Villars

Ski Chalets & Apartments for sale, Switzerland

Expert's Opinion

"If you are looking for a weekend dual season getaway, Villars is a great choice. This attractive village developed into a tourist resort over 100 years ago when the cog railway was built. The gentle wooded slopes are perfect for beginners and intermediates, so Villars is one of the best options for families. I have been skiing in Villars for 30 years so I know where to find some great off-piste skiing too. Better still, this sunny resort has plenty of options for a good lunch on the slopes or a cold beer at the end of a hard day’s skiing." – Simon Malster

The Village

Villars is a pleasant, family orientated resort perched upon a sunny, south facing plateau above the Rhone Valley. It is one of the easiest Swiss resorts to visit for a weekend as it is just a 90 minute drive from Geneva, or you can arrive by train.

This ease of access has made Villars popular with Swiss working in Geneva and Lausanne who have bought weekend places here, but also with foreigners who have retired in Villars. It is even famous for its International schools and all these factors combine to make it feel like more than just a ski resort – it is a “proper place” which is lived in and open all year round.

Originally a farming community, Villars has been tastefully expanded and has a good selection of shops and sophisticated restaurants on offer. However thanks to the quaint mountain railway and main street it has retained much of its original charm. It is also surprisingly lively for a traditional resort and has some good après ski bars and nightclubs.

The Skiing

Altogether there are 225km of connected pistes from Villars up to Glacier 3000 above the neighbouring resort of Les Diablerets. The lift system was upgraded some years ago so there are no queues. The cable cars up to the Les Diablerets Glacier were upgraded to a 125 man jumbo cable car, while the Roc d’Orsay télécabine has been replaced with a new high-speed lift. Further investment in a new system of snow cannons ensures that you can ski back to the centre of the resort right up until the end of the season.

The ski area centres around Bretaye, a wonderful sunny bowl set at 1800m reached either by a cog railway or by the Roc d’Orsay lift. This is where the ski and snowboarding schools meet and there are several to choose from covering all languages and disciplines of skiing from beginners to mountaineering. The area is mostly suited to intermediate skiers with everything from cruising blues to steeper and more challenging reds (the run from Meilleret to Les Diablerets is particularly enjoyable).

For experts there is some great off piste if you hire a guide and, if you know where to go, you can still find fresh powder even a day or two after a big snowfall as it is unlikely to have been skied out.

For lunch, there a huge range available from the modern Bergrestaurant Botta at Glacier 3000 (designed by cutting edge architect, Mario Botta) to L’Etable, a converted cowshed serving traditional Swiss specialities. Stop at one of the bars on the slopes or on your way back to the village at the Col de Soud to enjoy the sun and a glass of prosecco.

Summer

As it is open all year, Villars is lively whenever you visit. The resort is an enormously popular hiking destination, with great mountain biking and horse riding trails. The cog railway operates during the summer and takes you up to Lac Bretaye at 1800m. From here you can enjoy easy walks, bike routes and some charming restaurants.

Villars also has a fabulous golf course founded in 1922 and situated on a south facing plateau at an altitude of 1660m. With stunning views of the Aguille du Midi and Mont Blanc, this 18 hole par 70 course is accessible to all those with a Golf Course Authorisation (AP) or Green Card. Members and visitors can then relax after a round in the fabulous Club House, which serves good food in both Summer and Winter.

Lake Geneva and its many lakeside towns are also just a 30 minute drive away. Montreux is certainly worth a visit, as this beautiful village is home to the historic Chateau de Chillon and the very popular Montreux Jazz Festival. Every June/July artists from all over the world head to Montreux for two weeks to put on the second largest jazz festival in the world.

Properties

We always have a good selection of resale properties available, and almost all the properties in Villars are available for foreigners. The centre is mostly characterised by attractive chalet style apartment buildings, which continue onto the slopes and up above the resort in a private park known as Domaine de la Residence.

We have a choice selection of high quality apartments available in both central and ski in, ski out positions, As you move further out to the villages of Gryon and Barboleuse we have more chalets. Some are quite old and full of character, others are luxury and newly built with pools and wellness facilities.

There is still some new construction underway such as the Domaine du Roc which is perfectly located at the foot of the slopes. It is also still possible to have a new individual chalet built to order. When these are sold we will not have any more as the Weber law will not permit new construction, so buy now, while you still can.