This stunning French snow resort at the foot of Mont Blanc in the Haute-Savoie area of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes is renowned for its downhill slopes and cross-country ski trails. But Megève is equally magical outside of the winter season, with summer bringing verdant landscapes, watersports, wild swimming opportunities and warm weather pursuits aplenty. And with temperatures peaking around the mid-twenties, it’s ideal for enjoying the great outdoors. Here are some of our favourite ways to spend summertime in Megève.
Golf at Four Seasons Hotel Megève
Image Credit Four Seasons Megève
With spectacular mountain/village views and an average altitude of 1,320 meters, the 18-hole Domaine du Mont d’Arbois club at the luxury Four Seasons Hotel Megève is the place to play golf in the Alps. The par 72 course has quite the history too, having originated in the roaring ‘20s when Noémie de Rothschild decided to create a family holiday destination here. Later redesigned by golf-pro Henry Cotton in 1964, it took on a French garden style that blends seamlessly into its picturesque environment. And as the green is maintained using non-polluting, environmentally-friendly methods, plant and animal biodiversity and biological soil activity are flourishing.
Widely respected as one of the best (and oldest) mountain golf courses on the planet, Domaine du Mont d’Arbois is situated on a prime, south-facing plateau, featuring an even gradient that belies its Alpine location. As such, many amateur and professional tournaments are played here every year, including those organised by Four Seasons Megève Collection. And it’s a wonderful spot to socialise after a few rounds; the clubhouse has its own terrace and solarium for leisurely lunches and drinks. If there’s anything you need while you’re here, the Pro Shop is well-stocked with clubs, gloves, shoes and clothing from the world’s top brands. Plus there’s the Fabrice Tarnaud Academy, with expert coaching from pros Jean-Luc Biset and Pierre Gagnaire available for those wishing to perfect their swing.
You don’t have to rely on pedal power to enjoy this activity. E-bikes are definitely the way forward if you want to go places fast, without breaking a sweat. You can join a tour to see the sights with the wind in your hair, or go it alone (if the latter, do check you have enough battery life to cover your planned route).
Families seeking some fun manual mountain biking opportunities can take a lift over the golf course onto Mont d’Arbois for some runs. Or you might like to take a relatively easy three-hour trip to L’Alpete, or the much steeper Col de la Basse Combe trail for a challenge. With hundreds of options in and around the village and over 300 km of bike trails in the resort, there’s something for every level and time scale.
Image Credit Four Seasons Megève
An invigorating hike is a healthy way to start the day and with 150 km of trails to choose from (some of which are themed), hiking here is suitable for beginners, through to the most advanced walkers. Opt for a well-travelled path where you can pass the time of day with others or a more adventurous route for a peaceful, but vigorous ascent far from the crowd (Mont Joly is a good trek for the latter).
Of course, it’s important to ensure you’re well prepared, hydrated and have some delicious food to fuel your ascent. With scenery this good, a picnic is the best way to pause for lunch en route. Many of Megève’s hotels will pack one for you to take; the Four Seasons provides a service that includes a private guide and picnic prepared by the culinary team and Les Ferme de Marie will put together a hamper filled with market-fresh items. Or you can pop into one of the many fabulous delis in the village to select some tasty regional delights before setting off.
Horse and carriage rides are a frequent sight in Megève, but you don’t have to be in the back seat. Get right in the saddle with a horse riding session or lesson at one of the area’s riding schools. Pony treks – sure to delight younger travellers – are also available, with several hotels arranging these either on or from their grounds. And for those with a little experience wanting to explore further afield on horseback, full and half-day cross-country tours can be booked, allowing you to commune with nature via one of the oldest forms of transport!
Image Credit Four Seasons Megève
Explore natural rock canyons, take a leap into a pool of clear water and abseil down waterfalls. Canyoning is a thrill-seeking, yet safe adventure for families (children must be at least eight) with a variety of route options provided to cater for those of varying ages and abilities. Megève’s own La Belle aux Bois canyon is just yards away from the resort and a stunning hidden spot best enjoyed from the vantage points afforded while canyoning.
With guided tours bookable locally, you’ll only need a swimsuit, a towel and some shoes suitable for rocks and water – everything else, including safety equipment, will be provided. Expect thrills and a few spills along the way!
In addition to participating in the resort’s summer sports, you can sit back and observe some of the action, drink in hand. As a spectator this summer there are lots of events to see. The 10th stage of the Tour de France finishes in Megève – it lasts just 148.1 km, but as the mountainous route is especially challenging (especially the final climb to the finish), it’s a particularly gripping section to watch. And the backdrop for the spectacle is stunning.
Megève’s international show jumping (Jumping Megève) takes place from 18th to 24th July. The equestrian competition has been running for over a decade now, with over 500 horses and 350 riders taking part from across 20 countries. You’ll get to see both amateurs and top professionals compete in what is a very festive and welcoming atmosphere. Jumping Megeve’s popularity is evidenced by some 25000 visitors who attend each year.
Live Outdoor Music
A sociable resort with a longstanding tradition for live events, Megève is big on music. Every Thursday throughout the summer, you’ll find acts performing across the village; from groups to pop bands and soloists. Plus for two weekends a year (one in July and one in August), Megève takes on a New Orleans feel, with ‘Summer Jazz’, where the amphitheatre becomes a dance floor. And from the 3rd of July to the 22nd of July, it hosts the Mont Blanc Baroque Festival, with a number of venues – including some of the region’s most historic churches – running concerts and talks on the genre.
Megève is a great place to visit all year round, however, the summer season really kicks into action come 1st July! If you love the great outdoors and enjoy a little luxury too then Megève should definitely be the place for your next travel adventure.
Discover our top recommendations for luxury hotels in Megève.
Our best hotel for families is the Four Seasons Megève, read our review here