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Verbier: 10 cool things to do

From serious off-piste skiing to tobogganing down one of Europe's longest luge runs – plus, what to eat and where to sleep – these are the coolest things to do in Switzerland's most fun ski resort.


Go off-piste for the day

Powder hounds will revel in the off-piste skiing to be had in back-country Verbier – it’s some of the best in Europe. People go all dreamy-eyed at the very mention of powdery and utterly beautiful Vallon d'Arby, with its snow-capped trees, or the lesser-skied Backside Mont Fort. Hire a guide for the day or, even better, a helicopter.



2

Bed down in the beautiful hotel La Cordée des Alpes

This timber-clad, lodge-like Alpine retreat has easy access to the slopes and is a great place to hunker down after a long day skiing. Part of the Small Luxury Hotels group, Cordée des Alpes is a charming little hotel with stone fireplaces, decorative wooden skis and comfy sofas to sink into. The bedrooms, though panelled with wood, are both contemporary and cosy. There’s also an underground pool, housed in a low-lit cabin with revolving wooden louvres, and an open fire in the bar, so this is a great place to warm up for a bit of après even if you’re not staying the night.



3

GET A BIRD’S-EYE VIEW OF THE MOUNTAINS

Paragliding is only for the adventurous, but there’s really nothing to compare with the views of the mountains as seen from above. Unless you’re an expert, you’ll be in a tandem paraglider, with a guide leading the way. But even so, expect a serious rush of adrenalin as you soar up and down and across the valleys (and down again to touch the snow for a brief moment if you’re still on skis). In winter, multi-coloured mini figures flit along the pistes beneath you, and in summer, blue ribbons of water trickle down the mountains below. Do note, weather conditions need to be pretty perfect to paraglide in Verbier.



4

Warm up over a hot chocolate in the clouds

What's a day in the snow without a warming cup of cocoa? Elevenses in the Alps are all about chocolat chaud, with whipped cream if you're feeling especially indulgent. Located next to Le Mouton Noir restaurant, 2,200 metres above Verbier, Ice Cube is a cosy little cabin-like café from which to take in the breathtakingly beautiful vistas of the snow-blanketed Petit Combin mountain. It also does a mean croque-monsieur, or a burger piled with cheese and cornichons.



5

EAT LUNCH ALFRESCO

When the sun shines on Le Mouton Noir, there's no place we'd rather be. And when it doesn't, it's still pretty great. The real draw of this restaurant and bar, high up in the mountains, is its wooden terrace, with 360-degree views of the Petit Combin and the valley below. It’s also a smart choice for lunch: as well as deliciously hearty mountain food, including classic potato rösti and grilled beef tenderloin, there’s Swiss- beef tartare and seared sea bass. If you fancy sticking around into après, a DJ joins the crowd each afternoon too.



6

Toboggan down the longest luge run in western Switzerland

Is there a more fun way to travel than by toboggan, speeding down the mountain, the wind in your hair, the snowy landscape whizzing by? La Tzoumaz runs for 10km, dropping down 848 metres of mountainside. A little less hair-raising, dogsledding through the Verbier valley is another great way to rest your legs for the day, behind a pack of huskies.



7

Taste the local wines

The oldest wine cellar in Verbier, Macbirch houses some of the world's finest vintages, including mountain wines from the vineyards of Valais in southern Switzerland. Every Saturday throughout the winter season, the shop hosts complimentary wine tastings, where experts will guide you through the collection.



8

Dive in at an affordable ski hotel

You didn't ski all day for nothing. One of the best things about an active day on the slopes is kicking back at the end of it. And Hotel Montpelier has an enormous indoor pool with a glass ceiling and walls so you can look out onto the slopes. There’s also a spa with a sauna and steam room. The bedrooms here are traditional and are a brilliantly affordable option, costing from £220. Book a south-facing room for some of the best views in Verbier.



9

Taste the best crepes in Verbier

The crêpes at mountain pit stop Le Mouton Noir are made by chefs who have come all the way from Brittany. They’re traditional and made right in front of you, with something for everyone, from cheese, ham and egg, to Nutella, vanilla ice cream and salty caramel sauce. And the gaufres (crispy shell, soft centre) topped with chantilly cream and chocolate sauce come highly recommended too. Hands down the best pudding in town.



10

Party-on with après-après-ski

The night always feels young in Verbier. You've made it back down the mountain and that's reason enough to celebrate, right? The fabled Farm Club has been around for more than 45 years and it's still the best place to party in town. Located next to Experimental Chalet, the club has become an institution, where David Bowie and Diana Ross both once hit the dance floor.
Itineraries, Skiing, Switzerland, Verbier

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