Megeve Ski Resort: A Beginner Guide to France’s Hidden Gem

Posted on 06 February 2019

Some say they have never heard of Megeve ski resort yet in select circles, it’s earned a hardcore group of fans who cannot stay away from an upmarket, savoy ambience found no-where else in France.

In fact, this exquisite resort was the original Courchevel back in the 1920s. Built as France’s answer to swanky St Moritz in Switzerland, it is the original purpose-built French ski resort as envisioned by the Rothschilds family.

It might not be France’s top resort 90 odd years later, but it has kept much class that made it the skiing elite’s favourite back in the days of wooden skis. Its medieval heart with its high-end hotels, restaurants and shops is as picturesque as ever. Here you will find well-heeled French people strolling through car-free cobbled streets.

Megeve has remained a hidden gem oozing old-fashioned charm, which is a big achievement given town’s size and skiable areas. Plenty keeps you entertained away from main attractions. Off-hill options include an open-air ice-skating rink, tennis, climbing, swimming and bowling.

While Megeve is less boisterous than some other French resorts for a good old post-skiing knees-up, there are still plenty of good après options for anyone that wants a drink or two on the way back to their new alpine retreat.

Megeve ski resort

There is more to Megeve than the alpine opulence of Courchevel and Brits perennial favourite Val d’Isère. A snapshot view shows the resort offers a lot to first-time visitors and newcomers including…

  •  The best in luxury ski travel
  • Many pistes and schools for beginner skiers
  • Off slope and summer activities for the young and old makes this resort an all-rounder
  • Wide choice of bars and restaurants for après-ski and dining
  • Luxury real estate with modern, new build chalets and apartments.

Where is Megeve Ski Resort?

Megeve sits in the alpine range of South-eastern France, near the Swiss and Italian borders and belongs to the Mont Blanc Massif mountain range. The easiest and quickest way to get there from other countries is via Geneva International airport, 90 kilometres away that just takes one hour. Another airport to use is Lyon Saint in Lyon 119 kilometres away.

How High is the Altitude?

Megeve is a low-level town sitting at 1,100 metres, the lowest pistes are 1050 metres, and the highest lift goes to 2350 metres.

When Does Megeve Ski Resort Close and Open?

As snow conditions change every year, opening and closing dates vary. See updated news reports for official days, but rough guidelines are from middle of December to end of April.

Megeve France

Why Beginner Skiers Feel Right at Home

Talking of skiing, this is the perfect place for anyone who wants to avoid overpopulated pistes and lift-queue melees. The area is suitable for all levels of skiers who will enjoy stunning views of Mont Blanc once on the 445 kilometres of slopes.

Within Megeve ski area, beginners have access to 19 green pistes, but Mont Blanc area delivers with 54 green beginner runs. Should you take to it like a natural, both areas also offer 183 blue runs, the next step up from beginners but not as advanced as intermediate.

Après-ski and Dining: Time to Socialise

When translated après-ski means after ski. This time-honoured tradition is a cultural ritual of sharing a drink with friends before heading home for dinner. In some resorts, après-ski is just as famous as the slopes and Megeve is no exception.

Lasting from late afternoon, to just before dinner, Megeve delivers over 100 bars and restaurants to ensure an excellent end to the day. Don’t think of rowdy bars though with skiers hanging from chandeliers because après-ski is much more of a refined affair.

Guardian Newspaper recommends La Folie Douce for a fast-paced party atmosphere and Les 5 Rues Jazz and Blue Club in Megeve centre. Power Beds recommends the 540 café, Le Wake Up, and Palo Alto. While Daily Telegraph newspaper says head to Cocoon club with its DJ, live music-themed parties and snooker.

Cocoon club

For dining options, 100 restaurants of which eight are Michelin starred offer a variety of menus including fine dining, European, local French cuisine or pizza to go. On Trip Advisor, Restaurant etoile Flocons de Sel is winning first place with its top-notch menu and service while Le 1920 belonging to the Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts brand comes in at second place despite it pricey à la carte menu. Meanwhile, Fork Publication rates Japanese inspired Kaito and La Table Des Cochers.

Megeve in Summer and Off Slope Activities

Don’t assume Megeve is a winter giant and dormant summer destination, because once the snow clears and temperatures hot up, visitors get to see the green side of this typical alpine village. As many ski resorts around France strive to prove themselves as dual season, Megeve has already cemented its reputation as a year-round luxury resort.

Megeve in summer

Mountain bike trails replace pistes, helicopter tours and para-gliding enter their peak time as weather make for ideal flying and stunning views. La Palais sports centre with its climbing wall, parkour course, tennis courts, wellness centre, indoor and outdoor pools, and ice rink stays open all year round. The list includes marked walking trails, cultural activities and even an 18-hole golf course.

Luxury Homes to Die For

Given that Megeve is one of the best ski resorts in France that caters for high-end markets, it is no surprise that luxury apartments and chalets dominate its real estate market. Prices peak at an all-time high in the centre but heading towards the outskirts, prices drop while being only a four to 6-minute drive from main facilities and amenities. The difference in prices can be as much as 10,000 euro per square meter.

Luxury French alp real estate

Property investors looking for a buy-to-let income will benefit from rental management services offered by many companies. Mainstream travel markets aren’t dominant in Megeve, so there is a holiday accommodation market to tap into.

Those looking for the best luxury homes in the French Alps, either as an investment or for permanent living will find millionaire chalets with the feel and traditional materials of an alpine home but with all modern touches.

Our portfolio of property for sale in Megeve is a perfect example of how the current real estate market is performing. Also read more about ski resorts of the French Alp, in our latest blogs and news articles.