Ski property: In search of the high and mighty

Spending long, gloomy winters in Britain is enough to send anyone scurrying for a change of scene. And what better way to escape than to head for those sun-drenched, snowy peaks? If you fancy your own bolthole near the slopes, which can also bring excellent rental returns all year round, there is a great array of mountainous destinations and property styles to choose from, as this selection reveals
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A taste of rustic Austria

Property: Historic chalet in Kitzbühel, Austria

Price: £1.71m

Agent: Private Residences, Kitzbühel & Investors in Property, 020-8905 5511;

Agent's details: This historic property dates back to the 18th century and is located in Ellmau near Kitzbühel. Boasting typically Tyrolean architecture, the property has a living area of around 400 square metres extending over three storeys. On the first floor, a rustic parlour makes a cosy living room. The house has six bedrooms and six bathrooms making it perfect for large families looking for a ski base. Kitzbühel is around 75 minutes from Salzburg airport.

Ski rating: Kitzbühel is one of the most charming places in the Alps, which has a great après ski scene and around 150km of skiing.

Bespoke luxury in Switzerland

Property: Bespoke chalet, Nendaz, Switzerland

Price: Around £2.4m, including purchase taxes

Agent: 020-7590 1624;

Agent's details: Blow the budget and opt for this bespoke stone-built chalet in the Four Valleys. With six bedrooms, when complete this should be the most luxurious chalet in Nendaz. Set on a large plot with breathtaking views, the chalet will have its own large terrace, home cinema, fitness centre and hammam. Nendaz is a charming, friendly town.

Ski rating: Four Valleys is Switzerland's second largest ski area, which boasts around 450km of pistes.

A barn-storming renovation

Property: Renovated barn in the Hautes Alpes, France

Price: £116,810 inclusive

Agent: VEF, 00-7515 8660;

Agent's details: The agent describes this characterful renovated barn in Veynes in the Hautes Alpes as "the perfect Devoluy holiday home". Extremely well renovated, the barn is ready to move into and is in keeping with local building traditions. Stone features throughout the property, which has two bedrooms and ample living space yet which is relatively compact and easy to maintain. Set on the edge of a village, the barn also has a garage and large garden.

Ski rating: The Hautes Alpes boasts some of France's finest skiing, with an average elevation of over 1,000m.

Eco-chalet in easy reach of Bansko

Property: Ski chalet in the Pirin Mountains, Bulgaria

Price: £156,948

Agent: Stara Planina, 00 359 88 720 3364;

Agent's details: This new, four-bedroomed ski chalet lies on one of the sunniest slopes in the Pirin Mountains, just outside Dobrinishte and about 6km from Bansko. The living space is on the first floor and the four bedrooms are on the ground floor, but the property could be divided into two apartments. There are three bath/shower rooms, a south facing balcony and veranda. The property is centrally heated and has a fully fitted kitchen, including dishwasher, washing machine, tumble dryer, fridge, freezer, hob and oven. There is also a log fire, LCD flat screen TV, satellite TV, internet and phone connections plus ski locker room, landscaped garden and private parking. The chalet is well insulated and has been built using sustainable materials.

Ski rating: Next to the Dobrinishte ski zone, the chalets are 6km from Bulgaria's best-known ski resort, Bansko.

A villa below the Atlas mountains

Property: Villa in Marrakesh, Morocco

Price: From £237,000

Agent: Bridgehouse International, 020-7478 9253;

Agent's details: A villa in Morocco may not seem the obvious choice for a ski property but this villa lies between Marrakesh and the Atlas mountains where skiing is increasingly popular. At this time of year, temperatures at Samanah, where this villa lies, are around 75 degrees Fahrenheit making swimming possible when you return from the slopes. This spacious property has three bedrooms, landscaped gardens and its own swimming pool set within a Jack Nicklaus designed golf course on a country estate. Half an hour's drive takes you to the snow-capped mountains where you find Oukaimeden, North Africa's largest ski resort, that caters for downhill and cross-country skiers as well as snowboarders. When conditions are good, there are 13 miles of runs.

Ski rating: Emaar has plans to introduce artificial snow, which will lengthen the season by several months.

Go skiing with Santa Claus

Property: Log cabin in Lapland, Finland

Price: From £107,467

Agent: Above the Arctic, 01277 824 200;

Agent's details: Choose from a range of resorts in Lapland where you can have a log cabin specially built. Levi is the largest snow park in Finland and attracts visitors who come here for skiing and snowboarding. In the Rakka area of Levi, this new development of log cabins is being sold off-plan. Buyers can choose from one or two bedroom cabins which have full amenities such as a sauna room, and which feature a mezzanine floor for extra sleeping or living space. All cabins are built using 100-year-old mature logs or super-insulated pine.

Ski rating: Levi is rated as the official ski resort of Father Christmas and boasts Finland's only gondola.

A holiday home for all seasons in Valtellina

Property: Apartment in Aprica, Italy

Price: £132,000

Agent: Casa Travella, 01322 660988;

Agent's details: This is a new-build ski apartment in the lovely town of Aprica in Valtellina, which is an ideal spot for winter and summer use. Around 45 minutes from Bormio and just 90 minutes from Milan's three airports, this two-bedroom apartment has plenty of space and would be a great lock up and leave holiday home or a great rental property.

Ski rating: Located opposite the piste, this apartment is a great base from where you can enjoy nearby ski resorts.

The sporting all-rounder's choice

Property: House near Bovec, Slovenia

Price: £193,851

Agent: Slovenian Properties,

Agent's details: This three- to four-bedroomed newly constructed house is built in the local style in Kal Koritnica, a small village outside Bovec near the borders of the Triglav National Park. The house has sumptuous views of the mountains and nearby ski area. The house is built but unfinished, allowing buyers to choose their own interiors. The first floor contains the living area with an open plan kitchen, large balcony, a separate bedroom with its own bathroom and a WC. The second floor has space for two bedrooms and bathroom with shower. The property has a garden, terraces on the south and parking space for two cars. Downstairs there is a separate apartment with underfloor heating, bathroom and terrace for guests which could provide a rental income even while you are using the house. A large storage room can be used as extra bedroom. Bovec and its surrounding region is well known for mountaineering, skiing and other outdoor sports like rafting and kayaking. A nearby golf course is soon to be upgraded, making the property a good investment for anyone wanting a year-round location.

Ski rating: The nearby resort of Kanin is a charming older style resort where skiing is affordable.