Verbier lies in the famous ‘Four Valleys’ ski area of Switzerland, which links five resorts: Verbier, Nendaz, Veysonnaz, Thyon and La Tzoumaz. Skiers celebrate Verbier for its range of difficult slopes, such as the death-defying Tortin run, which presents testy moguls and frigid northerly winds. As a resort with a range of altitudes, it can average 300 cm of snowfall a month, depending on the time of year. For a more in-depth snow report, take a look at our resort guide to Verbier here.
Life off the slopes is excellent. Verbier exudes luxury, with private chalets and 5* star hotels to welcome you. As such, the resort is well known within the upper circles, regularly visited by from English and Danish royals and actors such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Jude Law and the Beckhams. Property values reflect Verbier’s premium heritage, with prices for a basic apartment start at half a million Swiss francs and larger chalets on sale for up to 20 million Swiss francs.
Living in Verbier and things to do
Verbier bustles in both the summer and winter. Catch a plane here in the warmer months and you will find plenty to do, as once the snow melts, the mountain reveals over 400km of walking trails. Take a trip up the famous landscape for pure air and a swim in the clean water when you reach the Lake des Vaux. Continue to explore and you will discover the Mauvoisin Dam, ranked as the eighth highest dam in the world. Its viewing platform unveils extraordinary vistas.
If you brought a mountain bike, you will see 12km of marked downhill routes across the area from the top of the ranges. Or, if you’re an adrenaline junkie and want to save some time you might find the zip line is more your taste. You will glimpse views of the Haut Val de Bagnes (Switzerland’s second biggest nature reserve) on your way down.
A popular mountain resort, 7,874 people call Verbier home and together maintain a range of welcoming leisure facilities. Whether you would like to join the Wholey Cow gym and sign up for fitness sessions, pilates and spinning; or if you would prefer to play sports such as swimming (in an outdoor heated pool), tennis or ice skating at the Verbier Sports Centre, you will find many activities to keep you busy off-piste and through the Summer.
They also have a range of fine dining restaurants scattered across the area, serving all manners of cuisines from traditional Swiss meals to the hearty Italian.
And Verbier will delight you if you prefer shopping over sports. Full of specialist wine shops selling over 700 international wines, champagnes and spirits; Verbier also has a range of home stores selling designer furnishings for those looking to turn a house into a home.
Now let us talk about skiing… you will find beginner slopes in the central valley, but you will enjoy the resort most if you ski to an advanced level. Along with 410km of maintained piste, many come for the famous off-piste runs. They do not suit the faint hearted. And if you risk the resort’s peak at Mont-Fort (3330m high), you will meet stunning views across the sun-specked resort.
Skiers zip around Verbier during the winter season, which runs from December through to April and provides up to 600cm of snowfall each year. The resort provides excellent facilities, with 48 surface lifts and 18 gondolas available. And should you take a knock on the slopes, you will receive quick attention with two local hospitals, six pharmacies and four dentists!
Verbier and culture
Verbier brims with flavour. Try the local cuisine and taste a dish called ‘la raclette’, which consists of a mound of melted cheese, potatoes and pickles. Locals heartily recommend it.
Verbier also houses the interesting Alpine Museum, which portrays life in the Alps before industrialisation took over many popular mountain towns. There is also an original Verbier village that you can visit and enjoy the 13th century architecture. Guides will also encourage you to visit the Saint Bernard Dogs Museum in nearby Martigny and learn about how the dogs help mountain rescues.
And if you like to visit galleries, the Musée de Bagnes hosts photography and fine art, and the Nanuq Art Gallery showcases Canadian Inuit sculptures.
What makes Verbier unique?
A popular resort for experienced skiers; authorities class 28% of the pistes as advanced, and most of those are south-facing and bask in the sun. It explains why many legendary skiing events take place here, including the Xtreme Verbier, the XSpeedski and Exercise White Knight.
In recent years, Verbier was treated to a new cable car, an automated snow-making system and the new luxury No. 14 chalet hotel by its keen investors. There is a good reason as to why Sir Richard Branson enjoys regular visits each year, with up to date infrastructures and facilities making the town a hit for both tourists and the elite.
With so much investment, property values rise year-on-year, as seen by chalet prices reaching £14,700 per square metre in recent years. It is therefore considered wise to invest sooner rather than later in this bustling resort, with prices set to rise for the foreseeable future.
Transport to Verbier
Verbier is an easily accessible resort and you can travel via air, bus, train and by car. Zurich, Milan, Geneva and Sion airports sit within 3 hours distance from the resort, with taxi and minibus services available.
If you plan to travel by train, head to Martigny and take the regional service to Le Châble. From there, a cable car will transport you to Verbier. Those taking the car will enjoy a 1 hour drive in from Chamonix or Aosta.
At its heart, Verbier promises top-class skiing for beginners and especially experts. It also makes an excellent summer base for outdoor fun. Verbier blends home comforts with a unique resort culture, which is why the rich and famous flock here every winter.