Overlooking the Rhône valley, Villars (or Villars-sur-Ollon to give it its full title), could be argued, is one of Switzerland’s best kept secrets. Villars is a well-established mountain resort with a friendly feel and a reputation for fine dining up the mountain and in the town. Put on the map by its two international schools, which add to the year-round life of the resort, Villars is well suited to families for education or leisure. Situated only an hour and a half from Geneva it has long been a popular choice for the ‘in-the-know’ well heeled (or ski booted) travellers.
Just 1.5 hour's easy drive from Geneva airport - and about the same by train - Villars works for weekends or longer stays.
The pisted ski area caters well for groups of mixed abilities with gentle tree lined runs into the centre of the village, exciting off piste and great skiing on the neighbouring Diablerets glacier. Villars has benefited from significant investment and upgrades to the lift system and snow-making facilities.
For many the numerous summer hikes passing through pretty mountain hamlets are an even bigger attraction.
Villars offers a range of property opportunity from the quieter village of Chesieres through the centre of Villars to the open fields of Arveyes. The forested Domaine de la Residence is one of the resort's most desirable locations, with ski-in/ski-out accessibility from most of the chalets and apartments. Those wanting to be within closer walking distance of the resort's centre have a choice of apartments as well as a few, sought-after chalets. Nearby Barboleuse has been the centre of much of the area's recent development; attractive chalets line the slopes up the Route des Mazots. Neighbouring Gryon, a little further along the valley, retains a more traditional charm.
As with many Swiss resorts, there are restrictions for property buyers from outside Switzerland. However a sensible approach to permits widens the choice for non-residents.
Leysin, Les Diablerets
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