Villars Advanced

There are a few black runs at Villars, but the limited vertical makes most advanced skiers escape to Les Diablerets.

Villars is not traditionally where you come for serious skiing. But a day or two exploring the tougher pistes and the Diablerets glacier, followed by some guided off-piste works well, particularly if you are holidaying with a mixed-ability group. The main restriction is the limited vertical, with the village at 1,300m and the high point at 2,120m; it's no wonder people are drawn to the 3,000m glacier, for both snow conditions and a couple of runs of substantial length.

Of Villars' black runs, the most sustained is from Les Chaux, through the trees below the Sodoleuvre chair; better still are the (unpisted) trees to the far side of the lift. From the Croix des Chaux are a black and red down to Alpes des Chaux and the other peaks - Chaux Rondes and Chamossaire - have modest black runs.

The glacier pistes (but not the cost of the cable cars) are automatically included on any ski pass for three or more consecutive days - this also includes the neighbouring resorts of Les Mosses and Leysin, which between them offer an extra 100km of runs. On a one or two-day ski pass, designed for week-enders who rarely have time for a glacier excursion, the glacier ski pass price has been deleted to achieve a  more attractive tariff.

It takes about an hour and three quarter to reach the glacier from Villars. You get there by taking the Roc D'Orsay gondola, the Chaux Ronde chairlift, and then the long, flat chairlift to Les Diablerets (a 14-minutes ride which allows you to sit back and enjoy the view!). Next comes the Laouissalet draglift to the Meilleret slopes from where you can ski down to Les Diablerets Village. From here you need to take the shuttle bus to the Col du Pillon (every half hour, and  included in your ski pass). From the Col du Pillon, it's a 20-minute ride by two cable cars to the top of the glacier. But don't leave it too late to get back - the resorts suggests no later than the 2.30 bus back to Les Diablerets from the  Pillon cable car base station.

A greater percentage of Les Diablerets' holidaymakers head over to the Villars-Gryon sectors of the ski area because they get many more lifts and pistes for their money than Villars' visitors heading in the opposite direction  and because skiers from Villars to Les Diablerets using the long chairlift have to walk to get to the main Les Diablerets' slopes.

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