A resort purpose built for winter sports tourism in the early 1970s, Val Thorens has become a popular destination for lovers of snowsports, lively après-ski and quality time spent with the family. Just an hour away from the TGV station in the Savoie town of Moûtiers, Val Thorens is Europe's highest ski resort with an altitude of 2,300m, and dominates the 3 Valleys ski area. Surrounded by six glaciers and six peaks over 3,000m high, it offers a spectacular panorama of the French, Italian and Swiss Alps - "the most beautiful view of the Alps" from the Cime Caron according to the Michelin Green Guide. With abundant sunshine and excellent snow cover, with 99% of its pistes above 2,000m altitude, the winter season usually runs from November until May. These optimal conditions attract a loyal clientele of winter sports enthusiasts and families.
For sports lovers, the 3 Valleys' 600 kilometres of slopes cater to every snowsports discipline - downhill skiing, snowboarding, ski touring, telemark skiing - and are equipped with a state-of-the-art lift system. With ski-in/ski-out access to groomed slopes and the powder fields beyond, Val Thorens is a paradise for all levels of skiers and snowboarders. Away from the ski runs, the more contemplative can enjoy snowshoeing, and thrill-seekers can try out France's longest toboggan run, a six kilometre descent into the heart of this vast natural amphitheatre.
Families are well catered for and Val Thorens has been awarded the "Family Plus Mountain" label. The resort is ideal for children discovering the snow for the first time, and families with children can also enjoy fun activities such as Snake Gliss (a train of linked toboggans) or dog sledding. The youngest children benefit from reduced prices for lift passes and activities, along with dedicated staff for childminding, kids' snowparks, kindergarten and entertainments.
Val Thorens is also well-known as a cosmopolitan resort with a lively après-ski scene and a range of leisure activities. As well as the sports centre and many shops, restaurants and bars, prospective buyers of chalets or apartments can look forward to more unusual activities such as ice driving or mountain biking on snow. The Alps' largest nightclub ensures that a multicultural crowd can party until dawn.
Photograph: Val Thorens Tourism
Where to Invest in Val Thorens?
At the entrance to the village, the Arolles district is the most accessible from the bus station. The accommodation here is mainly apartments in blocks dating from the first wave of development in the resort. This area, close to the sports centre and pistes, is a good option for investors seeking to acquire a property for a quick rental return.
The south-eastern quarter of the resort offers rapid access to the slopes, notably via the high-speed Funitel de Peclet which takes skiers directly up to the glacier. As the central hub of the ski area, this district is ideal for buyers who place a high value on proximity to the slopes and reduced transport times between their residence and the ski area. Many accommodation providers operate in this south-facing neighbourhood, offering fully-equipped properties with concierge services and good access to the resort's shops, bars and restaurants.
The resort's central district with the tourist office located at the foot of the Castor & Pollux conveyer lift which brings skiers back after their day on the mountain. The sports centre is close by, as are all the village's activities and amenities. Thanks to the large car parks throughout the resort, the streets are semi-pedestrianised and ideal to stroll around for a spot of après-ski shopping or a drink in one of the bars on the snow front. The luxury apartments here attract investors looking for a property ideally located for a stay with friends or family, close to all the resort's amenities.
Peclet - Slalom
In the north of the resort, the Peclet and Slalom quarters are Val Thorens' liveliest area, with more modern architecture typified by the district's shopping centre. Properties here are particularly well-suited to groups of friends who come to enjoy nights out in a friendly, multicultural atmosphere, whilst still being close to the slopes. Ski-in/ski-out access makes this area ideal for a winter snowsports holiday, and in summer, spectacular views of the surrounding mountains offer a great change of scenery for a weekend break or a longer stay.
Situated in the north-west of the resort, this area is currently the focus of much of Val Thorens' property development activity. Over the last decade, many high-end chalets and luxury residences have sprung up on the south-facing hillside in a peaceful environment close to the resort's amenities. The luxurious properties here will satisfy the most demanding investors looking for an unrivalled mountain experience with wellness facilities and concierge services on request.
Buying a Property in Val Thorens?
In Val Thorens, the real estate market has become increasingly attractive over the past decade thanks to the availability of a growing number of luxury chalets and apartments in high-end residences. This more upmarket accommodation meets the expectations of a French and international clientele already won over by the variety of snowsports and other activities on offer. Val Thorens also benefits from the increasing popularity of the mountains as a year-round holiday destination, with good occupancy rates outside of the winter season. Investors looking for a second home, or to expand their portfolio, can expect an excellent rental yield in Val Thorens.
Photograph: Val Thorens Tourism
Photograph: Val Thorens Tourism
Rental Income Driven by Excellent Occupancy Rates
In Val Thorens, owners benefit from good rental occupancy rates thanks to a winter season that stretches from November to May, as well as a busy summer season with a wide range of activities. Over the long term, the resort also makes it possible to spread the risks on the seasonal rental market thanks to its diverse French and international clientele ranging from groups of sports or party-loving friends to families with children, or couples looking for a quiet mountain break. Although originally developed for winter sports, Val Thorens also caters for the growing demand for natural surroundings and well-being, thanks to its access to the Vanoise national park, the oldest in France, and extensive wellness facilities.
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