Verbier, Switzerland

The Best Boarding in Europe
Verbier with the lights on
Verbier with the lights on (Switzerland Tourism)

Verbier is one of the most prestigious resorts in Switzerland, and it's easy to see why. Built at an altitude of 1,500 m (4,921 ft), it has some of the best views in the world. Despite the influx of tourists, the town has been kept reasonably tasteful. For these and other obvious reasons, it attracts some of Europe's more pretentious and wealthy clientele. Yet beneath this veneer, there are committed core boarders, skiers, and mountain folk who live here because the mountain has some of the most radical territory in the Alps. Plus there's everything else here that you could want—all you need is cash!

Verbier is huge, with over 400 km (248 mi) of piste and seemingly limitless off-piste. In fact, there's so much to it that the Verbier area is almost worthy of a guidebook in itself. There seems to be a different lift, a new mountain, and another run everywhere you look, and besides what you see, there's the backcountry to explore! Ski guru John Faikiner, who has lived in the area for more than 20 years, says he still finds new runs. Because it is so well-known internationally, it often gets crowded in the high season. If this is the case, go over the valley to Brusson, or over to the Super Saint Bernard and ride into Italy.

Because the resort is at 1,500 m (1,171 ft) and the highest altitude is 3,300 m (10,827 ft), it normally doesn't lack snow, which falls frequently between November and April. Unfortunately, it can suffer badly from the effects of the foehn, a hot wind from northern Africa, which gets trapped in the valley. When this phenomenon occurs, there are numerous snow slides and it is advisable not to go off-piste.

Verbier Essentials

Tourist Office

Telephone: 026 316 666

Fax: 026 313 272


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