Generally we are against the lists, but for Megève, refined mountain village at the foot of Mont Blanc, we make an exception: if you decide to spend your winter holidays in Haute Savoie with your furry these are the ten things to do.
1 – Sleeping in the chalet
We decided to book for our stay a romantic room in lovely chalets de tradition La Griyotire in the small town of Praz sur Arly (50, route de la Tonnaz; tel. +33 (0) 4 50218636 – firstname.lastname@example.org) only 4 kilometers from the center of Megève: not only small charming hotel but restaurant also well attended by people not hotel guest for its delicious local cuisine. Which avoids, after a day on the ski slopes, to go looking for a place to taste the Savoyard cuisine that is offered every evening from pella Savoyard (potato terrine with roasted onions and melted Reblochon) to fondue with Beaufort and local Emmental, from raclette to reblochonnade.
2 – View from the peak
From the summit of Mont d’Arbois with in the background the Mont Blanc massif. But to admire views and skiing there are many other slopes in Megève: Alpine skiing is practiced by 1,050 to 2,350 meters over more than 300 km served by 81 lifts and 136 ski runs all year. Cross-country skiing with 68 kilometers of trails, while those who practice snowboarding will take advantage of facilities such as the Mount Joux snow park and boarder -cross track at Rochebrune. For walking or hiking with snowshoes the mountains of the Megève reserve 50 km of marked tracks. With the ski pass Evasion Mont-Blanc you can ski on over 400 km of ski runs total, while the Mont-Blanc circuit allows you to ski with one ski pass on over 700 km of slopes in all areas including the Mont Blanc Megève, Chamonix, Les Grandes Montets, the Aiguille du Midi cable car and also the Italian ski resort of Courmayeur. Info: www.megeve.com.
3 – Hanging in the air
Climb to Mont Blanc up to 3842 meters to admire from the Aiguille du Midi the largest ice fall in Europe: the glacier of Les Bosson. Even dogs are allowed in the cabin but must be kept in the arm, so we decided not to bring Arturo with us because he weighs 35 kg! The cable car starts from Chamonix with a first section that rises in ten minutes leads to Plan de l’Aiguille where another trunk cable car, suspended in space without pillars, leads to the Aiguille du Midi, with a magnificent panorama on the north side of the massif. (Compagnie du Mont – Blanc 35, place de la Mer de Glace, Chamonix Mont – Blanc; tel: +33 (4) 50532275).
4 – Trip to the lake
Annecy, beautiful city considered the “Venice of Savoie” with its bridges and canals and the medieval center dominated by the Palais de l’Isle, residence of the Counts of Geneva, overlooking the Canal du Thiou, in whose waters are reflected the pastel-colored houses. The waters of Lake Annecy are considered among the purest in Europe, so transparent and clean that the delicate char has resettled in recent years.
The advice for those who have time and want to deepen their knowledge of the area is to go to Chambery, which houses the imposing castle of the Savoia. Do not miss the memory picture next to the singular fountain of the Elephants erected in 1838 in memory of General Boigne and a sip of beer from the more than 200 that offers the Cafe de l’Horloge.
5 – Up high without stress
To avoid stress to your furry you can decide not to take gondolas and cable cars to reach the heights. Just outside of Megéve, in fact, you can easily be reached by car to 2000 meters at Cote 2000 where you can stand on wooden chairs warmed by fur for a Savoyard snack, made of excellent raclette, tartiflette and grilled meats, in the hut Auberge (3461 route de la Cote 2000, Megéve – Tel. +33 (4) 50213184). All around there is all the space for skiing and hiking in the woods in the snow.
6 – Horse-drawn carriage
Unmissable the horse-drawn carriage through the streets of Megéve and snowy country towards Rochebrune. You start from the town square dominated by the massive bell tower of the parish church to walk the narrow medieval streets of the village and then continue towards the snowy landscape of Rochebrune lulled by the rhythm of the hooves and the jingle of the bells hung on the bridles of the horses. Wrapped in blankets and under the warm winter sun you can enjoy the carriage ride in the quiet of nature in a landscape to say the least enchanted: for an unforgettable experience.
7 – Between raclette and tartiflette
For lunch or dinner at one of the tables of many of Megeve restaurants you must try fondue, raclette steaming, tartiflette Reblochon and other Savoyard specialties accompanied by wines of Savoie. Not well known, however, were already appreciated by Plinio il Vecchio, who told of a “nectar ruby colored” drunk by the Celtic populations of these areas. In Savoie and Haute-Savoie are four areas AOC (Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée) and 22 grape varieties that exhibit the family coat of arms. Among the dry whites from lime scent and of honeysuckle we tasted L’Apremont and Chignin, while among the red the Chautagne, which comes from the Gamay grape variety and is perfect on cold cuts and sausages.
8 – Market stop
Do not miss the market in the square in front of the Sports Palace. The producers come down from the mountains to offer a riot of scents and flavors: the local products, from cheese to craft yogurt, from honey to sausages with walnuts, blueberries, smoky flame of fir wood, from tomini cheese to fragrant breads. But to enchant the eyes of the visitors also “treasures” less obvious, here between the tops of the mountains, fishing grounds, the richest we have ever seen!
9 – Tea hour
The charm of Megève is to be both charming mountain village and tourist resort of international renown. You can discovered it walking in a heavy frost days, in a muffled atmosphere of snow and silence, when to warm up, you enter from L’ Arboisier, in place de l’Eglise, as a stop for afternoon tea. Tearoom in the heart of the city is a destination for those who want to show off and curious in the footsteps of VIP: at the table next to ours was the Australian actress Cate Blanchett.
10 – Shopping
For purchases from Joly Pottuz (14 rue Ambroise Martin) to buy the traditional “cross of Megève”, that from eighteenth century young people of Savoy presented to his future brides and their girlfriends, while from Home Sweet Home (48 route de Sallanches) for item – memory made with reclaimed wood and Maison de la Presse (24 place de la Résistance) for books on the history and art of the countries of the Mont Blanc and to take home the soft teddy bear with a heart became a symbol the town. For the gourmand, the stop is from the Fromagerie Mégevanne (Les rues 5), which offers the best dairy in the valley, from the mountain pastures cheese to the famous yogurt presented in traditional packaging.