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Villars - Gryon

Villars - Gryon Ski Resort Guide

Villars - Gryon, Switzerland

Rated: 4/5 (from 6 ratings)

Ski Area Highlights
Recommended ForExpert Skiers, Intermediates, Beginners, Snowboarders, Snowfall and Apres-Ski!
Total Piste Length100km
Highest Lift2,100m
Resort Height1,250m
 Nearest AirportsSion and Geneva
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Villars - Gryon

A pretty traditional Swiss resort on a sunny south-west facing plateau above the Rhone Valley. The large ski area reached by funnicular will suit most skiers, with a link to the glacier of Les Diablerets.


The Swiss ski resort of Villars - Gryon is in the Swiss Alps at an altitude of 1,250m, with 100km of marked runs.

Villars - Gryon is part of the Alpes Vaudoises ski area with access to 220km of downhill skiing, with 121 marked pistes, served by a total of 54 ski lifts. In addition to the skiing in Villars - Gryon itself (100km of pisted ski runs), the appropriate ski Lift Pass will allow you to ski or snowboard in the other Alpes Vaudoises ski resorts of Les Diablerets and Leysin. Villars - Gryon is directly linked by Ski Lift to the ski areas of Anzère.

With ski lifts as high as 2,100m, snow cover is generally reliable.

Snow and Weather

When will it snow in Villars - Gryon?

There is currently no significant snow in the 7-day forecast for Villars - Gryon.

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Snow this week

Snow Forecast by day for Villars - Gryon

Ski Area Stats

Villars - Gryon Ski Area

Piste and Lift Stats
Black Pistes
Expert Trails
Red Pistes
Intermediate Runs
Blue Pistes
Easy Trails
Total Length
Cross Country
Total Length
Ski Lifts
Number of Lifts

Alpes Vaudoises Ski Area

Piste and Lift Stats
Number of runs
Total Length
Ski Lifts
Number of Lifts


Villars - Gryon Ski Area Heights

Lift Heights and Resort Altitude
Highest Lift2,100m
Resort Altitude (Villars - Gryon)1,250m
Lowest Piste1,200m
Max Vertical900m

Ratings & Suitability

Ratings for Villars - Gryon
Expert Skiers
Intermediate Skiers

Villars - Gryon Overview

Located on a sunny, south-west facing plateau above the Rhone, Villars has been a famous health resort for many years, with visitors arriving by rail in large numbers since the start of the twentieth century. The village's importance was secured with the decision to stop the Orient Express in the area en route through the Simplon Pass in to Italy.

Today the resort continues to stress both its family-friendly skiing credentials and its decision not to do battle to be the best in any one area, but instead to endeavour to offer its guests the highest standards in all the aspects which make up a wonderful holiday. For Villars that means good quality, good service and good value in accommodation, resort facilities, and on the slopes.

Marketed with its smaller neighbour, the village of Gryon, Villars also has an unusual reputation - as a centre of educational excellence - there are no less than five establishments offering courses in languages, sports and all other academic disciplines.

 Notable Ski Runs

The longest possible descent in Villars - Gryon is 5km long and the most difficult run is the 'Bouquetins'.


Since a horizontal chair lift linked the skiing of Villars to its near neighbour Les Diablerets in 1997, it has been possible to ski 120km (75miles) of trails without needing to take your skis off. The ski areas are concentrated on several separate mountain areas, above Gryon and Barboleuse, Villars itself and on Iseneau above Les Diablerets.

The longest journey possible, when the glacier lifts are open, is to take the chair rides over to Les Diablerets, cross the village, then take the lift up to Iseneau and the trail down to the road at Col du Pillon from where a series of cable-cars take you up to the Diablerets glacier and the long run of 14km (9 miles) down to the road and a bus ride back to les Diablerets to get the lift back over. A day should be allowed for this epic, lift-served touring but it can be done almost entirely on easy or intermediate level trails, with one short (100 yards?) unavoidable black stretch as you come down the glacier. More blacks can be added in to the route if you'd prefer more!

There is a mix of terrain both above and below the treeline, most of it being of intermediate standard (European red runs). The fastest way to reach the skiing is to take the gondola from the edge of the village up to the Roc, a key launch pad for lifts across the area. Experts have several black runs to enjoy including a long descent from the Roc d'Orsay to Villars and shorter runs from Chaux Ronde and Petit Chamossaire down to Bretaye. A further black run offers a route down from Croix des Chaux above Barboleuse and Gryon, down the edge of one of the Snowboard Parks in to the valley at La Rasse from where the chair returns over to Villars. There's also off piste opportunities all over the area with the ski school guides and other expert routes over at the glacier.

Intermediates have pretty well all the rest of the terrain suited to them and, as with experts, can double the available trails and lifts by purchasing the Alpes Vaudoises Pass, which covers 220km (125miles) of terrain at key resorts in the area, as well as the transportation between them in many cases. The pass covers the Diablerets glacier, Gryon Les Diablerets, Les Mosses and Leysin as well as Villars. Passes of 4 Days or more additionally entitle holders to unconditional use of the lifts of Château d'Oex ( La Lécherette ), Gstaad, Gsteig, Lauenen, Rougemont, Saanen, Saanenmöser, St Stephan, Schönried and Zweisimmen. Purchasers of passes of 6 days or more also entitle holders to a day on the lifts of Les Portes du Soleil, Les Márecottes, Ovronnaz, Crans Montana, Aminona, Vercorin, Grimentz, St Luc, Chandolin, Loèche-les-Bains or Anzère).

A second route into the skiing is to take the old mountain railway from the village centre up to Bretaye at 1800m (5900 feet) from where a network of chairs and surface lifts branch out in all directions. It's a 20 minute rail trip through wonderful scenery and is well worth doing even without the skiing waiting above. This makes Villars an excellent place to get started on skis - a traditional village base with good facilities, a hassle-free train ride up to a sunny but snow sure area of gentle slopes - all the ingredients are right. If snow is good at village level there are also nursery slopes just behind the railway station there.

There is a choice of two friendly ski schools (and an additional snowboarding one), one offering innovative learning techniques. The Modern Ski School is one of the few in the Alps to use the GLM(r) (Gradual Length Method) of tuition made famous as 'Ski Evolutif' in Les Arcs, France. This means that beginners start on skis a metre (3 feet, 4 inches) in length, perhaps half the length that they will eventually end up on, but far easier to turn when you're starting off. It also means you can progress straight to parallel turns without needing to spend time mastering the infamous 'snow plough' or 'pizza pie' technique. The next stage is to progress to 1.35m (4 foot, 6 inch) skis and then 160m (5 feet, 4 inches). The school offers a free trial lesson to anyone interested. The school also offers carving lessons on parabolic skis, and has its own rental and retail shop.

There are 44km of marked cross-country trails. A brochure detailing the route is on sale from the tourist office.

There are a variety of pistes to suit all levels of skier ability, from Beginner to Expert.


Villars is a good choice for 'boarders who benefit from both dedicated snowboarding schools and access to a number of created snow parks as well as boarder-friendly terrain and lifts. The Riderschool offers seven different classes including 'basic', master, Alpine, Freestyle and freeride. Both ski schools also offer snowboarding lessons. The snow parks are at Bretaye above Villars, and at the Glacier des Diablerets and at Isenau above les Diablerets. Regional, national and international competitions are staged regularly. A further park is normally open on the glacier when the glacier lifts are operational later in the season or when there is limited snow cover in the main ski area earlier in the winter.

Location and Map

Where is Villars - Gryon?

This ski resort is in the Swiss Alps in Alpes Vaudoises, Vaud.


Tap Show Map in Full Screen for Full-Screen, or see J2Ski's Resort map, showing Hotels and Ski Shops.

How to get there

 By Air

The nearest airport to Villars - Gryon is Sion, 60 minutes drive away.

Geneva, Basel, Berne, Annecy, Chambery, Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg, Zurich, Friedrichshafen and Turin Caselle airports are all within three hours drive.

Sion is just one hours drive away, in good driving conditions, so you can be on the piste quickly.


Ski Lift Capacity

The 16 ski lifts are able to uplift 38,300 skiers and snowboarders every hour.

Snow Making

Snow-making is available, on 26km of ski runs, with 13 snow cannons.

Season Dates

When is Villars - Gryon open?

 Open from : 4 December 2021.

 Closes : 18 April 2022.

Usual opening is late December, and usual closing is Late April.

NOTE:- Ski area, lift and piste opening is subject to Current Snow Conditions.

COVID-19 / Coronavirus

We don't yet have specific details of the COVID-19 precautions being taken in Villars - Gryon, but they are likely to include most of the following :-

  • Face masks required on lifts, and in shops.
  • Social distancing in public areas.
  • Reduced lift capacity.
  • Extensive disinfection / sanitization.

French Ski Resort COVID-19 Measures describes further measures that may also be applied.

Visit the Villars - Gryon Tourist Office for the latest.

Talking about Villars - Gryon

Mentions in recent J2Ski News Items and Snow Reports from our users...

Mountain Bike Hire

There is downhill mountain biking available and you can rent Mountain Bikes in Villars - Gryon.

Aprés Ski

Villars offers a range of varied bars, tea rooms, piano bars and restaurants. The Alchimiste and Charlies are usually busy and, along with the Hararnbee Cafe, are usually good choices for those looking for the livelier side of the resort. The Plaza el Gringo is one of the busiest night spots, with bar and discotheque.

Folklore evenings are staged regularly and there are sometimes ice hockey matches to watch at the rink.

Villars - Gryon