Megève resort guide
Since it was founded in 1914 by Baroness de Rothschild, when it became a mecca for French aristocracy, Megève has retained its exclusivity, and with its close proximity to Geneva and fabulous skiing, it remains a popular choice for both French and international skiers.
Since it was founded in 1914 by Baroness de Rothschild, when it became a mecca for French aristocracy, Megève has retained its exclusivity, and with its close proximity to Geneva and fabulous skiing, it remains a popular choice for both French and international skiers. The resort has an enormous ski area, and due to its position close to Mont Blanc which has a benign effect on its climate, it has a good snow record. The village is charming and rustic with a mix of medieval architecture and uber smart chalets, and along with the surrounding slopes is home to some fabulous restaurants – eight with Michelin stars. Pretty horse drawn carriages trot around the streets and can take you to the slopes, although you’d be better advised to take the free shuttles available. Despite its popularity and glamour, it still operates as a traditional community. There are 60 farms surrounding the village, with some tucked away in the side streets. The resort tends to be fairly quiet during the week; with the pace ramping up at the weekend, but it always keeps its very French feel.
Resort facts and figures
Resort altitude: 1113m
Highest point: 2353m
Vertical drop: 1237m
Ski areas: Domaine Évasion Montblanc – Megève (Mont d'Arbois, L'Allpete, Rochebrune and Côte 2000), Saint Gervais les Bains, Combloux, La Giettaz, Les Contamines and Saint Nicolas de Véroce.
Pistes: 445kms (70kms of cross country tracks), 378 greens, 63 blues and 33 blacks
Best for: Beginners and intermediates, with a good choice for experts especially with the steeper runs at Côte 2000 and Mont Joly.
Skiing in Megève
Megève is an ideal resort for families, with terrain suiting both beginners and intermediates, whilst still having an exciting choice for experts. Tree lined slopes are great for when the weather isn’t so great, and higher up, the close proximity of Mont Blanc is unforgettable. Little wooden chalets, tiny hamlets and wide pastures make this a truly scenic resort in which to ski. The main ski area is Mont d’Arbois where there are a good number of runs and skiers have easy access to Mont Joux and Mont Joly. Beginners are happy here with the wide and confidence building greens, whilst the long blues and reds winding through the trees, tempt intermediates. Mont d’Arbois is reached by cable-car and gondola from Rochebune or by a choice of two gondolas from the other side of the village or on the excellent free shuttle bus service which runs every 15-20 minutes. From here, the views of Mont Blanc are breathtaking and the skiing back into Megève is great for cruising and subsequently rewardingly flattering. Experts will love the steep and partly ungroomed mogul slopes of Mont Joly and can get up a good speed down the Women’s World Cup downhill course at Côte 2000. You’ll also find some thrilling off-piste skiing beneath the Tete de Bonjournal, as well as the runs down from La Torraz into the Val d’Arly. The less crowded area (even in high season) of Le Jaillet has lots of good runs and beautiful scenery. Mainly red runs take you back into the village. A six seater chair takes you to the top of Christomet where you can access La Giettaz. There are two snowparks – one in Rochebrune and another between Mont Joux and Mont d’Arbois.
Despite being the first purpose built resort in France, Megève is a traditional Haute Savoie village oozing charm and sophistication. Set in some outstanding scenery, with the dominant Mont Blanc as a backdrop, it offers skiers a very civilised experience. The central main square, with its 13th century church and attractive buildings, is a good place for an aperitif after a day on the slopes. Designer shops, restaurants and tiny, winding cobbled streets, all make for a resort full of atmosphere and ambience. Après ski is sophisticated, with bars, cafés and restaurants becoming busy fairly early on and not stopping until the early hours. The Flocons Village offers traditional, good value food, and if you’re a seafood fan, L’Alpage is worth trying. Just off the main square is the Club de Jazz Les Cinq Rues, where you can relax late into the evening, next to a log fire, listening to local and international acts. Megève is also a good resort for non-skiers, with a host of activities from ice skating, hot air ballooning and dog sledding, or just indulging in a spot of shopping. Towards the end of January each year, the Megève Polo Masters is played on the ice and is a thrilling spectacle.
Megève insider tips
Head for Rochebrune for some exceptional dining experiences - Flocons du Sel and L’Alpette are amongst the best Alpine restaurants in Europe. So it may take all afternoon!