Andy Mossack offers up his 4 best things about Verbier in Summer
I confess I have a guilty secret and I’m not ashamed to admit it. No, not just admit it, but shout about it from the bloody rooftops. The truth is I am more than slightly obsessed with European ski resorts in the summer. Of that, there can be no doubt.
The evidence is overwhelming and I’m pretty mystified why more people don’t share the love.
What is not to love about a ski resort in summer? The weather is beautiful, the scenery breathtaking, it is hiking heaven, there are no crowds, and in many cases, the gondolas are free to use if you’re staying in a local hotel. And best of all, the prices tumble compared to the winter season.
Instead of carpets of snow, the mountain pastures are verdant not just with grass but beautiful mountain flowers including the magnificent purple lupins. And let’s not forget the herds of dairy cows that roam the slopes in summer feasting on alpine grasses, the secret ingredient that makes their cheeses taste so fantastic.
If that doesn’t get your summer juices going, here’s a perfect example of a very fashionable ski resort out of season that ticks all the above boxes. Here are my 4 best things about Verbier in summer.
1 Verbier Infinite Playground Pass
The first of my 4 best things about Verbier in Summer is the free pass! Between June and October, the Verbier Infinite Playground Pass (VIP Pass) is accessible for all guests staying for a minimum of one night throughout the Verbier Region, Val de Bagnes and La Tzoumaz. It allows free mountain gondola access to pedestrians and a 50% discount to bikers. Free public road transport including bikes. And either free or up to 50% discount on over 50 activities. And by activities, I’m talking about treetop adventures, cheese-making workshops, the annual Verbier classical music festival, museums, and pitch and putt golf at Les Moulins plus many more.
2 Play golf at Verbier Golf Club
Not one but two golf courses here. There’s the Les Esserts 18-hole par 69, a challenging mountain golf course that’s almost an alpine adventure, and the Les Moulins pitch and putt, perfect for practising your short game in between mountain hikes. Mountain golf is a very different game to parkland or links golf in that it is all about course strategy and shot accuracy. You can my full review of both courses here.
3 3D Sculpture Park Above Verbier
Only accessible by gondola, Verbier’s 3D Sculpture Park is a pretty special place sitting at 2,300 metres above sea level. This walk in 3 dimensions is the brainchild of New York-based artist Madeleine Paternot and Verbier-based sculptor Kiki Thompson who, back in 2010, transformed the alpine landscape above Verbier into an outdoor gallery of monumental art.
For over a decade now their curators Alexa Kusber and Paul Goodwin have commissioned over 32 Swiss and International artists to create pieces inspired by the jaw-dropping natural alpine landscape that would not be possible within a studio environment. It’s a free exhibition and the works are spread out alongside a 3K mountain path, and I have to say seeing these huge installations in such a dramatic setting facing Le Grande Combin massif adds quite another dimension to artistic creativity.
4 The Verbier Festival and Bruson
Now in its 30th year, many stars of the international classical scene will come together once again during July for the annual Verbier Festival. It is always a special time for the town but this year, marking its 30th anniversary, it will be an even more glittering occasion. From the opening concert on the 14 July to the Anniversary Gala on the 28 July it promises to be a classical fest of musical styles from symphonic and opera to jazz and theatre.
But Verbier’s classical festival is not the only show in town each summer. Just across the valley lies Bruson, a small village of traditional stone and wood chalets that has somehow developed its own locally famous event. The Palp Festival brings together contemporary music, tradition, art and gastronomy events running from April through to September. Whether it’s floating lounges on a lake watching a concert and drinking wine, to residents opening up their chalets to exhibit works of art on loan from the Valais Art Museum.
Verbier region is where the legendary Raclette cheese comes from and Bruson has its very own ‘Raclette Ambassador’ a certain Eddy Baillifard, who serves this melted heaven from his shop La Brusonette.
Palp image (C) Cyril Prregaux 3D Sculpture Park (C) Andy Mossack all other images (C) Verbier Tourism.
Tell me more about the 4 best things about Verbier in summer.
With my 4 best things about Verbier in Summer covered, here are a few more insider tips on Verbier for you.
For more details on these 4 best things about Verbier in summer and everything about Verbier in summer and winter visit Verbier Tourism.
Recommended restaurants in Verbier
La Nonna – Italian style resto that’s part of the beautifully renovated Hotel de Verbier right in the centre of town. Great terrace too.
67 Pall Mall – This high-end London wine club/restaurant has its latest opening in Verbier. 3,000 wines of which 500 are available by the glass. It also has a microbrewery on site producing 6 beers using water from the mountains. Try the tasting menu with wine flights to get the full experience.
Les Moulins – an absolute cracker of a restaurant in the clubhouse of Verbier’s pitch and putt course. The mixed grill cooked over the open fire is stuff of legend.
Bo! W Hotel – The only chain hotel in Verbier, the W dominates one entire end of the town right next to the gondola station. Bo! celebrates seasonality and creates artistic dishes using locally sourced ingredients.
Recommended hotel in Verbier
Hotel de Verbier A three-night stay at 4* plus Hotel de Verbier costs from £381 pp, based on two sharing a room. Breakfast is included.
Getting to Verbier
Return direct flights from London Heathrow to Geneva cost from £102 with Swiss
Swiss Travel System provides a range of exclusive travel passes and tickets for visitors from abroad. The Swiss Travel Pass offers unlimited travel on consecutive days throughout the Swiss Travel System rail, bus and boat network.
This pass also covers scenic routes and local trams and buses in around 90 towns and cities and includes the Swiss Museum Pass, which allows you free entrance to 500 museums and exhibitions. Prices start from £186 for a three-day second-class ticket.
A first-class, return train ticket from Geneva Airport to Verbier costs from £69
Parking at Heathrow
Airport Parking and Hotels offers a wide range of parking and overnight hotel stays at all major UK airports. One week of Meet & Greet airport parking at London Heathrow Airport costs from £130. For the latest prices and to book, call 01342 859442 or visit APH