Hitting the peaks

New year-round holiday properties in the French Alps are just a few hours’ drive from Calais

France’s Grand Massif area is home to some of the region’s most scenic and traditional villages, Little wonder then that the fourth biggest ski area in the French Alps attract Britons all year round, which in turn has prompted the region’s leading developer to bring forward plans to build more apartments there.

Richard Deans, sales consultant in the London office of leading French developer MGM reports that work will be getting underway soon on the construction of the company’s sixth development in the village of Samo�ns, an archetypal French working village with the focus on its central square, church, fountain and old market building.

The scheme, Les Chardons Argent�s, comprises nine traditionally-styled chalets, which together contain 70 apartments that range in size from one-bed properties of 43 square metres to four-bed, two-bathroom duplexes of 110 sq m. All come with underground parking and storage space.

Already more than 20 of the apartments have been sold off-plan. Available for outright purchase – not leaseback – and incorporating an indoor pool for use by residents, the apartments will be within walking distance of the village shops, caf�s and restaurants in the centre of Samo�ns. Also nearby is a cable car providing access to the Grand Massif’s 265km of ski slopes.

“Growing numbers of British families are opting for properties in locations like these where they can pursue a lifestyle that enables them to integrate with local people while enjoying a huge variety of outdoor activities throughout the year,” says Richard.

Summer activities include paragliding, white-water rafting, archery, riding, cycling, fishing and golf. The more traditional hiking and climbing are among other pursuits on the doorstep. In the winter months dog sledging, raquette trekking and climbing frozen waterfalls is available in addition to skiing.

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The 17th century stonemasons of Samo�ns were in demand throughout Europe and as far afield as America and their work is in evidence throughout the village. Today, Samo�ns has all the facilities needed for year-round living in an established community.

Located within the Haute-Savoie region between Geneva and Chamonix, along the wooded valley of the River Giffre, it offers access to ski slopes at altitudes of up to 2,500 metres. As many of them are north facing, they retain their snow for a longer periods than many other resorts. Within a one-hour drive are other popular ski resorts such as Chamonix and Meg�ve as well as the historical and picturesque lakeside town of Annecy where sailing and watersports are popular in summer.

The apartments in MGM’s Les Chardons Argent�s feature modern interiors and spacious accommodation within traditionally styled and contemporary chalet buildings finished in timber and stone.

“For British buyers, part of the special appeal of Samo�ns is its easy access from the UK,” says Richard. “It is only one hour by road from Geneva Airport, making it four hours door-to-door from London. Travel by car from the UK is easy; drive-time from Calais is about seven-and-a-half-hours.”

The prices of apartments still available Les Chardons Argent�s start at €240,000 for a one-bed property. For more details call MGM on 0207 4940706, email london @mgm-immobilier.fr or visit www.mgm-constructeur.com