Megève might be the most fashionable luxury ski resort you haven’t heard of. It is a very pretty and traditional feeling base for your skiing holiday close to Mont Blanc. Whilst not that well known to the UK market, it is very popular with the fashionable French as well as wealthy regulars from Geneva, just an hour away on the autoroute.Ski Village
At its heart Megève is a Savoyard farming village. It was developed as a glamorous resort from the 1920s on by members of the Rothschild family, who were looking to create a destination that would rival St Moritz. There are lots of attractive chalets and an appealing feeling of old-world charm.
In terms of the overall vibe, Megève is chic but relaxed; you can take horse drawn carriage rides through the centre of the pedestrianised village, which will take you past interior design shops selling rustic furniture located next door to Michelin star restaurants. Whilst unquestionably up-market Megève is definitely a welcoming ski resort.
Large Ski Area
Megève skiing is made up of the Domaine Evasion Montblanc — Mont d’Arbois, Jaillet, Rochebrune and Cote 2000. Together they offer 445km of runs between 850m and 2355m. The slopes of Megève are best suited to intermediate skiers and there are stunning views at every turn. After fresh snow there can be some great off-piste and more challenging terrain abounds at nearby Les Contamines or in Chamonix – just make sure you purchase the right lift pass upgrades.
Fabulous restaurants and facilities
You will also find lots of enticing restaurant choices beside the slopes of Megève. Some of the lunch stops are so appealing you may struggle to get back out on the slopes in the afternoon! Food is generally a big deal in Megève, there are 89 restaurants of which 4 have Michelin stars and many source produce from the 45 working farms located around the village.
As is the case in most ski resorts Megève will be busy during school holidays and on sunny weekends, but at all other times you will find the resort quieter than most ski destinations. There are some older ski lifts that could do with modernising, but it’s unusual to see big queues and you’ll find plenty of space when out on the pistes. Away from the slopes there are options including ice skating, tennis, climbing, swimming and bowling. there is also the inevitable pull of shopping.
Throughout the ski season there are a number of interesting events in Megève. These include international skiing competitions as well as snow polo tournaments. Praz-sur-Arly, just down the valley from Megève, is a popular base for hot air ballooning and every January hosts an international hot air balloon festival. Megève itself hosts an international Jazz Festival, which is usually at the end of March.
Some Excellent Hotels and Chalets
As one might expect there are some excellent hotels in Megève, including five owned by the Sibuet group. If you want to stay in what was once the private chalet of the Rothschild family and enjoy the spectacular views across Megève you should book into Chalet du Mont d’Arbois. There are numerous chalets available for rent in Megève, with the main main focus being on high-end luxury. If you are on a tighter budget and keen to stay in a chalet it may be worth looking at nearby Praz sur Arly. UK based Megève specialist Stanford Skiing offers a number of catered and self-catered options in the resort.
With its location close to Geneva airport is an excellent choice for a weekend of skiing. Given the luxury focus of the resort, which brings a price tag to match, this may be the best choice for anyone trying to stick to a budget!
Photo credit: Megeve-photodeck.com