Villars-Gryon-Diablerets Ski Resort

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Villars Gryon Diablerets ski resort has some stellar terrain including the Grand Chamossaire
Villars Gryon Diablerets ski resort has some stellar terrain including the Grand Chamossaire
Powder skiing in mid January on the flanks of Meilleret in the Diablerets sector of the resort
Powder skiing in mid January on the flanks of Meilleret in the Diablerets sector of the resort
Deserted piste trail in the morning near Les Mazots above Les Diablerets
Deserted piste trail in the morning near Les Mazots above Les Diablerets
Fun steep lines in the Diablerets sector of the ski resort
Fun steep lines in the Diablerets sector of the ski resort
Train departs Bretaye (1,810m) on its journey back down to Villars & Gryon
Train departs Bretaye (1,810m) on its journey back down to Villars & Gryon
Les Diablerets is our pick of the villages to stay in when skiing the region
Les Diablerets is our pick of the villages to stay in when skiing the region
Freeride powder skiing off Grand Chamossaire in the Villars sector is a real treat
Freeride powder skiing off Grand Chamossaire in the Villars sector is a real treat
Villars Gryon Diablerets ski terrain & the Grand Chamossaire chairlift above Bretaye
Villars Gryon Diablerets ski terrain & the Grand Chamossaire chairlift above Bretaye
Croix des Chaux (2,020m) gets smashed up early by skiers from Gryon
Croix des Chaux (2,020m) gets smashed up early by skiers from Gryon
The ski-in ski-out Hotel du Lac is one of the best places to stay in the Villars Gryon Diablerets ski resort
The ski-in ski-out Hotel du Lac is one of the best places to stay in the Villars Gryon Diablerets ski resort
Les Mazots is the main mountain base in the Diablerets sector, with Glacier 3000 behind
Les Mazots is the main mountain base in the Diablerets sector, with Glacier 3000 behind
Villars Gryon Diablerets ski resort
Villars Gryon Diablerets ski resort's steeps are excellent, but relatively short
Gorgeous Swiss Alps skiing in Villars toward La Rasse & the link to Gryon
Gorgeous Swiss Alps skiing in Villars toward La Rasse & the link to Gryon
Powder on Petit Chamossaire at Villars Gryon Diablerets ski resort
Powder on Petit Chamossaire at Villars Gryon Diablerets ski resort
Beautiful Swiss Alps scenery near the Lac Noir-Chaux Ronde chairlift
Beautiful Swiss Alps scenery near the Lac Noir-Chaux Ronde chairlift
Skiing back into Les Diablerets is a wonderful way to end a day on the snow
Skiing back into Les Diablerets is a wonderful way to end a day on the snow
Les Diablerets train station provides superb access to the region
Les Diablerets train station provides superb access to the region
Villars Gryon Diablerets off-piste ski terrain between Chaux Ronde & La Rasse is Swiss Alps perfection
Villars Gryon Diablerets off-piste ski terrain between Chaux Ronde & La Rasse is Swiss Alps perfection
Navigating around the wide expanses of Villars Gryon Diablerets has its challenges
Navigating around the wide expanses of Villars Gryon Diablerets has its challenges
The ski terrain of Chaux Ronde & Croix des Chaux at Villar Gryon Diablerets ski resort
The ski terrain of Chaux Ronde & Croix des Chaux at Villar Gryon Diablerets ski resort

Villars-Gryon-Diablerets Ski Resort

Readers Ratings

Villars Gryon Diablerets

Villars Gryon Diablerets4/51
Villars Gryon Diablerets4 out of 5 based on 1 reviews
  • Recommend
    100%
  • Would Revisit
    100%
Best Swiss resorts in Switzerland
Wagner Custome Skis

Nearby Ski Resorts

Glacier 3000
Leysin - Les Mosses

Maps & Stats

    Villars-Gryon-Les Diablerets Ski Trail Map
  • Villars-Gryon-Diablerets Ski Trail Map
  • Vertical (m)
    1,220m - 2,120m (900m)
  • Average Snow Fall
    Unknown
  • Lifts (27)
    4 Gondola/train
    8 Chairs
  • Opening Dates & Times
    Early December to mid-April
    8:30am to 4:30pm
  • Terrain Summary
    Runs - 104km
    Longest run - 5km+
    Advanced - 5%
    Intermediate - 45%
    Beginner - 50%
  • Ski Lift Pass Price
    Day Ticket 23/24
    Adult - CHF66
    Child - CHF44
    Child u/5yr - Free

    Vaud Alpes Pass
    (incl. Glacier 3000 & Leysin)
    Adult - CHF79
    Child - CHF51
    Child u/5yr - Free

    Magic Pass also valid

Villars Gryon Diablerets Ski Resort Switzerland

Villars-Gryon-Diablerets ski resort in the Vaud Alps combines several villages to form a broad interlinked skiing area near the fabulous Glacier 3000. Wonderful access by train direct to the ski slopes & lifts from the Rhône River Valley is so typically Swiss, you simply must come here. And the ski terrain, whilst on piste is beautiful & incredibly family friendly, off the piste it is gnarly & challenging. A delicious combination for any pack of hounds.

Pros & Cons for Villars-Gryon-Diablerets Ski Resort

Pros

  • Authentic Swiss Alps villages & ski resort.
  • Wide ranging network of lifts & ski trails.
  • Quality on-piste trails for beginner & intermediate skiers & snowboarders.
  • Exceptional off-piste terrain.
  • Numerous excellent mountain restaurants & bars.
  • Public transport access by train is world class.

Cons

  • Most of the ski terrain is below 2,000m altitude.
  • Some sectors are busy (Gryon in particular).
  • Low elevation villages & valley trails may struggle for natural snow for much of the season.
  • Limited advanced on-piste terrain.
  • The best terrain has only relatively short skiable verticals.

Pro or Con (depending on your perspective!)

  • Close to Glacier 3000 & Leysin.
  • No 5-star lodgings in Les Diablerets.
  • Accommodation at Villars can be relatively expensive & hard to get.
  • Magic Pass is valid here which is good for some & not so good for others.

Skiing & Snowboarding, Lift & Terrain

The Villars-Gryon-Diablerets skiing & snowboarding terrain is a sprawling collection of lifts and trails. The resort has a useful 900m of skiable vertical across 104km of groomed trails split evenly between beginner & intermediate rated, with only limited advanced pistes. There is a remarkably good spread of off-piste terrain for advanced and expert skiers & boarders throughout the interlinked resort, The best freeride terrain in the resort is in the Villars sector from either of the Chamossaire peaks (the highest of which is 2,120m altitude), or the nearby Chaux Ronde (1,987m). There is no piste trail linking the Diablerets sector to Villars-Gryon, instead the ski areas are linked by a long quad chair which carries passengers in both directions and is an exceedingly cold journey in mid-winter.

Whilst many of the runs as marked on the piste map as 'itineraries' (or ski routes), they are in fact mostly groomed pistes with little relative difficulty. Much of the terrain has only 250 to 400m of skiable vertical associated with it, so is shortish by Alps’ standards. Some of the longest and most pleasant skiable vertical off the piste (over 600m) is from Chaux Ronde down to La Rasse. Terrain is a mix of steep alpine, open forest & classic Swiss rural ...... perfect on a powder day.

Check out the ski trail map for Villars-Gryon-Diablerets below. It is a mediocre representation of the skiing possibilities in the area. The reality is MUCH better than the piste map indicates.

Villars-Gryon-Diablerets Ski Trail Map
Villars-Gryon-Diablerets Ski Trail Map

Longest ski runs in the resort are all top to bottom variations down to the respective villages. The longest are around 5km from Grand Chamossaire into Villars, and

The ski lifts at Villars-Gryon-Diablerets need to link a massive amount of quite complex terrain. One of the most important 'lifts' is the cog railway from Villars’ township up the high pass in Bretaye (1,810m). The alternative uphill option at Villars is an 8-seat gondola. From Gryon village, the main uphill lift is an ancient 4-seat gondola that starts outside the village at Barboleuse, and from which everyone seems to head straight up the next chairlift to the 2,020m Croix des Chaux. It then gets smashed up early on a powder day, simply due to weight of numbers. The train can also be taken from Gryon up to Bretaye to avoid the madness. Aside from the train, the only lift link between Villars & Gryon is a T-bar at La Rasse. From Diablerets, a modern gondola takes one up to the action at Les Mazots (1,717m) & above it at to Meilleret (1,949m).

Disappointingly, the lifts in the Isenau sector above Les Diablerets village, & previously linking into Col du Pillon - Glacier 3000, ceased operation in 2017. There are plans to replace them, but don’t hold your breath!

Ski Passes

It is possible to purchase a single-day & multi-day Villars-Gryon-Diablerets lift pass, but multi-day passes from 3-days or greater are part of the ‘Vaud Alps’ (‘Area Vaudoises Alpes’) lift pass which includes several neighbouring ski areas including Leysin-Les Mosses/La Lécherette & Glacier 3000.

The awesome freeride resort of Glacier 3000 can be easily accessed by free local bus to Col du Pillon from the Les Diablerets village. As well exceptional powder day freeriding, the mountain has amazing views & non-ski activities, plus some excellent high alpine terrain for beginners on the glacier. See here for the current Glacier 3000 ski trail map.

Leysin-Les Mosses/La Lécherette is further afield and requires either a 20km drive or a train/bus journey via Le Sépey station from Les Diablerets village. See here for the Leysin-Les Mosses/La Lecherette ski trail map.

Anyone with the world’s best season ticket, a Magic Pass can ski here unrestricted all season.

Where is Villars-Gryon-Diablerets Switzerland?

The Villars-Gryon-Diablerets ski resort is in the canton of Vaud in south-west Switzerland. The resort is in the mountains north of the Rhône River valley, and Villars-sur-Ollon is its major centre. Villars is only 121km (1½hr drive) east of Geneva airport (GVA), and 30km south of Montreux.

The base villages are wonderfully linked into the Swiss train system and provide the recommended mode of transport to the area. The Rhone River valley has the main railway line running through it from Montreux to Brig. The stations at Aigle & Bex provide connections to the ski resort villages. At the major transport hub of Aigle, a cog railway initially trundles its way up the local streets before heading off into the mountain to link to Les Diablerets & Vers l’Eglise. Another train line links Bex to Gryon and the ski lifts at La Barboleuse (200m stroll to the lift from the station), Villars-sur-Ollon (from the Roches Grises station) & higher up at Col de Bretaye.

Interestingly, the quickest way to Villars is by train to Aigle, then the route 144 bus (not the train!), which takes only 30min to get up to the village.

Les Diablerets can also be efficiently accessed from the north via Gstaad & the Col du Pillon, but the recommended route to the region is from the south via Aigle.

Search & book here for train tickets to Villars-Gryon-Diablerets.

For hints, tips & warnings about getting to Swiss ski resorts in winter, see our Travel in Switzerland page.

Villars, Gryon, & Diablerets Accommodation

As the name suggests, Villars-Gryon-Diablerets is made up of three different villages in the canton Vaud, all of which are accessible by train - Villars, Gryon & Les Diablerets. However, in reality, the ski accommodation locations are a little more complex than that! Away from the main villages, smaller clusters of lodgings are scattered throughout the ski area, most in the higher alpine zones near the ski lifts & slopes.

Whilst your choice of village will be dictated by your own tastes & lodging requirements, from a ski & mountain splendour point of view, we think Les Diablerets is the best options. Whilst at the very far end of this resort, on a multi-day trip when a Vaud Alpes lift pass is utilised, the easy transport links from Les Diablerets to the fabulous Glacier 3000 plus Leysin-Les Mosses earn it our paws of approval!

The largest of the villages is Villars, or as it is known by its full name, Villars-sur-Ollon. Situated at around 1,250m altitude, it sprawls along the mountainside. A full range of 2 to 5-star hotels & apartments can be found in the village, including the likes of the upscale Chalet RoyAlp Hotel & Hotel Villars Palace, plus the most affordable VIU Hotel Villars and centrally located Hotel Villars Lodge. Several piste trails and ski routes end on the upper fringes of the village allowing relatively easy access back to the local lodging. Away from the Villars-sur-Ollon centre, a multitude of apartments (available for rent) line the slopes under the main gondola into the resort. High above Villars, ski-in ski-out accommodations can be found at the Col de Bretaye (accessible by train), including the excellent, affordable Hotel du Lac. Hotel du Lac also serves up a lovely lunch for skiing passersby. Just below Bretaye, at the Bouquetins station, the ski-in ski-out Maison de Montagne Bretaye is another great upper mountain lodging option.

Search & book here for all Villars sur Ollon ski accommodation.

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A short distance south of Villars, Gryon is the lowest elevation village (1,114m) and is spread across and up the mountainside. Gryon lacks any hotel accommodation and predominantly has chalets & apartments for holiday rental. Gryon’s main centre is not linked to the ski area; the lifts start further up the hill at Barboleuse. Above Barboleuse, apartments & chalets are available near the ski lifts & slopes of Alpe des Chaux.

Search & book here for all Gryon & Barboleuse ski accommodation.

At the opposite end of the resort is the absolutely charming, Les Diablerets. Conveniently accessible by train, the village is in a splendid valley location at 1,200m altitude, with a backdrop of 3,000m+ peaks. A gondola extending from near the centre of town links into the varied Villars-Gryon ski terrain. A free ski bus (the local PostBus) links the town to the superb Glacier 3000 at Col du Pillon. There are plans to re-establish a gondola up to Isenau, allowing for lift-assisted skiing down into Col du Pillon, but time and money may be against it!

In the centre of town, the affordable Auberge de la Poste guesthouse is perfectly placed. Closer to the Diablerets Express gondola base on the other side of the river, another affordable option is the Hôtel Les Sources. Nearby is the 4-star Eurotel Victoria. On the opposite side of town, past the train station and near the new Coop supermarket, the lovely, but hard to get into, Hotel Restaurant Les Lilas is good. Nearby, Hotel Le Chamois usually has availability through the season. A host of private chalets & apartments are available throughout the village for holiday rental also. A short distance down the valley at Les Bovets, the Swiss Historic Hotel du Pillon has a sunny location & oozes old world charm without the price tag! The ski lift base at Vers l'Eglise is close to the hotel, just one stop down from the Les Bovets stop on the train line. Note the ski lift was not running when we were in the region due to lack of snow at its very low-level base.

Search & book here for Les Diablerets ski accommodation.

Ski Rentals, Lessons & Guiding

Ski rentals are available throughout each of the resort villages via our local partners. Receive a discount when you search & book via our Villars Gryon Diablerets Ski & Snowboard Rental page.

This ski resort is full of incredibly off-piste terrain that a local instructor or guide can easily unlock for you on a powder day. For more info & options, including standard on-piste lessons, see our Villars-Gryon-Diablerets Ski Lessons & Guiding page.

Activities

Typically for Swiss ski areas, numerous non-ski winter activities are on offer for visitors. Sledging (sledding, tobogganing et al) is possible. The best trail is the 7.2km long slide down in Les Diablerets village from the gondola top station on Le Mazots. Night-time descents are possible 3 nights a week. A new ‘fat bike’ trail has between established between Bretaye and Villars. Winter walking trails are throughout the region. Dog-sledding is possible in Les Diablerets, Gryon & up on Glacier 3000. Paragliding is a great way to experience the mountains. Pilots are throughout the region. Scenic train rides to Leysin, Les Diablerets, Villars, Bretaye, Champery or Montreux are part & parcel of experiencing the area. Horse-riding & Skijoring are possible near Gryon. Outdoor & indoor ice-skating rinks are at Villars, Gryon & Les Diablerets villages. Then there are a host of indoor possibilities including bowling & climbing. Suffice to say, the excuse of ‘I won’t like it because I can’t ski’ doesn’t apply here (or indeed at most Swiss ski resorts!).

Review

The Powderhounds reviewed Villars Gryon Diablerets in late January 2023 just after a very cold, very deep snow cycle. We loved it and were particularly surprised at some of the quality off-piste terrain, pretty villages and proximately to the wonderful freeride location of Glacier 3000. getting there by train is also a wonderful Swiss Alps experience. Click on the review link in the left column (or top of the page if on a mobile) to read any reviews posted by contributors.

See how Villars-Gryon-Diablerets compares to the rest of the Swiss ski resorts on the Switzerland ski resort ratings page, or compare to the rest of Europe on the European ski resort ratings page.

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