Verbier forms part of the 'Four Valleys' ski area, the four valleys being Thyon, Veysonnaz and Nendaz which together offer over 400 kilomtres of ski runs and 93 state of the art lifts, all covered in one (hands-free) lift pass.
Verbier ski resort
Situated in a natural mountain reserve, the 4 Vallées ski area is made up of Verbier, Bruson, La Tzoumaz, Nendaz, Veysonnaz and Thyon, six resorts that blend in perfectly together. Verbier is the main resort of the 4 Vallyes ski area. Altogether, there are a total of 410 km of ski runs and freeride routes in the winter. The season normally runs from the second week in December until the end of April. The valley is located at 1500m, and right up to the summit of the Mont-Fort glacier (3300m), the views extending across the breathtaking Swiss valleys are fantastic, 360° panoramic view includes the most imposing peaks in the Alps: the Matterhorn, the Dent Blanche, the Grand Combin and the Mont-Blanc.
Verbier ski area
The slopes above Verbier can get quite busy in late afternoon, so it’s best to know where to head to avoid the crowds.
Bruson, in the Val de Bagnes, is the ideal place to head when there’s low visibility. It offers great tree-lined skiing, with some exciting off piste options, and it’s where the locals like to ski. From Savoleyres down to La Tzoumaz, it is a gentle run, taking you down below the tree line. Le Taillay and Le Nord chairs drop you off on some friendly blues, making this an ideal spot to ski if the weather closes in. Les Etablons two man chair gives you access to a fun red, and with a new lift system here, you’ll rarely have to queue. The Mont Fort section offers some of the best expert ski terrain in the Alps. If you don’t fancy the often mogulled-out black run down, it’s still definitely worth taking the cable to the top, just for the views. Here, you’ll find some incredible itinerary runs. From the Col des Gentianes at 2950m, you can either drop down towards Tortin, or take the more gentle red down towards La Chaux. From here, you can spend a sunny afternoon cruising the wide pistes of Attelas and Les Combes, alternating between La Chaux Express, the Funispace and Les Attelas lifts. Over towards Nendaz, Veysonnaz and Thyon, north east of Tortin, there is a good choice of reds and blues to suit intermediates, as well as some exciting blacks for the more advanced.
The area around Mont Gélé is popular with many beginners and intermediates alike however it can be busy. For beginners there are conveniently located nursery slopes, all of which are equipped with snowmaking facilities. Les Esserts with its drag lift and the longest magic carpet in Switzerland, has gentle slopes and is in a sunny spot. You can then progress from there to Le Rouge, which is slightly steeper.
Verbier freeride skiing
Skiers looking for challenging terrain should head to areas like Chassoure-Tortin and Mont Fort, also the famous Mt Gele, a mountain with no marked pistes. The weather can usually be a major stumbling factor here and if visibility is good, expect the lift queues to replicate that. There are many ungroomed, former black runs in the valley which offer some good off-pisting.
For powder-lovers, heli-skiing is also possible; the four drop-off points are Petit Combin, Glacier du Trient, Rosablanche and Pigne d'Arolla.
Verbier hosts the last stage of the Freeride World Tour; Xtreme Verbier sees the best male and female freeride skiers and snowboarders compete on the Bec des Rosses north slope.
Apres ski and nightlife are legendary in Verbier, so you can ski hard and party even harder.
The fun starts at Ice Cube next to the Ruinettes lift station. Some days they there is a live dj set in the afternoon when you can enjoy some great house and electro music. Ice Cube is also one of the best spots to enjoy the sunset. On the way down, head to the 1936 bar just before the Mayentzet chair lift; this is a great place to relax in the sun after a hard day of skiing or snowboarding without having a long ski down afterwards. Another fun packed après bar is the Pub Mont Fort. This is located right next to the Medran lift station so it is ideal for those not wanting to walk far from the slopes! With an outside terrace it is an ideal sun trap and later in the evening it often hosts themed nights such as the Mini Me Pink Party and end of season Beach Party.
From La Place Centrale up to the Medran lift is Verbier’s main street – it’s the route to the main ski lifts with good ski shops scattered between the bars and restaurants that line both sides of the road leading up to the lift station. Going down the hill from the central square are more shops and some accommodation.
Verbier is a sunny, bustling village, and most of the ski or fashion shops, award-winning restaurants, lively bars and nightclubs are within walking distance from the town’s ‘Place Centrale’. For those staying slightly out of town there is a free bus service that operates from approximately 8am until 8pm.
The village’s ultra-modern sports center provides visitors the best off-piste activities as well, including tennis, squash, ice hockey, curling, skating and swimming.
There are over 40 dining options in Verbier, from hamburgers at Harolds on the Place Centrale to a gourmet meal. Apres ski and nightlife are legendary in Verbier, so you can ski hard and party even harder.
The Farinet Après Ski is located in the centre of town and is the venue for live bands and extreme après ski. This is a lively bar for those happy to dance the evening away in ski/board boots, but be warned you may be required to dance on the bar, down shots or even perform a stage dive... For a completely different vibe, the Milk Bar does hot chocolate, cake and more; it’s in a central location but without the loud music that pervades most of this area. Other tea rooms in Verbier include Chez Kamel in the Migros building, which also serves a full curry menu including a buffet every Friday and Saturday evening. Right on the Place Centrale. For the locals and returning seasonaires the T-Bar provides a nice refuge from glam and glitz of Verbier and is a nice place to have a beer, listen to some live music, watch the football on TV or simply catch-up with friends.
For those who are a little more ‘flash with their cash’ and fancy sipping a Mojito while mingling with retired international Rugby players, millionaires and members of the British Royal family.