Of course you come to Megève for the great skiing, for the charming medieval Alpine charm and the excellent shops and restaurants, but it’s the extra activities that will really get your pulse racing.
Megève holds a Family Plus Mountain award which, in France, means that it has gone above and beyond to ensure that there are an extensive range of activities and facilities to keep the entire family entertained. What this means to you is that after a day on the slopes skiing or snowboarding, there will be plenty of other high-octane excitement on offer for you and your kids.
In fact, there is so much to do here you may want to miss a day’s skiing to get it all done, failing that, you might need to come back again next year.
Here’s my personal selection of the very best things to do off the piste with a family of thrill-seeking adventurers.
Parc Accro Branche Adventure Park
Don’t ask me why, but the French are the masters of the kind of tree-climbing adventure parks which see you balancing on ropes and planks of wood high above the forest floor. (Personally I think it has something to do with their disdain for the kind of ‘health and safety’ laws which prevent us from having quite so much fun here!). Whatever the reason, the Adventure Park at Megève offers a range of hair-raising courses in the trees that are open all year round.
Anyone who has been to one of these parks will be familiar with the difficulty levels – which range from blue to black like ski runs – but here the park organisers have introduced a ‘double black’ circuit which includes two moving trapezes. (No, I didn’t try it, my legs were shaking enough on the blue, but those who did seem to have loved it.)
Taking to the Air
If you really want to appreciate the awe-inspiring beauty of the natural landscape around the resort, and you crave a little adventure, then I recommend exploring the Alpine region from the air.
Hot Air Balloon Rides
From the ground this may look like a serene way to travel, floating around in the sky but, believe me, this is not for the feint-hearted. Knowing that the only thing keeping you in the air is a powerful flame right next to a balloon and that the only thing protecting you from the ground is a creaking basket makes this a flight full of thrills.
That said, nothing can prepare you for the beauty and silence of floating over the mountains, out in the open-air. It is truly a memory of a lifetime.
Sightseeing Helicopter Tour
If floating around isn’t for you then perhaps your family would enjoy seeing the mountains from the air on a helicopter tour. You can choose between a ten or 20-minute ride, but I would recommend the full 45-minute tour of the Mont Blanc Massif. You’ll even have the opportunity to stop for lunch in the mountains before flying back down to Megève.
Pulse-Racing Bobsleigh Ride
The ‘Bob Raft’ is somewhere between a bobsleigh and a rollercoaster in that is a self-driving, self-braking sleigh which travels down a steep, twisting ice track reaching speeds of 80km per hour with passengers experiencing around 2.5 Gs. The raft was designed to give visitors the sensation of an Olympic bobsleigh in a relatively safe environment. It can fit up to four passengers who are protected by foam padding and crash helmets. Passengers must be over 1m30 in height.
A Night Time Dog-Sleigh Ride
There is nothing quite like racing across the snow in a sleigh pulled by dogs: it’s not only exciting, it gives you an insight into an icy past where things were a bit more in tune with nature. I have to admit I was a bit worried about the dogs before we went but as soon as we met them and our guide I realised this was a team that looked after one another.
We chose the nighttime ride (although there are other daytime tours available). It was so exhilarating whizzing across the darkness, it felt like we were the only people on the mountain. We stopped off halfway for a warm drink in a ‘trapper’s tent’ which was really atmospheric. The kids loved it.
How to Get to Megève
The resort is conveniently just an hour and 15 minutes from Geneva Airport which has an extensive selection of budget and standard flights from the UK. Save yourself stress at the airport by booking a Shuttle Direct transfer online before you leave home. That way you can relax knowing you’ll be met by a driver with transport big enough to fit you and all your equipment, ready to whisk you straight to your resort accommodation.
Where to Stay
La Crémaillère – With a great location five minutes from the centre of town, and less to the Chamois ski lifts, La Crémaillère is a great family choice if you don’t want to do too much ski carrying. There’s a good selection of family rooms in this quaint, two-star hotel with its own restaurant.
Hôtel Vacances Bleues Les Chalets du Prariand – The three-star Hôtel Vacances Bleues Les Chalets du Prariand offers good comfortable rooms in either a hotel style or self-catering apartment. Slightly outside Megève it has its own restaurant and bar as well as a wellness centre to relax in after a day on the slopes.
Chalet de l’Ancolie – The two-star Chalet de l’Ancolie is basic but cosy, and so close to the lifts you’ll be on the slopes in no time in the morning.
About Shuttle Direct
Shuttle Direct is the leading provider of airport transfers in Europe and North Africa. With years of experience in providing skiing transfers, Shuttle Direct will transport you, your family and all your equipment from the airport to your accommodation in comfort.