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Verbier, Switzerland

Written by Greg and Heather Burke

Verbier is Swiss-French, part of Les 4 Vallées - which encompasses 92 lifts and 412 kilometers of prepared pistes on one ski pass. You can ski between six towns including La Tzoumaz, Bruson, Nendaz, Veysonnaz, and Thyon. The biggest skiing of the four valleys is Verbier on Mont Fort and Mont Gelé, Mont Fort glacier being the highest elevation at 10,925', reached by tram with an unsurpassed panorama of Switzerland's highest peaks including Mont Blanc 15,781', The Matterhorn 14,690', and The Dom 14,911') to name a few splendid Alps. 

Verbier is a European ski playground of the chic and provides an extreme party scene to rival the terrain. We can personally attest to both the wild terrain and nightlife. Our first run off the tram at Mont Gelé was an abrupt intro to Verbier. It was a 3,000' vertical drop of steep un-prepared NFT (no fall terrain). Our next run was equally head-spinning off the summit of Mont Fort tram. After enjoying stunning scenery on the 10,925' observation platform, we skied more seriously steep expert slopes, next to the world speed skier track. It was no surprise to us when we learned that Verbier hosts the Xtreme World Cup finals. 

If all this extreme ski terrain sounds daunting, stay off Mont Fort and Gelé and you will find 125 miles of prepared pistes (trails) for intermediate cruising served by 38 lifts in all directions. For big mountain exploration on prepared pistes, you can ski to the interconnected villages of Nendaz, Veysonnez and Thyon to the west, and Bruson to the east. 

On mountain ambiance is extremely fun at Verbier, with 24 fabulous Swiss chalets and big bars scattered about the mountain allowing you a place to catch your breath, enjoy the scenery and Swiss cuisine, and plot your next alpine assault. While James Blunt's restaurant La Vache is popular and modern, we thought the Cabane du Glacier Tortin on Mont Fort served cheese fondue to die for, partly because of the cliffy goat path we skied to get there. 

Verbier has a top rated ski school and mountain guide services - which are highly recommended if you want to venture off piste and explore the full potential of the steep deep (potentially dangerous) terrain off the trail map.

The Village of Verbier is a mélange of authentic and aspiring. Here charming Swiss chalets and bakeries neighbor modern designer boutiques and urban après ski bars. Some of the finest ski hotels in Verbier include the 4 star Chalet de Flore which is a member of Verbier Luxury Hotels along with sister hotel 5-star Chalet D'Adrian. Verbier's No. 14 Chalet and The Lodge Verbier - Sir Richard Branson's latest luxury hotel, are top notch and top price as well. Adding to that league, a new Hotel W Verbier. W Hotel's first ski hotel has debuted in a new Place Blanche at the base of Verbier's ski lifts. 

Verbier is French speaking, but a predominance of English skiers and chalet owners make it easy to communicate, in fact, the area is quadrilingual: French, German, English, and Italian are all spoken.

Verbier has French flair and chicly dressed people, many Michelin rated restaurants and some wild après ski bars. We witnessed crazy costumes, big dancing, and drinking at The Farinet end of season party. The Fer à Cheval, Le Rouge, and the Casbah are also notorious night clubs that rock in Verbier after the lifts stop until late night. 

Between the wild Freeski terrain and the parties, you could get into all kinds of trouble in Verbier. On the softer side, you can have a lot of fun and meet some passionate people from all over the world who are drawn to the superbly scenic skiing in Verbier. If you buy Vail Resort's Epic Pass, you get 5 free ski days at Verbier when you book lodging, a nice season pass benefit to consider.

Elevation

Base
4921 feet
Base
Summit
10925 feet
Summit
Vertical Drop
6004 feet
Vertical Drop

Lifts

Gondola & Trams
12
Gondola & Trams
High Speed Quads
4
High Speed Quads
Quad Chairs
9
Quad Chairs
Triple Chair
1
Triple Chair
Surface Lifts
13
Surface Lifts

Terrain

Beginner Runs
0 %
Beginner Runs
Intermediate Runs
36 %
Intermediate Runs
Advanced Runs
37 %
Advanced Runs
Expert Runs
27 %
Expert Runs
Total Runs
37
Total Runs
Terrain Parks
0
Terrain Parks
Skiable Terrain
400 acres
Skiable Terrain
Snowmaking Area
8 acres
Snowmaking Area

Opening and closing dates

Season Open Date Close Date
2017/2018 12/02/2017 04/29/2018 (estimated)
2016/2017 11/26/2016 04/30/2017
2015/2016 11/27/2015 04/30/2016
2014/2015 12/06/2014 04/26/2015

Lift ticket and season pass prices

Category Age restrictions Price (USD unless otherwise stated)
Adult 25 - 63 $67 (66 CHF)
Child 6 & under Free
Child 7 - 14 $34 (33 CHF)
Child 15 - 24 $57 (56 CHF)
Senior 64 - 76 $57 (56 CHF)
Season Pass
(Verbier Season Pass)
$1,508 (1478 CHF)

Overall Rating

4.3 / 5 Fabulous

based on 3 reviews

How accessible and convenient it is to get to this resort from a major destination

Accessibility

Availability, quality and pricing of lodging

Lodging

How well the resort caters for beginner skiers / boarders

Beginners

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Intermediates

How well the resort caters for advanced skiers / boarders

Advanced

Quality of the off-piste terrain

Side/Backcountry

Overall value for money of the resort

Value for money

Quality of lifts, lift speed and lift layout in the resort

Lifts

Quantity and quality of the snow

Snow

How uncrowded is the resort

Uncrowded

Après ski and dining options

Town

Services and facilities e.g. child care, tubing, health care, equipment hire

Facilities

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Family Friendliness

Latest reviews

Score: 4.3 / 5Nov 22, 2017
Verbier is a super nice resort, good for family and super for who likes o go up or down on the snow Lot of super lifts all around the mountain and a lot of interested people everywhere.. Apres skis are unique and good partying too.. Definitely my favourite place in Swiss ... More
Florian B. advanced skier
Score: 4.5 / 5Nov 10, 2017
Fantastic resort with endless piste skiing that will satisfy anyone needs. Unrivalled lift accessible back country lines that are world famous and will provide some of the best adrenaline rushes of your life. The only lacking factor in verbier is skiing for beginners. The ... More
Harry H. expert skier
Score: 4 / 5Oct 08, 2017
Verbier is one of Switzerland’s best resorts, very close to Zermatt, but on the French speak side of the mountains. They have great terrain, ski school and the lifts are very fast and modern.
Jason

Ski Resorts in Switzerland