The Ultimate Guide to Villars-Sur-Ollon
Discover all you need to know about the fantastic destination Villars-Sur-Ollon in our ultimate guide.
Where is Villars-Sur-Ollon?
Villars-Sur-Ollon can be found in the Western Swiss Alps of the French-speaking Canton of Vaud. With views of Mont Blanc visible from several areas of the village and at just a 90-minute drive from Geneva Airport, it is no surprise that Villars has become popular with second homeowners. The resort is particularly well-known for having two of the world's most expensive schools, Beau Soleil (founded in 1910) and Aiglon College (founded in 1949).
Located at an altitude of 1300m, Villars extends up to 3000m and is linked to beautiful Les Diablerets, giving over 112 km of pistes to explore. Somewhat of a hidden gem, Villars is traditional in character and is perfect for group and family holidays.
Top Events in Villars-Sur-Ollon
2020 is a particularly exciting year for Villars as this resort, along with Les Diablerets will be hosting the 2020 Youth Olympics. From 9th January to 22nd January, Villars will welcome top athletes from over 70 nations across the world to compete for medals. You can cheer on your country in several exciting events, including ski and snowboard cross and ski mountaineering (single, sprint and mixed relay).
When the Youth Olympics is over, the excitement continues in Villars with the National Winter Games, which will see around 550 athletes from across Switzerland and a few invited countries competing in various events from skiing and snowshoeing to snowboarding and uni-hockey. Towards the end of the season, Villars is notorious for its closing season Electro Festival which is held over three days at the end of March. Taking place at the top of the slopes at an altitude of 1700m, festival-goers can enjoy the panoramic views of the Dents du Midi whilst dancing to live DJs.
The fun is not over in summer, with this active resort hosting the IFSC Climbing World Cup from 2nd to 5th July 2020.
Where to Eat & Drink in Villars
When it comes to dining out in Villars, there is a large variety of restaurants to choose from. For fans of traditional Swiss cuisine, Auberge du Col de Soud’s crispy rösti served in a piping hot skillet, is perfect for warming you up after a morning of skiing. Pizza lovers need look no further than Mamma Lottas, a warm and friendly restaurant popular for its Italian cuisine. Pizza is even available by the metre here!
For fine dining, try Villar’s Michelin-starred restaurant Le Jardin des Alpes located in the 5-star hotel Royalp. This restaurant provides breathtaking views of the Alps as well as elegant, classic cuisine made from excellent local produce. For dining with a view, Restaurant Lac des Chavonnes, located just a stone's throw from Chavonnes lake and only 150m from the base of the Petit Chamossaire chairlift, is just as beautiful in summer as winter. With food adapted to the season, the restaurant is an easy walk from Bretaye and is a particular favourite during the La Chasse season.
For an authentic experience, why not try L'Etable? Situated just off the L’Etable piste this converted cowshed offers an extensive array of fresh dishes made from regional products including honey roast ham, mushroom cassolette with rösti and crayfish lasagne.
When it comes to evening drinks, Le P’tit Chalet opposite the train station is the perfect location to enjoy a glass of mulled wine or two as you listen to live concerts in the market square. The Crazy Moose is also very popular with skiers and provides stunning sunset views to accompany your tipple of choice.
Where to Stay in Villars-Sur-Ollon
When it comes to accommodation in Villars, look no further than the stunning chalet Fleur des Neiges with its private location and breathtaking views of the Dents du Midi. Having recently been rebuilt, this property has underfloor heating to keep you warm on a cold winter’s day, whilst maintaining its original features such as its 17th-century stone fireplace.
Fleur des Neiges has an ideal location at just a couple minutes walk from the village centre and the cog railway which gives access to the slopes of Bretaye. Accommodating up to 14 guests across seven en-suite bedrooms, this chalet has everything you could want including a cinema room and wine cellar. For guests wanting to relax after a hard day’s skiing, a glass of champagne in the outdoor jacuzzi or a relaxing session in the sauna will certainly do the trick.
Chalet Fleur des Neiges is available fully serviced or self-catered.
Winter in Villars-Sur-Ollon
With links to Bretayne, Les Diablerets and the Glacier 3000, visitors of this resort will definitely have plenty of ski terrain to explore and activities to get up to during their stay. From Villars, skiers can take the lift over to the mountain of Meilleret in Les Diablerets which provides visitors with a variety of ski pistes, malamute rides, as well as one of Switzerland’s longest sledge runs at 7.2 kilometres. From the bottom of Meilleret, skiers can take a bus to Col Du Pillon where the Glacier 3000 cable car will be waiting to take you up to its pistes at 3000m.
At the top of the Glacier 3000, the Tissot Peak walk joins two peaks to form a suspension bridge and a viewing platform from which several famous mountains can be seen. These include the Matterhorn, the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau. Further activities on the Glacier include cross country skiing and scenic helicopter flights. Villars really does have something for everyone with more advanced skiers enjoying the snowpark, as well as the 7km Olden black run on the Glacier 3000. Plus, horse lovers can partake in Skijöring which is offered in the nearby resort of Gryon.
Should you not wish to ski during your time in the resort, Villars has many alternative winter activities on offer such as ice skating; its indoor rink having seen many figure skating and ice hockey championships in its lifetime.
Wanting to relax after a day on the slopes? Bains de Villars which comprises of two hammams, several pools, a steam bath and sauna is the place to do so. The Bains de Villars focuses on the mental and physical wellbeing of visitors, so why not lie back and enjoy a massage following a long day on the slopes.
Summer in Villars-Sur-Ollon
Partaking in summer activities has never been so easy with the use of the Free Access Card provided in Villars, Les Diablerets and Gryon. The card allows you to enjoy free and heavily discounted activities from May through to the end of October. From the climbing hall and mini-golf to ice skating and swimming in Villar’s 25-metre swimming pool, the choices are endless.
Wine enthusiasts should not miss out on the winegrowers tour. Your Free Access Card grants entrance to the wine tasting and bus transfer. Should you wish to explore the area further, free transport around the resort is also included, so catch a free bus to Aigle or to the neighbouring area of Les Diablerets.
For golf fanatics, Villars Golf Club has a vast 18 hole golf course comprising of south-facing greens and stunning views of Mont Blanc. Your Free Access Card not only gives you access to the driving range but can also be used for introductory courses.