Villars ski resort guide Ski area, apres-ski, things to see & do in Villars
Ski holidays in Villars- Gryon - sitting on a south-facing plateau in a natural sun trap at 1300m, Villars is an international ski resort made famous when it was decided to stop the Orient Express in the area en route through the Simplon Pass in to Italy.
The night lifecan be as relaxed or as lively as you want to make it with a wide variety of bars and restaurants with fine dining options in the upmarket hotels.
Wellness & spa
Villars has been a famous health resort for many years dating back to the start of the twentieth century and has many first class spa and wellness centres in it's luxury hotels which are open to non-residents.
|Key information (whole area)|
|Season||Dec - April|
|Apres ski||Lively and fun|
Villars - Gryon ski area guide
Skiing started in 1936 when the first ski lift was built in the combe at Chaux Ronde and the town has not looked back, constantly improving its mountain infrastructure with modern fast lifts.
The Villars-Gryon area provides 100km of pisted runs but if you add in Diablerets Glacier 3000 ski area, this adds a further 25kms with the ski terrain between 1300 and 3000m. Many of the runs are south facing (60%) with only 25% north facing meaning that the snow disappears quickly towards the end of the season. Most of the area is geared towards intermediates with 86% being Blue or Red pistes.
There is a free beginner area in the middle of Villars that also has a toboganning-lift plus another beginner area in the centre of Gryon.
Villas-Gryon is an intermediates paradise - the area is large enough to go touring especially if you head towards the Diablerets Glacier. There, you will find the longest run (10km), the Combe d’Audon, which starts at 3200m on the glacier and finishes in Reusch at 1350m.
Only 14% of the runs are black (17km) which isn't much. However, what Villars lacks on the piste in terms of difficulty is certainly made up for with the "secret" powder stashes off the beaten tracks - best if you take a local guide to find these!
There are 51km of cross-country and skating trails with the longest, Circuit de Coufin, being 9km long.
Other ski holiday activities
For those days where you simply dont want to put skis on, there are plenty of other activities to hand:
- Tobogganning down a 1500m track
- Winter hiking & snow shoeing along 40km of trails
- Ice climbing
- Ice skating
- In-door swimming pool with flumes
- Go-karting on ice
- Cinema and bowling
- Health club with tennis, sauna, massage
Families & kid's clubs
Villars-Gryon was awarded the "Families Welcome label" by the Swiss Tourism Federation which means it provides top-class activity programmes, family-friendly accommodation and amenities such as day nurseries and babysitting services. For example, in winter, all children under 9 years old receive a free lift pass covering the whole area and stay free in their parents’ room in many hotels.
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Our view on Villars ski holidays
Skiing in Villars on a sunny day takes some beating. Fantastic views of the surrunding peaks, great mountain restaurants and excellent touring opportunities. A couple of suggestions...
- A day over at Les Diablerets glacier with it's long runs and stunning views is not to be missed. There is black piste, the Combe d’Audon, a long, flowing run that gets your legs burning. If you are staying in Villars or Gryon, make sure you leave enough time to get back!
- For a day out of the resort, there are a large number of nearby castles, amusements parks, museums and thermal baths, as well as Lake Geneva with its beautiful cities such as Montreux.
- For some pre-season skiing, head to Glacier 3000 at Les Diablerets. Depending on the snow conditions and the weather, the three ski lifts on the glacier usually start up again at the beginning of November where you can get some early practice on the 7 km Olden ski run.