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Saint Gervais

It’s surprising St G. doesn’t have a bigger presence on the ski scene, but that's just how we like it. A thousand-year-old spa town, ski area linking 5 resorts and views of Mont Blanc this glorious are best enjoyed in peace and quiet.

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Intermediate

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At a glance: • Ancient spa town • Famille Plus resort • Evasion Mont Blanc ski area

Great for: • Families • Short Transfers • Linked ski area

It’s surprising St G. doesn’t have a bigger presence on the ski scene, but that's just how we like it. A thousand-year-old spa town, ski area linking 5 resorts and views of Mont Blanc this glorious are best enjoyed in peace and quiet.

Saint Gervais Resort

With Europe’s tallest mountain teetering overhead and an ancient town centre, one thing St G. isn’t short of is good views. Between 4 stunningly handsome hamlets, you’ll find the highest commune in France with Italian Baroque churches, Belle Epoque buildings and views of Mont Blanc that make your jaw drop.

Try not to spend all your time staring about in wide-eyed wonder. The town’s official name is Saint-Gervais-les-Bains and natural springs have drawn the great and the good here for over two centuries. The hydrotherapeutic nature of the water makes this the only spa resort in the Alps and one of only ten in France. Fed by the Mont Blanc glaciers and bubbling into thermal springs at a muscle-melting 38-40°C, these certainly deserve some attention.

But this isn’t JUST a pretty spa resort, it’s a rather good ski resort too. A road, gondola and 3km red piste link the town with Le Bettex, where the Evasion Mont Blanc ski area spreads out above you. Together with Megève, Combloux, Les Contamines and La Gietaz, there are 445km of pistes making this France’s third biggest ski area. If that wasn’t enough, you can also take the legendary Mont Blanc Tramway – France’s highest rack and pinion railway – over to Les Houches for 55km more.

And if the spa-ing and skiing offerings don’t have you reaching for the passport, the fact that the location is so darn convenient might do the trick. Geneva Airport is just an hour’s drive away and the local train station makes rail travel from the UK a breeze. You can also reach the legendary mountain town of Chamonix in under half an hour and cross the border to Italy in about the same time.

Stats & FAQ

Location: Haute-Savoie, French Alps

Established:

Open: December - April

Downhill: 445km

View our detailed Saint Gervais snow forecast or snow report and see all live webcams, piste maps, road and travel maps and lift pass prices. For a picture of historic snow conditions see the snow depths month by month with our Saint Gervais snow history.

Nearest Airport & Transfer Time:
Geneva International (GVA)86km, 1 hour
  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced
  • 110 runs

  • 91 runs

  • 34 runs

Top Altitude:2350m / 7710ft
Bottom Altitude:1150m / 3770ft
Resort Altitude:850m (St G) 1150m (Le Bettex)
Longest run:10km
Slope Orientation:
Vertical Drop:1500m
Skiable Vertical:
Night Skiing:No
Glacier:No

Snow Report

  • Top
  • 20cm
  • Base
  • 120cm
  • Forecast
  • 300cm

Web Cam

Saint Gervais web cams
Downhill Runs:445km
Beginner slopes:
Intermediate:
Advanced slopes:
Lift Pass Price: €205 (adult 6 day)
Nearby resorts: Chamonix, Les Houches

Skiing/BoardingSkiing in Saint Gervais

Beginners can pick up the basics on the nursery slopes in Le Bettex, and have some incredible greens and blues to build confidence from Mont d’Arbois. Chateluy is a confidence boosting 4km trail back to Le Bettex, which might look a little steep at the top but once you’ve zig zagged down the first bit, it’s gorgeously varied with a fantastic powdery stretch between the trees. Another fabulous run is the Ideal-Mandarines which ends up at the Megeve golf club (for amazing hot chocolates worth splashing out for) – go hell for leather at some points to keep you going over flatter bits. If you want to get your ski legs back before taking on the longer greens, ski the triangle from Le Bettex – down green Poue Blanche, up the Pierre Plate and back via the green trail or the end of blue La Finance (best skied in the morning as ice can build up later on).

Speaking of La Finance, this lovely long blue is a favourite run back from Mont d’Arbois, lined by thick forest and great for building up a rhythm. More blues worth skiing include the sunny Prapacot, which links to green le Plan or blue Encraty down to La Princesse.

Red piste skiers have the run of the area, including the only descent back to St Gervais. Milloz is a testing track under the Princesse lift, starting off steep and bumpy and rewarding the thigh burn with awesome views down over the valley.

Mont d’Arbois accesses a handful of black runs like Princesse – not the steepest in the Alps, but an absolute joy to blast down. For a sharper gradient, try the Chamois from Mont Joly. Where the expert offerings really rule here is off piste, with some incredible powder runs on open fields and between the trees – head to Mont Joly and down to Saint-Nicolas for some of the best of it.

Freestylers can spend hour after hour in one of two snow parks, while the 28km of cross country trails through Le Bettex and Le Priaron are free to access.

Saint Gervais Apres Ski

With Folie Douce fever spreading to the Evasion Mont Blanc, it’s well worth heading up to Mont Joux between 2:30 and 4:30pm to experience the madness – DJ’s, musicians, a table-top tango, you name it.

Back at Le Bettex, La Fleche D'Or is a super meeting point – near the ski school and a short slide from the bottom of the slopes. Grab one of the outdoor tables, order a steaming vin chaud and watch the world ski by with the Mont Blanc massif in the distance. Over on the other side of the cable car, Le Prestau is another popular drinking spot. Both also serve all the alpine favourites if you need an energy boost - like tartiflette and cracking fondues.

In St G. town proper, Oboose is a popular first stop for afternoon antics, just over the road from the gondola and with a lively, pubby atmosphere. There’s also the Duplex disco for late night shindigs. For food, try La Galeta for steaks or L’Eterle for pizzas with Savoyard meats and cheeses. When it comes to lunch on the mountains, be careful at O'Communailles, where views of Mont Blanc can bewitch you into staying for the rest of the afternoon…

If you’re planning something special, head over to Megeve for a wander or horse and cart ride around the gorgeous Place de l’Eglise and a slap up dinner at Michelin-starred 1920 or Flocons de Sel.

Activity-wise, there’s the Esplanade Marie Paradis ice rink in the middle of the village. Not forgetting the local spa facilities – join destination spa-goers in unwinding at Les Thermes where thermal pools, pods and treatments like “the secret of the summits” promise to make you feel like everything’s right with the world…

Best time to go

Best time to ski Saint Gervais

When is the best time to ski Saint Gervais?

This isn’t the highest or most snow sure ski area in the Alps, so it’s best visited in the middle of the season when the snow’s had a chance to build up (helped by an army of 650 snow makers). But the good news is that even if some slopes do suffer from slush or ice, there are enough north facing and wooded runs to find good snow on. And on spring days when afternoon skiing isn’t viable, there’s always the spa to while away the hours in.

Peak Dates

There’s usually a market on the build up to Christmas in Saint Gervais, making the traditional town feel even more festive. Snow cannons will be firing on all cylinders, ensuring the slopes are in the best condition possible. Ski the Pere Noel piste over towards Megeve and attend Christmas mass in Saint Nicolas’ gorgeous baroque church.

Look out for a street party in the town square to mark the New Year in Saint Gervais, then wake up to awesome views of the mighty Mont Blanc.

Some of the SNO team spend Half Term in Saint Gervais every year, returning again and again for its family-focussed atmosphere and the peak conditions throughout the ski area.

With family events at the Folie, pistes shaded by trees and beautiful blue skies, we love Easter in Saint Gervais.

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Families in Saint Gervais

Awarded the Famille Plus badge for its endeavours, Saint Gervais is brilliant for families.

Children have a learning area on Le Bettex plateau and the Garderie des Neiges for playtime and childcare. Youngsters will have a whale of a time in the luge areas under the Bettex telecabine station, which are sensibly split between one for 2-6 year olds and another for little rippers aged 6 years and up. For more confident skiers and snowboarders, there are oodles of tree-lined runs mixed with glorious open pistes looking out over the Mont Blanc massif. They’ll have a whale of a time on the bumpy side tracks along the Chateluy and between the trees.

It’s not only the snow you can enjoy together here - the thermal baths welcome families on special 2 hour sessions on certain days of the week and in school holidays, the tourist office often put on afternoon workshops with activities like pottery and theatre shows.

GroupsGroup Holidays Saint Gervais

A big, varied ski area? Tick. Everything from après ski bars to spas for off-slope activities? Tick. Short transfers to a traditional town? Tickety tick.

St Gervais is a people pleaser, making it a brilliant resort for groups of every shape and size. Our favourite meeting point is La Fleche D'Or, where groups split between lessons, the wider ski area and the non-ski offerings have a handy place to gather throughout the week. We’ve enjoyed some fantastic group suppers at L’Eterle in town, who have always been happy to put tables together for big parties. With a menu of pizzas, burgers and regional dishes, everyone’s a winner.

One of the best things about this resort is its location. If you can’t find a travel method that suits the whole party, this place works wonderfully for self-drivers, train travellers, and those who prefer the plane. Let everyone arrive under their own steam – first to get there’s in charge of lighting the log fire!

More Saint Gervais Holiday Resources


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