Lakeside Property for sale in the French Alps
In the Alps, lakes are as much a feature of the landscape as the mountains. Formed by glaciers carving down through the valleys during the Ice Age, they are now fed by the mountain rivers, and have been centres of civilisation and commerce in the mountain regions for centuries.
The lakes of the Alps are appreciated for their beauty, and there is a special appeal of waterside living. Millions of residents and visitors enjoy watersports in the lakes and cultural events in the summer. At altitude, as the lakes freeze over, you will find cross-country ski routes and a few other activities in the winter months.
Many of the finest ski resorts are easily accessible from the large Alpine Lakes
The mother of them all is Lake Geneva, it is one of the biggest in all Europe. At its south-western tip is Geneva, and the ‘Swiss Riviera’ runs East along the north shore from Lausanne. The lake straddles the Franco-Swiss frontier and many other charming time-honoured towns border the lake, such as Lausanne and Montreux on the Swiss side. Formerly Spa resorts, Thonon-les-Bains and Evian-les-Bains are delightful towns on the southern shores of the lake on the French side.
From Lake Geneva, many top ski resorts are accessible
Megève and Chamonix are a comfortable 1 hour journey by road. Morzine and Les Gets are a mere 33km (45 mins) from Thonon-les-Bains. Verbier, Nendaz, Veysonnaz and La Tzoumaz are 1 hour by road from Montreux; Villars is 40 minutes, and Gstaad is just over 1 hour.
Annecy consistently features as one of the most desirable places to live in France
Many skiers are familiar with Lake Annecy. At its north end is the eponymous medieval city also known as the Venice of the Alps, the old town Annecy-le-Vieux is crisscrossed by bridges and its three canals. With centuries of culture and history, the town is also a centre for sailing and water sports in summer, the lake is known to be the cleanest in Europe and it has some perfect secluded swimming spots. The Massif des Aravis, home to Le Grand Bornand and La Clusaz, is less than half an hour by road. The resorts of the Trois Vallées are that much closer (than from Geneva airport), as well as Tignes and Val d’Isère.
Easy access from the lakes to Grindelwald
The town of Interlaken is sandwiched between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz in central Switzerland. It is the ideal base to explore the Jungfrau region, and the rest of the Bernese Oberland. From here, Grindelwald is an easy 30 minute drive, as are the world-famous resorts of Wengen and Mürren. Or since this is Switzerland, take the train.
Zell am See deserves a special mention
Austria, of course, has many dozens of beautiful mountain lakes. Zell am See is one of the few top ski resorts located on the shore of its own, large, naturally formed lake. An iconic setting with a preserved traffic-free town centre, Zell am See attracts many summer visitors and is one of Austria’s best-loved ski resorts. The glacier, the mountains and a lake make the Zell am See and Kaprun region in Salzburger Land an absolutely unique combination.