I live in the vibrant town of Thonon-les-Bains, located on the shores of Lake Geneva or Lac Léman as it is called by the locals, once the capital of the Chablais. It is a crescent-shaped lake shared between France on the lower side and Switzerland on the upper, and overlooked by the stunning Alps mountains with Italy on the opposite side. Its unique position and geography makes the area an incredibly popular destination for tourism, business, and for homeowners looking for a dream second home or as their primary residence. Thonon-les-Bains is one of the largest towns in the area and a real hub for shopping, culture, and entertainment, with lots going on all year round and great education and sports facilities on offer. There is a popular weekly market that draws large crowds, and many cafés and restaurants from which to enjoy the local cuisine and atmosphere - perch from the lake fried in butter is a famous dish. Its neighbour is the famous spa town of Evian, with a grand casino and top-class golf course attracting visitors from around the world. Geneva International Airport can be reached in just over an hour by car (50 km/ 31 miles), connecting to many of the major destinations in the world. I have lived in the area for about ten years, and know many of the surrounding villages and mountains well, each with their own community heart and identity. I am privileged to live here, and to have the fantastic job of helping Leggett clients to find their ideal property. There are many places to choose from that border the 50 km stretch of lake that forms the lower French half of Lake Geneva. The medieval village of Yvoire with just over 1,000 inhabitants, dates back to 1306 and is one of “les Plus Beaux Villages de France.” Next to it are popular lakeside hotspots such as Nernier, Messery, Excenevex, Sciez, Anthy-sur-Leman, Thonon-les-Bains and Evian. Close by and set in beautiful countryside, are villages such as Allinges, Ballaison, Bons-en-Chablais, and in and around the heights of Evian, potential buyers are really spoilt for choice. All have their own special charm and are a dream for walkers and cyclists to explore. The area is popular with second home owners as well as those looking to make a permanent move to work or retire here, and/or commute to Geneva and other Swiss locations. There are properties to suit all budgets, from apartments to charming traditional village houses with bags of character, lake view and lakeside luxury properties, modern villas and countryside farmhouses. It is an eclectic and international community that mingles with French locals. With so much on the doorstep, including the vast ski domain of the Portes du Soleil easily reached within the hour (Morzine, Les Gets, Chatel etc), it is easy to see why this area attracts so many people looking to buy here. I look forward to helping you find the home you are looking for.
My partner and I have had a long-standing love affair with France, having done a road trip around the country in 2001. Working in London, we decided to take the plunge in 2005 and buy a small village house as a holiday home. Suffice to say we loved France so much that 3 years later we were packing in our jobs and driving back over the channel in what was unbeknown to us at the time, a permanent move here. The rest is history and we have never looked back. My partner works in Switzerland and catches the boat across Lake Geneva from Thonon-les-Bains where we live to Lausanne, which is not a bad way to start the day. Our springer spaniel believes he is in heaven here and enjoys both lakeside dips or burning off energy bounding up and down mountains! It is a very nice quality of life here, and we are still exploring it.
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