Megève Destination Guide
Ski & Eat in Style!
Megève sits on a plateau in between the Arly and Arbon valleys at 1100m and was originally an agricultural village. But long before the whirr of the ski lifts began, Megève attracted visitors with pilgrims stopping to enjoy the fresh mountain air on their travels as far back at the 14th century.
Skiing really took off when the wealthy Rothschild family wanted to create a ski resort to rival St Moritz in Switzerland. Once they had decided on Megève, they started building hotels in the Mont d'Arbois area and soon after the rich, famous and royals began to holiday in the new resort.
It is still one of Megève's most exclusive quarters even today, discreetly playing host to many multimillion-pound chalet hideaways.
In 1914 there were five hotels and just nine years later the number had risen to 25. By 1933 work started on the Rochebrune cable car to link the centre of the village with the main ski areas and from then on the area grew, with Cote 2000.
Across the other side of the valley is Jaillet, the sunniest sector of the ski area, whilst further down in Demi-Quartier/Princesse area, you've got easy access to the lifts and other resorts in the Evasion Mont Blanc area, including direct access via the pistes and lifts to St Gervais and Combloux.
Although skiing often plays second fiddle to just 'soaking up the atmosphere' and being seen, there are some pretty challenging black slopes (we love the Rosay black in Mont d'Arbois and the Marmotte over on Cote 2000), but in general it's pleasant cruisey skiing.
What makes the whole ski area utterly delightful are the panoramic vistas stretching to Mont Blanc and all around, the well-groomed and wide pistes and the abundance of tree-lined runs. There's something really quite Christmassy about skiing through the pine trees on the crisp white snow!
Apres-ski in Megève really does come into its own, with all of those swanky restaurants in often sublime settings, with prices to match. After dinner, the infamous Palo Alto night club always draws big crowds who want to dance the night away to world famous DJs like Bob Sinclar, David Guetta and Martin Solveig.
You can also take a gamble in the casino or you can head to the very distinguished jazz club.
What is surprising is that once the snow melts, if you go hiking or mountain biking on the many trails that criss-cross the ski area, you'll realise that many of the pistes end by going through people's gardens and vegetable patches - so where you whizzed along on your snowboard in winter you'll find leeks growing and cows grazing in summer!
No talk of Megève would be complete without mentioning gastronomy. There are hundreds of very chic (and very expensive) eateries in Megeve, with perhaps the most celebrated being Emmanuel Renaut's Flocon de Sel, which boasts three Michelin stars, closely followed by the Le 1920 and La Table de l'Alpaga with one of those coveted stars each.
There are also lots of delightful tea rooms and chocolateries where you can sip a cup of Early Grey and watch the world go by. If you take a wander around the impossibly pretty village centre in Megève, you'll see high fashion brands such as Marc Jacobs, Dolce&Gabbana, Prada, Gucci and Colmar in the windows of very smart boutiques.
There is no denying it, Megève is one of the classic playgrounds of the rich and famous since the 1920s and still today the resort attracts those who love a bit of skiing with lots of shopping, gourmet food eating and evening entertainment.
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