Recognised as one of the premier off piste ski areas, Verbier has some of the best partially regulated off-piste descents in the world. Verbier is part of the 'Quatre Vallées', encompassing the resorts of Verbier, Nendaz, Veysonnaz, La Tzoumaz and Thyon, and comprising 410 kilometres of pistes in one lift-pass. This vast ski area really does have something for everyone, with amazing freeride and off piste itineraries, dreamy carving pistes, epic moguls that sort the men from the boys, gentle sun-soaked nursery slopes, and a great snowpark.
Stretching from the town at 1,500m to the peak of Mont Fort at 3,300m Verbier is a magnet for snowstorms, so no matter what time of the season you visit you are assured of some of the best conditions in the Alps. Oh and did we mention it is south facing for great bluebird days and perfect weather for the local sport of 'terracing' if that’s more your speed.
Not so confident in your slope style, contact Altitude Ski & Snowboard School for group or private lessons in almost any language. Prefer to watch? each year Verbier hosts elite extreme freeride and speed skiing competitions where you can watch up close the world’s best skiers and snowboarders as they tempt fate. Or for something different, try a tandem paraglide flight with the twin brothers who run Mountain Summits.
Verbier is as famous for its après-ski as it is for its skiing – thus the lift ticket that starts at 2:30pm. Après actually starts while you are still on the pistes with the Igloo bar half way down to Medran serving vin chaud well past sunset and Le Rouge at the base of the drag lift of the same name hosting a nightly DJ. The nightly party continues on into the wee hours of the morning back in town, where young and old drink at classics like the Farinet, Fer a Cheval, and The Farm Club and dance in an every changing panorama of new, or renewed, trendy clubs and bars. Popular with the British don't be surprised by a ubiquity of fancy dress around Verbier in the evening, including the occasional British celeb, or even Royal, cum superhero.
Home to vast organic cow pastures in the summer, Verbier’s menus feature heavily in local cheeses. For a fondue or 'croûte' in town try Le Caveau, or on the mountain ski over to one of the long time favourites Cabane Mont Fort, Chez Dany, or Carrefour, or the new Restaurant Dahu in La Chaux. Or for a nutty evening out, grab a sledge and head to dinner at La Marmotte at the foot of Savoleyres from which you slide home by moonlight.
For other fare, Verbier is flush with restaurants serving everything from pizzas to crêpés and sushi to tapas. For pizza, we like Al Capone's, or in more of a burger mood try T-Bar, of course Off Shore is the only place to go for breakfast, or for something quick nip into Haut Sandwich in front of the post office. Feeling snacky late, late at night ask for directions to the 'secret' bakery.
Verbier is home to a small number of hotels, including the King's group collection of three 3 to 5 star properties, however there is a vast array of catered and non-catered chalet options that can be arranged by the local agencies, such as MyVerbier, Verbier Rentals, or Verbier Location. Availability for a short-stay can be difficult to find, use the help of travel specialists FlexiSki or Oxford Ski to find out what’s available for a short break.
Once in resort you can get pretty much everywhere on foot or with the free buses. Once you’ve dropped your kit at the hotel forget about having a car - limited traffic circulation, expensive parking, and generous bartenders will make you happy to be on foot.
Despite being a small village, you can still find pretty much anything in Verbier. In town there are grocery stores, pharmacies, and of course loads of ski shops for any kit you might have forgotten. Officially the language here is French, unofficially the first language of Verbier is English - for better or worse.
EasyJet, Swiss, and British Airways all fly daily to Geneva Airport from several European cities. From Geneva airport, the AlpineXpress shuttle bus takes about 2 hours and drops you off smack in the middle of town, or splash out on a Private Transfer if you are one of the celebrity types the resort is known to attract.
Verbier, everything you’ve heard and unlike anything you’ve ever seen.