Megève is the grande dame of the Alps and viewed by many as one of Europe’s most charming ski resorts. Founded by the Rothschild family in the early 20th Century to rival St. Moritz, Megève’s traditional alpine appearance disguises an ultra-luxe heart which has attracted loyal old-money clientele for generations.
Village life centres around the medieval church and the narrow winding lanes which surround it are strictly for pedestrians only. Dotted around the streets and hillsides you will find 80-restaurants (four with Michelin-stars), 30-hotels (including seven 5*hotels), seven art galleries and over 200 hundred shops. Despite being in the heart of the mountains, Megève is an incredibly cosmopolitan town with all the trappings of a city set within the charm of a ski resort.
With its designer boutiques, Michelin restaurants, 5* hotels, exclusive bars and art galleries, many of Megeve’s visitors don’t even venture out onto the slopes. Those that do are spoilt for choice as Megeve is part of the Evasion Mont-Blanc and Portes du Mont Blanc ski areas which have over 400km of pistes (and phenomenal off-piste) between them. In the summer, golf is the name of the game on the Mont d’Arbois golf course with the stunning backdrop of Mont Joly and Mont Blanc to keep you inspired between swings.
Despite the popularity and glamour, Megève is still an old farming community at heart and because of this there is a genuine authenticity about it which is often absent in purpose-built ski resorts.
Megève is one of France’s most exclusive and expensive winter destinations and the property prices reflect it. A long gentle valley, properties on both sides benefit from stunning views though it is the properties toward Mont Arbois which attract the highest premiums for their panoramic views and proximity to the pistes. With a limited supply of property for sale in the centre of the village and new-builds under heavy restrictions, buyers are now starting to look to the surrounding hamlets to purchase ski homes in Megeve.
Although luxury apartments and chalets are what Megève is known for, there is still a solid mid-range market in the area of La Jaillet which has a median house price of €7000 per square metre.
Elegant, upmarket and discreet, Megève is one of the key luxury resorts in the Alps with no shortage of buyers. Limited available properties and tight building restrictions within the village itself mean that property here steadily gains value and is easy to sell. The holiday rental market is one of the strongest in the Alps and luxury chalets can fetch over €100k per week in peak holiday times. It’s ease of access to multiple airports is also an important indicator of property growth value as indicated in the 2019 Savills Alpine Property Report.
Megeve is one of the easiest resorts to access with Geneva airport an easy 1-hour motorway drive away. There is an altiport for those with helicopter access and Chambery & Grenoble are just 2-hours drive away. It’s close proximity to international airports make it a perfect destination for those looking for shorter breaks.
Megève is the perfect resort for intermediate skiers looking to burn around the well-groomed pistes and is a great place for beginners looking to progress. Part of both the Portes du Mont Blanc and the Mont Blanc Evasion ski areas, depending on which pass is bought you have access to up to 445km of pistes.
The ski area itself is slightly fragmented and spread over three different mountains – Rochebrune, Mont d’Arbois and Le Jaillet.
The Chamois gondola in the centre of the village will take you to Rochebrune, great for intermediates and the access point for Cote 2000 where you will find the more difficult resort runs and challenging off-piste.
From Rochebrune you can take the gondola to Mont d’Arbois, the largest sector of Megeve. Perfect for all abilities, the area is linked to family-friendly St Gervais but also has excellent terrain for experts near Mont Joly and Mont Joux.
La Jaillet is completely separate from the other areas and therefore has the least crowds. Connected to the small resorts of Combloux and La Giettaz, it has incredibly varied terrain, stunning views and is the perfect escape from the busier areas of Mont d’Arbois and Rochebrune.
Although the pistes mostly cater to intermediate skiers, it is a fantastic resort for beginners who are looking to progress. Experts are well looked after on powder days most of the off-piste remains untouched and fresh tracks can be made until the lifts close. Despite Megève’s ‘old-school’ image, there are also four terrain parks, a half-pipe, two snowcross courses and some airbags to keep the park rats happy.
For those who want to enjoy the mountains during winter but aren’t keen on skiing, Megève has a huge number of off-mountain activities including ice-skating, horse riding, snow-shoeing, dog sledding and ice climbing.
Mont d’Arbois golf course is one of the most finest in the world and was designed by three-time British Open champion, Sir Henry Cotton. Sitting on a south-facing plateau surrounded by splendid mountain scenery, if you are a golf-lover it is an experience not to be missed.
Adventure seekers are spoilt for choice with mountaineering, canyoning, climbing, hiking, mountain biking and even paragliding are all on offer. If that all sounds a bit intense then simply pulling up a chair outside of one of the many bars and restaurants in the village and enjoying the sun is a hard-to-beat way to spend an afternoon.
If you love to shop then you will be spoilt for choice here. With over 200 hundred shops to choose from and the worlds most exclusive boutiques lining the narrow pathways, the shopping in Megève rivals the streets of Paris for luxury.
Looking to be pampered? The Pure Altitude Spa at the Ferme de Marie Hotel is one of the most decadent, relaxing ways to while away the afternoons after a day on the slopes (or in the shops).
From rowdy apres-ski to fine-dining, Megève has it all. Mountain lunches are an art form in Megève – try L’Alpette in the Rochebrune sector, the Auberge du Christomet in Jaillet or the Ideal by Mont d’Arbois.
No apres-ski experience is complete without a visit to the La Folie Douce which is located at the top of the Mont Joux chairlift. The most famous apres-ski in France, La Folie Douce offers a unique club-like experience with the mountains as your backdrop. A DJ blasting music draws you in and you are greeted by dancers, singers, musicians and revellers dancing on the tables in their ski boots whilst being doused in Champagne. Even if this doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, it is truly something that everyone has to try at least once in their lifetime.
Off the mountain, bars are plentiful and our favourites include: Jazz Club des 5 Rues for some of the best live music in the village; The Cocoon Club for a friendly atmosphere and pub-like vibe which goes into the early hours of the morning AND; M le Vin which in our opinion is one of the finest wine bars in the world.
For fine-dining options, one can’t go past Flocons de Sel for an unforgettable food experience. Opened 15 years ago by ex-Claridge’s chef, Emmanuel Renaut it has held the highest honour of three Michelin stars for the past 7 years.