4 Valleys, Switzerland

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Ski Holidays in the 4 Valleys Ski Region

The biggest ski area in Switzerland has a seemingly endless amount of groomed slopes and world-famous off piste – accompanied with stunning views of Dent Blanche, the Mont Blanc massif and the Matterhorn. The charming chocolate-box villages cater for everyone from newbies and families (Nendaz) to seasoned pro’s and night owls (Verbier).

Beginner
Intermediate
Advanced
Snowboarding

The 4 Valleys at a glance
Incredible off piste Vast inter-linked ski area Traditional Swiss villages Incredible scenery

Great for
Off piste Groups Families Non-skiers

4 Valleys Ski Region

Switzerland: the land where rustic barns meet modern chalets; where natural beauty meets luxurious spas; where melt-in-your-mouth chocolate meets cheese fondues and where the sunny resorts of Verbier, Nendaz, Veysonnaz, La Tzoumaz and Thyon meet to make up the 4 Valleys. 412km of gorgeous pistes make this the largest ski area in Switzerland and third largest in Europe, but it’s the off piste which really distinguishes the region, including the famous Mont-Fort glacier at 3330m with its terrifyingly steep descents.

The area connects the 5 inter-linked resorts, each with their own individual character.

Verbier’s the best known - world famous for its après ski and off piste, which makes this a fantastic resort for adults and serious skiers. Its Swiss-chocolate box village is regularly frequented by the rich and famous which is reflected by the amount of sophisticated bars, designer boutiques and Michelin-starred restaurants you’ll find here.

Nendaz and Veysonnaz have long been family favourites thanks to their much quieter atmospheres, great infrastructure for beginners and value for money. Relatively untouched, both have retained a real rustic charm with traditional chalets and cosy local restaurants.

La Tzoumaz is a smaller town offering heaps of sporting activities, and Thyon is the king of the castle at over 2000m, with traffic-free roads amongst old barns and chalets, and panoramic views over the impressive Dent-Blanche, Matterhorn and Val des Dix below.

At the moment, the 4 Valleys lift pass comprises all 5 ski areas, but there are reports that the lift operators have failed to reach an agreement for next year, meaning it may no longer be possible to buy a pass linking the whole domain. If you don’t need the mileage of the whole region anyway, you can get passes to the Verbier or Printse ski areas. Verbier Grand Ski spans from the low-down village of Bruson to the peak of Mont-Fort. The 220km Printse sector encompasses Haute-Nendaz, Siviez, Veysonnaz and Thyon/Les Collons.

stats & faq

Where:Switzerland, Alps.
Ski Season: December-May
4 Valleys region
  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced
  • 30%

  • 49%

  • 21%

No. lifts:92
No. runs:205
Highest Altitude:3328m
Lowest Altitude:1080m
Downhill Ski Runs:412km
Longest Run:10km
Slope Orientation:NSEW
Beginner slopes:30%
Intermediate:49%
Advanced slopes:21%
Night Skiing:Yes
Glacier:Yes
Ski pass (adult 6 day):355 CHF
Resorts: Nendaz, Verbier, Thyon, Veysonnaz, La Tzoumaz

Skiing in the 4 Valleys

While the links between resorts are not quite as convenient as some of the big French ski areas, a good skier shouldn’t have a problem getting around.

Despite the area’s reputation for challenging slopes and steep off piste, there are specific learners’ areas just above Nendaz and Thyon and two zones with beginner slopes and magic carpets in Verbier - Les Moulins and Les Esserts. Once the basics have been mastered, head to Thyon or Nendaz for some confidence-building blues.

Intermediates will enjoy the variety of reds, from the winding runs over at Les Masses to the Savoleyres routes just next to Verbier. The legendary Piste de l’Ours in-between Veysonnaz and Thyon is a must for any speed demons – this 2km red has hosted 30+ World Cup downhill races and is considered one of the best slopes in the world.

It’s really for experts that the area comes into its own, with a whole host of challenging blacks and itineraries (marked out but unmaintained and uncontrolled runs). One of the highlights is the long, steep black down from the top of Mont-Fort to the Tortin Glacier with awesome views. On the other side of the ski map, the black down from Ethérolla has a vertical descent of 800m.

Verbier’s legendary off-piste has thrilled and tested some of the best for many years, especially the Chassoure-Tortin Wall which often appears in many top 10 lists for the most demanding runs in the world. The huge peaks of Mont-Fort and Mont-Gelé provide all kinds of great off-piste opportunities and the 4 Valleys have the most itineraries of any ski area.

Boarders are generally well catered for but should probably avoid the Vallon d’Arbi due to the flat runout at the end (which often ends up as a long walk...). The area regularly hosts big competitions every year like Xtreme Verbier. Plenty of snowparks will keep freestylers happy, with the massive Swatch Snowpark at La Chaux, the Woodland Park and Skicross Park in Nendaz and two more at Thyon.

4 Valleys Après Ski

Although Verbier is far from cheap, there are few better resorts for après ski. Enjoy a drink (or two – there’s often a happy hour on) at Pub Montfort, which is buzzing as the lifts close. You can’t beat The Farinet when a live band is blasting out – the Lounge Bar next door couldn’t be more different: classy with big leather sofas and a great selection of cocktails. If you’re looking to really blow off some steam, try Casbah, Le Rouge and Farm Club which stay open into the early hours.

The other resorts generally have quieter après ski, but with the added benefit of being a lot easier on the wallet!

Veysonnaz is probably best known for its mountain-side bars and restaurants, especially open-air Le Tipi serving snacks and pizza with live music on its sun-terrace. The Café Bon Vin is nestled in the heart of the old village and puts together dishes of Valais specialities – there’s nothing like a classic cheese fondue.

Family-friendly Nendaz has lots of great restaurants and big terraces to soak up the sun. La Lanterne et le Vieux Chalet is a home away from home, the perfect location to sample the cheesy delights of tartiflette and raclette. It’s not all cosy and relaxing, with Cactus Saloon and The Canadian Pub putting on lively live music and DJs until the early hours.

La Tzoumaz’s Les Fougères has a great drinks selection, with locally sourced game and varied salad bar. In Thyon, head to La Cambuse, where there’s a specially designated Raclette Corner. Disco le Cosmos is the perfect place to go with mates, either to embarrass yourselves on the dance floor or play indoor bowls, table football and pool. Le Pinocchio is a bit posher, serving local specialties and pizzas alongside breath-taking views.

When is the best time to ski the 4 Valleys?

The season for most of the resorts runs from December to April, but the Mont-Fort glacier at 3300m tends to stay open until May. With plenty of other high-altitude peaks and lots of runs over the 2000m mark facing North, South, East and West, snow conditions are usually very good throughout the season. The area claims to average 300 days of sun a year, so you should be able to enjoy some sunny skiing whatever the time you visit! South-facing slopes are best early in the season and the cooler North oriented slopes stay in great condition right up ‘til the end of the season.

Verbier is always very popular during peak holiday periods but the rest of the resorts are less well-known, meaning they’re a fantastic option for anyone looking to avoid the crowds and get a great deal on their holiday at the same time.

Peak dates

Spend Christmas in the 4 Valleys to enjoy an authentic Swiss festive break including carol services, Christmas markets, ice skating and maybe even appearances from Father Christmas, all in stunning, snow-covered surroundings. Browse the 4 Valleys Ski Region Christmas ski holidays ‣

New Year in the 4 Valleys is usually a special event featuring fireworks, food, live music and plenty of flowing drinks - there’s nothing quite like a New Year’s Eve party in a ski resort. Browse the 4 Valleys Ski Region New Year ski holidays ‣

Families love February Half Term in the 4 Valleys due to its great ski schools and childcare facilities, varied skiing and lots of activities for non-skiers. Browse the 4 Valleys Ski Region Half Term ski holidays ‣

Make the most of the sun and snow by spending Easter in the 4 Valleys. The usual Easter egg hunts around the resorts are always great fun for the kids, while older ones can enjoy the themed restaurant menus and parties. Browse the 4 Valleys Ski Region Easter ski holidays ‣

4 Valleys ski holidays
Chalet de Verbier
Chalet de Verbier
25 Mar 2017
Heathrow £664
Chalet Altair
Chalet Altair
07 Jan 2017
Gatwick £703
Chalet Rosablanche
Chalet Rosablanche
08 Apr 2017
Gatwick £995
Hotel Vanessa
Hotel Vanessa
08 Apr 2017
Dover Ferry £1188
4 Valleys chalets
Chalet de Verbier
Chalet de Verbier
25 Mar 2017
Heathrow £664
Chalet Altair
Chalet Altair
07 Jan 2017
Gatwick £703
Chalet Rosablanche
Chalet Rosablanche
08 Apr 2017
Gatwick £995
4 Valleys hotels
Hotel Vanessa
Hotel Vanessa
08 Apr 2017
Dover Ferry £1188
4 Valleys reviews, 4 star rating and resort and ski area information is collated by SNO man from staff experience and customer feedback.
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