This Swiss resort is located in the centre of the world's largest skiing areas, known as the "4 valleys" which comprise 410km (255 miles) of downhill pistes and 95 lifts. The skiing area connects the ski runs of Verbier, La Tzoumaz, Nendaz, Veysonnaz and Val de Bagnes/Entremont.
The Verbier season opens in December with skiing possible earlier than this on the glacier and because of its geographical location, the region enjoys good snowfall as well as plenty of sunny days. Indeed, the resort of Verbier sits on a plateau facing south westerly and not far from the Italian border and the famous Grand-St-Bernard "hospice" which is internationally known for its rescue dogs.
History shows that the first skiers tested the Verbier slopes as far back as 1925 but it was not until l933 that the Swiss Ski School was founded in Verbier and the first hotel - Sport Hotel - was opened. The resort's first "serious lift" was opened in l947 and was a staggering 250 metres in length! There was an "explosion" of interest in skiing at Verbier from l957 when the Attelas cable car was opened and since then more and more lifts have been added with renovation of lifts and replacement of "old style" lifts has ensured that many thousands of skiers can be transported hourly to the high slopes.
For those venturing to the dizzy heights of the Mont Fort Glacier at 3,330m there are breathtaking views across all of the main Alpine peaks. But there are slopes for all levels of skiers and the slopes linking across to the resort of La Tzoumaz offer a varied selection of red and blue pistes. However, to reach Nendaz and neighbouring Veysonnaz, you will need to take the double gondola Medran or the chair of the same name to the slopes of Les Ruinettes (2200m) and then the Attelas cable car to L'Olympique (2723m) and ski across to Lac des Vaux and then take the chair (same name) to Chassbure (2740m) and then ski across to Tortin and down to Plan du Fou and Prarion to reach the two lower villages.
For those skiers who want to quickly reach the really high slopes you take La Chaux cable car to Col des Gentianes (2950m) and then the Mont-Fort cable car to the summit. Be warned, it is a black piste from the top and although it merges with a red run at Col des Gentianes and red back to La Chaux, you need to be a good skier to enjoy these higher slopes.
From Les Ruinettes (2200m) there are plenty of black, red and even gentler blue runs and these in turn link across to Criox de Coeur and La Tzoumaz.
Aprs ski life in Verbier in extensive - and exhausting! There is so much ranging from bars and nightclubs, cinema, swimming, indoor golf, and tobogganing. You can snow-shoe walk, paraglide and even go horse riding through the snow-covered forest areas.
Verbier and the 4 valleys are approximately 525 miles from Calais largely on motorways. Remember the route through France will be peage and in Switzerland you will require the annual "vignette" motorway tax disc displayed on your windscreen.
Verbier as a resort has around 15,000 visitor beds divided between hotels(5 x 4*, 15 x 3* and 3 x 2*), chalets and apartments.