The Good Life France

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Property guide to Auvergne Rhône Alpes

Large mountin lake surrounded by mountains

Carole Lobertreau has been an estate agent at Leggett Immobillier for more than 15 years, and she tells us why Morzine, Les Gets, and the Vallée d’Aulps are magical places to live and work.

Originally from the north of France, I moved to the Valleé d’Aulps in 2000. The area is stunning, and the skiing is superb, it genuinely was “love at first sight.” One of the things I like the most is that it is a community where people live all year round. It’s not just a ski resort and, as such, it has a lovely, friendly atmosphere with fun activities throughout the year.

Morzine

Village in the French alps surrounded by mountains, pine forests and snow

Morzine is in the Chablais mountain range and sits between Lake Geneva and Mont Blanc. It is the ideal location in the middle of the Portes du Soleil ski area (which has 650 km of linked pistes in France and Switzerland), yet only an hour from the international airport in Geneva. When I say that we have fun activities here, I do mean it! Perhaps the most famous is the annual Rock des Pistes week, where live bands play on the pistes themselves, while other groups rock the bars down in Morzine centre. In summer, it plays host to internationally renowned mountain biking events.

Morzine is an old farming town, a fact that becomes clear when you visit the weekly market and see the fantastic array of local produce on offer. The resort has not been over-developed, and the low-level, traditional chalet- style architecture gives it a unique charm.

The fact that it has so much character makes Morzine a popular spot with both local buyers and those from further afield. The average price of an apartment is 6,372 euros per m², and there are around 10,000 chalets/apartments in the town – this is an average price and, as such, should be treated as a guide only. Some of the properties here are available “off-market” so it always pays to work with an estate agent who has their ear to the ground!

Auvergne

Grass covered dormant volcanoes in Auvergne

Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes is a vast region, covering just under 70,000 km², and property prices vary enormously even within the same resort. The Auvergne is a beautiful area full of lakes, rivers, and dramatic (dormant) volcanoes. Here rural France is at its best, and you will find that property prices are way lower than in the ski resorts in the Alps. Don’t be fooled though, you can still ski, cycle and hike in the Auvergne, and property is excellent value for money.

Annecy

Canal in Annecy, people crossing a narrow bridge and boats bobbing gently

However, the Alps remain the main reason that France is the number one ski destination in the world, attracting 54m visitors a year. It’s not just the skiing either, the lakes in the region are stunning and a beautiful place to buy a permanent or second home. Take Annecy, for example. It is the largest city in Haute-Savoie, yet it is known for its beauty and is even called “The Venice of the Alps.” Full of terrific bars, restaurants, and boutiques, it is one of the most beautiful summer tourist destinations in France.

Leggett has a fabulous portfolio of properties in the region, and all their local experts live and work there. Find out more at frenchestateagents.com www.frenchestateagents.com

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