LAY OF THE LAND
Megève lies little more than an hour's drive west of Geneva, Switzerland (you cross the French frontier on the outskirts of that city, close to its airport). It is situated in the foothills of the Mont Blanc massif, close to Chamonix and the Mont Blanc Tunnel, which provides the gateway to Italy and the Aosta Valley.
WHEN TO GO
The single drawback to Megève is that it is inescapably low in altitude, and in these seasons of turbulent climate change, that can mean sparse snow at the start and end of the normal December-to-April ski season.
The most reliable snow cover is found in February, although this is high season and the resort can be overcrowded, particularly during the Paris school holidays. The snow is usually still good in the first half of March, and you'll find fewer people then. December (the season normally opens a week before Christmas) and January are more of a gamble—although in winter 2007/2008 the skiing at this time was nothing short of superb.
The summer season runs from June to September, but some hotels and restaurants close during this time. Avoid April through early June and October to mid-December, when almost all villagers seem to migrate to the sunshine.
HOW TO GET THERE
Switzerland's Geneva International Airport is 43 miles down the Autoroute Blanche, which connects Geneva with the Mont Blanc Tunnel and Italy (www.gva.ch/en). The airport is a major European hub, with regular transatlantic flights. Travel time to Megève is around one hour by rental car or 90 minutes by bus. The TGV railway station at Sallanches is six miles away, providing fast train service from Paris and other French cities.
Most people arrive by car but park their vehicle for the duration of their stay—the village center is pedestrian-only. Five ski-bus lines trundle through town and out to most of the major lift stations. Fares are included in the lift pass.
Office de Tourisme
70 Rue Monseigneur Conseil
Tel: 33 450 21 27 28