Resort Profile: Villars

By adamrowden, 20 Jul '12 at 09:28

Located on a sunny, south-west facing plateau above the Rhone Valley, the Swiss resort of Villars has been a famous health resort for many years, with visitors arriving by rail in large numbers since the start of the twentieth century. The village's importance was secured with the decision to stop the Orient Express in the area en route through the Simplon Pass in to Italy.

Today the resort continues to stress both its family-friendly skiing credentials and its decision not to do battle to be the best in any one area, but instead to endeavour to offer its guests the highest standards in all the aspects which make up a wonderful holiday. For Villars that means good quality, good service and good value in accommodation, resort facilities, and on the slopes.

Marketed with its smaller neighbour, the village of Gryon, Villars also has an unusual reputation - as a centre of educational excellence - there are no less than five establishments offering courses in languages, sports and all other academic disciplines.

But enough of that rubbish, what is it like to visit? And, will I have fun on the slopes?

Well, the slopes are ace and I will talk about them in more detail in a second, but there is plenty of fun to be had off piste in Villars, especially if you pop up to the neighbouring Diablerets glacier where you can have a great time if the weather conditions are spot on. The off-piste potential in this resort is growing. Over the years the pistes have remained and there haven’t been many drastic changes, however, the off-piste opportunities are ever improving.

In fact, the backcountry skiing and snowboarding is so good here that guides are bringing clients from the nearby resort of Verbier to experience it. Whereas Verbier tends to be busy and manic, the guides know that if they head to Villars and head to the backcountry, they are guaranteed a good time.

The slopes are not too shabby either. Villars has very well manicured trails that are mainly suitable for beginners and intermediate skiers and snowboarders, which, when combined with the cracking backcountry, means it is a resort that can suit all abilities. There are also two snow parks which are ideal for the freestylers out there.

Regarding the après-ski in Villars, it is a resort that attracts mainly a Swiss clientele which means there is a nice authentic feel when you are out and about. As well as the slopes to entertain you, you can also go hiking, ice-skating, paragliding, horseback riding and sleigh-riding as well as many other activities and there are also a nice selection of bars on offer too.

The Highlights

- Great selection of backcountry routes
- Fantastic pistes for beginner and intermediate abilities
- Wide range of après activities
- Good snow conditions late in the season
- Easily accessible resort
- Authentic feel to the resort
- Pristine Swiss feel

For more resort profiles click here. Or, to find a good transfer company to take you to Villars click here.

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