Guide to Skiing in Verbier
Verbier is a village in Switzerland that is located in the south-western area of the country and is famous for its breathtaking scenery, a lot of sunshine, and snowy ski terrains. This ski resort attracts a lot of different kinds of people from all over the world that are looking to enjoy the winter activities in Verbier.
Expert off-piste skiers return to Verbier year after year, but in the past few years some excellent ski schools have started up, which means both beginner and intermediate skiers can enjoy the pistes. No matter your level of expertise, you can be sure that Verbier has something to offer you.
There are a few facts and figures you should know about the resort in Verbier:
Resort altitude: 1500m
Highest point: 3330m
Vertical drop: 1830m
Ski areas: Verbier is located in one of the largest ski areas in Switzerland called the Four Valleys. It is linked to five different resorts (Thyon, Bruson, La Tzoumaz, Veysonnaz, and Nendaz), and this area is now officially known as the Verbier-St Bernard ski region.
Pistes: There are 140km of pistes in Verbier and they’re divided as such: 36% beginner/intermediate, 37% advanced, 27% expert. To get a better understanding of where they’re located, you should check out this Verbier piste map.
Number of lifts: 92
Who it’s best for: Experts who enjoy going off-piste and exploring various terrains as well as intermediate skiers who want to step up their game. However, novice skiers can still enjoy Verbier thanks to the skiing courses available for visitors.
Ski school meeting place. Both old and new visitors should note that the ski school meeting place has been moved. The previous spot was outside the busy forecourt of the Medran lift station, but now it’s located at the Les Esserts nursery slope.
The ski area in Verbier rises to 3300m in the high alpine above the town, there are 410km of piste to choose from and multiple different ski areas:
- Verbier Ski Area. For most people, skiing in Verbier starts at the main ski area. There are a few different lifts that take people to ridges which differ based on their difficulty level. The main area is best for mixed ability groups, it’s known for having late and early season snow, and a variety of restraints.
- Mont Fort ski area. This area only has three pistes, but it also has a huge off-piste potential, which makes it perfect for expert skiers looking for challenging runs. However, it’s also accessible for non-skiers who just want to enjoy the amazing 360-degree views of the Alps.
- Bruson Ski Area. This ski area is relatively small and only has 4 red slopes, 1 black, and only 1 blue slope, so it’s not exactly the place for beginners. However, one of this area’s biggest appeals is that it’s located s below the tree line, which makes it the perfect place to be during bad weather days.
- Savoleyres and La Tzoumaz Ski Area. This area also offers a great variety of pistes, but it’s best known for its family feel that’s brought about by easy and playful terrain. It also has one of the longest sled runs in Switzerland, which is 10km long and has a drop of 848km.
- Mont Gele. Mont Gele is the perfect area for advanced skiers. It has three distinct faces, all of which are skiable and have practically endless ski routes. Mount Gele is known for its steep and deep pistes, so if you’re looking for challenging skiing and amazing views at the same time, this is the area for you.
Where should you ski?
With so many different areas and pistes, it can be hard to decide where you should go during your Verbier ski holidays, but the best way to make this decision is based on your skill level.
- Beginners. Most beginners don’t consider skiing in Verbier as their first option for vacation, but the resort actually has nursery slopes with a ski rental where you can learn the most basic skills. Once you start to feel more comfortable, you can move on to gentle blue pistes and develop your skiing skills.
- Intermediates. The intermediate terrain in Verbier is varied, and its main slopes are concentrated between Attelas and the village. You can take part in some intermediate itineraries and even get an introduction to off-piste skiing at Val d’Arbi and Col des Mines.
- Experts. Verbier is a paradise for expert skiers and those who are looking for amazing off-piste skiing. Mont Fort offers a lot of challenging skiing centers, and experts wouldn’t want to miss the steep kilometer-long black run that starts at the top and goes down to the Gentianes-Tortin.
- Snowboard and freestyle. Even though most people think of skiing in Verbier when they think of this resort, Verbier is actually also famous for extreme snowboarding. Every year, they host the last stage of the Freeride World Tour – Xtreme Verbier, where the best skiers and snowboarders compete. And if you’re interested in snowboarding, you can visit Verbier’s snow park that offers a diverse range of obstacles
You can reach all of the main slopes via lifts, which can get busy during peak periods, so it would probably be better to take a shuttle bus. Some places such as Bruson can be reached via gondola from Le Châble.
However, since it’s impossible to learn all of this information, it would be best to acquire a Verbier ski map.
Verbier ski lessons
No matter if you’re a beginner who has never worn skies or an intermediate skier wants to work on their off-piste skiing, there are a variety of schools in Verbier that can help you achieve your goals.
The Verbier ski resort is famous for its cosmopolitan ski community and top-notch ski instructors, so you can be sure that the ski lessons you can take here are well worth the cost. Once again, the class you should take depends on your skill level and what you’re hoping to achieve.
For instance, if you’re an intermediate skier who still isn’t ready to take on off-piste skiing, you should book a class with the Verbier branch of the British ski school, New Generation, or Performance Verbier. These schools were founded by instructors who have trained all over the world.
Those who want to get the most out of Verbier and brush up on their technique should check out a course from the Warren Smith Ski Academy that offers both private lessons and training courses. And if you’re looking for a school that will help you get more comfortable with off-piste skiing, we recommend Powder Extreme.
If you’re looking to bring your children who don’t know how to ski to Verbier, you can book lessons for them as well with European Snowsports. And if your kids already have enough skiing skills and experience, they would probably enjoy a two-day clinic with Powder Extreme.
Finally, for those who are bringing children aged three months to seven years, you can simply leave your little ones at the daycare at Creche Les Moulins. And for children aged eight to eighteen, they can enjoy the Les Elfes activity camps that offer skiing and snowboarding, language classes, and an apres-ski program.
Verbier has always been a charming resort. It was previously dominated by private chalets, but that’s changed in the past few years. Nowadays, there is a new complex at the bottom of the Medran gondola where you can find the W Verbier hotel, restaurants, bars, and shops.
If you venture into the village center, you will be able to find stores run by international brands, but also little boutiques right next to them.
Here are a few more tips you should know before visiting Verbier:
- When you arrive, you can find out all of the events that will happen that week, as they’re all advertised at Médran.
- A visit to Verbier would be incomplete without going to the longest sled run in French-speaking Switzerland. It runs from Savoleyres to La Tzoumaz, following the Petite Combe run. You can also rent toboggans when you reach the top station.
- There is a giant slalom race organized each Saturday by the Swiss Ski School. It’s located in Savoleyres and open to everyone, but if you want to participate, you will have to enter in advance.
People who love nature, mountain air, and enjoy skiing can have an amazing time in Verbier, as it’s located in one of the largest ski areas in Switzerland and has many different areas and pistes for you to choose from.
No matter if you’re still a novice or an expert both on and off the piste, you’ll feel right at home here. Most people who come here once return and many of them even decide they want to own or rent property in Verbier.
If this is something you’ve been thinking about as well, you should check our real estate for sale and find the perfect permanent or vacation home, and enjoy skiing in Verbier whenever you want.