Megeve Mike from France writes:
Megeve is well known by few and is a jealously guarded secret among those that frequent its ski slopes; Michelin Guide rated hotels and restaurants, high-end shopping stores, Casino and quaint narrow cobbled streets. The village is dominated by the traditional church belfry, and a square, all in a pedestrian friendly atmosphere. Horse drawn sleighs carry tourists all over during the peak periods adding a festive and memorable experience for young and old. A truly civilized ski area, of real old world charm, with a history that goes back for more than 1000 years. The village still has over 40 working farms from where the milk is used to produce the local cheeses that are known all over the world.
The ski area is laid out in such a way that the summit of Mont Blanc is almost always in view when skiing Megeve ski runs. The runs are cut through the trees; a very welcome change to most ski areas in the Alps that are above the "tree line", adding a touch of green to this Haute-Savoyard village! Great skiing for all levels with a particularly pleasing predominance of upper intermediate skiing terrain.
The "Espace Mont Blanc" domain is a whopping 445 Km and with over 111 lifts make Megeve and partner ski areas (la Giettaz, Saint Gervais, Saint Nicolas de Veroce, Combloux, les Contamines Montjoie and Cordon) in the top 6 longest skiable areas in France. I often bring clients on a beautiful day to see and ski what I think is the best vantage point to view the French Alps and the Mont Blanc:
The most scenic views of Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in Western-Europe, are visible from the top of the "Epaule" chairlift of the Mont Arbois side of the Megeve Ski Area. From the top of this chair lift you will want to turn immediately left to stay on the piste, a right turn will take you immediately "off piste"! You should be a good intermediate skier to do this run, in several places it is quite narrow and in whiteout conditions not advised at all. However, on a brilliant sunny day you will want to look around you and make a visual picture that even the best of cameras could never capture….the whole of the French Alps in all their beauty right before your eyes! After taking it all in, it is time to ski all the way down to Chatrix, the longest of runs in the domain.
….But don't tell anyone how nice it is!
If you are flying in to ski the French Alps and Megeve you have the following possibilities. Chambery Airport, Geneva Airport and Grenoble Airport are all a little over one hour’s drive away. This makes Megeve a highly accessible ski destination even for a long weekend, from any airport in the UK. Leave the UK at 08:00 and you’re on the pistes by 12:00 noon. Be aware that the above can vary depending upon traffic and weather conditions.
Driving: From Geneva you will go to the A40 direction Mont Blanc/Chamonix and turn off at Sallanches and about 17 kilometers direction Albertville, to Megeve.
Driving: In the event of bad weather: If you drive from Grenoble and Chambery, direction A 41- E712, to Annecy/Geneva/La Roche sur Foron and get on the A40 direction Mont Blanc/Chamonix and turn off at Sallanches and about 17 kilometers direction Albertville, to Megeve.
Good weather alternative: If you drive from Grenoble: A 41- E712 to the A 430 direction Albertville. Take the N212 at Albertville up the beautiful "Gorges de Arly" to Megeve. Please note however that this route can be closed due to rock and mud slides and traffic can be a problem!
Posted by Mike Beaudet, a Colorado native, a University of Denver graduate and now lives in France with his wife and twin boys Tom and Lucas.
[note from the editor: advertisement has now been removed.]