Verbier is one of the most gloriously situated ski resorts in the Alps, with superb skiing and charming chalets. The lively town has the exciting buzz of a young resort, which is notoriously brimming with keen skiers and après lovers. Being just over an hour and a half's drive from Geneva, Verbier is a much-favoured ski weekend destination and you will soon feel at home in the laid-back atmosphere of the town. Situated in the centre of the 4 Valleys, Verbier town is perched upon a sun-drenched plateau which gives way to a vast ski area with exciting terrain to thrill skiers and boarders of all abilities.
Comprising hundreds of small wooden chalets and much larger, but still chalet-shaped, apartment blocks and hotels clad in wood, Verbier sometimes looks as though it has existed for centuries. In fact, serious development only began after the last war, when the first ski lift was erected. The traditional, authentic feel of the resort can be felt throughout, and it is famed for being a truly picturesque and idyllic holiday location which has accommodation offering wonderful panoramic views across the valley. Visitors not enticed by the thrilling descents on offer up the mountain will be delighted by the varied, bustling town which is home to a huge range of gourmet eateries, designer shops and fabulous bars.
Resort Altitude: 1,500m
Resort Skiing: 3,330m
Blue Runs: 107km
Red Runs: 202km
Black Runs: 103km
Cross Country: 22km
One of the largest lift-linked areas in the world, Verbier is part of the 4 Valleys ski area giving skiers access to 412km of downhill skiing on 205 pistes. The resort is snow-sure too thanks to its high elevation at 1,500 meters. The skiing in and around Verbier can be broken up into 4 areas, namely: Verbier, La Tzoumaz/Savoleyres, Bruson and Mont Fort/4 Valleys, all of which can be accessed via a 4 Valleys ski pass and provide a varied and extensive range of terrain to please all abilities.
Verbier's vast ski area will impress beginners through to the discerning freerider. The resort's famous itinerary runs provide some truly awesome 'marked' off-piste territory such as the Col des Gentianes Tortin and the Mont Gele. Unmarked areas such as Stairway to Heaven and Hidden Valley are best explored with a guide. From Verbier's principal lift station the Medran, there are a number of intermediate areas such as La Chaux and Lac des Vaux, which are dotted with plenty of cruisey reds and high-speed chairlifts.
Verbier's ski area is very snowboarder friendly, with a large terrain park accessible from the La Chaux chairlift and an additional larger park in Thyon providing a multitude of rails, jumps and even an airbag jump. Beginner boarders can make use of the resort's nursery run at Les Esserts. Fantastic powder days can be had in Bruson, which is accessible via the 4 Valleys lift pass and provides excellent off-piste territory and tree paths.
Verbier has a fantastic selection of ski and snowboard schools, who offer private or group lessons to students of all abilities. The well-known chains Altitude and New-Generation both operate in resort, and will guarantee English speaking or native-English instructors. Boarders even have their own specialist school, Vivid Snowboarding, which offers lessons to kids and adults.
Petit Verbier provides off-mountain childcare for kids, which includes a nanny service after 6pm and an after-ski kids club for those aged 3 to 6 years, which runs from when ski school finishes at midday until 4pm. There is also an ES Penguins Children's ski club which provides a full day of activities for children aged three to five years. This takes place on the snow and provides plenty of games and fun to keep them entertained.
Across the Four Valleys, there are a huge selection of mountain restaurants. Le Dahu is a buzzing complex located conveniently at the bottom of the popular La Chaux lift, offering a downstairs self-service area and an upstairs table service arrangement. Le Carrefour can be accessed both from the slopes and by foot and serves delicious local gourmet food. In the town, you can choose between first-class sushi at the T-Bar, fine dining at La Channe or a cosy meal followed by a toboggan ride home at Chez Dany.
Verbier has a lively nightlife scene, which will typically start at the slopeside Ice Cube bar located at the top of the Medran lift. From here you can ski to Le Rouge, which is famous for its live DJ's, regular events and fantastic views across the valley. Every night, live music is on at Le Farinet, which is legendary for its bustling scene and the occasional visit from celebrities around the world. For a more laid-back night, head to Fer a Cheval for a cosy drink or Farinet Lounge to enjoy first-class cocktails.
Whilst Verbier is renowned for its world-class skiing both on and off the piste, this charming town also offers plenty of off-slope experiences. Verbier 1936 offers to bring the massage parlour to your chalet, meaning that if the fresh powder on a snowy day does not entice you, you can stay warm and indulge in some R&R. There are also a varied selection of shopping opportunities, ranging from the creme de la creme in chic mountain wear to a rich artisanal food industry offering a multitude of cheese and wine shops.