Verbier is a village located in southwestern Switzerland in the canton of Valais. Lying on a south oriented terrace at around 1,500 metres and facing the Grand Combin massif; the resort benefits from the south-facing vista with some glorious sunny days on the mountain. Famous for its off-piste; with the surrounding peaks full of impressive chutes, gullies and couloirs it has some of the most challenging terrain in the Alps.
From Verbier’s high point at the top of Mont Fort (3330m) you will be treated to panoramic views across the Alps including the Matterhorn, Dom, Dent Blanche, Dent d'Hérens, Grand Combin and the Mont Blanc massif. As part of the Four Valleys ski domain you can ski Verbier, Nendaz, Veysonnaz, La Tzoumaz and Thyon under the one lift pass, with over 410 km of marked pistes.
Visitors flock to Verbier from all over the world for the authentic Swiss charm, beautiful traditional ski chalets and the vibrant and buzzing town. Verbier plays host to some amazing international events year round including overnight mountaineering and ski touring races, the Ski Alpinism World Cup event and an International Show Jumping Grand Prix. A truly international and glamorous ski destination.
As with most Alpine ski resorts Verbier was originally a farming hamlet; when the first recorded attempt at skiing in Verbier took place in 1925 their companions were cows and some herdsmen who must have thought it a strange site. It wasn’t until 1946 that the first lift system was installed, but it was the snow sport boom of the 1960’s that began to transform this small farming village into the world leading ski resort that it is today. Verbier has a number of fascinating museums and galleries that are well worth visiting and display the journey that Verbier has taken from farming hamlet to international ski destination.
Today accommodation in Verbier consists predominantly of traditional Swiss-styled chalets, but there are also a number of outstanding international hotels here including the stylish W Hotel, which opened its doors in 2013. A popular location is always the area between the Médran gondola, which is also the ski school meeting-place, and Place Centrale – and this is where most hotels are located.
There is another little pocket of chalets up next to the Savoleyres lift which boast beautiful views over Verbier and the valley below – with the added bonus of missing out on those early morning queues that can build up at the Médran lift during peak weeks.
The quiet and exclusive ‘Plan Pra’ area of Verbier is always popular; only a few minutes drive from the main lift station and the buzz of the Place Centrale and also boasting stunning views over the village, also offering a real sense of privacy.
Verbier’s nightlife offers up some of the best action in the Alps. Spending your afternoon people-watching on Le Rouge’s terrace is the ultimate session starter – it’s not high voltage antics but you can certainly let your hair down and get into the party vibe. Expect live music, DJs, and stunning views, plus a bottle of M de Minuty rosé for £40.
For apres-ski, head for the Apres Ski Bar at the Farinet in time for the live music. This dance-on-the-bar-in-your-boots kind of place is not for the fainthearted (or the sober), the high octane fun is all over by 9pm so skip dinner and go for your life. For those of you who just don't know when you've had enough, head to the Farm Club, a Verbier institution. It has a strict-ish door policy and the drinks aren’t cheap, so don’t forget your Gucci wallet and matching goggles. On your way home saunter by the bakery window (between Farm Club and the Place Centrale) for their tasty ham and cheese croissants.
Verbier is part of the Swiss ‘4 Valleys’ ski area - one lift pass covers 410 km of pistes, allowing you to ski the resorts of Verbier, La Tzoumaz, Siviez, Nendaz, Veysonnaz, Maynes de L’Ours, Les Collons and Les Masses.
The area is vast with lots to recommend it to both experienced skiers and beginners alike. It’s also home to some famous off-piste itineraries, and with the resort sitting in a large south–facing bowl, Verbier benefits from sunshine all day long – making it one of the sunniest resorts around.
Altitude (Verbier) 1500m
Skiable Range 1500 – 3,330m
Highest lift 3,330m, the Mont Fort 2 tram
Longest Run: 15km
Ski terrain (4 Valleys)
Pistes 410 km
Blue 39%, Red 44%, Black 17%
*skiing with a qualified mountain guide advised
Vallon d’Arby and Mont Gelé have numerous marked itineraries in addition to unmarked off-piste routes; the back side of Mont Fort is not for the faint hearted and involves quite a long exit back to civilisation. More secret is the Bruson forest – perfect for poor visibility days; pick your own routes through the trees.
Monte Fort is the most famous of Verbier’s pistes – it starts at the highest accessible peak in resort, 3,300m and it is steep with moguls at the start and then softening out as you continue past Gentianes all the way to Tortins taking your own route – the longest run in resort at around 15 km from top to bottom.
Les Moulins is the beginner area close to the centre of town with a dedicated kids area & crèche so perfect for the little ones. For the slightly ‘bigger’ beginner Les Esserts, a little higher up, provides a good base with a 140m magic carpet to get you started. But to progress further the green runs at Savoleyres and over the top into La Tzoumaz are the place to head to.
Again on the Tzoumaz side you will find some excellent blues; above the Esserts beginners’ area, try Le Rouge and Les Esserts first, before progressing higher up to La Chaux and skiing Etierces – a long swooping blue run taking you down and through the trees.
Verbier is really an intermediate skier’s dream with over 40% of the 4 Valleys made up of red runs – across varied terrain with fantastic high-mountain views there is so much to explore. The area immediately above Verbier accessed by the Médran ski lift is as good an area as any – try Hattey down through the trees.
Well you couldn’t miss the highest run in resort – the Mont Fort – which takes in stunning views of the Matterhorn to the east and Mont Blanc to the west before heading steeply down taking pretty much the fall line - and usually with a few moguls to boot.
Verbier is a world famous resort; an Alpine playground of formidable force ever popular with those looking for fantastic and varied skiing, sunshine, and gorgeous chalets exuding chic Swiss style. The views from the top are far reaching in every direction, giving you vistas across the Alps and with good visibility you can spot Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn.
Although across the 4 Valley ski area there is certainly something for every skier (and snow boarder) of every level it should be acknowledged that the links from one area to the next are not quite as fast or as simple as those in some of the famous large linked French resorts. In some cases, slow bus rides are required (notably from Verbier to Savoleyres) and signage is not the best – although greatly improving - and not to forget your private chauffeur is on call if taking a catered chalet.
The other difficulty a novice skier would experience is the linking runs between areas, which can be challenging reds. Although some of these can be avoided by taking the ski lift down, this is not ideal for the novice skier, who would be best advised to stick to the pistes of Verbier and Savoleyres/Tzournaz. Luckily there is ample skiing here so they won’t be bored.
Verbier is incredibly family friendly as a ski resort offering excellent beginner areas (and of course expert instruction) and as it’s often bathed in sunshine due to it’s predominantly south-facing orientation, it is perfect for young children who don’t want to battle extreme temperatures, in addition to finding their ski legs.
If sticking to the Verbier slopes, rather than heading off to explore the farther reaches of the 4 Valleys, parents and more experienced skiers can head off for the morning on the more challenging reds (& blacks) at the top of the mountain, while little one’s take their ski lessons lower down. Then a meet up for lunch is very easy before skiers split off according to ability once more.
Though Verbier is famous for its backcountry skiing and big off-piste itineraries, beginners should not be put off by this. The skiing across in Savoleyres and Tzoumaz is of the perfect sort for the beginner and intermediate skier to progress their skiing, improving their technique and getting some sense of distance exploring the resort. It is a bus ride (private chauffeur ride for SkiBoutique catered clients) across town from the main skiing accessed from the Médran lift – but you will be rewarded with peaceful, family-friendly slopes.
La Chaux will be popular with your teenagers and those who are young at heart. The terrain park here has three routes (red, blue, black) with jumps and rails of varying difficulty, plus a giant airbag and an exciting ski cross/boarder-cross run. Great for competitive families – but do take care.
Challenging black runs can be found above Thyon and on the Greppon Blanc - for good skiers a couple of days should be put aside for exploring the 4 Valleys - one for Thyon and Veysonnaz, and another for Nendaz. The routes take in some of Verbier’s famous itineraries – marked but not pisted runs, which are steep and usually with a few moguls. There is always an option to take a ski lift down if your group has skiers of different ability and confidence levels.
For those more experienced skiers we recommend booking a qualified Mountain Guide and heading out to explore the couloirs and steep backcountry on offer. Make sure you get your ski legs before you tackle the backside of Mont Fort – this is the true iconic itinerary of Verbier where you really do cut yourself off from civilization. Steep and challenging you’ll need to save some energy for the long exit route – which takes you alongside the lake and dropping back down below the dam before you re-enter the resort.
Start instead in Vallon d’Arby; it is easily accessible with a marked ski area as you enter the valley including a beautiful (and not too intimidating) bowl with numerous different lines to take – and if these are tracked out, your guide will be able to show you some lesser known routes through the trees. Guides are not only essential for safely navigating the back country – but they are also your local expert showing you the very best an area like Verbier has to offer.
Offshore is an institution in Verbier. There is no other place quite like it to have your cup of coffee on the morning of a powder day. They do some amazing breakfasts too.
Mountain air. The new development of Place Blanche has added a lot to the village especially needed in the way of shopping. Mountain Air is a one-stop shop for all gear and ski clothing requirements as well as for fashion brands. New in Mountain Air this year is Lorenz Bach which established its first boutique on the glamorous streets of Gstaad over 35 years ago.
Dahu. When I’m looking for lunch on the mountain I want good food, with good speedy service. There is nothing worse than waiting around for service when you’re itching to get out and put in a few more turns. For me Dahu is the best on-mountain restaurant there is, the food is excellent, the service friendly and efficient and the views across to the Combin mountains are spectacular.
Al Capone is an Italian restaurant located just above the Brunet bus stop. It has a wonderful warm atmosphere and the food is fantastic. It is not all pasta and pizza, they do excellent salad and meat dishes.
I like to go and watch a movie in the old cinema which is located in the centre of the village. There is talk that this cinema will be renovated soon, so if you like a retro, old-style environment get in there this season. It could all be very different next year.
Farinet apres-ski. There are a number of apres-ski options in Verbier, but for my favourite is the Farinet apres-ski on Place Central. After an adrenalin-filled day this is the place to come to start your party into the night.
Piste de l’Ours. At one point a stop on the World Cup used for Super-G races, this run is a thigh-burning length (depending on how many times you stop, of course) and has a high degree of difficulty with its many different pitches, sweeping bends, and sometimes stiff snow. Also it is often pretty quiet and is wide enough that you can really get a good head of steam. All of these things, combined with the view of Sion, make it an absolute.
Mon Izba is located in the heights above Verbier and boasts quite extra-ordinary views, not least from the spa and swimming pool which features full length windows that can be raised to give the area an open-air feel. The style of the chalet is classic and the finishings impeccable.
If you are looking to escape the crowds head across to Bruson on the north-facing side of the valley (opposite Verbier). This ski area of just four lifts is easily and quickly accessible via the new gondola from Le Chable. The snow quality is often much better than anywhere else (it is sheltered from sun-effect) and in poor visibility bad weather days this area is one of your best options with plenty of trees to give definition.
There is a free children’s ski area serviced by a poma lift in the valley-bottom town of Lourtier about 20 minutes drive from Verbier. The beginners piste is flood-lit and open at night so for the fanatical beginner gives extended options beyond the hours of the Les Essert beginners area in Verbier.
A Verbier must-do, located in the hamlet of Clambin, reached by an un-pisted “itinéraire” (okay for intermediates), off the red Harrey from the bottom of the Les Ruinettes chair on Medran side. With meats & cheeses on offer you must also try their fantastic fondue and enjoy the superb views down the valley.
Always packed for lunch, just at the top of Le Rouge piste, famous for rosti, amazing salad dressings, sizzling steak on a hot stone & specialises in a selection of wild mushrooms.
Wonderfully cosy atmosphere, renowned for La Potence or ‘the Gallows’ - a hot mace on which you cook your own steak, served with a number of sauces and fries. Good for lunch as located right next to the Medran lift.
A great mountain pitstop at the top of the Les Attelas chairlift - this bustling but cosy restaurant was founded by three celebrity Verbier fans – James Blunt, Lawrence Dallaglio and Carl Fogarty. Atmospheric, cosier alternative to the self-services at the heart of the ski area.
This is actually a mountain refuge; the interior is cosy and will get crowded in bad weather, but their sun terrace has views that are hard to beat. Food is simple and rustic.
Situated at the bottom of the Le Chaux Express. There is a covered outside area so this is a good choice in all weather. Best service on the mountain and delicious wood fired pizzas, traditional Swiss dishes and pasta. There is also a great tapas bar for when you are in a rush to get back on the slope.
A beautiful view over Verbier, this celebrated Michelin-starred restaurant at Hotel Chalet d’Adrien by the Savoleyre lifts, which specialises in Italian cuisine.
A new edition to the Verbier restaurant scene offering Sushi and Yakitori sticks in a relaxed friendly setting, bringing some of the style of Japanese Izakaya pubs to the alps with delicious sharing plates and food.
Wonderfully cosy atmosphere, re-knowned for La Potence "The Gallows" a hot mace on which you cook your steak! Good for lunch as located right next to the Medran lift.
Italian chef Marco Bassi leads the team at this stylish open-plan restaurant/bar/kitchen (option to eat at chef’s table), perfect for a glamorous treat. Booking recommended. This is Alpine haute cuisine with a twist, beautifully presented.
Chef Jean-Pierre Blanchard and his wife Anne-Marie are originally from France (Champagne and Clermont-Ferrand respectively) but after 40 years in Verbier, their welcoming restaurant is the favourite of many locals for good-value regional cuisine. Good choice of Valais wines.
situated just below Les Ruinettes, with a panoramic terrace and resident DJ, this is the place for scenic drinks and dancing on the mountain before the final run down.
a more mellow alternative just above the bottom of the Mayentzet chair. Mongolian yurts and sun-loungers on the snow outside, perfect for watching the sunset with a drink. Inside are big comfy sofas and a warming wood stove.
Unsurprisingly at the bottom of the Le Rouge piste with a vast sun terrace, this is perhaps the best known mountain après spot in the resort. A holiday in Verbier would be incomplete without a visit here at après.
Younger, and popular with Brits and instructors post-work. Always packed - there’s a terrace, giant TV showing sports, and billiards.
In the hotel’s après bar you will find live bands everyday throughout the season. Open from 16:00 – 21:00 and with a happy hour from 16:00 – 17:00.
A minimalist and cosy bar, inside the Nevai hotel with a four-metre sunken fireplace downstairs, stylish cocktail bar with balcony upstairs this is perfect for pre-dinner drinks.
Located in a central position on in Place Blanche, this is a great bar for après and to indulge in a little people watching.
Famous for hot chocolates and homemade cakes, tarts, milk shakes, ice creams and pancakes. A great place for breakfast or after-ski teatime, calm and elegant. A true classic, not to be missed and a great alternative to the lively bars.
Sip your cocktail in the company of Verbier’s beautiful people, good music, great barfood and stylish surroundings.
Probably the most famous nightclub in the Alps, and a Verbier institution to boot. Great for people watching and spotting the rich and the Royal.
A new venture from the people behind Le Rouge Restaurant & Club, the Etoile Rouge Supper Club offers dinner and dancing all under the same roof. With a Scandinavian and Eastern European inspired menu from Executive Chef Anne-Sophie Taurines.
Forming part of the iconic W chain, the stylish bar and club in the hotel has a resident DJ and regular live music events.
For non-skiers, and those looking for a day off the slopes and something different, Verbier has plenty of other sports activities available, and although the non-sports related activities in the town itself may be limited, further afield there’s enormous choice –
just see our Verbier Escapes section for more details.
This cinema is like stepping back in time - stylish and with a touch of glamour, it re-opened in December 2012 after a two-year closure for renovation. Improvements include a new digital projector. The Cinema de Verbier is just off the Place Centrale and seats up to 400 people. It features films in English and French.
Although many of our beautiful properties have extensive spa facilities of their own, you may still enjoy a visit to one of the beautiful spas on offer in Verbier. Our favourite is the Cinq Mondes Spa attached to the Hotel Cordée des Alpes; with a beautiful 14m swimming pool in a tranquil setting with wood burning stove (a lovely touch), a jacuzzi, sauna, steam room and relaxation area this is a great spot to unwind, relax and rejuvenate. You can choose from a number of treatments by Karin Herzog and Cinq Mondes including facials, body treatments and relaxing massages. Access to the spa facilities as a non-resident are free of charge when a treatment is booked, or CHF40 for the day and the spa facilities are available from 10:00 – 20:00.
Verbier is a fantastic place to try paragliding – or ‘parapenting’ as it is known in French. Flying tandem with a qualified instructor you get to relax and take in the glorious views from above as the instructor manoeuvres the parachute. Only an intermediate level of skiing is needed for the take-off as you point your skis down the hill gathering pace until you soar up into the sky. For snowboarders however a greater level of skill is required. There are several paragliding schools in Verbier offering tandem flights and various levels of instruction, and your SkiBoutique PA can assist with making bookings. Take-off areas are at Ruinettes, Attelas (winter only), Savoleyres, Croix-de-Cœur, Tournelle and Breya, and landing sites above the Centre Sportiff and Esserts in Verbier and at Le Chable in Val de Bagnes.
Experience this exhilarating sport – and not just as a passenger; you can be in charge of your own sled and team of excitable huskies practising ‘mushing’ in the beautiful white winter scenery, through forests and snow covered pastures. You have to help push the sled when going uphill – so this can be hard physical work, and as your team of dogs strive to keep up with their friends up ahead you will be traveling at speed, manoeuvring the sled around corners and fighting to keep it upright. If this all sounds like a bit too much effort you may be able to travel as a passenger as your guide controls the sled.
For a totally different and exhilarating winter sport experience why not try ice-climbing on one of Verbier’s famed frozen waterfalls in the Val des Bagnes area? There are over 30 frozen waterfalls (icefalls) in winter offering climbing routes from beginner to expert level. A number of mountain guides can be booked to take you out for this experience and can assist with all equipment required. These can be booked by your SkiBoutique PA, and further information is also available through the tourist office.
Don’t be put off by the snow - the Verbier region has 25 km of groomed and signposted winter walking paths and a range of themed itineraries including walking ‘for the view’ from Ruinettes to La Chaux, walking with pit stops and a gourmet lunch at mountain restaurants in the ski area above Verbier, walking trails with breath-taking glacier views at La Fouly and walking in idyllic winter landscape around the lake at Champex-Lac. Trail maps and daily updates can be obtained from the Tourist Office. You can buy grippers from most local sports shops, which we highly recommend, and a pair of walking poles can be useful too.
Verbier boasts the longest toboggan run in French-speaking Switzerland, at 10km. With a descent of 848m you will pick up some serious speed. The route starts at the top of the La Tzoumaz cable car and it is a thrilling ride. Helmets are compulsory and children must be accompanied by an adult. There’s also a small 600m long toboggan run on the Petite Combe at La Fouly, which is floodlit every Wednesday and Saturday evening in winter, and a toboggan run through pastures and forest at Vicheres-Liddes. More information is available at the Verbier Tourist Office, and sledges can be hired from most sports shops.
Either head out independently, or with a guide, to explore the beautiful mountains on foot. This is a popular activity in the Verbier region – with over 33 marked and signed trails of which 12 km are in Verbier itself with trails ranging from easy to difficult, and in length varying from 1.5 hours to 4.5 hours. Trail maps can be picked up from the Verbier tourist office, and snowshoes and poles can be hired from most sports shops.
Both panoramic scenic flights and specific heli-skiing tours can be booked through a number of companies in Verbier with the assistance of your SkiBoutique PA, weather permitting. As heli-skiing is not permitted in neighbouring France many skiers flock to Verbier for this very special experience; the most popular destinations include Rosablanche (3314m), Petit Combin (3670m) or on the Trient glacier (3295m). It is worth noting that these trips can often be postponed due to the weather conditions – which have to be perfect for the helicopter to take-off. The guiding and helicopter companies are all very experienced at scheduling and re-scheduling these trips so they will endeavour to find the best weather window during your time in Verbier.
Verbier is well known for its off-piste itineraries, and several famous back country races cross through the Verbier terrain through the winter including the Patrouilles des Glaciers, organised every two years by the Swiss Army. However ski touring doesn’t have to be the pursuit of the professional athlete or soldier, it is in fact easily accessible to the advanced skier and can be tackled at your own pace.
Booking a guide is essential – both for safety reasons, and to assist and instruct you – taking you to the best spots for the conditions on that particular day. The real bonus is to get away from the crowds and take in the peace and tranquillity of the mountains off the beaten track. You must hire avalanche safety equipment, and back country ski touring equipment which is specialist for the ascent; heel release bindings and skins allow you to first climb the mountains (which requires quite some physical effort), and then removing the skins and securing the heel of your binding you will descend through untouched snow.
Classic routes are the ascent to the Brunet hut or the Grand-St-Bernard Hospice, and in addition the "Rosablanche" and the "Grande Lui" are both fantastic experiences. We recommend Altitude Ski School who can provide fun and knowledgeable guides, and XTreme Sports or Mountain Air who can supply all necessary ski touring and safety equipment.
If you are not a fan of the downhill variety – or just fancy trying something a bit different – then cross-country skiing may be just the ticket. It’s very sociable and undeniably a much better workout – less gravity and more effort required on the part of the skier. Verbier has 22 km of cross-country trails of varying ability level. Located between Les Ruinettes and La Chaux, the trails themselves are free to use, but you will need a lift pass to access some of them. Situated mainly on flat terrain these are perfect for the novice skier to attempt with lots of easy greens and blues. At an elevation of 2200m, the Les Ruinettes – La Chaux trail is a 6 km round trip offering stunning panoramic views. To access take the gondola up from Médran to the Ruinettes station.
In the resort, there is a 4 km loop just behind the parking near the Sports Centre. This might be the place to start for a total novice just learning the ropes – most ski schools can offer instruction if desired. In the Val de Bagnes, down the mountain from Verbier, there is another 10 km circuit in le Châble, and further up the valley you will find yet another 2 km, in the quiet setting of Plamproz. Cross-country ski equipment can be rented at most sports shops in Verbier but we recommend Mountain Air on the Rue de Médran.
The sports centre is located centrally just off the Rue du Centre Sportif and is very well equipped with 25m swimming pool, sauna, whirlpool, solarium, squash, ice rink and curling. You can also try ice-karting at the ice sports centre here.
As you would expect, the shopping on offer in Verbier will not disappoint.
As one of Switzerland’s most stylish resorts, there is certainly a focus on fashion – both on and off the slopes – but there are also plenty of other boutiques selling everything from fine designer pieces for the home to antiques, jewellery, children’s toys and of course plenty of Verbier souvenirs.
Possibly the most talked about of the fashion stores is Moncler; whether you’re a fan of their slope-side styling’s or not, the window displays are always fantastic, completely over-the-top works of art. Located centrally (on the Place Centrale) you cannot miss it. In fact most of the shops in Verbier are all around Place Centrale and spilling off the Rue de Médran, making for a lovely leisurely stroll post-skiing.
Other leaders of ski fashion in Verbier include Peak Performance, Patagoniaand the North Face. Fashion boutiques are en vogue here; with the best perhaps being Depeche Mode, stocking a wide range of collections from the well-established, to young up-and-coming designers. Other recommendations would be boutiques Denti Denise, Gilles, or for children’s fashion Coccinelle Mode Enfants. Of course the sports shops stock a wide range of ski clothing, ranging from fashion focused to top-of-the-range sport performance wear – stores definitely worth a visit are XTreme Sports, Médran Sports and Mountain Air (preferred partners of the Hotel W); all of these will stock the ski essentials and much more – and carry a great selection of equipment for rental or to purchase.
Talking of purchasing equipment, do you need new boots? Look no further and head to Sure Foot on the Rue de Médran where they proudly claim to sell the “World’s most comfortable ski boots “. It’s a big claim, but after over 32 years of research and development in the field and some fantastic reviews it seems they’re onto something.
If you’re looking for ideas in interior design there is plenty to inspire here; Arts'Décos on the Rue du Centre Sportif is a beautiful showroom showcasing custom-made furniture, exclusive fabrics and decorative objects. Nearby Angels des Montagnes has collections of stunning tableware, lighting and other accessories and Antiquités CD Gingham on Rue de la Poste is the place to head to for antique pieces and ‘objets d’art. Sabi on the Place Centrale also has beautiful pieces of furniture.
If you’re looking for a very special timepiece, or classic jewellery then Michaud Bijouterie & Haute Horlogerie on Rue de Médran is classical and very Swiss, stocking Rolex, Cartier, Hublot to name but a few. For classic souvenirs try Loverbier on the Place Centrale who stock the usual range of T-shirt, posters,post cards and gifts. For the children Toys World will delight with its old world charm.
Finally let’s not forget to mention the shops dedicated to the best in local produce - from local cheeses and charcuterie, to patisserie and Valais & other fine wines at Cav&Art. Sample in-house at their wine bar accompanied by local delicacies, or buy some recommendations to take home with you. Boulangerie Michellod in Verbier Village and on the Rue de Médran has been handed down from father to son for three generations; known for their sourdough and now also for their range of home made Swiss chocolate truffles.
In Verbier Village visit the Laiterie Centrale de Verbier-Village; the central cheese production factory for all of the surrounding villages. A fascinating history – and shop selling all the locally produced cheeses. Le Chalet Gourmand is your one stop shop delicatessen selling local Valais wines, charcuterie and meat, oils, vinegars, spices and jams. Alp Food stocks a similar range including cheeses and artisan pastas on the Route de la Poste.
If you are self catering in Verbier there are several supermarkets from which to fill your fridge; CoOp on the Rue du Centre Sportif, or Denner off the Route de Verbier Station are both good stores. Migros is another large Swiss supermarket chain; located on the Route de Verbier. On the Route des Creux you will also find Brunet Supermarket a more independent store which stocks local produce. If you’re looking to stay in touch with the news while you’re away – and you still prefer a ‘real’ newspaper to the digital version – these can be bought at Kiosque Naville on the Place Centrale.
Verbier is of course renowned as a world famous ski resort –
but it has plenty more strings to its bow to recommend it to the discerning traveller. There are plenty of exciting excursions in the vicinity,
and we are here to help with our favourite recommendations.
After a long day on the slopes how about a rejuvenating swim in hot springs? From Verbier you are under one hour’s drive from Switzerland’s warmest thermal baths at Lavey les Bains. With internal and external swimming pools and a stunning Alpine backdrop, facilities include jacuzzis, waterfalls, massaging baths, hammam, sauna and all accompanied by underwater music. Special après ski excursions can be arranged to whisk you down and back in time for dinner. For the non-skiers why not devote an entire day to relaxing and rejuvenating?
An alternative would be the Bains de Saillon; a little closer to Verbier at 45 mins and surrounded by the vineyards of the Valais. Three hot spring pools at a perfect 34C; a trip to these baths can be followed by a visit to Sion, Switzerland’s oldest city, the capital of the Valais. Tours can be arranged to include sampling the different local wines and delicacies as you stroll through the town’s cobblestoned streets and admire over 7,000 year’s of history.
From Verbier you are within easy reach of another of Switzerland’s most iconic mountain resorts, Zermatt that lies in the shadows of the Matterhorn. You can arrive by train straight into the resort centre and spend the day admiring this iconic mountain from different angles and viewpoints – whether by ski or on foot. Zermatt is famous for its mountain restaurants with three featuring in a recent list in The Times – ‘10 Best Mountain Restaurants of the World’. While you’re here, you could take the Gornergrat railway (Europe’s highest open air cog railway) to admire the Matterhorn from the Swiss side – and then ski across to Italy to admire it from another perspective, stopping for a delicious lunch en route.
Another fantastic day trip is to the Chateau de Chillon on the banks of Lake Geneva. This is a stunning medieval site with 25 buildings, a fortress and palace situated on a tiny island site, has been inhabited since the 13th century. With stunning rooms to view, and the chapel of the Counts of Savoy, the fortress is best known for its celebrated prison. There are plenty of literary references too as Lord Byron wrote a poem about one of its prisoners and it is one of the settings for Henry James’ novel, ‘Daisy Miller’. Plenty of cultural events are held here too throughout the year; concerts, poetry readings and art exhibitions amongst them. Whilst here take a walk along the lakeside to Montreaux, famous for its Jazz Festival – and enjoy a leisurely lunch overlooking the lake.
A little closer to home snowshoe tours can take you through the old village of Verbier, and on to the village of Sarreyer to visit the old water and saw mills. Here you will sample local foods paired with fine Valasian wines, and enjoy panoramic views of the Combins and Ruinette mountain peaks. You could then visit a local farm, an artisan cheese maker and be taken to one of the 7 museums on offer in Bagnes.
You could be escorted from your chalet just before sunrise and driven to the departure point to take a gentle stroll into the wilderness for the best spot to see in the sunrise. After the silent session finishes you will be served breakfast onsite and can chat to your fellow participants. Now that’s ‘downward dog’ with a difference.
We recommend flying with our partner airline Swiss,
who will carry your ski gear for no extra charge.
Sion (SIR): 45m/55km
Geneva (GVA): 2h/185 km
SkiBoutique works with a number of taxi firms to provide shared, private and luxury road transfers from the airport of your choice to Verbier. If you prefer to arrive by helicopter then of course we can arrange that too.
Travelling by train is certainly an option, and now from 19 December 2015 to 9 April 2016 you can hop on the new Eurostar Swiss ski train in the UK at St Pancras International or Ebsfleet International, and be whisked to the Swiss Alps at 186 mph, with a seamless change at Lille en route. The Eurostar takes you as far as Geneva where you can then hop on a Swiss train to Martigny or Le Chable and take a taxi the remaining 27km to Verbier. This is a convenient and environmentally sound alternative to flying.
Using the ‘Swiss Transfer Ticket’ from Geneva Airport can be a cost effective method of getting to Verbier, especially for families with younger children who benefit from free train travel in Switzerland. There is the added bonus that it’s a really beautiful journey by train; the start of the route goes around the edge of Lac Leman, which is simply stunning. This ticket allows you a return journey from Geneva to Martigny or Le Chable at a very reasonable price (approximately 154 CHF per person).
If travelling with children it is worth applying for a Swiss Family card in advance, as children aged 6-16 travel free when accompanied by paying adults.
We can arrange these tickets for you.
You may choose to hire a car from the airport, or even drive from the UK to Verbier. If you choose to drive from the UK it is a straightforward 855 km journey from Calais, on average taking 8.5 - 9.5 hours including some stops en route. If you do choose to drive we will of course provide you with the exact address and GPS co-ordinates for your destination in Verbier.
Bronze - CHF 220
You like discover the mountain with equipment that’s safe
and easy to use.
Silver - CHF 275
You prefer to ski with comfortable high-performance equipment which allows you to take full advantage of the ski area on offer.
Gold - CHF 315
You only ski with the newest and best equipment
each season, for enjoyable high performance skiing.
Verbier 6 day adult pass - CHF 340
Four Valleys 6 day adult pass - CHF 355
With our partner ski school European Snowsports
Private 3 hour lesson - CHF 340
All day guiding - CHF 580
Bottle of Veurve Clicquot CHF 125
Small beer CHF 5
Bottle of house wine CHF 40
Vin chaud/Gluwein CHF 6
Hot chocolate CHF 4.5
Cup of coffee CHF 4
Glass of coke CHF 6
Pizza CHF 17