Stunning Alpine scenery plus spas, guys 'n booze! Adrian Gillan is far from neutral about the snowy glories of Villars and Les Diablerets, just east of Lake Geneva in Western Switzerland!

You can take off from the UK post-breakfast and be - after a scenic train ride along the shores of Lake Geneva - high on the slopes of Villars, or nearby Les Diablerets, in time for lunch plus a piste or two!

Villars itself has a more intimate village-like feel than some of the larger Swiss resorts - complete with its own outdoor market and al fresco bar near the Place de la Gare. For late night après-ski fun, where you can really mix with the younger locals - who tend to be pretty eccentric and strangely sexy - check out Charlie's Bar and adjoining El Gringo Disco!
Villars in the snow. Courtesy Villars Tourism Switzerland.
For a highly youthful quota, go for events like mid-Spring Ski & Snow Fiesta Villars-Gryon/Les Diablerets, which normally take place from late March to early April.


Splash out and stay at the amazing wooden palace that is the 5-star Chalet RoyAlp & Spafor its roomy rooms with balconies; ace bar, restaurant and terrace; quirky fun lounge and games areas; gym, pool, sauna, steamer, sensory showers and spa; brill buffet breakfast; smart casual ambience; and attentive staff.


Of course, the skiing will doubtless still, for most, be the main event. For all your rental needs, pop into Sport's House to get charmingly kitted out by handsome young locals lads.

For more of which, brush up your skills at Villars Ski School which may have just turned 40, but still boasts some of the hottest young male teaching talent in the Alps. You'll count yourself especially lucky if you bag and of the very dishy male instructors! It's an area of outstanding natural beauty and the mountains aren't bad either! There is a range of pistes to suit all levels and tastes, from tiny tots to full-grown crazy carvers.

Cookie du Lac in the Hotel Du Lac may sound like a drag queen but proves anything but a drag: the perfect place to enjoy lunch on the sunny slopes and lubricate your skills with some of Switzerland's finest wines before having another fun go on the white stuff!

You can ski from Villars to the nearby picturesque village of Les Diablerets where you take a cable car gondola up to above 3000m to ski on the glacier. From the viewing platform at the top you can see how surrounded you truly are by such famous peaks as the Matterhorn, Jungfrau and Eiger - even Mont Blanc. Whilst up here, have lunch and a drink or two on the sun-kissed terrace of the panoramic Refuge de l'Espace, seemingly perched right on the cliffy edge of the mountain.

Les Diablerets. Photo: Cahkt.


Back in Villars, there is a wide range of eating options. Rôtisserie des Alpes, near the rail station, offers a wide menu of local specialities, all washed back with the finest local vino.

For something a bit quirky, try Le Peppino at the Eurotel, for a gastronomical dinner made with local plants and herbs - all doubtless healthy, and even medicinal, for you, and many of which you'd never have previously even remotely dreamed of eating!

For something quintessentially wintry and Alpine, take a 10 minute cab ride to tiny Cergnement where you can be transferred by skidoo snow mobile to the Refuge de Solalex for a typical mountain dinner in an intimate and cosy chalet hut surrounded by welcoming, friendly and hopefully joyously drunk handsome hunks. Who knows, you might even get snowed in for the night!

For more information on Switzerland generally, visit; call the Switzerland Travel Centre on International freephone 00800 100 200 30; email (for info) or (for packages, rail and air tickets).

There's news and events, weather, skiing information and book accomodation and trips.

Les Diablerets area in Swiss Alps. Photo: Ojurevic.
SWISS operates daily flights from London Heathrow and London City to Geneva. Fares start from £180-200 return, including all airport taxes. More generally, SWISS offers 29 daily flights from London Heathrow, London City, Birmingham and Manchester to either Zurich, Geneva or Basel. For reservations, call 0845 601 0956 or visit

The Swiss Travel System provides a dedicated range of travel passes and tickets exclusively for visitors from abroad. The Swiss Travel Pass entitles you to unlimited travel on consecutive days throughout the rail, bus and boat Swiss Travel System network. The Swiss Travel Pass is available for 3, 4, 6, 8 or 15 days. This pass also covers scenic routes and local trams and buses in 90 towns and cities and offers 50% reduction on most mountain railways and cable cars. The Swiss Travel Pass also includes the Swiss Museum Pass, allowing you free entrance to 500 museums and exhibitions. Prices are £210 in second class for 3 days, £330 in first class for 3 days. Call the Switzerland Travel Centre during normal working hours on 00800 100 200 30 or visit

Book the best hotels at the best prices in all OutGoing Destinations including Villars.
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Chalet RoyAlp & Spa (Route du Col de la Croix, 1884 Villars-sur-Ollon; T: +41 24 495 90 90; Website)
Cookie Du Lac / Hotel du Lac (Rue de Bretaye, Bretaye; T: +41 79 885 57 63; Website)
El Gringo (Rte des Hôtels 4; T: +41 24 495 79 20; Website)
Refuge de l'espace (1965 Savièse; T: +41 79 744 88 00; Website)
Refuge de Solalex (Solalex, Gryon; T: +41 24 498 27 09; Website)
Restaurant Peppino (Rte des Layeux 1; T: +41 24 496 33 33; Website)
Rôtisserie des Alpes (Av. Centrale 135; T: +41 24 495 21 26; Website)
Sport's House Ski Rental (Rte des Hôtels 15; T: +41 24 495 22 91; Website)
Villars Ski School (Rte des Hôtels N°5, Le Daphné; T: +41 24 495 45 45; Website)

Revised November 2023.


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