Megève is a commune with a resort that offers breathtaking spas, dining and shopping as well as a massive ski area. Megève is where France’s upper class comes to play at the Megève ski resort. The medieval village also boasts breathtaking scenic views, and offers amenities for all tastes and budgets. However, those who want to experience a true luxury vacation would be wise to come here.
The town began as a ski resort in 1910 when the Rothschild family began to take their winter vacations there. This happened after the family grew tired of a different Swiss resort. The massive hotel here was opened by Baroness Noémie de Rothschild in 1921, something that really augmented the resort’s growth. Around the 1950s, Megève was amongst the most trendy ski resorts in Europe and both celebrities and the wealthy elite were more than enamored. Today it continues to be frequented mainly by wealthy people as is obvious by the price of real estate. Being a ski town, and one of the best that there is in all of Europe, we want to talk about the slopes.
Average weather conditions and snowfall
Megève is one of France’s original ski resorts and it includes the most snow-sure slopes. Many of the north-facing slopes are protected from excessive sunshine. The area also provides snowmaking, with almost 300 snow machines covering the slopes.
Beginner (Four stars)
There are plenty of novice slopes peppered throughout the valley at the bottom of all three ski areas and the gondolas allow access to the beginner terrain at the top of Mont d’Arbois. Classes are available through both private and public institutions. There is a choice of a half-dozen ski schools that come highly recommended.
There are plenty of green and blue runs once you have conquered the basics, and even though it appears costly for many, a 6-day pass for the Jaillet is one of the most affordable in the world.
Intermediate (Five stars)
With the Evasion Mont-Blanc ski pass, intermediate skiers have an amazingly large area to explore – with 445 kilometers of runs, and with multiple types of descents, up to 3.7 kilometers in length. You get an amazing feeling as you travel around the mountains above Megève, enjoying the awesome views, and the delicious food at the many mountain restaurants at the resort.
Mont d’Arbois is the largest single sector. You can reach it from many different locations on the edge of town. A cable car from the center of the village provides access to Megève’s own piece of Rochebrune, and it is connected to Mont d’Arbois by cable car… though not by ski runs. Megève provides a great selection of mild open slopes that are perfect for intermediate skiers.
Advanced (Four stars)
Even though Megève is not known for challenging skiing, it provides ample difficulty for skiers who are willing to seek it out. The almost kilometer long Voltigeurs slope for example is one of the resort’s more difficult slopes.
There are a few decent black slopes on Mont Joly, the area’s highest point, and on the upper slopes above La Giettaz. There is also the option to purchase the Mont Blanc regional pass, which gives access to over 800 km of runs locally, including the lifts of the nearby Chamonix Valley, and over the Italian border at Courmayeur. It is an investment at 250 Euros for 6 days.
With 33km of cross-country ski trails, most passing through areas of great scenic beauty, the area is absolutely perfect for cross country skiing. The beginners trail on the Plaine d’Arly, which is near the village center, is free. There are even more trails on the snow covered Mont d’Arbois plateau above the resort. More challenging terrain can be found at the tracks at Cote 2000.
Snowboard / Freestyle Skiing (Four stars)
While it is not really known as a snowboarding region, Megève still offers several terrains. There are many freestyle areas located on Mont Joux, including a long half pipe as well as tables, a quarter pipe, a pyramid and mini moguls. The Rochebrune ski area near the Grands Champs chairlift allows access to Waidzai Park, a great freestyle area where skiers and boarders can play.
A luxury stay –The Alpaga
Even though Megève is all about luxury, it does not get better than what the Alpaga has to offer. With a gourmet restaurant, five chalets, and 27 rooms and suites, there is something here for everyone. The Michelin Guide even awarded “La Table de l’Alpaga” in 2014, which should tell you something about the excellence you can expect here.
One of the qualities of the Alpaga is its ability to blend in with the natural surroundings. There are stunning views of the Megève area, and you can experience wooden balconies, wooden eaves, and traditional shingle rooftops. There is no denying that the Alpaga is truly at the heart of what makes the immediate area so great.