The small, family-friendly mountain resort of Veysonnaz overlooks the Rhone Valley in Switzerland’s Valais region. It is in the heart of the 4 Valleys, the largest ski area entirely within Switzerland, with access to 412 km of slopes.
But as Veysonnaz is blessed with an average of 300 days a year of sunshine, this is very much a year-round destination, with plenty to see and do in summer and autumn, too. If you are seeking an active alpine adventure, especially one which will appeal to children, Veysonnaz has everything you need.
Who should visit Veysonnaz?
Veysonnaz is much smaller and quieter than better-known resorts in the 4 Valleys such as Verbier, and this makes it ideal for families with young children. You won’t find a loud, late night party scene (thankfully, if you’ve got small ones with an early bedtime!) but there are plenty of family-friendly activities and facilities to keep everyone entertained.
The resort does get busy during February half term, inevitably, but if you are not (yet) limited to travelling in school holidays, or can travel later in the season, it’s the ideal location for a family break.
Winter activities in Veysonnaz
The 4 Valleys is a paradise for skiers and snowboarders, and staying in Veysonnaz you are well placed to make the most of the slopes. In Veysonnaz sector you will find the legendary Piste de l’Ours, which is a fiendishly difficult competition slope when taken at high speeds, but can be navigated at a more leisurely pace if your Ski Sunday invitation is still pending. Veysonnaz also has routes used for the Skicross World Cup.
Trails are open for ski touring on Tuesday evenings, which means you can safely explore both the forests and the pistes, and you can also ski a memorable torchlit descent of the Mayens piste after dark. If skiing isn’t your thing, though, you can come to Veysonnaz for a very special meeting with Father Christmas in December, have a swim in a heated indoor pool, or follow one of the four marked snowshoe itineraries.
Snow cover is guaranteed from December until April; Veysonnaz is truly a winter wonderland.
Summer activities in Veysonnaz
Once the snow has melted in early summer, Veysonnaz feels like a completely different destination.
The cows are out on the pastures, cow bells hanging at their necks, and in between them, hikers and mountain bikers roam. Around 100 km of designated hiking trails follow the bisses, irrigation channels dating back to the 14th century; you can relax in the fresh mountain air on a yoga break looking out at the Alps — pick up a yoga mat from the Veysonnaz tourist office if you haven’t brought your own; or try foraging for mushrooms with a knowledgeable local nature guide.
You can learn all about the local flora and fauna at the same time. There are kids clubs for children aged 4+ with activities varying from treasure hunts and horse riding to laser games in the forest, so whatever your age or interest, you are going to have a busy stay.
Where to stay in Veysonnaz
There are only two hotels in Veysonnaz with a combined capacity of 150 beds, so even in high season the resort never feels too crowded. The best place to stay is at Hotel Chalet Royal, a large, chalet-style property immediately opposite the ski lift, with 180 degree views of the Alps. It has a gorgeous little spa and outdoor hot tub, and rooms start from CHF 50 per person per night.
Where to eat out in Veysonnaz
There are five restaurants and five bars in Veysonnaz, plus a further four restaurants on the mountainside, accessible on foot or by skis. Should you want to pick up a snack or tasty treats for a picnic, there are also two small supermarkets and a bakery, so don’t miss out on the pastries.
Favourite places to eat are the mountain restaurant Remointze, which serves hearty alpine fare such as raclette and fondue; and also Magrappe, which is conveniently situated for apres ski at the bottom of the lifts, with a sunny outdoor terrace for a celebratory beer or three at the end of a successful day on the slopes.
Magrappe has an extensive menu of pizzas, all of which are freshly cooked in their wood-fired pizza oven, plus some very good salads if you are in the mood for something lighter.
How to get to Veysonnaz
The closest airport to Veysonnaz is at Sion, 15km away by road and linked to the resort by bus. However, most visitors fly into Geneva (172 km away; 2h10 by train) because Geneva has more flight options from the UK.
To find out more about Veysonnaz, see the resort’s official website, www.veysonnaz.ch.