Megeve is a traditional alpine town in the Savoie region in the Northern French Alps, which sits between Chamonix and the Val d’Arly. It is a short drive from Geneva airport and easily accessed by road from Albertville. As such, few locations are more convenient for a short break.
The town’s 13th century medieval town centre and the 13th century church is picturesque, and is a delight to walk around the horse-drawn sleighs and cobbled streets simply just add even more charm. Sitting at a relatively low 1113m altitude, very early and very late seaons skiing is a bit of a gamble that being said, having Mont-Blanc nearby creates its unique weather patterns which does involve frequent snowfalls. The slopes are set out on three different mountains Rochebrune, Mont d’Arbois and Le Jaillet and are mainly wooded, meaning that even if the weather is poor, there are some delightful tree-lined runs to keep you entertained.
Megeve’s own terrain comprises l’Alpette (1871m), Cete 2000 (2014m) and Mont d’Arbois (1840m), with not too many drag-lifts to slow things down. Pistes are often wide and tend to be conservatively-graded, something which will appeal to more timid skiers. Experts and beginners will get on fine too and mixed ability groups won’t have a problem here.
Megeve’s ski terrain links almost seamlessly with that of its neighbours St-Gervais, Combloux and Saint-Nicolas de Veroce, and rather less so with Les Contamines-Montjoie, which is accessible only by road. The Domaine Evasion Mont-Blanc combined lift pass allows you to ski it all, and in the process discover the surprisingly varied terrain and scenery on offer across the valley in the Combloux sector. We can’t imagine coming here and passing up that particular opportunity.
Foodies tend to enjoy their time in Megeve as there are some impressive mountain restaurants to choose from.
850m – 2353m
December – April
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Hotel M, MegeveFacilitiesSleep CapacityThis accomodation sleeps 4-10...
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Beginner lessons usually depart from the top of the Chamois bubble, beside which are nursery slopes. Once the basics have been mastered, the next step is to the small green run below the nursery slope and then a trip to the Mont D’Arbois side of the mountain doen to Bettex (a gorgeous green run, just perfect for learning to link turns). The Mandarine piste on the front of Mont d’Arbois is also a favourite as are the runs at La Tour. The blue runs on the Rochebrune side are a little trickier but we reckon by day 3, you will be swooshing down them. There are also plenty of picturesque restaurants to have a well-earned coffee, where you can meet up with others should your group be of mixed ability.
About 70% of the ski area can be skied by intermediates, meaning that most of the mountain can be accessed. The Rochebrune side of the mountain early intermediates should be careful as some of the blue pistes are trickier than their coding suggests. Favourite runs that come to mind include Mouillettes (nice and wide up at the top, but it can get a bit narrow at the bottom) and Piste A, which is a beautiful run, measuring 3kms through trees to the Rocharbois cable car. Mont d’Arbois is also full of options for intermediates, the tree lilned Princesse black run, and the red Etudiants are the stand outs. Le Jaillet is even quieter than the rest of the mountain and we suggest the long winding runs to Christomet and the newly opened link to La Giettaz.
It is fair to say that Megeve is not a mecca for advanced skiers with black runs amounting to just 13% of the ski area. There is however ample off-piste skiing. That being said, the legendary Emile Allais in the Rochebrune sector is a 3km black run boasting an 812m vertical elevation and at its steepest, it is around 33 degrees. There are decent bumps at the top too. The women’s Downhill run at Cote 2000, the Descente black run, is another great adrenaline rush. At Mont Joly, the Grand Chamois is a steep black run that can be fantastic on powder days or nail-biting when icy and the view from the top stretches out to both sides of the valley. Voltigeurs and Bridans, the moderately steep black pistes that snake down through the trees on Mont d’Arbois are frequently left ungroomed so can be good for mogul practice.
The Megeve area has great opportunities for beginners to learn those all-important linked turns, with great nursery areas dotted around at the base of most areas.For the more proficient snowboarder, the main area is the Mont d’Arbois, which covers the Mont Joly and Mont Joux sections, with some steep 33-degree blacks and has some great powder opportunities. If you are in search of some quieter slopes, head to Rochebrune on the other side of the valley. You are more likely to find powder as far fewer people go over here. This area is also great in white out conditions. There are 3 main snowboard areas with pipe and boarder-cross, things are slowly getting better but the resort is still not putting much effort into welcoming boarders. There is also some fantastic carving terrain.
Palais des Sports
The Palais des Sports has a multitude of activities, including swimming, gym (musculature), climbing wall, covered tennis, curling and sauna.
Hot Air Ballooning
This can be done from Praz Sur Arly which is a few kilometres from Megeve.
This can be done from the Altiport at Cote 2000. You can get the bus there. Flights vary from a 10 minute flight round Megeve to a flight round Mont Blanc and the price varies accordingly.
You can try your hand at driving a dog team or just enjoy a ride in a sled. The web site is http://www.montduvillardnord.com for more information
Take the bus to Le Fayet train station. You can take a train to Annecy and enjoy a day looking round this pretty town. Alternatively, get a train to Martigny. You will need to change trains at the border to one which has a glass roof so that you can see the spectacular scenery. At Martigny you can walk round the ruins of the Roman ampitheatre. Finally there is a train to Geneva and you can walk to the lake or look round the museums.
There are so many walks, however two of our favourites are below:
Rochebrune – Take the bus to the Rochebrune cable car and go up in the cable car. You can meet friends for lunch at the Supermegeve Restaurant at the top. Alternatively, walk down to the Alpette chair on 1a. (Time 30-40 minutes) You will pass the Forestiere Restaurant and that is another nice place to meet friends for lunch. You can take the Alpette chair to the top and walk back down to the cable car. Alternatively, walk up the pedestrian track to the Alpette Restaurant and you can call for a taxi to take you back down if the slope is too steep. (Time 30- 40 minutes)
Megeve – The most popular walk is 7 which is up the Calvaire. Admire the Le Meme studio and chalets before you start the path. There is a nice little restaurant about a third of the way up for drink. Look in the chapels as most of them have a tableau although you are not allowed in. (Time 40-60 minutes) At the top you can take a bus back to Megeve, or you can walk along the road in the direction of Cote 2000 (time 20-30 minutes) and at La Maz take path 8 back to the centre. (Time 30-40 minutes) This can be icy and you may need to get off it and walk down the meadow on the left. At the top of the Calvaire, across the road above the Duvillard ski shop, is a nice restaurant, L’R Shot where you can meet friends for lunch as they can ski down from Mont D’Arbois.
The market day for Megeve is Friday morning. This is usually held on the car park by the Palais Des Sports. Sallanches market is Saturday morning and you can get the bus there and back. Chamonix market is also Saturday morning. You could get a bus there and spend the day wandering round.
Two hotels in town have spas and well-being centres: Les Fermes De Marie and Fer A Cheval. At Le Fayet there are the St Gervais Les Bains Thermal Baths which use the local hot springs for beauty and medical treatments.
View the live snow report for Megeve here
Megeve holds the French national Family Plus Mountain award for its high standards of service and facilities for families, which means the resort has designed its amenites and offerings with families in mind, incuding child friendly activities, facilities and some price discounts for kids. Young children from one year old to age three can be cared for in Les Petites Frimousses’ day nursery at the foot of the Mont d’Arbois slopes. From age the three Piou Piou Club is the place to be, with ski school instructors mixing indoor and outdoor play with first ski lessons. Older children can join ski school classes tailored to their age and stage.
Off the slopes there’s a wide choice of dining options and family friendly activities. If you all hold Evasion Mont Blanc ski passes valid at least six days and visit in low season (most of January and most of March through to the end of the season in April) you receive free unlimited admission to the sports centre which has a swimming pool, Olympic ice rink and much more. In addition there’s a toddler’s reading corner in the resort’s Media Library where you can borrow books, CDs and DVDs.
Hotel Royal Rochebrune
Hotel Mont Blanc
Hotel Au Vieux Moulin
Geneva Airport – 70km / approx 1 hour. By far the easiest airport to fly to for Megeve.
Chambery Airport – 85km / approx 1 hours 15 mins.
Lyon Airport – 190 km / approx 2 hours 20 mins.
MegevExpress provides frequent, low cost, door to door, shared airport transfers from Geneva Airport direct to your accommodation in Megeve which is the quickest way to reach the resort. Buy transfers on a seat-by-seat basis on brand new 8 seat minibuses or 29 seat midi-coaches driven by English-speaking drivers with guaranteed scheduled departures.
70 km from Geneve.
180 km from Lyon.
272 km from Milan.
600 km from Paris.
760 km from Lille.
1000 km de Londres
Travelling by train to Megeve is possible; however it’s not the easiest of journeys requiring several changes. The journey begins at London, St Pancras, where you take a train to Paris Gare du Nord, from here you have to change stations to Paris Gare de Lyon where you can catch a domestic TGV service down to Annecy. At Annecy there are connections directly to St Gervais Les Bains where you can catch a bus or arrange a taxi up to resort. To have a look at prices and tickets go to rail-europe.com. If you want to reduce the number of changes and you don’t mind the additional cost you can take a direct TGV service from Paris Gare de Lyon to Cluses where you can take a fairly expensive taxi ride for the remaining 40km.