As the benefits of the vaccine programmes at home and abroad start to take effect, we can all look ahead to better times, and that means planning that first big winter sports trip in two years or more, reconnecting with loved ones, and making the most of the great outdoors again. As the beautiful French mountain village of Megève gets ready to welcome back British holidaymakers to the slopes, tourism providers have been working around the clock to ensure that guests can enjoy the superb facilities in the village safely and hassle-free, while experiencing a welcoming and culturally enriching escape.
Now that quarantine free travel to Europe is back in full swing for the double vaccinated, and French authorities have removed most travel restrictions for UK visitors, Megève is the destination of choice for winter sports lovers ready to return to the pistes. The village has long been a favourite with skiers from across the continent and beyond, combining snow sure conditions, an eclectic food scene and a rich architectural heritage. Perfect for those wanting to holiday in style, and increasingly popular with those that have a passion for ski touring, Megève is home to a variety of superb accommodation options to suit a range of tastes and budgets. Megève also has an impressive and varied calendar, with more than 300 events taking place each year, which this winter includes the remarkable night-time finals of the World Cup Mogul Skiing tournament (18-19 March 2022), and the one of a kind Back To Back Freeski Invitational competition (18-20 March 2022), which sees 25 top-flight professionals performing base jumping and speed-riding aerial ski shows.
A flurry of tried and tested health and safety measures were put in place last year, which worked successfully and have been improved upon further, meaning visitors can be confident of experiencing a safe and enjoyable holiday this winter. The authorities are continuing to work closely with accommodation providers, restaurants, bars, and the lift company, to ensure the wellbeing of all visitors and to enable the slopes to open on time, and to stay open as scheduled.
Megève’s ski lifts are set to open on 4 December 2021 and operate fully from 18 December 2021 to 27 March 2022, with passes for the upcoming season now available. New for this winter, holidaymakers will be able to ascend the mountains in comfort, with major works to the La Caboche gondola cabins and Rochebrune cable car now complete. The first benefits from an innovative new look, which is a debut design in France, while the latter sees a return to the much loved and iconic all red cabins of yesteryear. The Rochebrune cable car originally went into service in 1933 and was the country’s first cable car solely for skiing. The Évasion Mont-Blanc pass is the most popular option for British Holidaymakers wanting to make the most of their time on the slopes, providing unlimited access to the wider region, with the freedom to ski and board where holders choose. Six-day passes are priced at €263 for adults, €210.50 for children aged 5-14, and €236.50 for seniors aged 65 and over. Early booking and family discounts are available, as are incentives for those that book online. For full pricing information visit the Megève Tourism website.
More news from Megève
Christmas in Megève
The festive period is a magical one in Megève, with the chocolate box village making the perfect location for anyone seeking a fairy tale like Christmas. On 4 December 2021, the Christmas lights will officially be turned on, in what has become a favourite Alpine tradition. The event will take place on the first day of the new ski season in the village centre, attracting locals and holidaymakers alike, with an outdoor ice rink and large Christmas tree acting as a place for revellers to gather and to celebrate to the sound of carols. Throughout the period, the village will be decorated with thousands of lights that will twinkle every evening, with this year’s Christmas theme being all things ‘golden and sparkling’.
Mamie Megève set to open its doors this winter
Mamie Megeve is the latest accommodation offering in the village, with 60 elegant rooms combining Old World charm, with modern sophistication. An ideal option for multigenerational travel, there are 16 family rooms and 26 quadruple rooms, all of which benefit from a kitchen, allowing for self-catering. Replacing the former Lune d’Argent residence, the property has undergone a major renovation and will open as a four-star hotel on 17 December 2021. Guests will benefit from a shuttle service to the ski area, as well as an onsite grocery store with the option of having artisan food delivered directly to their door. Double rooms priced from €145 (£124) per night with breakfast.
Megève’s renowned International Jazz Festival to return
Following its postponement for the last two years, some of highest-profile jazz artists will descend on Megève for the fifth edition of the Megève International Jazz Festival in the spring. Performances will take place in the village streets and on the ski slopes from 31 March to 2 April 2022, with the higher profile concerts held in the town’s impressive Palais night club and Jazz Club. Past acts have included Gregory Porter, Marcus Miller and Norah Jones, with this year’s headliners confirmed as Jamy, Ibrahim Maalouf and Pink Martini. To celebrate the event’s return, the new four-star Novotel Megève Mont-Blanc, which is centrally located and within easy walking distance of the festival venues, is offering a dedicated ‘Jazzy Weekend’ package. Priced from just €530 (£446) for a double room with breakfast, the offer includes a three-day pass to the festival as well as complimentary access to the nearby Le Palais sports complex, with its vast array of superb facilities including an aquatics centre, Turkish baths, climbing walls, an ice rink, indoor and outdoor pools, a health spa, yoga facilities, tennis courts and more.
New winter evening e-scooter experience
Evolution 2 is an outdoor specialist company, that offer a range of active experiences. New to Megève this ski season, the organisation has introduced guided e-scooter forest excursions, for those aged 12 and over. Much like an e-bike, the scooter equivalent is powered by a small electric motor, which allows users to go faster and to effortlessly ascend steep inclines. Using state of the art E-TROTT models, riders stand upright throughout, with all the necessary safety equipment and expert supervision provided. The tours, which depart the village centre as the sun goes down, cost from €60 pp (£51) and last for 90 minutes.
Megève is only one hour from Geneva Airport, which benefits from direct, low-cost flight access from London, Aberdeen, Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool and Manchester. Return flights from London Gatwick to Geneva with EasyJet are priced from £43 pp.
A seven-night stay at the charming Résidence de l’Ours (which is less than a three-minute walk from the ski lift), on a self-catering basis, arriving 8 January 2022, is priced from £795 pp (was £845 pp, saving £50 pp) based on four people sharing and includes return flights to Geneva from the UK.
Ski Solutions (020 3797 0592, www.skisolutions.com)
For more about Megève please visit: https://megeve.com
(images copyright of Commune de Megève)