So you want ski property?

Now that the ski season has hit its peak, wouldn't it be nice to own your own bolthole on the slopes?
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The Independent Online

Ski properties may not be the cheapest overseas investments but many offer year-round rental income, so you can begin to make some of your money back. From Bulgaria to Canada, the French Alps to Austria and Switzerland, here's a selection of wild winter retreats...

Sun and snow in Austria

Property: New chalets in Stadl, Austria

Price: From €175,988 (£125,000) for a three-bedroom chalet

Agent: Investors in Property: 020-8905 5511; www.investorsinproperty.com

Agent's details: These new chalets are being built in the village of Stadl, which lies where the provinces of Salzburg, Styria and Carinthia meet. The region is known for its many lakes as well as the majestic Hohe Tauern mountain range. It boasts some of Austria's most sure skiing yet also has over 200 days of sunshine a year. Built to your specification in a rustic style, the chalets come fully furnished and share a swimming pool and solarium. All chalets have open-plan living areas, dining room and kitchen and outside terrace and garden.

Ski location rating: Turracher and Kreischberg are on your doorstep giving you access to 70km of skiing.

Tasty Blueberry log homes

Property: Blueberry Lake, Mont Tremblant, Canada

Price: Three- to five-bedroom lodges from £190,000 to £330,000.

Agent: Pure International Property: 020-7331 4500; www.pureintl.com

Agent's details: Situated in the heart of Mont Tremblant, Blueberry Lake is a 300-acre scheme providing handcrafted luxury log homes. Owners can enjoy 14km of hiking, walking and cross-country skiing trails around the private lake, with direct access to a further 55,000km of snowmobile trails. The development will include floodlit tennis courts, swimming pools, online concierge service and high specification interiors. Just 90 minutes from Montreal, the development is a great base to enjoy the area's natural beauty. The developer is offering a rental guarantee of seven per cent for the first year with projected returns for the second year onwards predicted to be around 10 to 12 per cent.

Ski location rating: Just minutes from Mont Tremblant, which boasts 94 runs on 660 acres with a longest run of six kilometres (see also page XII).

A piece of Alpine history

Property: Restored Alpine chalet near Courchevel, France

Price: €2.45m (£1.75m) guide price

Agent: Knight Frank: 020-7629 8171; www.knightfrank.com

Agent's details: This beautiful and lovingly restored chalet has breathtaking views and is set over three floors. Internally there are two reception rooms, four bedrooms and four bathrooms, some ensuite, and there is also a private entrance and garage, which has a wine cellar and cupboards. There is a large kitchen and a wooden terrace surrounding the house, which is perfect for outside dining. The chalet is being sold fully furnished and would make the perfect Alpine retreat. It lies in a great location within a few hours' drive of both Geneva and Lyon airports giving you access to the rest of Europe. The busy village of Meribel is also within easy reach.

Ski location rating: The chalet is a short drive from Courchevel 1300, Le Praz, giving you access to the slopes of Courchevel 1850 and the Trois Vallees.

Great views in Bulgaria

Property: Cedar Heights, Pamporovo, Bulgaria

Price: From €59,850 (£41,000) for a one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment and €78,563 (£54,000) for a two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment.

Agent: Bulgarian Dreams: 020-7614 1240; www.bulgariandreams.com

Agent's details: Dramatically located on a sweeping hillside surrounded by virgin pine forest on three sides, the new development of Cedar Heights offers a selection of one- and two-bedroom apartments. On-site facilities include a restaurant, bar and coffee shop, and a spa centre with a large glass frontage on three sides. The properties enjoy panoramic views across the Rhodopi Mountains and access to the excellent piste of Pamporovo nearby.

Ski location rating: The extensive piste and lift system of Pamporovo are less than 400 metres away.

Take the waters before taking to the slopes in Switzerland

Property: Les Naturelles, Leukerbad, Valais, Switzerland

Price: From around £133,047

Agent: Overseas Homesearch: 0800 6520 769; www.overseashomesearch.co.uk

Agent's details: Just two hours from Geneva airport and set in spectacular surroundings, Les Naturelles offers an opportunity to buy a mountain retreat in a spa town where travellers have journeyed for centuries to take to the waters and enjoy the clean mountain air. Famed for having Europe's largest Alpine hot springs, the two spa facilities in Leukerbad are within a few minutes walk. A selection of one-bedroom apartments is available for immediate occupation and the developer is also offering a five-year guaranteed rental income. The properties escape the recent moratorium on foreign purchases in some Swiss resorts (see page V).

Ski location rating: Two gondolas whisk skiers to the top of the mountain's challenging slopes.

Property: Residence Lautrec, Evolène, Switzerland

Price: From SFr595,000 (£244,000)

Agent: Erna Low Property 020-7590 1624; www.ernalowproperty.co.uk

Agent's details: Outside the area where the Swiss Authorities recently restricted foreigners from buying (see page V), this is a small development of just six three-bedroom apartments within a traditional Alpine chalet building in the village of Evolène in the Valais. As well as skiing, this charming resort has 100km of mountain bike trails nearby. The apartments are spacious, measuring an average of around 123 sq m. Around an hour-and-a-half from Geneva. Though a quaint scenic village, owners are within easy reach of some great skiing and activities the area has to offer. .

Ski location rating: Over 250km of ski paths and trails are just a short drive away including the Dent Blanche and, for those who prefer cross-country, two of the Central Valais' best circuits.

Quaint, scenic and traditional

1,200ft high and rising in value

Property: Wyndham Cap, Quebec, Canada

Price: £108,000 for a one-bedroom property up to £248,500 for four or more bedrooms

Agent: IMOINVEST: 020-7345 0700; www.imoinvest.com

Agent's details: Located at the summit of Mont-Plaisant at an altitude of 1,200ft, this condo hotel development contains a selection of one-, two-, three-, four- and five-bedroomed furnished homes. All properties are spacious and are in elevated settings offering glorious mountain and lake views. Each unit has a stone fireplace and large balcony or terrace and on-site amenities include the region's largest swimming pool, spas, skiing, hiking, massage centre, tennis courts, restaurants and bars. The development has spectacular views over the old village of Mont Tremblant and will ultimately contain 400 mountain homes set within 200 acres of countryside.

Ski location rating: Within sight of a ski resort which has been voted best ski resort in Eastern North America for eight years, all properties are expected to produce strong rental income.

A rare taste of Savoyard chic

Property: Balcons de Megève, the Alps, France

Price: £1,100,000 to £1,600,000 Agent: Savills International: 020-7016 3740; www.alpinehomesintl.com

Agent's details: Less than an hour from Geneva lies this exclusive ski-in, ski-out chalet apartment development in the heart of one of the prettiest and chicest resorts in the French Alps. The building has been designed in typical Savoyard style. All apartments face south-west with up to 1437sq m of space. As well as being a great location for traditional skiing and snowboarding, other winter activities include snow polo, helicopter skiing and tobogganing trails. Megève is also an active summer resort with summer sledging, swimming pools and riding, and is home to one of the world's best spas. The favoured resort of Johnny Halliday and Brigitte Bardot in the 1950s and 1960s, influential families such as Citroën, Taittinger, and Benetton still visit regularly. Ski location rating: Ski in, ski out properties on the smart slopes of Megève, which boasts over 450km of slopes, are a rare find.

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