Villars Ski Resort

Villars is posh, polished and very Swiss, with its mountain railway, picturesque chalets, elegant restaurants and smart hotels. It's also one of the best family ski resorts close to Geneva, with a ski area that stretches across to Les Diablerets, Gryon and high, snowsure Glacier 3000.

Villars sur Ollon has a long pedigree as a ski resort. It has been one of the classiest places to take a winter holiday for over a century. There are excellent hotels; fine restaurants on the slopes and in the village; not only normal ski lifts but also a mountain railway connecting Villars with the slopes above it and the neighbouring resorts of Les Diablerets and Gryon; a snowsure glacier at the far end of the ski area ('Glacier 3000'); good nursery slopes and a choice of child-friendly ski schools. And everything is within easy reach of Geneva airport making Villars a great weekend destination. 

Whilst Villars may not have the visible glitz and bling of nearby Verbier, a lot of the rich and famous own property around here. And it's not just celebrities who prefer Villars' discreet charms. Some of Verbier's mountain guides bring clients over, knowing that they'll have the backcountry largely to themselves. In fact the mountains around Villars form the first 3000m barrier on the North-West side of the Alps, collecting whatever snow comes that way. Of course, Villars is much too staid and traditional to boast about its freeriding potential, so very few know it makes a surprisingly good short-break destination for mixed ability groups whose strongest skiers and boarders want off-piste excitement almost as much as the rest of their party want a really nice long lunch.

On-piste challenges for advanced skiers in Villars, les Diablerets and Gryon, are admittedly few and far between - the long black and red runs coming down from Glacier 3000 to Reusch are the best of a very small bunch. But that does not matter to the novices, weekenders, families and relaxed intermediate skiers who come here year after year. They relish the resort's short, sunny, gentle red and blue runs which are subtly replenished at night with artificial snow from a myriad of snow canons (provided it's cold enough). Only in a warm spring does the ski area contract, and even then there will always be skiing at Glacier 3000 but as that's quite far from Villars, many holidaymakers simply hang up their skis and take up other activities such as walking on prepared mountain paths, paragliding, tobogganing, skating and swimming. Or they spend more time at lunch.

Ski hire in Villars

There are plenty of equiment rental shops in the resort and some in les Diablerets and Gryon as well. They rarely give dsicounts to people who just walk into the nearest one. SKISET has several ski hire outlets in Villars and will give discounts of up to 50% if you book online in advance here.

ALPINRESORTS.com also works with shope in Villars, Les Diablerets and Gryon and will arrange discounts of up to 60% if book through this link.

Villars Pros & Cons

+ Excellent restaurants on and off the slopes
+ Beginner-friendly, mid sized ski area
+ Mountain railways add to the appeal
+ Quick and easy to get to from Geneva
+ High snowsure glacier at Glacier 3000
+ Good off-piste with a guide

- Expensive
- Long journey to and from glacier
- Non glacier slopes are not snowsure
- Very few challenging pistes

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Villars Rating

  • Ski Area star rating
  • Snowsure star rating
  • Advanced star rating
  • Intermediates star rating
  • Beginners star rating
  • Ski Lift System star rating
  • Lift Queues star rating
  • Scenery star rating
  • Resort Charm star rating
  • Apres Ski star rating
  • Non-Skiers star rating
  • Getting There star rating

Villars Statistics

  • CountrySwitzerland
  • StateVaud
  • Base1,200 metres
  • Summit3,000 metres
  • Vertical1,800 metres
  • Ski area extent120 km
  • Beginner60 km
  • Intermediate47 km
  • Advanced13 km
  • Longest run10 km
  • Number of ski lifts46 
  • Cable cars
  • Funiculars
  • Gondolas
  • Chairlifts11 
  • Surface lifts28 
  • Riders per hour38,000 
  • Day lift passSfr 58
  • 6 day lift passSfr 277

5 Day Snow & Weather Forecast

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  • 26th PartCloudRainThunderDay 28° 10° Patchy light rain with thunder New Snow 0cm
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Ski-AreaMap

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