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The Resort

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Verbier is one of the world’s best-known ski and holiday resorts, largely due to being popularised by the British ski market for decades. Located in the French-speaking Four Valleys region of Switzerland and nestling on a plateau at 1500m, the village provides skiing and boarding up to a staggering 3330m on Mont Fort, and offers over 412km of pistes (plus some of the finest off-piste mogul slopes and back-country skiing terrain anywhere on the globe).

For the beginner, the resort is more challenging than many, with a smattering of nursery slopes close to the village but a lot of more tricky stuff higher up. The resort is excellent for intermediate skiers, and if you are an advanced skier or boarder you will be hard pressed to find a better place to enjoy yourself.

The village itself is renowned for its nightlife, with a plethora of vibrant bars and restaurants to choose from. There are a large number of chalets and several very smart hotels to stay in, and although it attracts the uber-rich celebrity set, the prices are not ridiculous, with many of the popular French resorts now out performing it on the over-charging front.

Verbier in the winter

Although placed at one end of the piste map, Verbier can rightly claim – due to its popularity if nothing else – to be at the very heart of the Four Valleys, Switzerland’s largest ski area. The ski terrain around Verbier is varied and largely intermediate, but ski over the back down to Tortin and the rest of the Four Valleys opens up to you – with the villages and varied slopes of Siviez, Nendaz, Veysonnaz and Thyon all accessible to the East. Indeed, Verbier itself accounts for only around 30% of the Four Valleys terrain, yet lots of visitors to the resort never seem to venture further afield. There is simply no need for many.

At last count, there were eight ski schools in Verbier, catering to all levels of ability, plus seven or eight well-equipped hire shops for you to obtain equipment. Read more about winter activities in Verbier.

Verbier for non-skiers

If you are not a skier or border, Verbier is still a pleasant place to find yourself. Coffee houses, bars and restaurants abound in Verbier, many of which have sunny terraces ideal for lazing on with a good book. The shops, too, can be an enticing option, with many big fashion brands now offering purchasers the chance to flex their plastic. There is a cinema in the village, just off Place Centrale, that shows the latest blockbusters – some in English but some in French. If you are adventurous, snow-shoes can be hired, and organised snow-shoe excursions are run by several firms. Read more about other things to do in Verbier during the winter.

Verbier in the summer

The resort is much quieter in the summer months, but that has its benefits. The scenery is outstanding and the views are spectacular, with hiking and mountain biking taking over from the skiing and boarding after the winter season has ended, and with the village’s hire shops able to provide you with all you need to enjoy your time on the mountain. Other popular activities include canyoning, pony trekking and golf – there is also an 18-hole golf course that wraps itself around the lower slopes and will challenge the most proficient of golfers (golf is also available an easy 45-minute drive away in the Canton’s capital, Sion). Read more about summer activities in Verbier.

Connected satellite villages - see more

Le Châble

At the foot of the Verbier road, Le Châble is the administrative centre of the commune of Bagnes. Its museum and gothic church are both worth a visit, and for some, staying in the village means a quieter time – the snag being that to access the ski terrain you need to take a bubble up to Verbier before even starting on your main ascent.

Bruson

Located across the valley beyond Le Châble, Bruson is a charming, quiet village that has some entertaining wide pistes above it. From Verbier, you need to take the bubble down to Le Châble before hopping on the new cable car up to the Bruson slopes. Great for a day’s change of scenery, but not worth the effort if you’re looking for instant gratification.

La Tzoumaz

Located ‘over the hill’ to the north of Verbier, La Tzoumaz is a small village that is accessed by road from the main Rhône valley road between Martigny and Sion (as opposed to via Le Châble and Verbier). By ski, La Tzoumaz is accessed by taking the Savoleyres bubble. Worth it for a handful of pleasant runs, and perhaps a spot of lunch in the village.

Nendaz, Veysonnaz and Thyon

Although they would refute being satellites to Verbier, the other principal villages of the Four Valleys are all worth a visit, since collectively they offer around 70% of the available terrain in the region. Each is accessed via Tortin and Siviez, and each provides a broad range of skiing or boarding challenges.