Verbier Destination Guide
The '4 Vallees' is the largest ski area in Switzerland as it is combined with Nendaz, Veysonnaz, Thyon, La Tzoumaz, with Verbier sitting pretty right in the middle of it all. The centre point is actually Mont Fort and the area was created and linked when the cable car up from Tortin to the summit at a dizzying 3300m was inaugurated in 1983.
All these areas are linked by over 90 lifts and offer a not-too-shabby 410km of pistes.This vast ski area ready does have something for everyone, with amazing freeride and off piste itineraries, gentle sun-soaked nursery slopes, snowparks, wide motorway-style pistes and mogul runs too.
As you might expect from the Swiss, everything in Verbier is pretty slick. The village centre is pretty much car-free now, so the main Medran lift offers ski lockers for an impressive 2300 pairs of skis and there are even dryers for your ski or snowboard boots. That means that once in resort you can easily walk to the lift in your trainers or use the quick, efficient and free circular bus network, so there really is no need to hire a car, which makes using Mountain Drop-offs for your airport transfer to Verbier even more cost-effective!
Verbier resort sits at 1500m on a sunny plateau, with ski runs all around it. Divided into two areas, namely Attelas/Mont Fort and Savoleyres/La Tzoumaz, with much of the skiing above 2200m, the resort is one of the very first to open.
We've been snowboarding in Verbier as early as the 6th November and whilst it's not usually big fat powder skiing, it still beats the indoor snow slopes many of us learnt on. In early season the lift pass price is reduced as the number of pistes is massively reduced, but you are still able to get a good few turns in around the Lac de Vaux area to mark the start of the winter season and get those leg muscles working again.
A Verbier 'must do' is to take the Jumbo cable car up to col des Gentianes and then the second cable car right up to the top of Mont Fort, where you feel like you're on top of the world with views of the Matterhorn on one side and Mont Blanc on the other.
The double-stage Mont Fort lift is included if you have a 4 Vallees pass. If you have just a Verbier pass you will need to pay a supplement, but it is well worth it. The cable car totally lives up to its name. It is ENORMOUS and it you easily park a couple of Mountain Drop-offs transfer buses in there, no problem.
Any budding freestylers will love the snowparks at Verbier. There is one at Taillay near Savoleyres and another at the foot of the Mont Fort cable car, which is accessed easily by the Chaux Express chairlift. This is where all the famous freestyle events in Verbier are held, with the Carlsberg Chalet right in the middle of the pistes becoming the focal point for spectators. Some of the jumps and modules are gigantic and only for serious freestyle contenders, but there are more gentle obstacles to tackle too. If you're more of a skier or boarder cross lover, you'll find that here as well.
A secret spot that's not so secret anymore is Bruson, on the opposite side of the valley to Verbier. Before the bubble lift directly from the main lift station in Le Chable was opened in 2013, you used to have to transfer by lift and bus or car from Verbier to access this area, known amongst locals as being a feast for powder hounds, now it's easy-peasy to get too and well worth a visit.
If you're a beginner or a little one, you'll love the sunny slopes on the Savoleyres side of Verbier, with a favourite spot being the Les Esserts up at the Carrefour terminus of the bus, with sunshine, bars, restaurants and a free drag lift to boot. This is also where night skiing takes place during the main holiday season. In the daytime more experienced skiers can head off from Esserts on the Mayentzet lift to directly join the main Ruinettes sector.
And finally, if ski touring is your thing, the pinnacle has to be doing the Chamonix to Zermatt itinerary that passes through Verbier. It takes several days of skinning up, skiing down, traversing across and staying in mountain refuges until you reach Zermatt and you must book a guide for this though, as it's high mountain stuff.
Staying in Verbier isn't easy for those on a budget, as most hotels and self-catering accommodation commands high prices given the popularity of the resort, but Verbier is well worth splashing out on for a winter ski or summer activity holiday as there is plenty to keep you interested.
Private transfers in modern, safe vehicles are offered by Mountain Drop-offs from Geneva airport straight to the door of your Verbier accommodation and you can book your airport transfer from Geneva to Verbier online now.
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