Southeast of Geneva, the Villars-Gryon ski area has 20 pistes served by 11 lifts accessing a maximum descent of 750m. Most of the slopes are south facing that need plenty of snow base. These low elevation slopes are prone to icy hardpacked conditions unless there has been recent fresh snow. There are excellent ski routes and some good off-piste side-country options when there's over a 2m base. It's best the day after a snow storm or on warm afternoons when the avalanche danger is low.
Situated in the Vaudios Alps, Villars-Gryon is located just west of the Röschtigraben (rosti line) in the French-speaking Romandy region (La Suisse Romande). The ski area is quite crowded on the weekends with day trippers and usually empty on the weekdays.
Both of the gondolas down to Villars and to Gryon (Barboleuse) are located outside of town and a long walk from most lodging. There is a tram railway from the center of Villars up to Bretaye, but it may not operate if there is avalanche danger. Use care when snowboarding down to the La Barboleuse gondola base near Gryon. The main piste leading down into La Barboleuse has several paved road crossings as you approach the village. Also, there is a fork in the piste where the sharp left turn actually leads to the La Barboleuse gondola. There are no services at Barboleuse base for Gryon or Villars gondola base. Villars offers more lodging and restaurant options than Gryon.
On the far northern side of the ski area, there is a horizontal lift that interconnects with the Les Diablerets ski area. On the smaller Les Diablerets side, there are main long north facing pistes served by five lifts. There is a maximum vertical descent of 500m off the Les Mazots and Meilleret summits above town.
If you happen to snowboard at Villars-Gryon right after a snow storm, make sure to explore one of the many ungroomed ski routes. There ski routes are known to close with minimal fresh snow overnight, so check before heading up. These include the ski route from 1) Roc d'Orsay down to Villars, 2) Chaux Ronde downto La Rasse, and 3) Croix des Chaux down to Alpe des Chaux.
After a long morning of snowboarding at Villars, the best option for lunch on the mountain is at Restaurant du Lac des Chavonnes. If you took the interconnect over to Les Diablerets, ride on down to the small village of Vers l'Eglise and look for the Auberge de l'Ours restaurant at the lift base. There isn't much in the way of an apres ski scene at Villars or Gryon.
• Expansive terrain to explore.
• Good off-piste side-country lines.
• Crowded weekends.
• Prone to icy hardpack conditions.
• Long interconnect with Les Diablerets.
• Lifts are located outside of villages.
The nearest airport is located in Geneva. From the Geneva airport, take the train to Bex. In Bex, there is a train heading up to Gryon, La Barboleuse and then Villars-sur-Ollon. The train actually continues up into the ski area to Col de Bretaye, but that upper segment may be closed if there are avalanche conditions.
PRO TIP: If you are interested in backcountry snowboarding, contact the mountain guides office at Villars Experience. Should you want heliboarding, then contact Air-Glaciers Company.
Overall, Villars-Gryon is the 83rd most popular snowboard & freeride destination of all 87 snowboarding resorts in Switzerland.
© 1997-2022 · SNOWBOARDGUIDES.COM · All Rights Reserved.