St Gervais is best known for the thermal waters that have risen up from deep in the earth’s crust for more than 200 years. Their hydrotherapeutic properties led many to travel great distances to be cured of a wide range of health complaints.
This gave rise to the 19th Century spa architecture that now features strongly in the town centre. The thermal spa facility at the bottom of the hill has recently undergone a significant development, throwing off its medical background and creating a modern space for relaxation and rejuvenation.
The Tramway du Mont Blanc featured in the film "Malabar Princess" ascends from the town on a rack and pinion track to an altitude of 2372 metres. This brings you up close and personal with Mont Blanc and the Glacier de Bionassay.
As with many resorts in the Alps the attitude of the town is heavily influenced by the town Mayor who in this case is a leader in sustainable development. He encourages a softer form of tourism, and this is reflected in his "Pure Mountain Campaign" a deliberate choice to respect the surrounding mountains and control excessive access for pure commercial benefit.
The ski area, connected to Megève, is huge and perfect for intermediate skiers wanting a resort that offers mile upon mile of tree-lined skiing. Facing Mont Blanc the views are stunning and at just under an hour from Geneva airport it is also a perfect weekend getaway.
La Raviere on the mountain is a tiny wooden chalet hidden in the woods just above the Communaille chairlift. You should go with close friends as you will be sitting virtually on top of each other in this family run refuge.