Why choose Megève ski resort?
Megève has a well-deserved reputation as an upmarket ski resort in the Haute Savoie region of France.
Ski historians call it the first purpose-built French ski resort, but its atmosphere is far different from the concrete monstrosities that were to be constructed for that purpose in later decades.
Here many of the buildings and hotels are chalet-style and the cobbled streets are authentic rather than a modern ski resort architect’s addition. Since it was originally conceived as a French alternative to St Moritz in Switzerland back in the early 20th century, it is hardly surprising that it is still an elegant home to the rich and famous.
But keen skiers and snowboarders will find plenty to please them with the extensive ski area and the proximity to Geneva airport adds another reason to put Megève on a shortlist for a French winter destination.
Where is Megève?
The town of Megève is located on a mountain pass to the south of Lac Leman (Lake Geneva, as some call it!) and not far from the famous French resort of Chamonix. It has convenient transport connections and is only 12 kilometres away from the motorway connection and railway station at Sallanches.
Where is the closest airport to Megève?
The international airport at Geneva is far and away the most convenient location to fly into when travelling for a ski break in Megève. It also probably has the widest number of options for destinations served and is certainly the best choice for intercontinental flights.
The much smaller Chambéry Airport is used by some British tour operators and low-cost carriers.
|Airport||Distance to Megève|
|Geneva Airport||87 kilometres|
|Chambéry Airport||93 kilometres|
|Lyon Airport||169 kilometres|
|Turin Airport||200 kilometres|
Getting to Megève by train
The nearest train station is located in the town of Sallanches, around 13 kilometres from Megève and closer if visitors are staying in the village of Combloux, which is also part of the linked ski area. Regular bus services link the train station (which is actually called ‘Sallanches – Combloux – Megève’) to the bus station in Megève.
The train station at Sallanches offers rail links through to St Gervais and Chamonix, as well as a high-speed TGV service to Paris.
Driving to Megève
Those arriving by car can approach the town of Megève from the north or south. The connections to the north are through Combloux to Sallanches and, from here, through to Chamonix or the Mont Blanc tunnel to the east or, alternatively, onto the French motorway system to the west and north in the direction of Geneva.
To the south of Megève the road drops down to the towns of Flumet and Ugine before joining the motorway network out towards Chambéry near Albertville.
Where to stay in Megève
Megève is a fairly sprawling village along a road over a mountain pass, but the ski resort has a variety of lifts that access the different ski areas and a good ski bus service which links the accommodation and ski infrastructure.
Ski hotels in Megève
Since Megève is known as an exclusive and fairly upmarket ski resort, here are three of the highly-rated five star hotels in the village:
Le Chalet Blanc is a small five-star luxury establishment only a short walk from the historic centre of Megève and the ski lifts. The accommodation is in 15 rooms and suites decorated in mountain style and the hotel offers a beauty and massage area.
This five-star hotel is part of the Four Seasons group and is situated on the slopes of Mont d’Arbois with a ski-in ski-out location. A hotel shuttle accesses the town and facilities include an outdoor and indoor pool, fitness room and wellness area.
The Grand Hôtel du Soleil d’Or can trace its history back to the beginning of the 20th century and is located in the heart of Megève. The five-star establishment has a spa, swimming pool and sauna facilities and even offers its own chocolatier for those with a sweet tooth.
Map of Megève accommodation
Of course, not everyone is looking for a five-star hotel, and those who would prefer a self-catering apartment or family-run guesthouse can find alternatives on the map below. Enter dates of stay to see availability and zoom in to see more options using the ‘+’ sign at the bottom right of the map. Hover over the prices to see more details and click to find out more information about the establishment.
Megève ski area
Skiers and snowboarders in Megève have two main options when it comes to ski passes.
The Evasion Mont Blanc lift pass is the most popular choice as it covers a total of 400 kilometres of slopes, including all of the skiing at Megève and linked villages, as well as the skiing at nearby Les Contamines.
The more extensive and more expensive Mont Blanc Unlimited pass adds in the ski resorts of the Chamonix valley, the slopes at Verbier in Switzerland and the skiing at Courmayeur in Italy.
Those who are early intermediates or who are staying outside the main Megève settlement may prefer the Portes de Mont Blanc ski pass, which just covers the smaller Le Jaillet side of Megève and connects through to the ski lifts at Combloux and Le Giettaz.
Beginners have their own options with a beginner skier pass on offer which covers two areas in Megève suitable for the skier who is just starting out.
In general, the skiing around Megève is most suitable for families and the intermediate skier. There are also dedicated beginner areas and plenty of easy runs so that those new to skiing or snowboarding can progress during their stay.
More advanced skiers will find some options but there is little to challenge expert level skiers and the altitude of the ski area is relatively low compared to some of the other French ski resorts, meaning that fresh snow will often be heavier.
Although Megève is easily accessible, the ski slopes do tend to be quite quiet, especially during the week and outside school holidays.
The ski area above Megève can be split into three different mountains. The Le Jaillet area is the quietest of all and is not directly linked to the other areas by lift. The Le Jaillet gondola leaves from just outside the town and is reached by ski bus. It links into the skiing at Combloux and over the ridge to La Giettaz. The skiing here is a mix of undemanding blue and red runs.
Over on the other side of the valley, there are two ski areas which are linked by a horizontal cable car across the valley separating them: Rochebrune and Mont d’Arbois.
Rochebrune was actually the site of the first cable car in France built specifically for skiing. The area can be reached by gondola from the centre of Megève or by cable car reached on the ski bus. There are a number of easy runs in the area just above Megève including a long green (easy) run from the summit to the valley.
Lifts continue along the ridge through to the highest point at Cote 2000, where the altitude is (unsurprisingly) above 2000 metres and probably has the best snow in this sector. There is also a nice mixture of black and red runs along the way from Rochebrune.
The Mont d’Arbois sector is linked into two other villages: St Gervais and St Nicolas de Veroce. The base of this area is also reached by ski bus, which accesses the Princesse gondola up to Mont d’Arbois.
This is probably the sector for those looking for longer intermediate runs, with long red pistes back down to the village or to St Gervais. Further along the ridge, skiers can also access the highest point in the ski area at Mont Joly with its 2350 metres.
Plans are afoot to link this sector to the ski resort of Les Contamines, which is also included on the Evasion Mont Blanc ski pass.