If you like a traditional and unspoilt mountain village atmosphere with access to great skiing then Veysonnaz in the Swiss canton of Valois is for you. Until recently the resort was hardly visited by skiers, but this has begun to change as visitors come to appreciate the relaxed and family friendly atmosphere of the village. Linking up to the four valley circuit comprised of Nandez, Verbier, Thyon and La Tzoumaz it offers a great value alternative base to the better known resorts in the region such as Verbier.
Skiers can either choose to confine themselves to the local Printz area, which offers 220 km of piste or they can buy an area pass covering the whole four valley circuit, with a lovely long run over to the Verbier hub. Ski safaris are available to discover the four valleys.
The resort is set at 1,300m and has lovely views over the Rhone Valley. The snow range is 1350m-3330m with a glacier providing guaranteed snow and 36 snow cannons available to augment the natural snow on 10km of piste.
The resort is particularly well suited to intermediates and beginners but there are challenges available for expert skiers as well. World cup races take place on the “piste de lours” above Veysonnaz. Alternatively you can try heli-skiing, which has to be specially booked.
Snowboarders are also welcome. In addition to the marked pistes, there are also two surfparcs in Thyon 2000 and Les Collons.
Located within two hours drive of three airports, Zurich, Geneva and Basel, the resort is ideally suited for all types of ski breaks from a short weekend or a four day break to a full week away. Most UK visitors travel to Geneva from where there is a coach transfer.
For those who would prefer to try out something other than alpine downhill then there are guided cross country skiing and walking excursions. In total there are 100km of cleared winter walks available or how about trying out snow shoeing? Snow shoes are footwear for walking over snow.
They work by distributing the person’s weight over a larger area, so that the person does not sink into the snow. It is a fun recreational activity particularly on cleared routes. Veysonnaz offers six snow shoe routes with a total of 40km.
Other activities which are available include downhill skiing by torchlight. Using either skis or snowboards ski down by torchlight with a glass of gluhwein to welcome you at the end. Or how about a snowblade contest? snowcross on an illuminated track. Sled dog demonstrations and tours offer an alternative way to see the surrounding countryside.
If you would rather relax your muscles at the end of a hard day skiing then why not visit the indoor swimming pool. In addition to the pool itself, there is a sauna, Jacuzzi and hammam along with massage facilities. For those who would like a break from the slopes, guided visits are available to the old village at Nendaz.
In keeping with the traditional feel to the village the nightlife is generally quiet with most of it being based around the hotels. There are a couple of local bars for you to enjoy a relaxing drink after a day on the slopes.
There are a small selection of restaurants which include Le Mont-Rounge, Trattoria dei Sari, which offers Italian specialities and La Cabane with a menu which includes specialities from the local Valois region.
Specialities of the area include cheese fondue, although those trying this regional speciality should remember that if you lose the bread off your fork into the hot cheese, then a forfeit is due. Alternatively you can try rosti ï¿½ grated potato cakes, which can also be combined with other flavours, for a delicious alternative to chips. Or raclette a wheel of cheese which is then heated. Scrape off the molten cheese onto potatoes or bread. Outdoor raclette is also available.
There is a range of accommodation available, ranging from hotels, guest houses and pensions through to self-catering chalets.
Although it is not a big village there are shops available to provide basic amenities. There are also ski shops where you can hire ski equipment including skis, boots and snow boards. These also provide an opportunity to top up your snow gear from gloves to hats.
Attracting visitors from a wide variety of countries, giving it an international feel, Veysonnaz provides a quiet and good value alternative to the smarter resorts in the excellent four valley circuit, but with access to the same slopes. Together with a quieter atmosphere this makes it an ideal choice for a family break in this wonderful ski region.
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