Short ski break to Villars

Catherine Fetherston on 13 January 2011

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I went for a 4 night trip to Villars in Switzerland and enjoyed 3 days of skiing. Upon arrival at Geneva Airport, we headed to the train station, which is just a short walk from arrivals, to catch our Swiss rail transfer to Villars. This is becoming an increasingly popular method of transfer to resort and it’s easy to see why. It must have been one of the most enjoyable and easiest ski transfers I have experienced. Displayed throughout the station, all the timetables give you the correct platform you need to be on and when the next departure is. As it is to be expected, all of the trains run with Swiss efficiently and depart on time. When catching the train to Villars, there are two options. You can either take the train to Aigle and then catch the bus to resort, or take the train a little further to the town of Bex and then change onto another train which runs directly up to Villars. Either way you will arrive into the centre of the resort and will be minutes away from your accommodation. We stayed at the Hotel Le Bristol, which is a fantastic hotel, located only 300m from the resort centre. The rooms are spacious and have the choice of either a village or valley view. As with many Swiss resorts, Villars is a ‘real’ town with residents living there year round and as a result there is a good selection of bars, restaurants and shops. In terms of eating out, I would highly recommend the Rotisserie des Alpes, which is right beside the train station in the centre of the resort, where we had excellent Lake Geneva perch fillets. We also spent an evening at the Restaurant du Col du Bretaye, located at the top of the cog railway, in an area called Bretaye. This is an ideal restaurant for non-skiers who want to go up the mountain and meet skiers for lunch. On the slopes we booked 2 mornings with a private instructor from the Villars Ecole de Ski et Snowboard (ESS). Villars ESS is one of the largest in Switzerland and is made up of over 300 instructors. Their office is located in the same building as the tourist office, opposite the station. If you have lessons booked, you can exchange your vouchers either at the office in resort or at the office in Bretaye – the ski area accessed by the cog railway. There’s an excellent kindergarten in Villars which is located behind the train station. Thanks to the magic carpet in the Jardin des Neiges, the little ones will be tearing up and down the slopes in no time. Villars is an excellent choice for a either a short break ski holiday, thanks to the easy transfer and flexibility of the Hotel Le Bristol or as a family destination, with a wide choice of self catered apartments available and a superb ski school on hand to take care of the children. If you’re interested in a ski break to Villars and have any questions about the resort, please do not hesitate to call me.

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