Situated above the Rhone valley in the western Swiss Vaud Alps lies Villars-sur-Ollon, a traditional year-round resort with a ski area stretching across to Les Diablerets, Gryon and Glacier 3000. Due to its proximity to Geneva, Villars is particularly popular with second-home owners and skiers looking for a short break or weekend trip. Its discreet charm brings many well-heeled visitors to the area who appreciate the luxury chalets in Villars, its quiet backcountry and traditional vibe.
Situated at 1300m, Villars-sur-Ollon offers sunny slopes at a modest altitude with extensive snowmaking facilities. The local slopes of Villars, Bretaye and Gryon are linked via Meilleret with the Les Diablerets ski area by a two-way chairlift. The slopes of Bretaye are reached via a cog railway from Villars whilst a gondola from town takes you up to Roc d’Orsay. The ski area offers over 112 km of slopes with a good variety of intermediate and beginner terrain. For more advanced skiers there is little to challenge on-piste but some good off-piste skiing is available with a guide. It is also easy to access the Glacier 3000 ski area which is the highest point of the Vaudois Alps.
Villars has some excellent restaurants both on and off the mountain and there are several good bars too. Appealing to families, Villars has a range of alternatives to downhill skiing with 50 km of cross-country trails through wooded valleys and extensive walking paths. The region is home to one of Switzerland’s longest sledge runs (7.2km) and dog sledding is also possible. Villars has its own skating rink and a sports centre with two squash courts. For relaxation head to the Lavey-les-Bains thermal spa which is fed by the hottest spring in Switzerland. Further wellness opportunities can be found at the super luxurious Spa by RoyAlp which offers massages, treatments, yoga classes and an array of facilities including an infinity pool, sauna, hammam and Jacuzzi.
As much as Villars is enjoyed in winter, summer is also a popular time of year to visit. There are a wide variety of mountain bike trails from downhill trails to family-friendly routes as well as various scenic hiking routes to discover. Lac de Retaud and Lac des Chavonnes attract families and friends for a swim or picnic whilst the 18-hole golf course is highly rated amongst golf enthusiasts.