Planning a short break in the Alps, whatever the season? Megève’s picture-postcard good looks make it an ideal mountain base – and it’s more than just a pretty face. You don’t need bucketloads of snow to have a good time in the Haute-Savoie resort, as there’s plenty to do both on and off the slopes.
Take a scenic flight over the Mont Blanc massif
Megève’s altiport – a high-altitude airport – is home to Aerocime, a small company specialising in tourist flights in this dramatic part of the Alps. Your plane has five seats, including the pilot’s, and enormous windows, so you’ll be able to capture the dreamy landscapes in perfect quality. The team offer three breath-taking circuits, the longest being the Mont Blanc massif at 40 minutes and an altitude of 3,000m. Soar like the local eagles over glaciers and rugged peaks, and do look down to admire the mountain villages from your bird’s-eye view. Aerocime’s pilots have special mountain flying training, so rest assured that you’ll be in safe hands.
Enjoy a post-piste soak at Le Palais sports and wellness centre
If you like sport, make a beeline to Le Palais. Renovated in 2017, Megève’s sports centre is the largest in the French Alps and surely its most popular, with everything from rock climbing to ice skating on offer. If you want to soothe those aching muscles after a session on the slopes or a summertime hike, head to the Balnéoforme area and relax in the outdoor pools, with 34°C water and Scandi-inspired saunas to enjoy. You can also indulge in spa treatments at the centre – if you’re travelling en famille, there are also adorable treats for children and teenagers such as a nail bar!
Fly down the hillside on an all-season sledge
At the foot of Le Jaillet ski lift you’ll find this fun toboggan ride for kids and big kids alike. Mum or Dad sits at the back to control the brakes, while young riders perch at the front and hold on tight!
Explore the Cavalry Way and admire the open-air photography exhibition on Megève’s Rothschild connection
Megève’s rise to fame on the French resort circuit was given a helping hand by the Rothschild family in the 1920s. After the First World War, Baroness Noémie de Rothschild decided to establish a ski resort in the village with her husband, Maurice, and subsequent generations of Rothschilds have shared their predecessors’ love for Megève. To celebrate a century of links to the Rothschild family, a fascinating open-air exhibition retracing their long connection with Megève has gone on display on the Cavalry Way. Discover the birth of the ski resort all those years ago – some photos are being exhibited for the very first time.
The exhibition will be on display until 15 April 2022 but if you miss it, the Cavalry Way deserves a visit in its own right. Stretching from the village centre up towards the Monts d’Arbois, this pretty and well-signed walk passes 14 Stations of the Cross and two stunning chapels.
Relax on a horse-drawn carriage ride through the village
Take a seat in an ornate carriage and enjoy a leisurely tour of Megève starting from the iconic village square. Snuggle under a blanket and admire the Alpine village’s rustic architecture as the well-cared-for horses lead the way.
Take part in one of Megève’s many festivals
Despite being a village, there’s a smorgasbord of events in Megève all year round to take part in. A highlight of the calendar is the Toquicimes gastronomy festival every October, where world-class chefs and food lovers connect for four days of gourmet fun. In 2021, the festival’s ‘godmother’ was Anne-Sophie Pic, the world’s most decorated Michelin-starred female chef, who led cookery demonstrations and judged competitions such as the closely-fought Megève’s Best Fondue. There are also plenty of market stalls run by local producers for edible souvenirs.
Where to eat in Megève
You’ll hardly find a better range of restaurants in any French ski resort – Megève is one of the gastronomy capitals of the Alps.
For a dinner like no other, the only place to go is La Dame de Pic – Le 1920 in Four Seasons Hotel Megève (a partnership with Edmond de Rothschild Heritage). Anne-Sophie Pic has carefully crafted a menu making full use of the area’s rich culinary offerings including local cheese and herbs. Don’t miss her famous berlingots, here filled with beaufort and abondance cheeses.
For traditional mountain fare you can’t go wrong at Le Refuge, an uber-cosy chalet in the hills. Try the péla, a tartiflette-esque concoction where the potatoes are fried rather than steamed, then served with bacon and cheese galore. Equally splendid is La Petite Fontaine near the Lac de Javen, where cheesy delights on offer include the spaetziflette – a mash-up of the Alsatian spaetzle and traditional tartiflette.
If you’re craving a fondue, where better to go than the winner of the best fondue competition at 2021’s Toquicimes festival, Le Vieux Megève?
Where to stay in Megève
For a central base, you can’t go wrong with the convenient and oh-so-comfortable Lodge Park. This hunting lodge-style boutique hotel boasts an interesting décor, indoor and outdoor pools and a sublime breakfast spread.
Lodge Park’s ritzier sister hotel Les Fermes de Marie has been an icon of Megève since 1989. Consisting of nine chalets and three restaurants, it’s a hamlet in its own right – and a short walk from the village centre. If you’re eating at the main restaurant, make sure you visit the dessert buffet for a heavenly end to your meal.
The Belle Époque Grand Hôtel du Soleil d’Or, back in the village, is another great spot for a stay – particularly if you’re a chocolate fan. In the beautiful lounge there’s a hot chocolate station and overflowing cake table for whenever a craving strikes. There’s a choice of rooms in the main building or in one of the neighbouring chalets.
How to get to Megève
Megève is within easy reach of Geneva Airport – around 1hr 10min by car. Hire a car directly from the airport or opt for a smooth transfer from a local taxi company. Megève is also around 1hr 20min from Chambéry Airport.
For more about Megève, visit megeve.com/en