Haute Savoie / France
A picturesque medieval town, Megève has had the rich and famous flocking to it ever since it became a ski resort in 1916. The pedestrianised centre is a delightful place to explore, with its ancient church, charming chalets, cobbled streets, boutiques and art galleries.
However, the resort is no longer just a playground for the glitterati - both shops and restaurants now cater for a much wider clientele. It still has the Michelin-starred restaurants and the designer shops, but there’s much more besides, catering for a range of budgets.
Apres-ski tends to be centred around the foot of the pistes, but there are also nightclubs, jazz bars and the local casino. The town also has a good choice of spas, where you can spend an evening unwinding after a day in the mountains.
When it comes to eating out, you’ll be spoiled for choice. From pizza bars to the three Michelin-starred Flocons de Sel, there is something for every taste and pocket, both in the town and on the mountain. If you’re cooking at your chalet, you can pick up wonderful local produce at delicatessens, or there’s a Carrefour supermarket on the Route Nationale.
One thing you’ll notice about skiing in Megève is the lack of crowds - lift queues tend to be shorter and pistes less crowded than at other large resorts. If you’re looking for variety and room to move, rather than adrenaline-filled challenges, Megève’s 400km of pristine pistes could be for you.
The ski area, in the heart of the Mont Blanc region, is fairly spread out - the Chamois lift leaves from the centre of town, and a good network of ski buses will take you to the others, but pretty much wherever you go, you’ll be treated to stunning views of Mont Blanc. There are three mountains linked by gondola, and enough skiing to keep beginners and intermediates happy for a week and some. Experts looking for red and black runs should head to the Côte 200 in the Rochebrune sector or Le Giettaz in the Le Jaillet sector. After a fresh snowfall, Megève’s off-piste is a real treat, with visibility protected by the tree-lined forest runs.
Mont Joux, La Giettaz, Combloux and the Waidzai Park all have snow parks. Between them, the snow parks offer something for freestylers of all levels and sizes.
Skiing and boarding are the main activities that bring guests to chalets in Megève in the winter, and in the summer, hiking, biking and climbing are the most popular. But when you stay at an OVO Network property, there is so much more to see and do.
Here are some of our favourite things to do in Megève - you’ll find the details below.
It’s a lovely walk (4km) to the Lac de Javen, just outside Megève, but if you’d rather take the car, parking is available. There’s a playground for younger children and trout fishing - pay for what you catch. There’s a picnic area, or you could try the restaurant, which has a sunny terrace. In winter, it’s a popular stop for skiers.
The hiking doesn’t have to stop when the snow falls! Strap on your snowshoes and choose between a half-day excursion, a full day with a picnic, or a night time hike with a meal in a yurt. There are also family outings. It’s a great way to explore the mountains at a slower pace, and to reach parts that aren’t accessible on skis.
Book a flight for the best view of the mountains (and the most amazing photographs). The single engine planes, piloted by mountain professionals, have panoramic canopies so you don’t miss a thing, and you’ll get a running commentary through your helmet. Flights are available summer or winter (the planes are fitted with skis in winter) but you’ll need to book 24-48 hours in advance. It’s a good idea to do this at the start of your holiday, so that you can re-arrange your trip if the weather is bad.
This exhilarating ride at the bottom of the Jaillet gondola reaches a speed of 36km/h over 715m. Buy just a single ticket, or a book of six or 10. And don’t forget to smile for the camera at the first tunnel! The ride is open to children over the age of three, although those under nine must be accompanied by an adult. Get there early to avoid the queues.
Learn all about life in Megève at the Musee du Haut Val d’Arly - walk back into the 18th century as you explore this old farm, which shows how farmworkers would have lived and worked. Upstairs, there’s an exhibition on skiing, from the times when it was just a mode of transport to the first competitions. And don’t forget to check out the vegetable garden!
This Alpine adventure is a great day out for families with older children - it combines hiking and climbing on a trail cut into the rock face. You’ll wear a helmet and be clipped to the trail at all times to ensure your safety, but you’ll still need a head for heights! There are several courses near Megeve, suited to various ages and abilities, so contact the Bureau des Guides who will be happy to recommend one which is suitable for your group.
Children looking for adventure will find it canyoning - scrambling, climbing, jumping and swimming down mountain streams, rivers and waterfalls. You’ll be accompanied by a mountain guide, who will ensure your safety at all times. This thrilling experience is open to children over the age of 10, as long as they can swim and are not afraid of a 4m jump.
You’ll enjoy stunning views from this wonderful rack and pinion railway, which takes you from St Gervais (a 15 minute drive from Megève) up to the Bellevue Plateau. In summer, it’s a great starting point for hikes and in winter you can ski back down (and your ski pass will cover the cost). There’s a mountain restaurant at Bellevue where you can take in the views over a coffee.
Whether you are a road cyclist or a mountain biker, there’s a great range of cycle routes in and around Megève, all of them through fabulous scenery. The town features regularly in the Tour de France itinerary - why not try one of the stages? The tourist office will be able to advise you on routes.
Whether you’re a keen golfer or a beginner, you’ll love the challenge of a mountain course. The gentle slopes of the 18-hole par 72 Mont d’Arbois golf course is a great introduction, with an altitude of over 1300m. The course is open daily - check the website for times, which differ according to the time of year.
La Table du Trappeur (159 rue Monseigneur Conseil, 74120 Megève, tel +33 4 50 21 15 73) This cosy restaurant in the Chalet St Georges Hotel serves good value French classics as well as local specialities such as tartiflette. Wonderful desserts could include apple galette, roasted figs or pineapple carpaccio. The atmosphere is relaxed, the service friendly, and the prices reasonable.
Flocons de Sel (1775 route du Leutaz, 74120 Megève France, tel +33 4 50 21 49 99) If you want to push the boat out at this three Michelin star restaurant in the mountains above Megève, try the nine-course tasting menu (€280), with dishes representing the mountains, the season and the weather. The a la carte menu offers dishes such as hay-roasted chicken, fillet of venison with forest berries and asparagus tart. The restaurant also has a bistro in Megève, Flocons Village, which offers a simpler menu.
Kaito (373 Chemin des Follieres, 74120 Megève, tel +33 4 50 78 62 64) If you need a change from the delicious but cheese-rich food of the mountains, try the fresh sashimi and sushi at this Japanese restaurant with views of the slopes. Other tempting options include a teriyaki burger, wagyu beef and grilled salmon. If it’s too difficult to choose, why not just plump for the tasting menu?
Le Refuge (2615 route du Leutaz, 74120 Megève, tel +33 4 50 21 23 04) This delightful mountain restaurant in the hamlet of Leutaz is a great starting point for a walk - fuel up before you go or relax on the sunny terrace when you return. Local produce features prominently on the menu, which includes delights such as steamed salmon with mountain herbs, veal sweetbreads and veal chops baked in hay. A three-course lunch menu costs a reasonable €30.
Spaggiari (41 Arcades du Mont Blanc, 74120 Megève, tel +33 4 50 98 89 88) There’s a mafia theme to this popular Italian restaurant. There’s a great choice of pizzas, which feature local meats and cheeses, as well as salads, sharing dishes and some impressive ice cream sundaes. Food can be ordered to take away.
Du Sel au Sucre (144 rue Charles Feige Centre Ville, 74120 Megève, tel +33 4 50 91 55 89) If you’re looking for somewhere to grab a quick snack or lunch before heading out for the day, try this place in the centre of the town. Their pizzas are great, and there’s a great range of toppings, but you could also opt for panini, kebabs, salads or pasta, all at really reasonable prices.
If you’re looking for souvenirs or gifts to take home, you’ll find beautiful accessories, home decor and jewellery at Megeve Concept Store, handmade chocolates at La Boutique aux Chocolats, and Scandinavian jumpers, fabric and other items at Boutique Suédoise. If it’s your turn to cook, you’ll find great local produce at La Cheminée Mégevanne and L’Epicerie des Fermes, fresh fruit and veg as well as fish and shellfish at Mora Primeurs and a good bottle of wine to serve with it at Cave Nicolas or La Cave des 2 Seigneurs. For your food essentials, there’s a Carrefour with a butcher, deli and cheese counter on the Route Nationale, and for fresh bread, patisserie and blueberry tarts try Le Montagnard on the Rue Ambroise Martin.
Megève is an hour from Geneva airport , which is 89km from Megève. If you hire a car at the airport, you’ll be in Megève in just over an hour. However, the resort itself is car-free and parking is limited and expensive, so you might prefer to get a transfer and use public transport when you get to your chalet - try Megeve Express, Alpybus or Alps2alps.
If you’d prefer to travel by rail, there are direct trains from Paris and London to Sallanches (12km) - from there, grab a taxi or a bus.
Once you’re here in Megève, you can get to the slopes with Meg-bus, the local shuttle service. Most of the routes are free (all of them are free with a ski or pedestrian pass). If you’re not in a hurry, why not travel by horse and cart?
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