Megeve Travel Guide
As a winter holiday destination, Megève exudes old-world charm; the small village is huddled around the old church, a medieval tower and the town hall. Among the narrow Megève streets and small squares are antique shops, crowded bistros and old-fashioned butcheries and bakeries. Unlike many French holiday resorts Megève has remained almost exclusively French; the upper crust make Megève their winter home when the mistral forces them to leave the Riviera. Furs are the coats of choice for strolling past the trendy Megève boutiques and dining at its excellent restaurants. The resort is just over an hour's drive from Geneva.
Megève is fairly uninspiring for experienced skiers, but world-class resorts Chamonix and Argentiere are within striking distance, and so it still makes a good base, especially if there are non-skiers in the group. Megève itself has 186 miles (300km) of marked trails with 81 lifts, two snow parks and a half-pipe for snowboarders. The facilities are all very good, and snow coverage is generally reliable, with snow cannons on hand to make up for Mother Nature's occasional failure to provide. Chamonix is a forty-minute drive from Megève.
Megève is the shopper's paradise of ski resorts. There are a number of chic boutiques and antique shops along the narrow cobbled streets, including clothing shops and art galleries mixed with ski equipment stores and souvenir shops. Foodies will be tempted by the delicious crèmeries, pâtisseries and boulangeries.
There are a number of high-end restaurants in Megève, with more than a few Michelin stars between them, but there are also some cheaper options offering simple French and international fare.
Megève has a few lively bars that make its nightlife fun and relaxed. There are nightclubs in the centre of town, and a number of bars that stay open until nearly 4am. Bars and clubs in Megève tend to be highly priced and, even when there is no entrance fee, drink prices can be exorbitant.
Many purpose-built ski resorts don't have a wide variety of activities available off the slopes. However, Megève has more than its fair share of diversions, including a weekly market, and sleigh rides and even hot air ballooning. There is a casino with clubs and shows, a spa, and an ice rink to entertain non-skiers. Another popular activity is the Calvary Trail, which is a walk up the lower slopes of Mont d'Arbois. The trail passes 15 chapels and oratories; these chapels mark the Stations of the Cross, and represent the route that Jesus took on his way to be crucified. Travellers can also learn the life and history of the village at the Museum of the Upper Arly Valley.
Megève is not a budget ski resort and prices can be high. Advanced skiers will find few challenges on the slopes in the immediate area and the snow can be unreliable. Traffic to the resort can get very congested at weekends and in peak season.