Verbier Ski Resort Switzerland
Verbier Switzerland is very sunny, very stunning, and part of one of the very largest ski resort areas in Switzerland (and Europe for that matter!). Forming the western section of the massive "4 Vallees" ski region, there is almost limitless premiere on and off-piste opportunities, rightly ranking it amongst Europe's best and most famous ski resorts. The literal highlight of the region is the local glacier on Mont Fort, which at 3,330 metres, provides a superb ski experience and views of iconic alpine peaks such as the Matterhorn and Mont Blanc.
The Powderhounds will be visiting and reviewing Verbier and the 4 Vallees in 2017. Stay tuned for a more detailed information on this Swiss ski resort.
Verbier Ski and Snowboard Terrain
Verbier’s ski domain is part of the 4 Vallees ski area and ranges from 1,400m up to to 3,330m (Mont Fort). The 4 Vallees ski area, which includes the 6 ski resorts of Verbier, Nendaz, Veysonnaz, La Tzoumaz, Thyon and Bruson, a total a massive total combined 410 km of marked runs.
You will love Verbier if you live for off-piste and freeride skiing or boarding and luck into some decent conditions. Cautious intermediates may not enjoy the disjointed layout of the marked pistes and the inconsistency of the piste ratings. Freestylers may be frustrated by the lack of a world-class terrain park. So anybody who wants to leave the groomed stuff behind (or wants to learn how) will have a ball.
Verbier isn’t necessarily the best ski destination for die-hard powderhounds. With a relatively low snowfall annually, waist deep powder days are few and far between, but size and elevation mean the quality will last. And there are definitely no friends on powder days because every man and his dog hit the slopes.
Verbier Ski Areas
The 4 Vallees ski areas offer quite distinct and different types of terrain of varied difficulty.
Around Verbier, the area is a sensational sunny place for beginners and intermediates, with plenty of easy slopes and wide runs to cruise down. The runs soften up nicely in the afternoon thanks to the south facing orientation. The Snowpark is situated in La Chaux and the venue for stacks of Big Air competitions. It is full of jumps and rails and even a giant airbag to cushion your fall when you go for big air .…. and you don’t quite make it. Experts should head for the challenging ski terrain of Chassoure-Tortin and Mt Gele, a mountain that has no marked pistes.
La Tzoumaz ski area is great in poor weather. La Tzoumaz’s pistes quickly plunge into the tree-line, offering a large choice of protected runs. Le Nord chair lift provides a short but sweet, moderately steep ridgeline speckled with trees. Le Taillay chair lift on the other side starts off very open and easy before gradually entering the tree-line.
Bruson ski area is a lovely little tree-lined ski area situated opposite Verbier in the Val de Bagnes. Bruson can be easily reached via 2 gondolas from Verbier which take you down in the valley to Le Châble and then up to the ski area. It’s well worth the effort, especially if the weather up in Verbier is bad. If the snow level is good, ski routes here
The Mont Fort sector of the 4 Vallees ski area offers the largest array of easily reached advanced and expert terrain of any ski resort in the Alps. When combined with the Verbier sectors Mt-Gelé and Tortin itineraries, the possibilities are simply endless. The Mont Fort sector can either be accessed via La Chaux or via Tortin by taking the Mont Fort tram from Col des Gentianes tram to an altitude of 3,330m.
Let rip from there.
Lift passes can be bought for each of the areas individually or one pass that covers all of the 4 Vallees ski area. Lift passes can also be combined under the Mont Blanc unlimited pass which gives access to the nearby resorts of Chamonix
in France and Courmayeur
Where is Verbier?
The village of Verbier is located in southwest Switzerland in the canton of Valais. Verbier is 170km east of Geneva (a 2 hour drive), a 1 hour drive from Chamonix
and 1 hour from Aosta (via the Great St. Bernard Pass). Verbier has only one access road which starts in the town of Le Châble. From Sembrancher (near Le Châble) a road leads to the Great St. Bernard Pass (to Italy) and another to Martigny.
Other areas of the 4 Vallees can be reached by road via Sion.
The nearest international airport is Geneva Airport with easy connections to Verbier via taxi, shuttle bus or train. Check out options to fly into Sion though as it could knock a couple of hours off your travel time.
For transfer options from the airports click below:
A great way to get Verbier and the 4 Vallees is by train. Train access from anywhere in Europe to Martigny can be achieved. From Martigny a 28 minute ride on a regional train known as the Saint-Bernard Express leads to Le Châble. From Le Châble a cable car (or a post bus) goes up to Verbier. Martigny is located 1hr45min from Geneva and 20 minutes from Sion by train.
Verbier itself is small enough to be explored on foot, but free buses run throughout the resort regularly during the day.
Verbier Hotels and Chalets
The key question is not what type of accommodation but where to stay in Verbier?! Verbier has lifts all over the place but these are not easily accessible from all parts of the village, nor do the village lift queues move quickly in peak season. The best access to Verbier's sensational off-piste terrain is via key lifts Medran 1 and 2, which leave from the south-eastern corner of Verbier. For the ultimate in convenience, stay near the lifts unless your hotel or chalet has its own shuttle bus.
The 30+ Verbier hotels and Val de Bagnes accommodation options range from five-star hotels to bed-and-board. Verbier also offers more than one thousand rental chalets and flats. If you are watching your pennies and want 'atomic-proof' accommodation try “The Bunker”, a converted nuclear fallout shelter in Verbier. Staying down the mountain in Le Chable can also be excellent value, and access isn’t an issue considering the evening bus service that runs between Le Chable and Verbier.
See Verbier and 4 Vallees accommodation listings here >>
A number of young independent ski schools have sprung up in Verbier - notably the Warren Smith Ski Academy - which are pioneering innovative techniques designed to lift skiers to their next level…quickly.
There is plenty for non-skiers to do in Verbier including paragliding, paraskiing, tobogganing, snow shoeing, and dog sledding.
Whilst not traditional and charming like Val D'Isere or Zermatt, Verbier's huge range of bars, restaurants and clubs do après incredibly well. Many clubs only come alive after 11pm so be prepared to miss first lifts.
Some of the Verbier hotels and bars are best set up to service millionaires and royalty like Richard Branson and Prince Charlie who can afford drinks that cost the same as a new ski suit.
Why Ski or Snowboard at Verbier?
Verbier is not well suited to beginners or intermediates, but for gung-ho skiers and boarders, Verbier is the duck’s nuts. Verbier’s greatest asset is its sensational modern lift-serviced off-piste terrain surrounded by stunning scenery.
Après-ski and nightlife options are almost as infinite as the skiing choice, so Verbier is also well suited to seasoned party-hard animals. Those who are not drinking fit need not apply.
Tours in or near Verbier and the 4 Vallees