Montgenèvre is a family-friendly resort conveniently located in France close to the border with Italy. The village sits at the northern end of the cross-border Milky-Way network, which links Montgenèvre with the popular Italian resorts Sestriere, Sansicario and Sauze D’Oulx.
The village's location on a mountain pass means it gets snow from all directions, but most importantly from a westerly direction. This means the snow found here is much higher quality than that found in nearby Italian resorts which get little to no westerly snow. You can check the latest snow report in Montgenèvre here.
The resort has more than 100 km of mixed ability slopes which connect to a further 400 km of runs on the Milky Way circuit. In total Montgenèvre has access to 214 runs which range in difficulty from green to black. There is also excellent off-piste skiing available for advanced skiers who enjoy freeriding.
For those who are just starting out, there is a dedicated beginner’s area close to the village which contains a collection of nursery slopes to get started. Once these have been mastered confident beginners are encouraged to ski down the gentle slope into the village for a celebratory cup of hot chocolate.
The relaxed atmosphere, high-quality accommodation and wide range of slopes make Montgenèvre popular with skiers of all abilities. And if you get bored of skiing there is also an excellent range of non-skiing activities available to keep families entertained. These activities include; sleigh rides, snowmobiling and snowshoeing.
Living in Montgenèvre and things to do
Located high on the mountainside the village has stunning views down the valley and across the Hautes-Alpes. The area is surrounded by dense alpine forests which give it an old-fashioned romantic feel, especially when the treetops are covered with snow.
The architecture is traditional with a modern twist, the centre is lined with pretty wooden buildings which give Montgenèvre a traditional alpine village feel. The town has seen heavy development in recent years, but the new buildings are in keeping with the old, with some of them virtually indistinguishable from their neighbours.
The village contains everything you would expect of a modern ski resort, with plenty of restaurants, hotels and bars lining the main road. The compact nature of the resort means everything is close at hand and can be reached easily by foot.
The area is served by a total of 25 ski lifts. There are 3 modern gondolas which serve the popular Chalmettes and Les Gondrans slopes. While the Milky Way circuit is connected by a further 22 chair lifts, these range from 1 to 4 persons.
Accommodation options are spread throughout the village, with some developments having direct ski-in-ski-out access to the slopes. There is also a wide range of apartments and villas which are let out during the ski season.
In recent years Montgenèvre has benefited from a new road tunnel which has helped to remove through-traffic from the centre. The area used to be notorious for heavy traffic during the ski season making it dangerous for pedestrians and particularly children. Now, much of the village has been pedestrianised making it a pleasant and safe place to be.
Culture and lifestyle in Montgenèvre
As you would expect from a remote French village the lifestyle here is relaxed and centred on the outdoors. Aside from skiing, there are plenty of things to do in the Montgenèvre region, with a wide range of activities available both in France and across the border in Italy.
For the adventurous, there is a range of river rafting options available during the summer months. These follow the streams down the mountainside and can be pretty exhilarating for first-timers. Or you could try crossing the longest Tibetan bridge in the world at Ponte Tibetano. The bridge spans 468 metres and is suspended 30 metres in the air, so is not for the faint-hearted.
For those looking for a more relaxed break, there is a wide range of quality golf courses located near the village. One such course spans across the France/Italian border allowing you to play nine holes in France and nine in Italy. This particular course is also the highest golf course in Alpes Cote-d'Azur.
For history lovers, the nearby medieval town of Cite Vauban is a must-see attraction. This fortress town was once a key staging post being situated at the crossroads of three valleys. Today it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site which rewards visitors with stunning architecture and beautiful views across the valley.
To get the best out of your visit to Cite Vauban, it’s a good idea to check the weather report in Montgenèvre before setting off. Low cloud can seriously obstruct your view across the valley. You can view the latest weather here.
Investment potential in Montgenèvre
The new relief tunnel has helped transform Montgenèvre from an overcrowded traffic clogged resort which was difficult to get around. To a quiet pedestrianised resort with cafe lined streets and a relaxed atmosphere. This is good news for those looking at buying property in Montgenèvre. The resort is becoming more popular every season and with further infrastructure investment planned that trend looks set to continue.
This has been followed up by a steady stream of infrastructure investments including updating the Thibaud gondola ski lift which serves the Milky Way and the Chalmettes gondola which improves access to the Les Gondrans slopes. With further projects planned in the near future this bodes well for investors looking to buy property in the village.
The village offers a range of property investment opportunities from new-build apartments with direct access to the slopes to large villas with expansive views across the valley.
Transport to Montgenèvre
Despite being located high in the mountains Montgenèvre is reasonably easy to reach from both France and Italy. The nearest airport is Turin which is only about 1 h 20 mins drive from the resort. Turin is served by all the major airlines including British Airways, Ryanair and Lufthansa. Milan Malpensa airport is also nearby and is approximately 2 hrs drive from the resort.
Alternatively, Montgenèvre is served by the station in Briançon which is approximately 20 mins drive from the resort. Briançon station has direct connections to Paris where passengers can connect on the Eurostar service to London St Pancras. Transfers to Montgenèvre are available from the station entrance.