Lay of the Land
Unlike many ski resorts, which are purpose-built, Megève is an authentic Savoyard village that is home to about 4,000 year-round residents. A profusion of little shops and wooden hotels, narrow stone streets and horse-drawn sleighs give this old town an allure lacking in other European ski resorts. So pretty is the central square that many out-of-towners are married in the St. Jean Baptiste church, recognizable by its green bronze dome and bell tower. At Christmas, a huge fir tree adorned with thousands of small lights and a cauldron full of glühwein and spices have pride of place in the central square. Santa Claus and a torchlight procession of ski instructors add to the festive mood. There are three main ski areas: Rochebrune-Côte 2000, Mont d’Arbois and Jaillet.
Compared with Lech and Courchevel, Megève is relatively easy to get to. It’s about 43 miles from Geneva, and Chamonix is a 20-minute drive to the northeast. The latter can be visited for the day, and is recommended especially for hard-core skiers.
When to Go
Megève is most beautiful in the winter and summer months and some businesses, including hotels, are closed in the fall and spring.