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What’s a ski resort like outside of ski season? Here’s our guide to Verbier

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Euronews Travel journalist Hannah Brown at Mauvoisin Dam
Euronews Travel journalist Hannah Brown at Mauvoisin Dam   -   Copyright  Hannah Brown
By Hannah Brown

When you think of Verbier you probably think of snowy mountains and extreme ski slopes.

It’s one of Switzerland’s most popular winter resorts with over 410km of connected slopes and home to one of the world’s toughest snow sports competitions.

But have you ever wondered what else it has to offer when there’s no snow? I took a trip outside of ski season to check it out. Here are my recommendations.

Before I get into specifics, I should add that, of course, you must eat raclette and any seasonal specialties while you’re there. Plus Swiss wines are wonderful but as they only really produce enough for themselves they’re not exported in great quantities - so make sure you have a glass or five.

Stay at Hotel de Verbier for an authentic experience

This ultra modern hotel has all the charm of a cosy chalet, but the coffee machine and USB charging points in your room are just a few of the well thought-out additions that make for a great stay.

Its central location makes it an ideal base for all activities and the restaurant and spa are great spots to relax at the end of the day. In your room you’ll find a robe and slippers which are great for the spa but also, for me, an extra bonus point for any hotel stay. (I can’t live without my slippers).

Verbier.ch
Every room at the Hotel de Verbier has a mountain viewVerbier.ch

Most rooms have a balcony, and if you’re lucky enough to get a corner room - you’ll have two. Thanks to the location of the hotel, every room has a mountain view and when you’re ready to hit the hay, you’ll be greeted by the fluffiest pillows you’ve ever slept on.

When you book any accommodation in Verbier between the start of June and the end of October you’re eligible for a Verbier VIP which gets you loads of discounts and free transport too.

Eat at Le 22 for an amazing tasting menu

This secret restaurant is hidden behind a bookshelf in the back of a bar called Le Crock No Name. It was a new addition to the town in 2021 and has a relaxed and intimate feel, a bit like someone hosting you in a really lovely house.

Chef Adam Bateman - former chef to Richard Branson - offers up an incredible tasting menu using local produce which can be paired with a variety of Swiss wines.

We all know Switzerland isn’t known for being cheap, but for the style and quality of this food, it’s surprisingly well priced.

Take a walk with a nature guide

Hiring a nature guide was a really nice opportunity to explore somewhere I probably wouldn’t have found otherwise and to learn more about the local flora and fauna.

I went in autumn so the colours of the trees were beautiful and it was mating season for the deers.

With the help of our expert guide, and his binoculars, we managed to spot several breeds of deer as well as some birds of prey.

Learn to cook at Mountain Thyme

Verbier is blessed with over 300 days of sunshine but, on the off chance you get some bad weather or just fancy an indoor activity, a cooking lesson is great fun.

The cookery school does private or group classes for whatever cuisine you’re interested in, but they have a real interest in using local and seasonal produce.

Hannah Brown
A cookery class at Mountain Thyme Cookery School, VerbierHannah Brown

We made classic Swiss rosti with a twist, topped with chanterelle mushrooms cooked in white wine - delicious!

Mountain Thyme also runs a kids cooking class on a Sunday for around €30 but if you’ve got a VIP pass, you can get 50 per cent off.

Hire an e-bike to explore the mountains

Electric bikes are a great way to explore the mountains and, with over 800km of biking routes, there’s something for everyone, whether you want a lazy meander or an extreme downhill ride.

We opted for a scenic (and easy) meander through the mountains which eventually wound back down into town.

I hadn’t ridden an e-bike before I came to Verbier and was worried it would be scary as the bikes are quite large. The riding position is very different to my normal ‘ladies city bike’ but I soon got used to it and I loved every minute of it.

Hannah Brown
E-biking in the Swiss Alps at VerbierHannah Brown

Drink local beer at Vie Montagne

There’s nothing quite like a freshly poured beer at the end of the day.

Vie Montagne is a bar and restaurant in the town centre which houses its own microbrewery. If you know anything about brewing, you’ll know that water quality is really important and so Verbier mountain water is the perfect starting ingredient.

We had a tour around the microbrewery followed by a tasting of their full range.

Take a trip to Mauvoisin Dam

This isn’t technically in Verbier but it’s worth the short detour.

We booked a mountain guide called Cherries, who led us through tunnels into the rocks and to the top of this hydroelectric dam.

Once known as the water tower of Switzerland, this 250m concrete giant has a really interesting history and the views from the top are unbelievable.

Hannah Brown
The water in Mauvoisin dam is a beautiful blueHannah Brown

As it’s situated at a high altitude, the roads to the dam are inaccessible in winter so it’s best visited in spring, summer or autumn - though don’t forget it can still be pretty chilly.

Fortunately for us, Cherries packed a flask of hot tea and some snacks to warm us up at the top as we enjoyed the view.

Watch the video above to see more of Verbier outside of ski season.

Video editor • Hannah Brown