Swiss Alps ski resort Verbier - car hire for ski holiday
Verbier is a town ad a major ski resort in the Swiss Alps, located in the Valais canton in southwestern Switzerland. What distinguishes Verbier from other Alpine ski locations is a certain posh character of the Verbier town, often considered being for winter sports what St Tropez on the French Riviera is for yachting. The laid back sophistication, priced accordingly, does not discourage, however, the enthusiasts of winter sports: Verbier is considered one of Europe’s prime locations for off-piste skiing (outside of groomed and patrolled trails), offering also excellent conventional ski trails.
Although traditionally Verbier is associated with rich and famous, it actually offers a varied choice of accommodations. The town is home to some of world’s most expensive mountain chalets (just to mention Richard Branson’s winter retreat “The Lodge”), luxury hotels as well as mid-range accommodation, 3-stars hotels, budget hotels, boarding houses and hostels. With a little bit of planning, it is possible to find solutions for Verbier ski holiday which will not ruin your budget.
Renault Megane Estate with a large cargo space - inexpenssive to rent from Geneva Airport
Verbier in a hire car from Geneva Airport
Verbier is accessible by rail and by road. The nearest international airport is Geneva Airport, approx. 100 miles / 2h 15 min drive from Verbier. If you opt for car rental from Geneva Airport, use internet search engines of car hire, such as Cartrawler, to compare prices from many car hire suppliers before bookings. The competition between rent-a-car companies in Geneva Airport is steep and, although in general Switzerland car rental is not a cheap affair, you may be lucky to find real bargains.
Amongst Geneva Airport car rental companies are the renowned rent-a-car brands, such as Europcar, Avis, Hertz Car Hire, Budget, Alamo and National.
Alternatively, and if a bit longer drive is not a problem, Verbier can be accessed from the Italian airports of Turin and Milan. Find more options for cheap car hire below:
- Turin Airport car hire – compare rates online
- Car hire Milan Airport – Milan Malpensa
- Milan Linate Airport car rentals with Cartrawler Italy
- Bergamo Airport Milan car hire - book online
Verbier in the 4 Vallées – prime ski location in the Alps
Verbier is located in the western part of the popular ski area, Four Valleys, which encompasses ski resorts as La Tzoumaz, Nendaz, Veysonnaz, Mayens-de-L’Ours and Thyon. See map of 4 Vallées (please note this is a south-up map).
Four Valleys ski area offer excellent natural conditions for winter sports as well as a well developed infrastructure. Over 400 km of Four Valleys pistes are served by 92 ski lifts, including draglifts, chairlifts and cable cars (gondolas). In Verbier alone skiers will find 34 lifts allowing to ascend to Mount Fort at 3023 m. It might seem a lot, but with the large crowds of winter sports fanatics flooding Verbier at the peak season prepare to queue before you can swoosh down the slopes amid the breath taking scenery. Find more information about Verbier ski lifts, ski passes and ski schools.
Although considered a Mecca for extreme / off-piste skiing in Europe, Verbier caters for the needs of all types of skiers. Of the 70 Verbier trails around 40% are appropriate for beginners level, another 40% are intermediate, while the remaining 20 % require solid skiing skills.
Winter sports enthusiasts will find in Verbier a large choice of ski schools and instructors.
Verbier in the summertime
Unlike many other ski resorts, Verbier bursts with life also outside the winter season. The great scenery of the Swiss Alps is an invitation to outdoor activities which in Verbier are plentiful.
A large selection of adventure and event companies in Verbier offers adrenaline pumping programs which include mountain climbing and biking, hiking, rafting, paragliding, etc. It is always a good idea to look for duly certified operators when trying out the hazardous activities in the Alps.
For less adventurous visitors Verbier holds an interesting offer of leisure activities which include golf, yoga, spas, wine tours and more.
Large car hire Switzerland – with room for sports equipment
Verbier has an excellent choice of sports shops catering for the needs of different activities’ enthusiasts. It is also possible to rent out most of the equipment on site.
However, if you are planning to rent a car for your holiday in the Swiss Alps and bring your own equipment – skis, snowboards, bicycles or similar - make sure to book a car with enough cargo space. Swiss car rental fleet offers a comprehensive choice of car rental classes which include estate cars, minivans and minibuses. Ski racks and roof boxes are also available to rent from most of the Switzerland car hire companies. Make sure, however, to order them in advance, preferably while booking the car, as they are subject to availability and may come in a short supply at the peak of the winter season.
VW Sharan with capacity for up to 7 people and a considerable amount of luggge - often cheap to rent from Geneva Airport
One of the greatest attractions of Verbier in the summertime is the international festival of classic music, held here annually since 1994. The Verbier Festival brings to the Swiss town some of world’s greatest soloist as well as the emerging classic musicians. Verbier Fest’Off division of the festival is dedicated to jazz music.
The festival takes place for nearly 3 weeks, usually in late July / early August attracting large crowds to Verbier (as much as 40 thousand spectators each year). The concerts ad recitals are held in different venues of the town, often open-air, with the panorama of the Alps as the background. Find more information on the Verbier Festival website.
Verbier, much as the rest of the Valais canton enjoys Alpine climate with mild winters and dry sunny summers. The temperatures, however, vary considerably depending on the altitude. Here is the temperature chart for Verbier town at 1500 meters.
It is important to get updated information about the local weather (temperature and wind) conditions before heading up to the higher parts of the mountains.
The climate of Verbier in 4 Vallées guarantees snow during winter months, with some of the highest areas having snow cover for all of the year. In Verbier ski season usually lasts from late November to mid April.