An attractive, modern resort built in a traditional style, Verbier is without doubt one of Europe's top ski resorts with an abundance of luxury chalets. Verbier lies in a sunny, south-facing bowl with spectacular views of the surrounding peaks; it is the largest resort of the “4 Vallées” ski region, with over 400km of piste, Verbier is home to some of the most challenging yet rewarding skiing in the Alps and some of the best luxury chalets.
The 4 Valleys offers an enormous range and variety of challenging pistes, with some of Europe's most exciting lift-served, off-piste skiing, not to mention the luxury ski chalets. Nowhere is there a more extensive menu of glaciers, couloirs and deep powder bowls for advanced skiers and riders. The Savolèyres and Lac des Vaux sectors provide a more limited playground for intermediates.
Five resorts of Verbier, Nendaz, Veysonnaz, Thyon, La Tzoumaz are tied into one single Four Valleys pass which offers you one of the largest skiable areas in the Alps, but in practice, few skiers venture beyond the limits of the main Verbier lifts.
Verbier's principal lift station is at Medran at the top end of the village. From here a six-person telecabin runs up to Les Ruinettes (2,200m), the start of the Funispace, a state-of-the-art lift with 30-person stand-up telecabine that runs up to Attelas (2,723m). On one side of Attelas there is some gentle cruising skiing around Lac des Vaux, as well as chair-lift access to the notorious Chassoure-Tortin run, which is always steep, often heavily mogulled but glorious in fresh powder.
On the other side of Attelas to Lac des Vaux, there are several other chair-lifts and runs leading to Les Ruinettes, Carrefour and on back down to resort level. There is also access to the La Chaux sector, which offers a few gentle pistes as well as being the starting point for Le Jumbo, a 150-person cable car that runs up to Col des Gentianes (2,950m), from where a further, smaller cable car runs up to the top of Mont Fort (3,330m), the highest point in Verbier's ski area.
Verbier's other main ski area is Savoleyres. A telecabin rises up to 2,354m and there are some easy pistes on the south-facing (Verbier) side, as well as runs on the north-facing side down to the village of La Tzoumaz.
Snowboarders are welcomed in Verbier, with its awesome freeriding from Mont Gelé. The 120,000 square-metre terrain park at Les Chaux offers four different runs, separate boardercross and freestyle areas, and music and a bar at the base. Both Mont-Fort and Les Ruinettes have terrain parks with half-pipes and obstacles, and there is a park at Savolèyres.
For ski rental in Verbier we recommend No 1 Sports close to the Medran. There is a 10% discount on offer to Ski In Luxury clients who mention us when booking their rental equipment!
Verbier's nightlife is as legendary as its skiing, and there's something for everyone.
Just above the Medran lift station the throbbing Pub Mont Fort is the key place to trade stories of the day's off-piste adventures. Offshore bar-cafe, which is distinguished by having a baby pink VW beetle in the middle of the room, is also a key breakfast/après-ski rendezvous point. Another popular meeting place is Murphy's, named after the Irish stout which it serves in great quantities. A little further down the hill, the Fer a Cheval is much favoured by locals and regular visitors and has two great terraces.
Le Farinet on the Place Centrale has established itself as the most popular spot in town. As the lifts close, what seems like half the population of Verbier crushes into the glass-sided terrace bar, which has live music. The Hotel Farinet's inadequate restaurant has been replaced by a second bar – a comfortable lounge bar with deep leather sofas for those who prefer to talk as well as drink.
The renowned Farm Club nightclub is an alpine institution, run in the same impeccable style for over 30 years by the Berardi brothers, Serafino and Giuseppe.
L'Ecurie is a cosy, reliable restaurant serving good pasta and other dishes. The best pizzas are in the legendary Fer à Cheval, but decent ones can also be found in Al Capone. Au Vieux Verbier serves an excellent steak amongst other specialities. The King's restaurant has interesting food and an inspirational list of Swiss wines.