Megève – a famous fashionable ski resort in France
Megève is a ski resort located in the southeast of France, in the Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes region. This rustic and chic place is perfect for a winter vacation. It is characterized by an idyllic image of horse-drawn carriages pulling sleighs with bells and medieval churches along the Place d’Eglise. A real winter fairy tale is complemented by beautifully lit houses and boutiques.
Elite (shopping) destination
Megève began to develop as a French alternative to St. Moritz in the 1920s. The story goes that the Rothschild family, disappointed with the winter offer in France, built the first hotel in the area and thus began the development of fashionable tourism. Although it is considered a desirable holiday destination among the English, Scandinavians, and Russians, Megève has never reached the prestigious level of fame and glamor internationally. Still, you’ll often be able to see expensive fur coats and thick wallets walking their expensive monocoloured puppies.
Winter idyll and luxury of a French ski resort
At first glance, the Arcadian alpine village shows that a completely different profile of skiers comes here for the winter. Just by entering the pedestrian zone, into which we have strayed by car thanks to smart navigation, everything becomes clear. In addition to the usual sports shops, you will find several high-end fashion stores selling cosmetics, clothing, and footwear. In Megève there are more than 200 boutiques and stores, among which the most elite are – Hermes, Armando Premium, Vermorel Fourrures, and the like.
According to its offer and facilities, but also the trails, this is definitely not a “classic” ski resort. The trails are mostly undemanding and relatively narrow. Although the ski resort is large (1,050 meters-2,350 meters Mt. Joly), there is no real, wide trail towards the lower station of the cable car and to the village itself.
The trails are a total of 445 kilometres long and are connected by 83 cable cars. They are acceptable to most skiers and don’t have a lot of black trails. Weekends and the full season can be crowded, but at all other times, skiing is very enjoyable, especially for families. 45 km long, the Megève trails are a special place for Nordic skiing and are ideal for all styles of this sport.
The ski resort can also be reached by cable cars from the nearby towns of St. Gervais, St. Nicolas, and Combloux. The main problem could be a lack of snow because most of the trails are below 2,000 metres.
The gastronomic offer of Megève is quite rich. There are more than 90 restaurants in the place, 11 of which are Michelin stars owners. There are several bars and nightclubs in this ski resort, and some of them will offer you live music, a pleasant atmosphere, or a chic ambiance. In Megève they also care about the cultural heritage, so it is possible to walk around the historic centre and visit the church of St. John the Baptist with a guide, peek into museums, or one of the chapels.
In Megève you can stay in fine hotels, residences, camps or private accommodation, and definitely, the most beautiful and therefore the most luxurious accommodation is the Chalet with private services. Fortunately, in the town and the surrounding area, there are a lot of hotels at reasonable (but not cheap) prices, so Megève is not exclusively a ski resort for the rich. Cheaper accommodation can be found in the surrounding areas.
Transport in the ski resort
The main cable car (out of 6 of them) starts from the centre, and a few hundred meters away is an underground garage so that there is no traffic jam through the city. Transportation by ski bus is quite rare so most skiers use taxis, horse-drawn carriages or they simply go on foot.
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Connection of Megève with other ski resorts
That skiing is not the only thing that matters in Megève, we have realized during our last stay. Although it was a beautiful day, the ski resort was empty until 11 am. Unlike Chamonix, which is about thirty kilometres away, Megève wakes up around 9 am – when is the busiest time at Chamonix cable cars.
The ski resorts in the Chamonix Valley, Les Houches and the Megève-Evasion-Mont-Blanc are connected by the Mont Blanc Unlimited Ski Pass. It also unites the Italian Courmayeur and Verbier and three picnic areas (Aiguille du Midi, Montenvers – Mer de Glace et Tramway du Mont-Blanc).
Geneva is also close, and most importantly, Geneva Airport, where low-cost planes from England and Scandinavia land on weekends. Megève is far from us, but it is worth visiting it, experiencing a touch of glamour, and playing polo or golf in the snow.
Due to the lower altitude compared to other ski resorts, the ideal time to ski in Megève is until mid-March.