St Jean d'Aulps Tradition & Tranquility
Category: Locations > St Jean d'Aulps | 21st Jul, 2014
In the heart of the Vallee d'Aulps at the foot of the mountains is the charming village of Saint Jean d'Aulps. With its rich cultural heritage, peaceful location and friendly village centre it has become a popular location for British property buyers.
St Jean d'Aulps is a quiet mountain village surrounded by lush pastures and rolling meadows with La Dranse river flowing through its centre. Further down the valley you'll find the busier resorts of Les Gets and Morzine and the lakeside town of Thonon Les Bains is 20km North of the village.
The location is ideal for those looking to buy property in a scenic & relaxing setting with more of an authentic alpine atmosphere & less of a 'resort feel'. There is the option to dip in to the hustle & bustle of livelier, more commercial resorts nearby; and free shuttle buses run during the winter season. St Jean is a real, year-round French village with an active farming community - sheep & cattle graze peacefully on the surrounding pastures in the summer months and provide delicious milk, cheese and meat sold locally. The village has a range of shops, a couple of restaurants & bars, a pharmacy, bakery, butchers, mini-supermarket, banks & a large supermarket 2 minutes drive away. For families looking to make a permanent move to the Alps the valley's secondary school is located in St Jean & there is also a preschool and primary school here.
The village grew around Aulps Abbey a Cistercian monastery, built in the 11th century. Today it is a monument historique and only its facade still stands as it was partially demolished for stone in the 1800s to rebuild a parish church nearby. The majestic ruins stand against a beautiful mountainous backdrop within a 3 hectare estate including the original gatehouse, cellars and a lovely medicinal garden. The abbey farm has been restored and transformed into a museum, Domaine de Découverte de la Vallée d'Aulps, exhibiting the history of the monastery and in the evenings throughout July and August the tourist office runs magical torch lit tours.
The ski area of La Grande Terche (or Espace Roc d'Enfer), part of the huge Portes du Soleil ski domain, is above the village, an unspoilt 34km network of preserved pistes perfect for families, beginners and intermediates. The fantastic off piste areas are relatively quiet and can remain untouched for days after fresh snowfall, a welcome surprise for powder lovers. Many of the pistes are maintained by snow cannons to keep them skiable and the area overall tends to be quiet with little waiting for the lifts, even in peak weeks. The ski area is 2.5km from the village centre and a free shuttle bus operates during the ski season. Le Grande Terche pistes aren't connected directly to the rest of the Portes du Soleil ski area but there are also free, regular buses to Morzine & Les Gets which take around 10 minutes.
During the summer St Jean d'Aulps is a paradise for hikers and walkers. There are over 200km of hiking trails in and around the village allowing you to explore the valley's beautiful flora and fauna. The area is extremely popular with mountain bikers and cyclists with trails and routes to suit budding beginners through to the seasoned experts. As part of the Portes du Soleil domain St Jean d'Aulps is in the Multi pass scheme which offers lots of free or discounted activities throughout the summer. The benefits include free use of many of the mountain lifts and transport around the area and free or discounted entry into many leisure facilities and cultural sites.
Buying a chalet or an apartment in St Jean d'Aulps tends to be cheaper compared to the more well known villages of Morzine & Les Gets and so could be the ideal place for buyers looking to get more for their money or for those with a modest budget. You can view more properties for sale in St Jean d'Aulps here or contact us to discuss your requirements.
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