The season to visit Megève

14th November 2020, by Dave Watts

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

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

The French resort of Megève is delightful to visit at any time, with its atmospheric, car-free medieval centre and beautifully groomed, tree-lined, extensive and mainly intermediate slopes.

Now that it looks like we’ll have to live with Covid-19 for most or all of the 2020/21 season before a vaccine kicks in, it seems an even better choice to me.

That’s because, even in ‘normal’ times, the slopes are usually very quiet except on sunny weekends and in school holiday times and lift queues are rare – a far cry from the crowds in, for example, Val d’Isère, the Three Valleys, St Anton and the Sella Ronda area.

Above and below: Just two of Megève’s usually deserted pistes – both photos taken by me on my 2018 visit

This season Megève’s slopes are likely to be even quieter because of Covid. And there are relatively few gondolas and cable cars where you are cooped up with others for the journey. Around 90 per cent of the lifts are chairlifts and drag lifts – so you can stay in the open air most of the time.

Megève is also an easy drive from Calais (around 880km/ 8 hours) if you’d prefer not to fly. And it is only 90km/75 minutes from Geneva airport.

Megève specialist Stanford Skiing is a family-run tour operator that specialises in Megève. It has been operating there for over 25 years and knows the resort better than any other UK tour operator.

Most of Megève’s extensive network of pistes are treelined and suit intermediates best

Stanford offers all types of accommodation including catered chalets and chalet hotels, apartments (which can be self-catered or semi-catered) and 3- and 4-star hotels.

It has been operating all summer (with its two chalet hotels registered as French 2-star hotels). “So we are well used to working within the Covid restrictions and keeping our guests safe whilst helping them to have a fabulous holiday” says Elizabeth Cahir who runs the UK office (while her parents John and Kathryn Kinnear run the in-resort operation).

Stanford Skiing has introduced special flexible booking conditions and a lockdown/quarantine money-back guarantee for the 2020/21 season in case you have to cancel or change dates.

As well as full weeks they offer three or four night short breaks – which can be a weekend or mid-week.

Stanford Skiing’s chalet hotel Rond Point

They make arrangements for guests who want to do so to ski together for three mornings a week, 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.

And they have produced very detailed guides to and price comparisons of the many restaurants – both on the mountain and in the village.

I have stayed with Stanford very happily on several occasions and they offer great value for money and have a large number of repeat and regular guests.

For more on Megève and Stanford see my blog of my most recent visit in 2018.

Of course, right now UK Government advice is not to travel abroad for leisure reasons. And France is in lockdown with all ski resorts closed. But hopefully, things will change and when they do, Megève would be one of the few resorts I would be tempted to visit.

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