A First-Timer’s Guide to Megève’s Charming Après-Ski Scene

Stock Photo ID: 130923512 Illuminated Central Square of Megeve on Christmas Eve, French Alps, France

Growing up on the East Coast of the United States, skiing wasn’t a sport that was accessible or really done in my circles. Plus, when I went to college and talked to other friends and peers, it felt like skiing was an affluent experience reserved for the privileged few.

However, now there are efforts to diversify and attract a wide range of people to the sport. Particularly, social media showcasing diverse faces of all ages are playing a significant role in broadening participation and making the sport more welcoming, so everyone feels empowered to hit the slopes.

Now that I live in London, Megève is one of my first entry points into the world of skiing because of its proximity. This ski season, a group of us visited Megève, a ski resort town in the French Alps that is located in the Haute-Savoie region of southeastern France, near the Swiss border. Besides the obvious draw of learning how to ski, the medieval-style village center, upscale chalets and chic atmosphere all enticed me.

Nestled at the foot of the Mont-Blanc massif, Megève is full of treasures for all lovers of the great outdoors. There are a number of skiing facilities, including an abundant area for beginners, a Nordic area for cross-country skiing, a freestyle area as well as snowboarding and toboggan runs.

Ski Rentals and Gear

Couple with snow skis in Megeve, France

Packing for your first skiing trip can seem daunting, but with the right essentials, you’ll be ready to hit the slopes comfortably and safely. Start by packing warm and comfortable apparel like a waterproof and insulated ski jacket to keep you warm and dry, ski pants, moisture-wicking thermal tops and bottoms for your base layers, and thick socks that are long enough to cover your shins and fit snugly in your ski boots. Don’t forget to pack gloves or mittens for warmth, as well as a neck gaiter to protect your face from cold winds.

Ski gear can be really pricey, so consider renting helmets, goggles to protect your eyes, and equipment like skis, boots and poles. If you choose to bring your own, ensure that you have been properly fitted and tuned—you want to protect yourself from any serious injuries!

It’s also advisable to pack sunscreen, as the UV rays can be strong at high altitudes, lip balm with SPF, and snacks and water to stay hydrated as you will be sweating through your workout.

Remember to pack according to the weather conditions at your destination, and don’t forget to check any specific requirements or recommendations from your ski resort. Oh, and of course, don’t forget your camera so that your trip is beautifully captured.

Your Megève Itinerary

If you’re a beginner, consider booking lessons with a certified instructor to help you understand the basics and have someone guide you down the slopes. Don’t be alarmed if you fall a few (or many times) at first; you will naturally get better with more practice. Once you feel adequately comfortable and are hitting the slopes on your own, familiarize yourself with the mountain’s trails and lifts. You can also check the “on the snow report” to see what the snow conditions are like and how many lifts are open.

The Après-Ski Life

Local musicians perform in an after ski event in Megeve, France with snow capped Mont Blanc view in the back on a sunny winter day. La Folie Douce Saint Gervais Restaurant in Chamonix.

Even if you’re not an avid skier, Megève offers a vibrant après-ski scene that’s worth experiencing. Whether you’re into the energetic “La Folie Douce” venues that feature live DJs, good music, bars and food spots—essentially a party at the top of the mountain—or prefer a more laid-back atmosphere, there’s something for everyone.

Beyond the slopes and après-ski parties, Megève has plenty to offer in terms of dining, shopping and sightseeing. You can explore the town’s boutiques, where you can pick up any forgotten ski gear or souvenirs. There are so many cafés to indulge in the fondue with bread, but a must-try is the “Les Grands Crus de Fondues,” paired with a glass of red wine. Or enjoy a hot chocolate or drink at the Four Seasons Megève, which offers picturesque views of the entire resort, especially stunning on a sunny day.

There are plenty of food options to choose from across an eclectic range of cuisines. Savor delicious Asian cuisine at Kinugawa Megève, which also has a bar that transforms into a club after 10 p.m. If you want to enjoy a comfortable hike, visit Le Leutaz; afterward, reward yourself with a meal at Le Refuge, a charming wood-paneled restaurant with a veranda and terrace, offering plenty of vegetarian-friendly options. Pamper yourself with a massage or visit the sauna and steam room at your hotel for some well-deserved relaxation after a day on the slopes—this is especially great for muscle relaxation after activating many muscles during skiing.

Transportation

From London or major international ports, fly into Geneva Airport (only a short flight from the United Kingdom). Once you arrive in Switzerland, plan to rent a car for your hour-long drive to Megève. Note that though cab services are available, there are not enough providers to accommodate numerous tourists during high season, so it’s best to rent your own car for the duration of your stay. There are also buses and shuttles available from many hotels to and from the city center.

Whether you’re an experienced skier or a complete novice, like me, Megève promises an unforgettable experience, combining the thrill of the slopes with the indulgence of the après-ski lifestyle.