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5 less-travelled ski resorts for property buyers

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With every new ski season, there is even more interest in European winter resort property from investors and snow sports aficionados. Not to mention that rising flat rental prices have holiday home buyers vying their own little place on the slopes. Many ski resorts in Europe offer affordable property and developed infrastructure, which attract more and more visitors every year. Here are our top five hidden winter sports destinations for small to medium budgets.

5. Pamporovo — Bulgaria

Average price: €300–400/sq mApartment prices from €20,000

Pamporovo ski resort is the southernmost ski resort in Europe and the sunniest in Bulgaria with around 270 sunny days per year. It is located 220 km from Bulgaria’s capital Sofia, in Rhodope Mountains at the root of Snezhanka. The resort has 37 km of ski runs and 25 km of cross-country tracks through the thick pine forests that surround it. Narechen spa resort is 30 minutes away by car.

The best in the country mountain skiing school is in Pamporovo

Property prices in Pamporovo vary from €300 to €400 per square metre. Prices have been steadily growing since 2013 but there are still apartments on sale for €20,000 for buyers with DIY skills. There is also more upmarket property in gated housing developments that come with a swimming pool, gym and restaurant for only about €1,000 per square metre.

4. Arinsal — Andorra

Average price: €1,500/sq mApartment prices from €100,000

Arinsal is a small mountain village in Andorra. The resort is located in the Pyrenees Mountains between Spain and France. It is part of the Vallnord skiing area along with towns Ordino, Arcalis and Pal. The ski pass gives holders access to 93 km of ski runs served by 44 lifts. Arinsal caters to beginner and intermediate skiers, but is also recommended for great off-piste and free ride skiing. Arinsal is also very popular for its summer BMX downhill trails at Vallnord Bike Park.

Arinsal is famous for its off-piste skiing after fresh snow

This ski destination is particularly popular with British and Irish visitors. It has three winter sports schools with British instructors as well as restaurants and bars to unwind in the evening. Property in Arinsal costs from €1,500 per square metre. A 60-sq m one-bedroom flat with direct access to the slopes costs from €100,000.

3. Morillon — France

Average price: €1,500/sq mApartment prices from €100,000

The small alpine village of Morillon was named one of the best family resorts in France by the government and dubbed a “great little ski resort” by The Guardian, a renowned British newspaper. It takes just a 50-minute drive from Geneva to get there. There are many nursery slopes that are perfect for beginners and a fast cable car for more experienced skiers to access more challenging runs from the Grand Massif — the 4th largest skiing area in France.

Experienced skiers take the cable car to spectacular slopes on Grand Massif

Children also enjoy sledding and ice-skating. Morillon is also just a short drive from Lake Annecy where there is swimming, fishing, sailing, paragliding, diving, yachting and water skiing. The town has everything a family needs: a supermarket, farmer’s market, bars and restaurants, etc. Real estate prices range from €1,500 to €3,500 per square metre. Apartment prices start from €100,000–150,000.

2. Alpbach - Austria

Starting price: €3,000/sq mHouse prices from €350,000

Alpbach, a picturesque village in Austria’s famous Tyrol region has been named “resort with the best air in Austria”, “the most beautiful village in Austria” and even “the best flower village in Europe”. It is part of the Alpbachtal Wildschoenau skiing zone with 145 km pristine ski runs, of which 32 km are easy, 78 km are medium and 18 km are difficult.

Austria’s Alps are famous for their breath-taking views and ski runs

During the summer there is also plenty to do including hiking, fishing, rafting, horse riding, tennis, swimming, yoga, hunting and rock climbing. Alpbach is a small resort suitable for quiet family vacations. It is valued for beautiful scenery and calm lifestyle. Houses here cost from €350,000. A 3-bedroom chalet costs €700,000–800,000 with a garden and a terrace with fabulous mountain views.

1. Villars-Gryon — Switzerland

Starting price: €5,000/sq mApartment prices from €270,000

Villars-Gryon is also known as the best place for a family vacation in Switzerland and holds an International Families Welcome award as well as Green Snowflake for its focus on the environment. It has more than 120km of slopes of different difficulty levels, as well as many other winter sports like skating, sledding and winter hiking. During the summer, many people come here for walking and bike tours around the mountains.

Villars-Gryon is surrounded by spectacular ski runs and mountain peaks

There are several international schools in Villars, as well as winter and summer camps at these establishments. The resort is more upmarket but has the amenities to back up the expense. Prices start from around €5,000 but there are more options with a budget of €9,000–11,000 per square metre.

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