SAINT-GERVAIS / LES CONTAMINES
The gateway to Mont-Blanc
Nested between Chamonix and Megève at the foot of Mont-Blanc, Saint-Gervais les Bains and Les Contamines Montjoie are two picturesque villages with excellent quality of life for permanent residents and holiday makers. Saint-Gervais is the larger of the two with 6,000 inhabitants and Les Contamines has 1,500. Both are part of one of the largest ski areas in France, the Evasion Mont Blanc domain, which has 445km of pistes for all levels. Cross-country skiing, an ice rink and a new swimming pool complete the set-up.
The valley is also very welcoming in Summer and offers numerous trails for hiking, mountain biking and other activities such as paragliding, fishing, horse-riding and many others, including the thermal spa of Saint-Gervais. For permanent residents Saint-Gervais and Les Contamines have all amenities such as shops, doctors, dentists, schools, pharmacies, supermarkets etc.
A wave of investment in the last decade has largely benefitted the property market. Whilst prices are high by French standards, they remain fairly affordable when compared to Chamonix and Megève, as many foreign buyers have discovered. The continued improvement in public services and facilities has been followed by sustained construction of chalets, apartments and residences. However the valley has its own architectural tradition which makes it stand out from purpose-built resorts.