Located in the extended 4 Vallées ski area, the largest domain in Switzerland, Verbier is a traditional ski resort buzzing with life for the adventurous and the thrill-seeking skiers. Whilst Verbier’s reputation as one of the best locations for high-octane skiing and similarly exciting nightlife holds true, the resort boasts numerous other attractions to entice holidaymakers.
This season sees a diverse array of cultural and active experiences taking place on the slopes and streets of Verbier, ranging from contemporary art exhibitions, culinary and music festivals to toboggan runs and obstacle courses. Not that its position as one of Europe’s best ski locations has been neglected; the resort consolidates its reputation for world-class skiing by offering new ways to explore its extensive pisted and freeride areas. The balance between exceptional ski location and variety of other activities make Verbier an increasingly attractive option to groups who want to get more out of their alpine break.
Verbier kick-starts the season with Polaris festival
From late November into early December, Verbier plays host to Polaris, an electronic music festival with a line-up that carries big names from the electro and techno music scenes. This year, revellers will get a chance to see Massive Attack, Ben UFO, Carl Craig, and Dixon performing as well as DJs travelling from across Europe and the United States.
Polaris festival runs from 29 November to 2 December 2018 with tickets for the whole festival costing 240 CHF.
The Experimental Chalet will open its doors in December 2018
Building on the success of the Experimental Cocktail Club in London and Paris and The Experimental Beach Club in Ibiza, the three childhood friends Romée de Goriainoff, Pierre-Charles Cros and Olivier Bon, collaborate with Gregory Machand, owner of ‘Frenchie’ on Rue de Nil in Paris as well as its London outpost in Covent Garden, bring their flair for exceptional service to the mountains with The Experimental Chalet opening in December 2018. The chalet will feature 39 rooms, a restaurant, a cocktail bar and club, a spa, a steam room and a solarium.
Priced from CHF 350/ £276 per room per night including breakfast.
Verbier hosts Liverpool FC week for dedicated fans
From the start of the 2018-2019 season, Verbier has signed a partnership agreement with Liverpool FC, through which the Swiss ski resort will seek to increase market share and visibility in the European and British markets with an affine target sport. The highlight of the collaboration will be the organisation of Liverpool FC Week, an exclusive event from Sunday 20th January to Friday 25th January 2019 that will involve a whole host of entertainment connected to the Anfield club. During the week, a special offer will be available for those interested in attending: five nights’ accommodation (based on two sharing), a five-day adult lift pass, activities and the chance to party with a Liverpool FC legend will be available from £466/CHF666
Take on the new ski obstacle course ‘The Infernale’
Visitors looking for a further adrenaline rush can take ‘The Infernale’, a ski-based challenge inspired by the military-style obstacle course race that have become popular in recent years. The challenge can be taken on individually or in groups of three and is made up of four disciplines; running, super G, giant slalom and special slalom. The course challenges guests to a tunnel under the snow, a wall of tyres and winding paths through the forest. Top athletes will complete the course in at around six minutes, but the course is open to everyone to have a go. Registration for the course is priced from £31 for adults and £23 for children.
Sculptures for the slopes
Decorating the path between Ruinettes and La Chaux at 2300 m, the 3D Sculpture Park features exhibitions from artists around the world. Inspired by the alpine surroundings, the structures blend with the natural alpine environment whilst remaining striking works in their own right and can be accessed by foot, skis or snow shoes. The sculptures form part of a five-year project by artists, locals and scientists to raise awareness about the plight of the local glacial environment. The 2018-2019 artist residency is filled by James Capper who will draw on the 200-year anniversary of the chaotic crevassed Giétro Glacier and its many avalanches of 1818 as inspiration for the new designs.
The Verbier Art Summit returns for another year of thought-provoking exhibitions
Running from 1 to 2 February 2019 the Verbier Art Summit brings together influential creatives and artists from around the world to form a platform for discussion and innovation. Each year the not-for-profit initiative collaborates with a world-renowned museum director. This year Jochen Volz, General Director of Pinacoteca de São Paulo, has the task of addressing the relationship between art, politics and the idea of multiple truths. Entrance to the Verbier Art Summit is free.
An athlete-orientated yoga session with a freeride champion
Visitors to Verbier can take a day to explore the slopes with former freeride champion Emilien Badoux. After a day of exciting skiing, tailored to the guest’s ability, Emilien holds an alpine yoga lesson. Designed specifically for athletes, the lesson will help guests relax as well as improve their skiing ability.
A one-hour yoga session at the W Verbier with Emilien costs from 60 CHF pp for a group lesson and 120 CHF pp for a private lesson can be booked by contacting email@example.com.
Cook and eat Michelin star cuisine alongside world class chefs at Haute Cuisine
April 2019 sees the lavish gastronomical experience, Haute Cuisine return for its fourth year. Taking place over the course of four days, 10 chefs with a total of 17 Michelin stars, bring eclectic blends of international cuisines to the event. Each evening has a specific theme which the chefs draw on as inspiration for the dishes and cocktails they serve. Those passionate about cooking have the chance to learn from the world-class chefs staging the event at cooking seminars taking place during the festival. After learning how the intricate dishes are prepared, the guests and chefs sit down to enjoy the meal together.
Haute cuisine costs from 150 CHF and can be booked www.wkitchen-verbier.ch/en/hautecuisine.
Race to La Tzoumaz on the toboggan run from Savoleyres
Located at the top of Savoleyres is the longest purpose-built toboggan run in French-speaking Switzerland. Finishing in La Tzoumaz, the 10-kilometre course features hairpin bends and exhilarating straits descending 848 metres through the tree line and into La Tzoumaz where the town’s bars and restaurants offer a hot chocolate and a delicious meal as a reward to those who take on the course. To take part, tobogganers need a lift pass and a toboggan of their choosing. More information about the toboggan run and prices for toboggan rental can be found here.
Enjoy a new perspective of the mountains with one of Verbier’s paragliding centres
For those looking for an activity that provides dramatic views of the areas stunning, alpine scenery can visit one of the seven paragliding centres through the Verbier- Val de Bagnes region. Winter offers a new perspective on the alpine landscape with snow-capped peaks creating the idyllic winter scene.
Verbier Summits paragliding offer tandem flights from 160 CHF, more information can be found on their websitewww.verbier-summits.com
Skiing in Verbier remains some of the best in Europe
Aside from the variety of other activities and attractions on offer in Verbier this season, the skiing remains exceptional with an excess of 400 km of piste complimented by an array of new attractions. Between January and April 2019, experienced skiers have the chance to take on Verbier’s world-class freeride terrain alongside legends of the sport Géraldine Fasnacht (Eleven international freeride victories) and Xavier De Le Rue (Three-time winner of the Freeride World Tour). The Dog Leg, Stairway to Heaven, the back side of Mont Fort and the Rocky Garden are just a handful of the extensive backcountry skiing options available in Verbier with the Bec des Rosses, stage of the World Freeride Tour, being the most famous of them all. Having taken on expert advice from Géraldine and Xavier, guests can put their new skills to use on Verbier’s 18 marked freeride routes. More information about freeride skiing in Verbier can be found at www.guideverbier.com
An alpine work out with Nordic skiing and ski mountaineering in Verbier
There are also a variety of options available for fans of Nordic skiing and ski mountaineering. Famous Ski mountaineering routes in Verbier include Rosablanche, a stage of the famous Patrouille des Glaciers and the Rogneux which has previously featured as a round during the Swiss Cup. From January to April, guests will also be able to take part in star-lit Nordic skiing along two possible routes, departing every Wednesday. Before the descent, guests can enjoy dinner at the Savoleyers restaurant, with stunning views over the Verbier village at 2354 m.