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There’s skiing, and then there’s skiing in the Swiss Alps.
As any seasoned skier or rider can tell you, there’s something special about making your way to the ultra-high altitude to carve down some of the best-groomed terrains in Europe or hike through the backcountry for an off-piste adventure unlike any other. And there may be no place more exciting to do that than Verbier.
Located in the southwest corner of Switzerland, Verbier has long beckoned serious skiers and riders who come to explore its four valleys, totaling more than 250 miles of skiing. It’s a destination worth visiting, but before you go, it’s a good idea to get to know its expansive terrain. Here’s how to plan the perfect getaway to Verbier this winter and beyond.
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The biggest thing to remember about Verbier in the winter is that it’s cold. But that’s a good thing, as this keeps the ski conditions at their prime. According to Weather Spark, the coldest season lasts between late November to early March, when average daily highs typically do not exceed 34 degrees Fahrenheit. The weather website noted, the coldest month of the year in Verbier is January, when the average low is 15 degrees Fahrenheit and the high sits at 27 degrees. So, pack plenty of layers, especially if you plan to hit the mountains for days.
Also be cautious about traveling to Verbier too early in the ski season. The mountains are generally only open on the weekends throughout November, and fully open in early December.
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Though its elevation sounds intense (its highest point sits at 3,330 meters or nearly 11,000 feet), it truly is a mountain for all. According to Ski Solutions, beginner and intermediate skiers can traverse across 80% of the runs, though Powderhounds’ data varies slightly, listing 22% of its runs as beginner and 50% as intermediate. No matter which data set you to choose, though, there are plenty of options for all.
SeeVerbier specifically recommends beginners start at places like Les Esserts, which is the largest of the beginner ski areas in Verbier, offering gentle slopes and the longest magic carpet in Switzerland for easy access. It also suggests Le Rouge, which has two slopes with a slightly bigger incline to progress, and La Chaux, which sits a little higher up the mountain so beginners can turn solid intermediates. And if you want to progress quickly, enroll in one of the in-depth lessons, which will have you working your way up the mountain in no time.
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This all comes down to your skill level and comfort on the mountain. As SeeVerbier explains, the ski areas are most easily broken up into four areas: Verbier, Savoleyres/La Tzoumaz, Bruson, and Mont Fort. It notes that “although Mont Fort is not strictly part of Verbier, it is, in fact, the Four Valleys.”
Verbier is an ideal spot for both beginners and intermediates, as well as those seeking social interaction with their fellow skiers and riders. It’s home to wide, open groomers that are great for taking your time down the hill so you can soak in the view along the way.
Savoleyres is another stellar spot for beginners, as it’s home to plenty of blue runs and a few bunny hills, along with some tree skiing opportunities for those who want to challenge themselves.
There’s also Bruson, which SeeVerbier admits isn’t the easiest to reach, as skiers and riders have to crisscross a few lifts to arrive (about 20 minutes from Verbier). Those who make the effort, though, will be rewarded with excellent conditions for intermediates. There are also plenty of tree runs and off-piste spaces to find solid, lower-altitude powder stashes.
Finally, consider visiting Mont Fort, home to the highest point in the mountains. It is, without question, the most challenging destination, but worth it for pros wanting to see epic panoramic views.
Yes, most people come here for the mountains, but there's more to see and do around town, too. Here’s a smattering of what’s on offer in and around Verbier.
Get out and play in the snow with a few of Verbier’s coolest locals, thanks to TakiTrek. The company will take you around the region via a dog sled pulled by a team of expert huskies who know the area better than anyone. (Plenty of puppy kisses included.)
Verbier is home to the longest toboggan run in western Switzerland, providing more than six miles of thrilling fun. Whip down the mountain as fast as possible for adrenaline rush, or make a few stops along the way to extend the experience.
Verbier is home to several spas willing to help you unwind after a long day on the slopes. Check out the menu at places like the Away Spa at the W Verbier, which offers everything from traditional massages to hair styling services, and the Spa by Biologique Recherche at the Experimental Chalet, which also offers spa treatments and a hammam, sauna, and Jacuzzi for further relaxation.
Verbier is known as one of the best après-ski destinations in the world. Every bar and restaurant in town will likely be lively in the post-ski hours, but for a true party vibe, step into places like Bar 1936, which sits at the mountain; Fer à Cheval, a local favorite; and Pub Mont Fort, which keeps the party going long into the night.
For instant access to the slopes, book a stay at the W Verbier, located just steps from the lifts. The perfect blend of modern and classic, this hotel consists of 123 rooms and suites, each with its own fireplace.
Those looking for a personalized stay should consider the Experimental Chalet. With just 39 rooms and suites, it offers an intimate experience, without skimping on all the bells and whistles of a typical ski getaway, including a full-service spa.
Luxury lovers will adore La Cordée des Alpes, a destination ready to cater to your every whim. The hotel has 32 rooms and suites, along with 17 apartments for longer stays. There’s also an on-site restaurant and lounge bar, as well as a pool and ski room to keep all your gear handy.
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