Villars offers an international ambience, with guests of all ages – there are a number of exclusive private schools located here. Its smaller neighbour Gryon is a little lower down, on the more easterly side of the valley. Together, they make up the holiday destination of Villars-Gryon.
You reach these resorts by driving from Ollon or Bex in the Rhone valley. In summer, it is possible to drive to Les Diablerets over the Col de la Croix. From Bex there is also a narrow-gauge railway which winds its way in tight curves through Gryon and up to the sunshine terrace of Villars and on to Bretaye, the starting point for numerous sporting and leisure activities.
In summer the main activities are hiking, mountain biking and golf. You can choose from over 300 km of signposted footpaths and 150 km of mountain bike routes. One enjoyable tour leads up to the mountain lakes of Lac de Chavonnes, Lac de Bretaye and Lac Noir. Visitors can look forward to gastronomic walking tours and treasure hunts.
A beautifully scenic 18-hole golf course located at 1600 m allows you to play golf in the heart of the mountains, with views of Mont Blanc. Other sporting activities include an educational woodland walk with a picnic hut, Nordic walking trails, a sport centre with ice rink, swimming pool and climbing walls and a via ferrata (fixed-cable climb).
There are exciting theme parks and places for excursions just nearby: AquaParc and Swiss Vapeur Parc in Bouveret, the adventure park in Aigle (rope park), the adventure maze in Evionnaz, the working salt mine in Bex, "Fun Planet" near Villeneuve, the delightful Montreux with the castle of Chillon and swimming or water sports on Lake Geneva.
The skiing area of Villars incorporates the two smaller areas of Villars/Bretaye and Gryon and is also linked via the route over Le Meilleret with the Les Diablerets skiing area, including a glacier skiing area at 3000 m. Altogether, this creates a skiing arena with 44 lifts and 125 km of ski slopes.
In addition there are three snowparks, a snow kindergarten, 44 km of cross-country skiing trails, sledging runs and numerous winter walking routes – not to mention a lively après-ski scene. Those in need of relaxation can visit the amenities and wellness centres at the thermal baths in Lavey.
From June to October, the resorts Villars-Gryon and Les Diablerets in the Vaudoise Alps offer guests unrestricted access to all types of mountain transportation, and to over 30 sports and cultural activities. In the winter all children under age nine ski for free during the entire season.
- Golf course – the 18-hole golf course at 1600 m offers an impressive panorama of Mont Blanc.
- Bretaye – tarting point for numerous hiking and biking tours, and the main centre for winter sports above Villars, reached by funicular railway.
- Working salt mine in Bex – numerous galleries, shafts, staircases and vast halls: several kilometres of this 50 km long underground labyrinth are open to the public.
- Les Diablerets/Glacier 3000 – from this, the highest point in the Vaud Alps, there is a breathtaking view of the finest peaks in the Alps.
- Lac de Chavonnes, Lac de Bretaye, Lac Noir – romantic mountain lakes.
- Narrow-guage railway network from Aigle and Bex – the lines to Leysin, Les Diablerets and Villars/Bretaye provide access to the region without a car of your own.
- Winter markets – from Christmas to the February market and in the weeks between, Villars showcases regional products and crafts. Come and discover them on the market square (December to March).
- Salon International de la Randonnée – presentation of more than 100 themed tours with professional hiking guides. There is also a varied programme of films, conferences and public discussions as well as a forum for mountain literature (June).
- Jumping Villars-Gryon – qualifying competition for the Swiss Show Jumping Championships in the heart of the festive village (July).
- Villars de Vivre Festival – a three-day “festival of the senses” in Villars featuring humour, jazz, classical music, world music, sculpture, photography, fine food and wine. International artists will also make an appearance (September).