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.
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