Tucked away in the Haute-Savoie region of the French Alps, Flaine is one of the most popular ski resorts with easy access to several other nearby resorts including Chamonix and Samoëns. With its
highest peak at 2,561m and impressive 267km of pistes, not to mention commanding views of Mont Blanc and the best snow record in the Alps, it’s hardly surprising Flaine is at the top of many
Living in Flaine and things to do
Home to 250,000 people and located in the heart of the Grand Massif ski area, Flaine is an excellent resort for
holidaymakers and those looking to set up home in the area. As a ski-in/ski-out resort with Geneva as its closest city, there’s no shortage of things to do in Flaine.
Flaine’s season runs
from the middle of December until late April, with snow sports high in demand. When it comes to skiing, Flaine showcases a stunning mix of nursery slopes to groomed tree-lined ski runs and black
pistes, accommodating everyone from the child learner to the novice and the seasoned freestyler. It also boasts an array of infrastructure to speed visitors around the resort, including two
gondolas, eleven chairlifts and thirteen surface lifts, many of which have seen a series of upgrades to improve functionality. The ‘Cascade’ is the resort’s longest run at 14km, while Flaine also
boasts a snow park where adventurers can indulge their passions for everything from snowboarding to ice driving and paragliding.
Flaine puts on a myriad of free entertainment throughout the
season for families and adult groups to get involved in, such as firework displays, poker nights, gaming events and festivals. It is also host to a range of markets, boutiques and shops,
restaurants serving everything from local raclette to Asian cuisine, as well as pubs which can be enjoyed all year round. Plus, the resort boasts its own cinema with English screenings, bowling
alley, swimming pool and indoor climbing wall, while Flaine International Music Academy is held every August with free concerts. A golf course that spans 3500m is also open from July to September,
and the area is a hotspot for walkers wishing to experience the best of Alpine nature.
Flaine and culture
Flaine was discovered by geophysicist Éric Boissonnas and Gérard
Chervaz, a Swiss architect, in 1959. At the heart of their development plans for Flaine were building a thriving hub with fine examples of modernist architecture alongside ardent conservation of
the natural area. The resort centre still bears the hallmarks of Bauhaus architecture as designed by Marcel Breuer, while Flaine Forum enjoys a car-free ethos, making this an attractive resort for
families and those who want to get around without hassle or pollution. Flaine also boasts examples of fine outdoor sculpture from some of the modernist masters including Pablo Picasso and Jean
Dubuffet, for holidaymakers and residents alike to enjoy.
Known as the “big snowy bowl”, Flaine experiences around 6m of natural snowfall a season around the resort, with an annual average
of 15m achieved at the peak of the Grandes Platières. Its most reliable snowfall is seen on its north-facing runs.
With lows of around -5 degrees in the depths of winter to highs of around
17 degrees in summer, Flaine experiences the perfect conditions for lovers of snow sports while also providing a temperate climate to enjoy during the offseason. For the latest weather and snow
reports in Flaine, visit our resort guide here.
Potential for investment in Flaine
As the resort to install the world’s first
eight-seater high-speed chairlift and Europe’s first snow cannons, Flaine is still a hub of investment potential.
Built as an addition to the modernist accommodation buildings found in the
resort’s centre is a collection of more traditional wooden Alpine chalets further out. Constructed in the 1980s and located around 2km from the centre, they are accessible by shuttle. In addition,
in the early 2000s, the Montsoleil chalet-style apartments were also built, bisected by a ski run. This investment in property in Flaine shows the resort has continued to attract higher numbers of
The Residence le Refuge du Golf and the Residence les Terrasses de Veret at Flaine Floret are some of the most recent investments to revitalise the area, as well as a new hotel
from the Sibuet group. Plus, work is currently ongoing to construct a cable car which takes visitors a distance of 7km from the railway station and autoroute to the Vallée de l’Arve and is
scheduled to be finished by 2021.
For individual investors, much of the property potential is in apartments, but there are also a number of business opportunities in the form of eateries,
bars and shops.
Getting to Flaine
As a prime holiday destination, getting
to Flaine is incredibly straightforward. Just 80km, or an hour and a half’s drive, from Geneva airport, this is by far the easiest way to approach Flaine. Alternatively, the resort is
approximately a three-hour drive from Lyon or an hour and a half from Chambery airport.
Flaine is situated 30km from the A40. If driving during the winter months, ensure your car is equipped
with snow chains and check to see if roads are passable. As Flaine is a car-free resort, you will need to park it in one of the car parks available on each level.
For those arriving by
train, the nearest station is Cluses, just 30km or a 45-minute drive. There are several bus services which run each day to Taninges, for those who want to access other resorts including Samoëns
and Morillon. From here, it is also possible to get a bus to Geneva or Chamonix.
With the best snowfall seen in the Alps, impressive ski runs and a programme of events all year round, it’s
little wonder buying a property in Flaine has become so popular.