as location, amenities, and size will influence the value of your property and its potential rental income.

Average chalet price per m²11,467€
Average apartment price per m²7616€
Price increase in past 5 years15.4%
Average monthly rent/m²: chalet15.6€
Average monthly rent/m²: apartment13.7€
Source: MeilleursAgents


The quaint town of Manigod exudes charm and tranquility © TVattard, Aravis Tourism
  • Closest airport: Geneva (1h)
  • Ski-region: Aravis
  • Altitude: 1100m-2600m

Just a stone’s throw from La Clusaz, Manigod is a peaceful Alpine village that has retained its true Savoyard roots. Best suited for families who don’t mind being a little further from the action, this quaint resort is steeped in nature and is the perfect destination to find a slightly more remote property.

The Manigod lift pass is an inclusive feature of the expansive La Clusaz region, which boasts an impressive 125km of ski slopes. For a six-day pass, the La Clusaz/Manigod ski pass is available at a price range of 117-235€, varying according to age. Alternatively, the full Aravis pass is offered at a cost of 132-265€ for the same duration. Traveling from the village of Manigod to either La Clusaz or Le Grand Bornand takes approximately 20-25 minutes by car.

Beyond the slopes, there is a wealth of activities to indulge in, particularly for those who relish the outdoors. Cycling and hiking are the primary attractions during spring, summer, and autumn, and the Aravis range offers limitless opportunities for various recreational pursuits.

Moreover, Manigod is conveniently located a mere 40-minute drive away from the medieval town of Annecy. This enchanting destination showcases remarkable architecture, exceptional restaurants, lively bars, and provides opportunities for engaging in water sports and enjoying scenic beaches.

Key property data

Average chalet price per m²7313€
Average apartment price per m²4764€
Price increase in past 5 years15.4%
Average monthly rent/m²: chalet16.1€
Average monthly rent/m²: apartment11.9€
Source: MeilleursAgents


  • Closest airport: Geneva (50 mins)
  • Ski-region: Grand Massif
  • Altitude: 680m-2500m

Nestled in the tranquil Giffre Valley, this charming resort, originally a farming village, is one of the five interconnected resorts that collectively form the renowned Grand Massif domain. It presents an ideal choice for families, beginners, and those seeking a quieter retreat, opting for a more off-the-beaten-path experience, as opposed to the more prominent and well-known resorts.

With the full Grand Massif pass, visitors gain access to an impressive selection of 139 slopes to discover, providing ample opportunities for exploration and enjoyment. The approximate cost for an adult’s six-day pass is 320€ (please refer to the full price list for details).

During the summer season, guests can revel in the natural beauty of Lac Bleu, which features pristine, crystal-clear waters, a supervised sandy beach, and a wide range of activities. From an exhilarating airbag and an inflatable park to horse riding, beach volleyball, tennis, and even an exciting “acrobranch” adventure course, there’s something to entertain everyone.

And, like most Alpine destinations, the region offers a plethora of hiking and cycling options, inviting visitors to immerse themselves in the breathtaking landscapes.

Key property data

Average chalet price per m²4702€
Average apartment price per m²3569€
Price increase in past 5 years15.4%
Average monthly rent/m²: chalet14.2€
Average monthly rent/m²: apartment14.2€
Source: MeilleursAgents


Chamonix town in winter
Chamonix is an ideal year-round destination for sporty guests- photo by Bo Zhang on Unsplash
  • Closest airport: Geneva (1h10)
  • Ski-region: Chamonix Mont Blanc
  • Altitude: 1035m

Chamonix is an iconic destination that attracts international mountaineers, climbers, winter sports enthusiasts and athletes, all year round. It’s the perfect place for advanced skiers in search of more challenging terrain, as it boasts some of the best backcountry skiing in the world.

There is a diverse selection of lift pass packages available, including the enticing option to ski in three different countries with a single pass. For the most current ski pass prices, it is advisable to consult the website, although it is widely acknowledged that Chamonix, on the whole, is not considered a budget-friendly destination.

If you are investing in a chalet in Chamonix, it is likely that your target audience will be more affluent individuals who have a serious passion for mountain sports.

Properties in the region tend to be more expensive compared to locations like Manigod and Morillon. However, the allure of the proximity to Mont Blanc and the abundance of activities attracts visitors throughout the year, including during the off-season. This advantageous setting enables you to maximize your occupancy more easily than in destinations solely focused on the winter season.

Key property data

Average chalet price per m²10,675€
Average apartment price per m²7982€
Price increase in past 5 years15.4%
Average monthly rent/m²: chalet13.8€
Average monthly rent/m²: apartment14.1€
Source: MeilleursAgents

Les Gets

Les Gets in winter
Les Gets is a resort which has something for everyone, no matter what time of year © Les gets Tourist Office
  • Closest airport: Geneva (1h10)
  • Ski-region: Portes du Soleil
  • Altitude: 900–2466m

Nestled within the expansive Portes du Soleil ski region, which boasts an impressive 600km of ski slopes, Les Gets emerges as a remarkable choice for Alpine investment. This charming destination excels as a well-rounded option, catering to a wide range of preferences.

The lift passes are available in two categories. The Les Gets-Morzine ski area offers access to 48 lifts and 71 slopes, with prices ranging from 174-228€. Alternatively, the full Portes du Soleil pass encompasses two countries, 12 resorts, 196 ski lifts, and an impressive 286 slopes, priced between 219-292€. All prices mentioned are for a six-day pass and may vary based on age.

Les Gets holds a special appeal for families with young children during the winter season, thanks to its esteemed Famille Plus label. Furthermore, Les Gets upholds its reputation as an “alpine Mecca” for mountain biking during the summer, attracting enthusiasts seeking thrilling adventures on the trails.

Overall, Les Gets offers a well-rounded investment opportunity, providing a diverse array of attractions and activities throughout the year.

Key property data

Average chalet price per m²9007€
Average apartment price per m²7141€
Price increase in past 5 years15.4%
Average monthly rent/m²: chalet14.4€
Average monthly rent/m²: apartment13.9€
Source: MeilleursAgents


Morzine chalets in winter snow
Morzine has plenty to offer in all seasons © Sam Ingles, Morzine Tourist Office
  • Closest airport: Geneva (1h)
  • Ski-region: Portes du Soleil
  • Altitude: 1000m-2466m

Morzine is another top resort of the Portes du Soleil region. Many would consider it to be the central “hub” of the area, and with a bustling atmosphere and year-round appeal, it’s easy to see why.

Lift passes come under two categories, the Les Gets-Morzine ski area, which includes 48 lifts and 71 slopes costing between 174-228€. Alternatively, there’s the full Portes du Soleil pass, covering two countries, 12 resorts, 196 ski-lifts and 286 slopes which costs between 219-292€. All prices are for a six-day pass and depend on age.

Morzine exemplifies the qualities of a Famille Plus resort, providing all the essential elements for a stress-free ski holiday with children. The resort offers a wide range of activities beyond skiing, including ice skating and swimming, ensuring that families have a variety of options to keep everyone entertained.

During the summer season, Morzine continues to captivate visitors with an abundance of opportunities to explore. From invigorating hikes and thrilling cycling adventures to exhilarating paragliding experiences and engaging in watersports on Lac Montriond, there’s no shortage of excitement. The resort’s natural beauty shines during spring and autumn, characterized by fewer crowds and an array of stunning natural attractions to discover.

Morzine enjoys immense popularity among UK holidaymakers, creating a sense of familiarity and ease, particularly during the buying process, especially if you are not fluent in French.

Overall, Morzine proves to be an excellent choice for those seeking a well-connected ski resort that offers a wide range of activities and amenities suitable for all ages.

Key property data

Average chalet price per m²8786€
Average apartment price per m²6452€
Price increase in past 5 years15.4%
Average monthly rent/m²: chalet14.0€
Average monthly rent/m²: apartment13.9€
Source: MeilleursAgents


 Saint-Martin-de-Belleville town in summer
Summer is equally as beautiful in Saint-Martin-de-Belleville © Vincent Lottenberg, Saint-Martin-de-Belleville Tourist Office
  • Closest airport: Chambéry (1h20)
  • Ski-region: 3 Valleys
  • Altitude: 1450m-2400m

Saint-Martin-de-Belleville, nestled in the picturesque Tarentaise Valley, stands as a captivating Savoyard resort and a prime investment opportunity. Its popularity among skiers and snowboarders, coupled with its commitment to preserving a traditional atmosphere, makes it an appealing choice for those seeking an authentic alpine experience.

The resort belongs to the esteemed 3 Valleys ski area, renowned as the largest ski area in the world, granting access to an astounding 600km of ski slopes. A six-day lift pass for the Les Menuires/Saint-Martin-de-Belleville ski area starts at 237.60€, while the full 3 Valleys pass is priced at 312€.

The region as a whole commands higher prices compared to other Alpine destinations due to its expansive ski terrain and the longstanding reputation of the 3 Valleys. However, with access to the entire area, reaching altitudes of 2400m, the winter season tends to commence earlier and conclude later than resorts situated at lower elevations., which is a real plus

Additionally, Saint Martin de Belleville offers an array of summer activities to captivate visitors. From invigorating hikes and cycling adventures to cultural and heritage trips, swimming, fishing, and much more, there’s no shortage of opportunities to enjoy the stunning surroundings.

In summary, Saint-Martin-de-Belleville presents an enchanting investment prospect, given its allure to winter sports enthusiasts, preserved traditional ambience, and the vast array of activities available throughout the year.

Key property data

Average chalet price per m²9414€
Average apartment price per m²7365€
Price increase in past 5 years35.6%
Average monthly rent/m²: chalet13.4€
Average monthly rent/m²: apartment11.4€
Source: MeilleursAgents


In summary, when considering an investment in a rental property in the Alps, there are several key factors to keep in mind. First, determine the location and type of property you desire, along with your target audience. Next, establish a budget that aligns with your financial goals. Lastly, ensure you are familiar with any legal requirements that may apply to your situation.

Once you have addressed these considerations, you will be well-prepared to explore the market and embark on the journey of finding your ideal second home in the Alps. Then, you can begin to reap both the financial and lifestyle rewards of owning your very own holiday rental property.

If you’d like more information about purchasing a property in the French Alps, then download our free comprehensive guide today. Or, to head straight over to our properties for sale page, click on the link below:

At OVO Network, we appreciate that navigating the French property rental market without support is challenging, that’s why we’re here to help.

Whether you’re still searching for a property to buy, are in the midst of a renovation or are ready to launch your business, we’d love to hear from you. Our friendly team of bilingual property experts advise on property optimisation, pricing, interior design, marketing and more. Plus, we provide insights into the complexities of the financial and legal requirements.

Arrange a call today to receive a free consultation with one of our advisors or head over to our website to learn more about our offering.

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