La Tzoumaz, Verbier
Fresh powder snow sure off piste runs, perfectly maintained wide easy blues and more challenging reds (and this is even before you ski down to Verbier!)…
…Real community spirit (think free vin chaud and cakes during various events in the centre of the village, Father Christmas meeting kids and giving out presents on Christmas eve, ski instructors that get to know you and your kids so well that kids rave about them all year long and make cards to say thank you for skiing with them)
…True feeling of wilderness and quiet, with views to take your breath away – a real contrast to the built up Verbier and its hussle and bustle, yet just one ski lift away
…Nature – summer or winter. Ancient pathways going high into the mountains, right in front of the chalet. Squirrels and birds coming on your balcony to feed, to the delight of the children. Cows and horses grazing right next to the chalet in the summer
The village of La Tzoumaz itself offers everything that you need, from a small selection of bars and restaurants, bank, excellently stocked supermarket, boulangerie and patisserie, post office, tennis courts (in the summer), indoor swimming pool, outdoor ice skating rink (winter months only), ski school, crèche and kids club, ski hire shops and even a 10km toboggan run (longest in Western Europe)!
Don’t just take our word on how amazing this place is…
Please see British press extracts on La Tzoumaz
Time for a change of skiing habits
With new chalets and lifts, the more modest and uncrowded La Tzoumaz is stepping out of Verbier’s shadow
Financial Times, 2 November 2012
“…I had found Verbier’s simpler side, its more modest, uncrowded, tree run-filled side. I had found La Tzoumaz.
The village sits on the far side of a snowy mountain ridge from Verbier, but is tiny in comparison. La Tzoumaz has around 300 permanent residents; Verbier has closer to 3,000 and in peak season the population swells to 10 times that. Verbier’s reputation is so dominant that few skiers know anything about La Tzoumaz, beyond its rhyme with “satsumas”. That seems set to change, though, thanks to new lifts which are improving access to the slopes.
A gondola added in 2008 made it quicker to get up to the Savoleyres ridge from La Tzoumaz….Better still, a chairlift introduced last winter allows skiers coming from Tzoumaz to bypass the centre of Verbier (where there can be queues) and go straight on to the rest of the Four Valleys.
Whether you make it that far is another matter. We did plan to – but with the local slopes above Tzoumaz offering untracked, knee-deep powder and perfectly spaced trees, it was hard to drag ourselves away. The cold didn’t touch us. We kept lapping the same lift, stopping only to drink hot chocolate at the Croix de Coeur mountain café. Hours disappeared. By the end of the day we were on first- name terms with the lift operator – he was glad of the company as there was not another soul in sight.
The following day, when we did make it over to Verbier, it was a shock to have to slow down behind other skiers, before dropping in to the Tortin run, where icy moguls the size of small cars lurked. Did these people not know there was fresh powder just on the other side of the Savoleyres?”
Satellite ski resorts – how to get Verbier snow for half the dough
Switzerland’s ritzy ski resorts are becoming ever more exclusive, but nearby satellite villages offer a more traditional, affordable après-ski, and access to the same slopes
The Guardian, 6 December 2014
“In the tail of the afternoon, when the ice takes on a lilac tinge and thoughts turn to fireside beers, I’m riding a final line over soft powder-puff mounds of snow – corpulent, buried trees hibernating beneath a deep white cover. There is no one else around, and as my friend and I dodge between the frosted branches of sparse woodland, descending towards the glowing yellow windows of the village, the only sound is that swoosh-splatter of fresh powder and the occasional “Whoop!” we can’t help but let out as we fly off the next natural jump.
It’s a euphoric but strangely peaceful end to a day during which we have skied all over one of the world’s biggest and busiest mega-resorts, the Four Valleys. But, cleverly, instead of staying in the pricey hotels of the super-rich, we are staying in La Tzoumaz, one of the Alps’ satellite ski resorts: small, lesser-known villages that connect to famous resorts via a lift link-up…
…As we unclip our gear, undisturbed, and stroll in the fading light to ViTho, a cute little après-ski bar with outdoor sofas covered in sheepskins, for a couple of quiet drinks among locals, we spare a thought for the ski comrades with whom we shared chairlifts a few hours ago, who must by now be amid the mayhem and crowds of Verbier in the neighbouring valley, paying a tenner for a beer. Although ViTho does host DJs, and it stays open late, the limited nightlife in the handful of bars in La Tzoumaz is a world away from après-ski chez Verbs, where loaded Made in Chelsea-type 18-year-olds spray thousands of pounds worth of champagne onto the floor of the Farinet bar.”
Meet Verbier’s chic little sister: Luxury for less on a chalet break in La Tzoumaz
Daily Mail, 26 March 2013
“…The vast and exciting skiing of Verbier is on the doorstep. This is shameless hedonism. But there’s a catch, a pleasant one…it is definitely affordable. If you can run to a week in a decent ski hotel you can certainly run to this. How can this be?
Well, the secret is we are not in Verbier – but just one lift ride away, in the remarkable little village of La Tzoumaz. Bizarrely, Verbier’s marvellous skiing is actually, if anything, more accessible from here than it is from many parts of Verbier itself…For this is one of the growing band of ‘back door’ resorts which connect directly to much bigger name ski villages, yet offer spectacularly cheaper accommodation options….
Small but perfectly formed: La Tzoumaz is like Verbier’s little sister. Even without the new trip-off-the-tongue name, it is not short of unique selling points. Its slopes are usually more sure of a longer season of good snow than Verbier because they are all north-facing… It has fabulous access to the whole Four Valley region, from Verbier to Bruson, Veysonnaz, Nendaz and Thyon (encompassing 410kms of runs) – and boasts the longest toboggan run, at 10kms, in French-speaking Switzerland.
… it takes just eight minutes to get to the top of the Savoleyres ridge in the new gondola and then it takes only a few minutes to get over to the beautiful restaurant Le Carrefour, in the heart of the Verbier slopes.
La Tzoumaz takes under two hours to reach from Geneva airport – and a good half-hour less than it takes to reach Verbier, with fewer twisty mountain roads. And when you get there drinks and meals out are a lot cheaper – four francs for a beer for example.”
Rich pickings in poor man’s Verbier
“…La Tzoumaz | Why It Appeals
City AM, 6 February 2012
”1. No lift queues: There are no queues for the main La Tzoumaz lift, compared with the mad scramble that there can be at Medran, the main hub in Verbier. It takes just eight minutes to get to the top of the Savoleyres ridge in the new gondola, so you can access Verbier’s slopes and the 400km of the four valleys quicker than from Medran itself. It then takes just another eight minutes to get over to Le Carrefour, half way up Verbier.
2. Empty slopes: The pistes in La Tzoumaz are relatively empty, even in peak weeks, compared to the busy traffic on the slopes of Verbier. Instructors come to La Tzoumaz on their days off.
3. Good for all levels of skier: La Tzoumaz is perfect for beginners and intermediates, but it also has some excellent, safe and easily-accessed off-piste. It is also only minutes away from all fabulous the skiing on offer in Verbier.
4. Short transfers: … Only 1.5hours from Geneva (half an hour closer than Verbier, and much less windy – just 15 minutes of windy roads).
5. It’s cheap: Four Swiss francs for a beer in La Tzoumaz versus 10-20 in many Verbier spots. Meals out are also half the price of the equivalent in Verbier.
6. Good snow. The majority of the slopes in La Tzoumaz face north so they hold their snow pretty well.
7. Quiet: If you want early nights, this is the spot. La Tzoumaz, means “resting place for cows”, and comes from “tzoumer”, the local patois for “to rest”. It has just 300 permanent residents, and these numbers can rise to 7,000 in peak season in the winter.
8. Non-skier friendly: There is plenty to do in La Tzoumaz for non-skiers. It has the longest toboggan run, at 10km, in western Switzerland, there is lots of snow-shoeing and winter hiking in and around the valley alongside the bisses, the ancient irrigation waterways, which are all signposted.”