Make the most of Megève

2nd November 2019, by Dave Watts

Megève’s car-free centre is a delightful place to stroll around

Megève’s car-free centre is a delightful place to stroll around

Some people think Megève is too upmarket, expensive and too low altitude for them.

Wrong on every count. Of course, it can be expensive if you stay at one of the 5-star hotels and eat at the Michelin-starred restaurants. But you don’t have to do that.

And although Megève’s ski area is low compared with resorts like Val d’Isère and Les Arcs, its slopes are green pastures in summer with few rocks. So they don’t need much snow cover to give very enjoyable piste skiing; plus there’s plenty of snowmaking. After a fresh snowfall the off-piste is delightful because it is so quiet and some pistes are left ungroomed for a while too – a great idea for powder lovers.

Megève’s pistes are summer pasture land so don’t need much snow cover

One of the best ways of enjoying Megève at an affordable cost is to stay with Megève specialist Stanford Skiing. Stanford is a family-run tour operator that specialises in Megève and knows the resort better than any other UK tour operator.

John Kinnear bought the company from founder Jean Stanford 25 years ago. John and his wife Kathryn live in the resort throughout the winter and ski pretty much every day. Their daughter Elizabeth runs the UK end of the business and their other daughter Caroline looks after the accounts.

Stanford Skiing’s John and Kathryn enjoying the powder (pic taken by Editor Watts on one of his visits)

As well as fixing your accommodation (they have two catered chalet-hotels, a catered chalet, self-catered apartments and can arrange stays in 3- and 4-star hotels too) and airport transfers from Geneva (only 75 minutes), they offer a host of other local knowledge too.

For a start they run The Unthank Ski Club for guests to ski together, meeting Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday mornings with groups for fast, medium and relaxed skiing. They also produce detailed suggested ski itineraries for four full days skiing for each of these ski ability groups.

They also have very detailed guides to and price comparisons of the many mountain restaurants, have a guide to the picnic areas on the mountain and another to the restaurants in the village. Plus they have a guide for non-skiers which includes suggested walks, another to the resort’s spas and information for families.

Stanford Skiing’s chalet-hotel Sylvana

A high proportion of their guests come for short breaks of three or four nights as well as full weeks – a very unusual option for chalet holidays. Read about them here.

As well as miles of great intermediate cruising terrain, one of the attractions of Megève is the fabulous scenery, including wonderful views of Mont Blanc. Close up views of this mighty mountain will be even more enjoyable this season because a key lift is being upgraded from a slow double to a fast six-pack. Read more about that here.

For more on Megève’s skiing take a look at the blog I did after my latest visit (staying with Stanford Skiing of course).

Right now Stanford has a special offer on for flexible week-long stays for New Year with £100 off the normal price and short break New Year stays with up to £60 off. For details see our Bargains page.

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