Valais: Places to Explore

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Verbier

A big part of Verbier's appeal is the skiing on sunny slopes and the fact that it's a high-tech, state-of-the-art sports complex that links Quatre Vallées (four valleys) and multiple ski areas, including Thyon, Veysonnaz, Nendaz, and La Tzoumaz. Verbier has a huge aerial cableway, with a cabin that accommodates 150, plus 89 smaller transportation installations. There is plenty of vertical drop, to which the extreme ski and snowboard competitions can attest.

Summer sports here are equally serious: hiking, mountain biking, and hang gliding and its variations compete with golf as the principal activities. Perched on a sunny shelf high above the Val de Bagnes, with wraparound views and the 10,923-foot Mont-Fort towering above, Verbier is protective of its picturesque wooden chalet architecture, yet stays current with modern amenities and comforts. Thanks to its compact layout and easygoing locals, the town has a friendlier feel than the traffic-snarled sprawl of Crans-Montana or hotel-packed Zermatt. But don't be surprised to hear a lot of English spoken in Verbier—it's a haven for moneyed Brits who are big into chalet rentals.

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