Guide to Skiing in Megeve
With fantastic slopes for beginners & excellent opportunities for off-piste skiing, Megeve is a resort for all types of skier.
Founded in 1914 by Baroness de Rothschild, Megeve is France’s answer to St. Moritz. Just an hours drive from Geneva, Megeve has a charming village with traditional chalet-style buildings, designer shops and plenty of boutique hotels. Part of the Evasion Mont-Blanc ski area, Megeve gives access to over 400 km of slopes with pistes to suit all levels of skiers.
The Ski Area
Megeve’s impressive ski area falls into three main sectors, two of which are linked by cable car. The most accessible (and attractive) area, Rochebrune, can be reached directly from the centre of town via the Chamois gondola. A cross-valley cable car links to the second sector, Mont d’Arbois which peaks at Mont Joly (2353m). Also accessed from La Princesse, St Gervais and St Nicolas, as well as by a free bus from town, this is by far the largest sector with lifts and runs in several directions. Across the valley is the third sector, Le Jaillet. Separate to the other two sectors, Le Jaillet is linked to the slopes of La Giettaz and Combloux and provides some of the best off-piste skiing in resort.
With little skiing above 2,000m, Megeve is considered a ‘low’ resort. However, the slopes are pasture land and don’t require as much snow coverage compared to the rockier slopes of higher resorts. There are also extensive snow making facilities should the big dumps not arrive.
Best for Beginners
With a huge choice of ski schools and excellent beginner slopes above the village, Megeve is a fantastic resort for learning to ski. Almost 50 per cent of the pistes are classified as green or blue and once you have graduated from the nursery slopes, there are green runs to tackle from all the main gondolas. On Mont d’Arbois there is an intricate network of green runs below Mont Joux, including a wonderful long green down to Le Bettex, above St-Gervais.
Confident beginners can travel over virtually the whole area on a network of blue runs. Easy runs include Finance, on the St-Gervais side of Mont d’Arbois and Prapacot, down the Princesse gondola. Blue runs on the Rochebrune side of the mountain tend to be a little trickier as do those taken when heading to La Giettaz.
Best for Intermediates
With shady tree-lined runs, wide open terrain and long winding pistes, there is plenty to amuse intermediates in Megeve. For some of the best snow, head to Mont Joly and for magnificent views of Mont Blanc, ski the Grande Epaule. Enjoy the peace and quiet above Combloux or clock up the miles with trips to St. Nicholas and in the Rochebrune sector, Côte 2000. The slopes at La Giettaz provide a bit more of a challenge whilst the Super Megeve run is an easy black sure to boost confidence.
Best for Experts
Whilst there are some easy blacks in Megeve, there are also several genuine black pistes, including the Grand Chamois on Mont Joly, Marmotte and the women’s downhill course at Côte 2000. Another piste with legendary status is the 3 km Emile Allais; with 812m vertical elevation and as steep at 33-degrees at some points, this piste is not for the faint-hearted.
However, it is really the off-piste that is the highlight for expert skiers. Megeve is often overlooked by off-piste skiers so when fresh powder falls this is a lot less competition for it. Nearly all of the runs are tree lined so visibility in heavy snowfall remains good. The best off-piste opportunities can be found around Mont Joly and Mount Joux. The run down from the Mont Joly chair to the hamlet of Le Planay is fantastic. Don’t overlook Le Jaillet either; the terrain near the pistes above Combloux and Le Plan at La Giettaz is excellent.
Best for Boarders
Whilst Megeve is not typically a boarders destination, there is no reason why boarders can’t enjoy some of the fabulous off-piste powder on offer. In fact, Megeve has several terrain parks where boarders can perfect their tricks. With kickers, rails, boxes and its own half pipe, the best of the snow parks is over at Mont d’Arbois. The one at Rochebrune has an airbag and there are further parks at the top of the Jaillet gondola, on the upper slopes of Combloux and at the top of Le Torraz, at Le Giettaz.
To find out more about skiing in Megeve, take a look at our Ultimate Guide.