Les 4 Vallées Skiing at a Glance Stats:
Summit Elevation: 10,925′. 3330-meters
Base: 3,707, 1103-meters
Vertical Drop: 5,889′
72 Lifts, 250 miles of prepared pistes, 412 kilometers
Les 4 Vallées in Switzerland is vast, the 3rd to 5th largest ski resort in the world (depending upon how it is being measured). In the Top 5 with… Courchevel – Trois Vallees, Portes Du Soleil, Dolomites Super Ski and Paradiski. 4 Vallées offers 412 kilometers of skiing and 72 lifts on one ski pass, there are more than four valleys and five ski resorts all connected – Verbier, La Tzoumaz, Nendaz, Veysonnaz and Thyon/Les Collons. Its all high elevation and highly scenic in the Swiss Alps!
You ski literally for miles from Verbier to Thyon, it can be done in a day, in one big circuit. It’s a long fun tour skiing from Verbier, up Mont Fort (the highest at 10,925′) via two trams, and Mont Gelé – reached by a funispace to a tram, up Chassoure (these three peaks have no prepared pistes, just steep ungroomed), then ski down to Siviez, and over to Nendaz, then Veysonnaz and on to Thyon.
Adventure like the 5 “Free Tracks Zones” off-piste expert runs await, delineated on 4 Vallées trail map as yellow routes as they are marked, but not groomed. La Tzoumaz is yet another ski area, southern facing with some nice fall-line skiing, reached by “Vallons D’Arbi,” one of the “Free Track” runs down a beautiful valley. Hire a guide and beware of avalanche risk.
Les 4 Vallées has stunning scenery of most of the tallest Alps in Switzerland, and France for that matter. From the breathtaking observation tower atop Mont Fort, you can see the Matterhorn, the Dom, Mont Blanc, and countless other 4000-meter (10,000’) peaks.
A highlight of skiing the Swiss Alps is food – the on-mountain chalets and restaurants for a ski-to lunch. 4 Vallées has classic wood chalets, cow barns converted to chic lodges, even Tipis, igloos and umbrella bars serving traditional dishes with cheese potatoes and local meats, plus wines and beers from this Rhone valley region! See our review of ski to dining around 4 Vallées.
Verbier is by far the most famous of the 5 ski areas in the 4 Vallées, for its amazing, steep, scenic terrain, and very chic ski town at the base, littered with 5-star ski hotels and chalets, fancy boutiques and après ski galore. With six villages and 5 ski areas, it feels like more than its namesake “4 Valleys”, all interconnected. There is so just so much to see and ski.
Other 4 Vallées ski villages are less busy, less pricey, and you can still ski all the vast terrain, due to the high-capacity modern lifts, gondolas, cable cars, 6 packs and trams, in every direction. There are some older pomas and T-Bars as well to complete the circuit, it’s just huge and varied terrain.
In charming quieter Thyon Les Collons, we loved slope-side Hotel La Cambuse for its classic Swiss ambiance, chic dining room with superb cuisine, and stunning views of the alpine valley. This family-owned chalet hotel is just steps to the ski lifts to explore this easternmost side of 4 Vallées and easily connect to the entire ski region. Our review of Hotel La Cambuse.
In the center of 4 Vallées’ skiing, Nendaz also offers less expensive lodging in a more peaceful setting, like the smaller slopeside Hotel Les Etagnes. A wonderful umbrella bar & restaurant “Cheersbar” here is a perfect spot for lunch or après ski, and you are right next to the gondola. See our list of 4 Vallées on mountain chalets and restaurants for ski-to lunch.
Les 4 Vallées is French speaking Switzerland, and the ski experience is a blend of big mountain skiing and scenery, modern lifts and older surface lifts, wide groomed-daily pistes and wild off-piste runs. Similarly, the ski villages are a blend of more modern apartments and hotels and charming traditional Chalets.
Les 4 Vallées and Verbier can be part of a Swiss ski safari, also skiing nearby Anzere, Crans Montana, Arolla, Nax Mont Noble, and more in the Rhone River valley. Les 4 Vallées should be on your ski bucket list!
Travel Tip: Verbier can be reached by Swiss train to Martigny, then Le Chable, from Geneva or Zurich Airport, followed by a taxi or gondola up to the resort from Le Chable.
“If happiness is the goal- and it should be – then adventure should be a top priority” – Richard Branson