Everything You Should Know About Verbier – A Guide to the Best Freeride Resort in the World
Anyone who wants to have an unforgettable ski trip and go to one of the best ski resorts in the world, does not need to look any further than Verbier in Switzerland. This resort is located in Switzerland’s largest ski area, the Four Valleys, a place famous for off-piste skiing opportunities with over 400 km of ski runs.
Whether you’re looking for beautiful sceneries, great ski pistes, or even energetic nightlife, Verbier has something to offer to everyone. This location is preferred by advanced skiers as it offers challenging ski runs, but it’s also a place that can be enjoyed by beginners or non-skiers as well.
If you want to find out more about this iconic destination, you’ve come to the right place. This article includes all the most important things you should know about Verbier.
History of Verbier
Verbier’s rich history can be traced to the turn of the 20th century when it consisted of nothing more than farmer’s huts and cattle pastures. In 1925, a group of mounting men hiked from Sembrancher all the way up to Verbier for 15 kilometers just to ski back down the mountain.
This is when the true potential of this place was discovered and the first hotel was built here way back in the early 1930s. However, the true history of Verbier as we know it today began in 1950 when five members of the development society decided to construct the Médran ski lift.
The society of ski lifts TéléVerbier was in charge of early development. In 1955, the Savoleyres installation was built, followed by Attelas in 1957, and finally Mont-Gelé and Tortin in 1960. Not long after that, the station installed its first cable car which connected Verbier to Chables.
In the beginning, Verbier village was a small holiday destination until the 1960s brought forward a great ski boom and Verbier became the snow sports mecca, which it continues to be even today. While the resort’s first skiers came from Switzerland, France, and Belgium, now it attracts guests from all over the world.
What makes Verbier so special?
Verbier, Switzerland has a lot to offer to its guests, not just a rich and fascinating history. When you choose it for your holiday destination, you will enjoy a number of many amazing things that make Verbier special and more unique than any other ski resort.
Where is Verbier exactly?
Verbier is located in the Four Valleys ski area, in the south-west of Switzerland, bordered by Italy to the South and France to the West.
Unlike most other alpine resorts, Verbier has a clear absence of high rise development and it’s also surrounded by amazing mountain scenery. Thanks to the high Verbier altitude (1500 m), snow is guaranteed and if you read any Verbier review, you’ll see that every guest is satisfied with the location.
Array of runs
The ski area itself is very vast, offering visitors 410 kilometers of ski runs and 95 state-of-the-art lifts. Due to this, anyone who enjoys skiing and snowboarding can find the perfect ski route, no matter their skills.
- Beginners. Those who don’t have a lot of skiing experience can try Les Moulins (junior slope) with a magic carpet lift and a drag lift. There is also Les Esserts, which is the main beginner’s slope and it doesn’t require too much skill.
- Intermediates. Verbier’s large number of red intermediate runs is what skiers love, the most popular being the one from Chassoure to Tortin. Other options for intermediate skiers include Siviez, Greppon Blanc, and Les Attelas to Verbier.
- Advanced skiers. Advanced and expert skiers love going to the top of Mont Fort (3,300m), which offers a challenging but amazing black run. For those who want to venture off-piste, they can do so in the Mont-Gele, Tortin, and Vallon d’Arbi areas.
For people who want to enjoy everything Verbier ski resort has to offer besides skiing and snowboarding, they can try snowshoeing, husky sledding, and sledding.
Of course, there is much more to do off the mountain as well. Verbier has a “Centre Sportif”, which includes:
- Well-equipped gym
- indoor rock climbing
- Swimming pool
- Squash courts
- Ice hockey rink
- Ice-skating rink
Those who want to have a fun night out after a day of skiing can enjoy a dynamic Verbier nightlife. There are 12 bars and discotheques that are open from 3 pm to 2 am. There are also a couple of clubs in the Place Centrale area so anyone can have a great time both during the day and night.
When is the best time to visit Verbier?
The best time to visit Verbier is definitely in the winter, even though this can vary from person to person and what kind of experience you want to have. To decide on the best time to visit, you need to know what to expect during each season:
- Winter. Tourists who prefer colder weather should visit from December to February. However, the ski season lasts from November to April, which gives you plenty of options. Also, keep in mind that this is the busiest and most expensive period for staying in Verbier.
- Summer. Summer is the second busiest season in Verbier, lasting from June through August. There are also many things to do in the summer in Verbier, such as attending the famous Verbier music festival. The weather in summer is comfortable and the temperatures are moderately high.
- Spring. The spring is generally moderately cold and there is very little rain. Also, this period is not as busy as winter and summer.
- Fall. There is a significant amount of rain and snow during the fall season that lasts from September through November. This is the slowest season for tourism, so the prices are lower as well.
Is Verbier expensive?
Many people would say that Verbier is expensive, and that’s not far from the truth. After all, Verbier ski resort is the cream of the crop when it comes skiing.
If you’re planning a trip to Verbier, these are the usual prices you can expect:
- Hotels. The average price for a hotel room is about 205 CHF, while prices range from 75 to 310 CHF per night. If you want to rent out a vacation home, you can expect prices from 128 to 365 CHF per night.
- Meals. How much money you spend on food depends on where you’re eating. For one meal at an inexpensive restaurant, you can expect an average price of 25 CHF. If you want to visit a mid-range restaurant, expect an average cost of 84 CHF for a three-course meal for two people.
- Beer. If you want to try a domestic beer, a 0.5-liter draught will cost you 7 CHF at a restaurant and 2 CHF in a store. As for imported beer, a 0.33-liter bottle is 6 CHF in a restaurant and 3 CHF in a store.
- Ski pass. An adult Verbier pass for one day in the medium season costs 68 CHF and for 6 days it is 348 CHF. On the other hand, the same pass in the high season is 71 CHF for one day and 357 for 6 days. If you get a 7+ day pass, you get to enjoy skiing on all the runs in the 4 Valleys area. There are also free passes available for people aged under 5 and over 76.
How to get to Verbier?
How you choose to get to Verbier depends on many different factors like how much you’re willing to spend on travel, where you’re coming from, and whether you want your travel to be eco-friendly. Since Verbier is a very popular destination, you can choose between several different travel options.
There are three different ways you can get to Verbier.
- Plane. The first and most popular choice to enter Switzerland for international tourists is coming to Verbier from Geneva or Zurich airports, or Sion airport for private planes.
Geneva is the closest airport to Verbier. From there, the easiest option is to take Alpybus or Alpinexpress which offer an affordable 2.5 hour ride from Geneva to Verbier. Alternatively, you can take a train to Le Chable (10-55 CHF) and then take a bus or cable car from Le Chable to Verbier, which takes only about 10 minutes.
If coming from Zurich to Verbier, the best option is to take a train to Le Chable. The trip lasts about 3 hours and 50 minutes and will cost you between 16 and 36 CHF.
- Train. For a more eco-friendly option, you can take a high-speed train that will take you to the station Le Chable. Aside from reducing carbon footprint, traveling by train is more comfortable and allows you to enjoy Switzerland’s beautiful scenery.
- Car. If you live in Europe, you can easily reach Verbier by car thanks to the extensive network of European motorways. This is a very convenient option, as you can later use your car to drive around the resort.
Before you choose your mode of transportation, make sure you can bring your sports equipment. Most transfer companies have no issues in catering to people who travel with sports equipment, but it’s good to check their terms and conditions just in case.
It’s time to visit Verbier!
For anyone who is a fan of skiing, snowboarding, or just loves snowy mountains and beautiful scenery, Verbier is the perfect vacation destination. No matter if you’re traveling alone or bringing the whole family with you, you will definitely have an unforgettable time.
If you want to spend your next vacation in a breathtaking environment, you don’t have to look any further than Verbier. Choose the season that’s perfect for you, buy a chalet in Verbier, pack your skis, and get ready for the vacation of a lifetime.