After three nights in Paris, it was time to say au revoir to the city of light. On our final morning in Paris, we Ubered to the Gare de Lyon for our train to Geneva, Switzerland. Unfortunately we had to check out of the hotel too early for their breakfast. Instead, we grabbed food in the train station to eat onboard.
I enjoy train travel so much more than air travel! It’s a less stressful ordeal. The ride from Paris to Geneva was easy, lasting about two and a half hours. Our view became increasingly beautiful as the train began climbing into the mountains. At one point we sped by a sparkling lake that got us very excited to be heading into the Alps:
Once our train arrived in Geneva, we got an Uber to the airport to pick up our rental car. I actually hadn’t realized that the Geneva airport has two sectors: one in Switzerland and one in France. We needed to pick up our rental car on the French side, Ferney-Voltaire. Our Uber driver understood our confusion and crossing the border there is no big deal. I was surprised that we didn’t have to stop at customs at all.
We got our rental car key and grabbed a snack in the airport before hitting the road to Megève.
Megève, Day One
The drive up into the Alps only took a little over an hour. We checked in at Hotel Coeur de Megève and the staff greeted us with a refreshing fruity beverage. I will note that we had originally booked a different hotel that canceled our reservation because they decided to close for the season. My guess is they didn’t have enough reservations to justify remaining open. However, that hotel helped book us in a comparable room at Coeur de Megève, and we ended up loving the place.
Look at this super cute lounge on the ground floor:
Hotel staff informed us that the town’s cable car would be closing for the season the next day. Megève is a ski resort, and many services close in the fall due to slow tourism. So after getting settled in our room, we decided to ride up in the cable car while we still could. We only had a few hours to go before it shut down for the season!
The uphill walk to the Rochebrune cable car station took us about 15 minutes. Fortunately the cable car wasn’t busy, and we had a nice, quiet ride up that took about ten minutes. Fun fact: Megève had the first cable car in France built to transport skiers up to the slopes!
And oh, how glorious it was to be at the top of the mountain! Especially after three hot, bustling days in Paris. Looking out at a valley from a mountain peak will never, ever get old:
We were so, so happy to be up in that fresh mountain air:
The restaurant at the peak was still open, so we sat down and got a cold beverage. It was a pretty warm Alpine day—in the upper 70s—and we needed some hydration. John decided he wanted to hike back down to town. I was not dressed for a hike, so I took the easy route and rode the cable car back down.
For dinner, we went to Le Vieux Megève, a traditional Savoyard fondue restaurant (the village is in the department of Haute-Savoie in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region) located a stone’s throw from our hotel.
We sat on the front patio in phenomenal weather and enjoyed an aperitif to start. I got a Kir with Savoie white wine and blueberry liqueur, and it was delicious:
For our fondue we decided on the “Le Vieux Megève” Savoyard fondue (100% Comté cheese) so we could try a traditional classic. And it was insanely decadent:
I love bread and cheese, but just eating bread and cheese for dinner is very heavy. We couldn’t quite finish our fondue for two, but it was so, SO good. Next time we get fondue we will need to add on some veggies.
After dinner we sat on the patio of Le Meige, our hotel’s bar, and had a glass of wine. Then it was time to head upstairs to bed.
Megève Day Two
The morning after our fondue extravaganza, I wasn’t hungry enough to justify spending many Euros on the hotel buffet. Google helped me find an alternative: Patisserie Le Comptoir Du Père Sotieu, just a short walk from the hotel. I bought this incredible vegetable and chèvre tartelette for five Euros:
The patisserie didn’t have coffee, so I got a latte from the hotel bar and brought it up to our room to eat breakfast on our balcony. John got the hotel breakfast (which I had the rest of our mornings there, and it was great). Check out this lovely spread:
After breakfast, John went for a hike and I explored the village. On the way to the patisserie I had spotted a local spa shop named Pure Altitude, which I made a beeline for when it opened. I bought a few items there, then went to Pharmacie de la Tour in the town’s main square and bought a couple things there as well. As I mentioned in my Paris recap, I’ll do a separate post about my vacation haul.
I adored wandering around town, marveling at its nooks and crannies. Megève is truly the cutest place! Imagine what it must look like at night during the holidays, all lit up and blanketed with snow:
How freaking charming is this little crêperie (closed for the season) tucked behind some buildings?!
After my wanderings, I rested in the room with the shades drawn to keep it cool. The places there don’t have air conditioning because it doesn’t usually get too hot. But it was pretty warm when we arrived and our room got a lot of sun, so it heated up during the day if we left the shades open. The front desk lent us a Dyson fan, and along with that, keeping the shades closed and the windows open, we managed a comfortable inside temperature.
After John returned and cleaned up from his hike, we explored the village together and then went to Le Hibou Blanc for a pre-dinner cocktail. Le Hibou Blanc had the most interesting cocktail list that we saw on our trip. I had a cocktail called the Monkey Kong, and it was very tasty.
Only a handful of restaurants in town were open, but we didn’t mind having limited options. It helped cut down on decision fatigue. I dunno about you, but having too many options stresses me out! After our drink we headed to our hotel’s restaurant, Le Coeur. We sat on the patio and had a nice, leisurely meal; John got the five-course chef’s tasting, and I had a sun-baked tomato-mozzarella tart. Everything was so good, including some local wines that we tasted. We especially loved a 2019 Mondeuse from local winemaker Ravier. The service was great, and the experience made for a fantastic vacation date night.
Megève Day Three
We got up and ate hotel breakfast together, then headed out for a hike to Cascade de la Belle au Bois not far outside town. We made our way up a steep hill, then turned off the paved trail to a wooded trail that led to a rocky drop down to the waterfall. Which was absolutely gorgeous:
Then we discovered that the only way down to the waterfall was a mini via ferrata: metal bars affixed to the rock face that form a makeshift ladder to climb down. John descended first, then tried to talk me through how to get down safely. I first attempted to climb down while facing the waterfall and felt way too unsteady to do so without tumbling head over heels down the rocks. The metal bars and rocks were wet, therefore slippery, which made the prospect of climbing down even scarier.
I decided I couldn’t do it, and sat down on a rock to compose myself. Then I turned around and realized it made more sense for me to treat the metal bars like a ladder, descending while facing the rock, and I was able to make my way down!! I was SO proud of myself for conquering my fear and trying something new.
Behind me in this photo, you can see the metal bars and cable that we had to use to reach the waterfall:
Getting closer to the waterfall was so worth the fear of climbing down the bars…look how pretty this crystal clear water is:
Here I am posing like a real dork:
Of course we still had to climb back up, but I found that easier than climbing down. The workouts that I’ve been doing really paid off for me that day!
After our morning adventure, we returned to the room to rest. In the afternoon I grabbed an espresso at the tabac around the corner from our hotel. Then we headed down to the hotel spa because we had booked time in the sauna and sensorial double shower. That was a relaxing experience, especially after the day’s adventure.
For dinner we returned to Le Hibou Blanc, where I enjoyed a decadent truffle ravioli and John had a burger. Another yummy cocktail too, of course.
After dinner, we returned to the patio at Le Meige to use our welcome drink tokens that the hotel gave us when we checked in. Then we strolled around town for a bit. Obviously, I had to pose by the iconic red cable car that welcomes you as you drive into town:
Megève: Final Morning
In the morning we ate our final breakfast at Hotel Coeur de Megève. Then John went for a 10-mile hike on his own. I had booked a 45-minute facial for that morning at our hotel spa, which is a Tata Harper spa (I love her skin care products)! I hadn’t had a facial in about four years, and this was only my third facial ever. The facial was quite lovely; my skin looked so glowy afterward!
When John returned from his hike he got a massage; then it was time for us to check out of the hotel and move on to our next destination. We had such a wonderful time in Megève and would love to visit again someday. Maybe next time we’ll try to go when it’s a little busier and more places are open. A visit just a week earlier probably would have been a touch livelier. But we do prefer avoiding crowds by traveling in the off-season, so it was super nice to have a few days in a quiet spot.
On our drive out of town we stopped at the Casino Supermarché on the outskirts of Megève. There, we went on a snack shopping spree. In the below photo it looks like we totally cleaned out the chip aisle, but I swear it was already not fully stocked when we got to it!
We love trying new chip flavors, and it’s always so fun to see what other countries have that aren’t available in the US! Of course we bought a whole bunch of treats to bring home with us.
After the supermarket sweep, we had just about an hourlong drive to Chamonix for the next leg of our trip. A recap of our time in Chamonix is coming soon!