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Saint Jean d'Aulps - a mountain resort for all seasons

The little village of St Jean d'Aulps may be small and relatively quiet when compared with many of the big ski centres in the Alps, but it has several advantages over its bigger brothers and sisters. It is quite unspoiled, still retaining its essence as an historic mountain community, it is calmer and less frenetic than many ski villages with less time spent queuing for the lifts, and it offers a great range of summer activities as well as snow sports.

A real mountain community

Unlike some of the larger "resort" towns in the Alps, St Jean is an authentic mountain village and a thriving modern community. St Jean d'Aulps goes back a long way as a settlement, and is built and named to commemorate the life and death (near this site) of St Jean. There are reminders of this history everywhere, with the remains of the beautiful 13th century Abbey, the old village square on the west bank of the River Drance, and typically Alpine chalets and farmsteads in the surrounding countryside.

East of the River Drance

The lyrically named River Drance splits the town into two, and the more modern parts of town are located on the east side. Here is where you will find most of the shops and sports hire facilities, with health services, a school and other amenities. There are bars and restaurants for that all important aprés ski, so although the village is small and friendly it is still a social place and offers plenty of relaxing evening entertainment.

Sports and leisure

Winter or summer, there is plenty to do in St Jean. The skiing is perhaps a little limited, but offers pistes of a very high standard, and has the advantage of less time wasted queuing for the lifts and less snow ruined by too many skiers zooming down. The lift pass will entitle you to enter the slopes of the Portes du Soleil ski area, but you should be aware that the pistes of St Jean do not link directly to this. In summer time you can choose from rafting, kayaking, canoeing, rock climbing, mountain biking, walking, canyoning, bungee jumping... and more! St Jean is beautiful at any time of year.

How to get there

The nearest airports with direct flights to and from the UK are situated at Geneva and Lyon. Geneva is served by British Airways, Air France, Aer Lingus, easyJet, flybe and Jet2 while Lyon is served by Air France, British Airways, easyJet and bmi. The train is another good way to travel to the area as the Eurostar "ski special" runs all the way from England to Bourg St Maurice or Moûtiers. If you are driving from Paris, follow the A6 motorway to Lyon. The village itself is accessed from the D902.

Property prices and availability in and around Saint Jean d'Aulps

The Alps are not noted as being the cheapest place in France to buy property, but this little village is certainly a better bet for those on a budget than the swish celebrity infested resorts! Studio apartments are great if you just need a place for a holiday base, and it is even possible to purchase country and agricultural properties for renovation and conversion if you are fortunate to catch them when they come on to the market.

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Saint Jean d'Aulps AT A GLANCE

WHERE IS Saint Jean d'Aulps?

Saint Jean d'Aulps is found in eastern France, in the Alps. It lies in the north-east of the Haute-Savoie department.

Saint Jean d'Aulps Property Map


Rhône-Alpes Guide

Rhône-Alpes Property Map


Haute-Savoie Guide

  Haute-Savoie Map

Population: 1,022

Access: By air: Fly to Geneva or Lyon. By rail: Eurostar's "ski special" will get you all the way from England to Bourg St Maurice or Moûtiers. By road: The A6 auto route runs from Paris to Lyon. Saint Jean is accessed from the D902.

Economy: The economy is based on mountain tourism and traditional agriculture.

Interesting fact: The village is popular with British ex-pats and a good number of them live there full time and make a living from running hotels, bars and other tourist related enterprises.


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