The official name of this resort - Saint-Gervais-les-Bains - gives a clue to the history of this small community. As far back as Roman times Saint Gervais had become known as a thermal spa and by the 19th century it had developed into a popular all year-round destination for holidaymakers. Today Saint Gervais still has all the charm of a fashionable spa resort but has also grown into a superb modern ski centre. As well as boasting traditional architecture, Saint Gervais offers everything that winter sports guests could possibly need for a comfortable and enjoyable skiing holiday. Relaxing in Saint Gervais is easy - the spa offers a range of wellness treatments and there are also breathtaking panoramic views of Mont Blanc to enjoy.
Of all the ski stations in the vast Evasion Mont Blanc ski area, Saint Gervais is the one nearest to the highest peak in the Alps. There are two great reasons why this picturesque high altitude resort is a great base for a skiing holiday. Firstly, it gives access to the whole of the vast Evasion Mont Blanc ski area which comprises 6 stations: Saint Gervais, Saint Nicolas, Megève, Les Contamines, Combloux and La Giettaz. In total there are 445 kilometres of pistes and 217 downhill runs, suitable for all abilities and the different stations are connected by an excellent network of 116 lifts and (usually free) shuttle buses.
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Secondly, skiers staying in Saint Gervais can also access a further 55 kilometres of pistes close by on the slopes of Mont Blanc. Two special highlights in this area are the Voza pass and the adjacent ski stations Le Prarion and Les Houches – these are easily accessible from Saint Gervais via the Mont Blanc tramway. Wintersports lovers will particularly like the Kandahar piste, well-known as a stage of the Ski World Cup.
In addition to great skiing, Saint Gervais has lots to offer fans of other winter sports, including a snowpark at Mont Joux, complete with a 120-metre long halfpipe, a total of 30 kilometres of cross-country trails as well as 19 winter hiking paths and snowshoe trails. Children are also well catered-for, with ski schools, ski kindergartens and other childcare facilities for children from 6 months. Saint Gervais also carries the “Les p‘tits Montagnards” label, which marks it out as a particularly child-friendly winter sports resort.
Visitors to Saint Gervais who fancy a day away from the slopes can enjoy a trip on the Mont Blanc tramway, a centuries-old rack and pinion railway which takes passengers from Saint Gervais, at a height of 900 metres, up to the Bellevue ski station at an altitude of 1,794 metres. Unfortunately, it is only possible to travel right to the tramway’s highest stopping-point, the Nid d’Aigle (literally: eagle’s nest) at 2,386 metres, during the summer months. Nevertheless, a trip taking you almost halfway up the highest peak in the Alps is still an experience not to be missed - as are the breathtaking high alpine views you can enjoy on arrival.
There is also plenty of off-piste fun to be had in Saint Gervais itself. The resort has its own ice-rink, perfect for skating and curling, and there are also the indoor pool and the thermal spa for you to relax in.
In the evenings there is no shortage of places to go – the resort has a good range of restaurants, bars and pubs … or maybe a visit to the casino would be more your thing? The choice is yours!