Sunny Verbier is known as one of the most prestigious ski resorts in the world, with a visitor demographic of big-spenders, expert off-piste skiers and party animals. However, the powers that be are working hard to shed this image of exclusivity and encourage a broader range of visitors to this versatile ski area, and rightly so – it’s not a bad resort for beginners or families.
Verbier’s slopes are linked to the larger Four Valleys area, so those on a budget have the option of staying in several other connected villages, and passing up Verbier’s legendary but pricey nightlife and fine dining.
Verbier is big enough to provide something for everyone though. Restaurants are varied, ranging from pizza and burger joints to Michelin stars. There is also a good range of places to stay, but catered chalets are by far the most popular option.
There’s plenty of tough terrain around for the challenge-hungry. Many of the slopes, including some important links for getting around the Four Valleys, are ‘itineraries’ – not groomed or patrolled. Many are steep, and moguls abound. All good fun, if that’s what you like. There is lots of easily accessible off-piste with natural obstacles, and some truly terrifying mountain faces that are used for freeski and snowboard competitions, attended by the world’s best.
We caught up with Verbier’s Isabelle Hefti at the Ski and Snowboard Show. She gives us the run-down on what’s so great about this classic Swiss ski resort.