Any conversation about the most sophisticated French ski resorts will mention Courchevel somewhere near the top of the list. But before Courchevel burst onto the scene as France's premier purpose-built ski resort, the place to be was Mégève. And the traditional Alpine village still enjoys many of those same charms today.
Living in Mégève and things to do
Set in picturesque surrounds, the pristine Mont Blanc summit is always in view whilst residents and holidaymakers ski or shop. Nearby popular resorts including Geneva, Courmayeur and Chamonix are easily accessible, and there is so much to do that residents never get bored.
The area is chic but down to earth, and the locals are very friendly. It enjoys pedestrianised high-end shopping areas, while first-class restaurants, including the Flocons de Sel which has earned three Michelin stars, serve up a delicious menu of gourmet cuisine inspired by the local area and beyond. There is no shortage of after-hours entertainment either, with cocktail bars, a jazz club and a casino all situated in the resort.
Outside the ski season, there are exciting classic car parades and jazz festivals to enjoy, so there are things to do in Mégève all year round. Summertime in Mégève is all about the golf. But there are also guided tours of the town's historical centre and the marvellous church. Furthermore, there is a weekly market that has a remarkably warm and friendly atmosphere, providing fresh fruits and vegetables as well as natural goods and traditional fare that are a pleasure to experience.
Culture in Mégève: A history of affluence
Mégève is well known for its skiing and enjoys a population of 3,292. Although Mégève has traditionally been all about iconic Parisian chic, in the modern age it attracts a wide variety of nationalities who want to experience living in Mégève. Die-hard fans of Mégève speak of its old-fashioned style that conjures a classy charm, with year-round appeal and good transport links with Geneva.
The resort of Mégève evolved from a medieval farming village in the 1920s and was attracting the rich and famous by the 1950s. It is the epitome of old-world charm, boasting quaint cobblestone streets, a Benedictine priory, working cheese farms and a very distinctive brand of rustic hotels. Its crowd-pleasing factors include sous-treeline skiing and easy access to the Evasion Mont Blanc region, not to mention the numerous other things to do in Mégève.
Opportunities for investment in Mégève
With an influx of buyers coming from Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Italy some of the French owners are reducing their property prices in anticipation of a wealth tax. An entry-level studio apartment in Mégève is an affordable €120,000, but the more desirable properties are priced in the millions. Many of these new arrivals to the region are attracted by the wealth of opportunity for investment. And for high-net-worth individuals, there are some truly breath-taking homes that will make living in Mégève a luxurious and greatly desirable experience.
Mégève has attracted top French investors since 1924 and enjoys a significant concentration of high net worth individuals. As such, Mégève is a region that is constantly developing and looking for new ways to satisfy its booming tourist industry. Recently, the Mégève lift company was bought up by the Compagnie du Mont Blanc, with an injection of €60 million to modernise the existing lift system. This is just one example of the region's continuing efforts to grow and accommodate the evolving needs of both its residents and visitors.
Skiing and getting to Mégève
The size of the ski domain in Mégève is approximately 275 miles, and the three main ski zones are Rochebrune, Mont d’Arbois and Le Jaillet. It is a mere 50 minutes from the airport in Geneva via local transport links, which makes holiday homes and rentals extremely popular for those wanting to experience the skiing and the area's many other attractions at any time of the year.
According to historic snow reports, Mégève peaks in snowfall between January and March. As such, the ski season runs from mid-December to mid-April, with around 120 days for people to enjoy the slopes. Average snowfall comes in at a little over 500cm, meaning there is plenty to enjoy for enthusiasts and beginners alike. View the latest weather and snow reports for Mégève here.
Outside the winter months, temperatures are very mild and actually hit some appealing highs in the summer for an experience not unlike Mediterranean heat. There are 86 ski lifts in operation in total, with the ski resort's base sitting at an altitude of 1050m and the mountain's summit a towering 2350m. The terrain offers a little something for skiers of all levels, with a grand total of 188 runs to choose from.
As a ski resort which enjoys stunning natural scenery, excellent transport links, great investment potential and a plethora of activities to take part in all year round, it's little wonder so many are buying a property in Mégève.