Villars Ski Holidays

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Villars is situated on a natural sunny balcony, facing a stunning panorama from Lake Geneva to Mont Blanc. The 120km ski area which includes Villars, Gryon and Les Diablerets is the largest in the Vaudoise Alps and the glacier allows you to ski at 3000m. The local cog railway provides easy access from the heart of the village up the mountain to 'Bretaye' for both skiers and non-skiers. The village centre offers an array of authentic Swiss cafés and restaurants as well as local attractions.

Getting There

When to Go

Where to Stay

Getting around


Sporting is a bar and restaurant that usually gets busy from around tea time with people in search of a few beers at the end of the day. The atmosphere isn’t too hectic and you can usually be sure of finding a table or a reasonably quiet bit of the bar if that’s what you’re after.

The Jazz Bar opens around 6pm and has free wifi if you want to check in with what’s going on at home from somewhere relatively peaceful! The piano man continues throughout the evening until midnight with breaks every half hour or so – all quite relaxed but the songs do tend to pick up a notch after 10pm! There is also a cigar bar here if you want to really indulge.

Charlie’s Bar is a really lively option that opens at 5pm and offers live music, DJ;s and a very lively atmosphere! If you’re looking for somewhere to have more than a couple of beers, and maybe some schnapps, at the end of the day whilst dancing in your ski boots then this is the place to come.

The Harambee Cafe is one of the only African themed bars in the Alps and has a very unique, but incredibly welcoming, atmosphere! There are a great number of beers on offer, including Guinness if you’re after a taste from home and they do some excellent cocktails.

Moon Boot Lounge is one of the more upmarket bars in Villars with an elegant interior and live DJs. Cocktails are the name of the game here and they have an excellent mixologist from London who has put together some excellent bespoke drinks – try the classic Moon Boot which is cucumber, kiwi, apple juice and vodka! Sounds healthy but it packs a punch!

Le Green is located in the Gold Hotel and, somewhat unsurprisingly, looks a lot like a European clubhouse! The bartenders are all very friendly and can make you an excellent G&T or something a bit more exotic if you like. This is a fantastic place to come before dinner or just to relax in relatively upmarket surroundings – you do need to change out of your ski gear before you come in!

El Gringo Nightclub is the place to come if you want some late night drinking and dancing! It opens at 10.30pm and stays open until the small hours so don’t come in here expecting a quick nightcap. The Mexican theme extends to pretty much every aspect of this nightclub and whilst it’s not the height of sophistication it is great fun and there are tables available to book if you want to really blow the budget!

Eating out

Mountain Restaurants

1882 is situated over on the Bretaye side of the ski area and is positioned at, you guessed it, 1882m! It is self service which helps keep the costs down and also speeds things up if you’re keen to cram in as much skiing time as possible. You will only find traditional Swiss cuisine here, but it’s all very hearty stuff and keeps you fuelled for an afternoon on the pistes.

Those in search of a really quick bite to eat, i.e. a hot dog or a sandwich, can stop off at Chez Jimmy which is a bar/sandwicherie at the top of the Chaux Ronde above Bretaye. Prices are low, but there are some deckchairs set out to let you soak up some sun and there is often live music to entertain you.

Auberge is on the Colde Soud
between Villars and Gryon and is a great option if you’re planning a day walking or snowshoeing as it is at the crossing point of a number of the trails. There is a large terrace to relax on if the sun is out and the resort is only a few minutes ski away if you fancy indulging in a few beers mid afternoon.

Col de Bretaye is a great place with a little something for everyone. There are actually three restaurants here: Espace Rotonde, Chaux-Room and Salon Bretaye which all offer something a bit different, Chaux Room is self service and the other two are more traditional. Outside there is a great open air bar called Bar O’metre which opens at 10 and has DJs and live music throughout the season – Villars’ answer to the Folie Douce!

In town

The Cookie Cafe – this is a brilliant family choice and is run by an Austrian family offering a great selection of food from full English breakfasts to tuna steaks, Thai curry and burgers. It is always really popular so you will need to book in advance if you want a reservation midweek.

Le Francis is another good family option with a wood fired pizza oven, excellent crepes and proper Italian ice cream. The staff are all friendly and the wine list is actually remarkably good value with some excellent local bottles available for under CHF20.

The Hotel du Gold serves excellent food and is a popular choice for people wanting to push the boat out a bit. The menu combines both traditional local dishes with European favourites so larger groups are sure to find something for everyone! Prices are quite high but so is the quality.


Villars is a very traditional Swiss resort, and the activities available off the slopes are also very traditional! You won’t find much in the way of ‘radical’ activities but you can find a lot of things to do that don’t involve strapping on a pair of skis.

Paragliding is an amazing way of seeing the mountains and over the past ten years the amount of qualified instructors in Switzerland has risen by a huge amount. As a result of this you can experience this thrilling activity for a lot less you might expect – around £100pp for an hour long tandem flight! All of the instructors have amazing high definition cameras which can capture you flying over the mountains so you can take home a great souvenir.

Snowshoeing is another popular activity in Villars with a huge number of trails mapped out for amateurs who want to try it for the first time. Maps can be picked up from the tourist office and you can hire modern, lightweight snowshoes from most of the rental shops in the centre of town. IF you’re not too confident on your own then you can hire a guide for an afternoon and they will be able to take you off the beaten track and really get you in touch with nature. There are a number of excellent mountain restaurants close to the snowshoe trails so why not take a morning off the slopes and hike up for your lunch?

You don’t need to wear snowshoes to get around and normal walking shoes are more than adequate to tackle a great number of tracks around Villars and further along the valley. You can hire walking shoes in town if you don’t have your own and if you would rather let the lifts do the work and just walk ‘around’ the mountains rather than ‘up’ them you can pick up a heavily discounted lift pass for pedestrians.

Finally you can indulge your sporting side by taking a trip to the Villars ice rink and giving the traditional sport of curling a go! Traditional ice skates are also available for hire if you would like to try out some figure skating or even a quick game of ice hockey with your family.

Ski School

Getting around

Family ski

Group Ski


Villars isn’t a particularly well known resort for families, mainly because of its slightly unreliable snow record and its limited slopes, but there are actually a good number of options away from the pistes to keep young children occupied!

The snow kindergarten in Villars is excellent for younger children and welcomes children from the age of three to help them get used to the slopes through a mixture of informal lessons as well as fun and games.

If you do want to head out for a few drinks after dinner and need a babysitter then you can have a word with the tourist office and they will be able to recommend a list of excellent babysitters. These are a lot cheaper than getting a private nanny and are also a lot more flexible in terms of timings! Prices start at around CHF15 per hour:

The sports centre is one of the best in Switzerland and boasts a 25m swimming pool three indoor tennis courts, a volleyball and badminton court, a gym, 2 squash courts and an ice rink! Those who have a Villars lift pass will be able to get reduced entry and children under 6 also get in for a reduced rate. If the weather is nice then you can enjoy some outside ice skating in the sunshine with special areas to try ice hockey and also curling! Skate hire is available at the rink and there are also lessons available on site.

Slightly older children can enjoy an afternoon or an evening at the bowling bar which has American style 10 pin bowling available from mid afternoon right up until midnight. Burgers and pizzas are available if you need to keep energy levels up but the quality isn’t much to write home about!

A more relaxed activity is available on the sledge run – Villars doesn’t have one of the large runs that you can find in Verbier or Zermatt but the small 2km run is still great fun for adults and children alike! Sledges are available for hire in town for a nominal fee or you can get one of the authentic Swiss wooden sledges with metal runners if you really want to pick up speed – no brakes except for your feet!

The Piste

Ski School

Equipment Hire

Lift Passes

Chalet Sleeps

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