I am sure that Verbier Switzerland also looks lovely in the winter. But let’s face it, white can be a bit one dimensional! Particularly when compared to the stunning rainbow of colours that is the Verbier summer! From the insanely beautiful and green of the Swiss Alps to the flower baskets throughout the village to Swiss cows against stunning backdrops the Verbier summer is an Instagram sensation!
When it comes to things in to in Switzerland summer put photogenic Verbier high up your list! Here are my 14 Instagrammable Things to do during the Verbier Switzerland Summer.
1. Go Paragliding
I have always wanted to go paragliding but for one reason or another, it never happened. So I was VERY excited when paragliding was one of the summer activities on my schedule for Verbier! I can’t imagine anywhere would feel safer than visiting Switzerland to try paragliding for the first time! My flight was taking off from Les Ruinettes. I went with Verbier Summits who were fantastic. I felt so comfortable with Mike!
The entire experience is filled with photogenic points! The actual paragliders heading over the Alps look great – particularly when they have first taken off.
I was able to take both my digital SLR camera and my phone up with me. I decided not to use my phone as I was worried about dropping it. Instead, I left it with Elise from the tourism board who was kind enough to take more shots and then video the takeoff – I highly recommend having this done.
Once airborne I started using my digital SLR camera. However, I found it difficult to make these shots look any different from the shots I had just been taking whilst on the mountain eg it was virtually impossible to give a sense that I was taking these from a paraglider. I imagine I could have moved around a bit to get some different angles but there was no way I was doing that whilst gliding through the air!
Verbier Summits have a go pro type camera with an extremely long selfie stick and these definitely provided the best shots. Whilst we were up in the air Mike took shots from multiple angles and was able to instruct me to look up, down, around, etc. He knew the best places to get the best angles.
Once we landed Mike transferred the shots from the go-pro onto a USB type device that he was able to insert immediately into my iPhone so there was no waiting around or getting a disc or USB that you then needed a laptop to see the photos etc. Excellent for easy social media sharing!
When it comes to what to do in Switzerland in summer, I can’t imagine many better things to do than go paragliding in the swiss alps!
2. Capture the Swiss Cows up High
The cows of Verbier head up as the weather gets warmer. After a winter eating last season’s hay in barns I am sure these big guys are chomping at the bit to get up and out! The cows move from basically almost sea level to about 2000m at the height of summer.
During this time they are chomping away on the fresh grass in the mountain air. This produces a different flavour to their milk and milk products vs winter and it is usually tastier.
But let’s get onto how photo-friendly these big guys are! The distinctive Hérens cows of this region have black coats, a muscular body and relatively short legs. And best of all they have those lovely big bells on their collars so they can be tracked by their owners. Well, it is actually quite loud as they much away and the bells sing but atmospheric!
And, uniquely the Heren cows of Verbier fight! Upon ascent, these cows fight to determine the order they will maintain during their stay in the Alps. Apparently, these cows are mad about sorting out hierarchy! Organised cow fights take place throughout the region.
The queen will be led back into the village with flowers and flourish! The cows also get to dress up again between mid-September and mid-October as they are welcomed back into their villages for the winter.
I saw cows locking horns whilst I was there so it is obviously quite a common spectacle!
The key thing is the contrast of the cows with the stunning backdrop of the Alps. They are ideal for the foreground of your Alps photos!
3. Sunrise from Mont Fort
At 3330m, Mont Fort offers a 360 view of some of the most beautiful peaks of the Alps: Matterhorn, Dent Blanche, Grand Combin, and Mont-Blanc. It is only possible to visit the summit of Mont Fort in July and August – yet another reason to visit Verbier in the summer! But this is one view of Switzerland you truly have to earn!
The alarm went off at 4 am. It was then a walk, a bus trip and 2 cable cars before we were able to start the short climb up some big rocks to sit and watch the sunrise over the Alps.
But wow what a view!!! I was lucky enough to visit Mont Fort Verbier on a fairly clear morning (definitely check the weather forecast as that is a very early start to end up with no view!).
Whilst the view from the very top was lovely I actually preferred the view down by the igloo which had more interesting options with a hut in the foreground. The swiss musicians with their long horns make for another photo opportunity.
And do make sure you pre-book your ticket for Mont Fort. You will, of course, receive discounts with the fantastic Verbier VIP pass. One ticket covers the bus and cable cars plus the next item on my list!
If want to know which mountain is which download the fantastic App Peak Visor. The tourism board use it!
4. The View from the top of La Pierre Avoi
La Pierre Avoi is at an altitude of 2473 metres. Take the cable car to Croix de Coeur or La Tzoumaz and begin the ascent. Do wear sensible shoes. The climb isn’t technical but ankle protection always hikes.
It is a bit of a workout and quite steep but gosh the views are worth it! The view stretches from the Rhone Valley to the Combins Massif through the Mont-Blanc. This is quite a popular hike and the summit was busy on the day I visited.
I think these were my best photographs of the trip. I was able to capture the Rhone valley and then a mix of different colours and mix of mountains and towns. I was at the top around 330/4pm. This made for good light but it probably would have been better to go a bit later for a softer light.
5. See a Photography Exhibition on the top of a Dam
The Mauvoisin Dam was created by man and first filled with water in 1958. It is the eighth-highest dam in the world at 250 metres. It is possible to walk along the top of the dam and get some fantastic photos on both sides.
Talk about experiencing the power of nature! There are massive mountains on both sides of you, water pouring out at force, the water is an amazing sea green color and wow! Quite breathtaking! Switzerland travel must-do!
Every summer, Bagnes museum invites a photographer to exhibit their work on top of Mauvoisin Dam as an outdoor photo gallery. Such a good idea! The exhibition was great and it was such a spectacular setting. Super photo-friendly on all accounts!
Mauvoisin Dam is about 45 minutes by car from Verbier. My day trip to Mauvoisin Dam (I also visited Mauvoisin Gorge and tried Via Ferrata) was with Guides de Verbier.
6. Take the Highest Yoga Class in Europe
Experience yoga at 3300m just under Mont Fort after sunrise! This was the first time I have ever done yoga in socks – it was too cold to take them off! There are also blankets as well as mats!
The class is run by champion snow-boarder and yogi Emilien Badoux who is just lovely. He was very practical about the cold. The class was more Hatha style with lots of stretching and warming up muscles vs Iyengar style up your heart rate stuff. The class flew by as the scenery was very spectacular!
We took photos after class. The light was better then and we were able to move into the poses comfortably. Also, I had spent much of the class figuring out which angles and directions would make for the best shots!
7. The Terrace at Chalet Adrian
If you’re looking for a beautiful and classic chalet experience then Chalet d’Adrien is the place for you! This Relais Chateau property has possibly the most stunning terrace in Verbier. Indeed Chalet d’Adrien won the prize for the most beautiful terrace in Europe in 2015.
The terrace is situated above Verbier and has stunning 180-degree views.
The terrace is open for a bbq lunch and is a lounge bar in the evening. It serves coffee and cakes all afternoon. It is most famous for its Sunday seafood brunch.
8. Verbier 3-D Sculpture Park
From La Chaux to Les Ruinettes at an altitude of 2300m is the Verbier 3-D Sculpture Park. These works of art are created by international artists who are invited to visit Verbier every 2 years. The park is free – the sculptures literally start appearing.
There is a mix of sculptures and of course, not all will be to everyone’s taste. My favourite was the giant puffin/penguin type bird! I also quite liked the elephant. There were some more modern industrial style sculptures but I chose not to photograph them.
The majority of the sculptures are “against” the mountain. I found the bird and the boat most photogenic as I was able to have them in the foreground against the stunning views.
9. The Biggest Selfie in Switzerland
In 2017 Verbier installed a “gigaselfie” station at Les Ruinettes, an altitude of 2220m. They are large wooden letters spelling out Verbier with the Bagnes valley and Mont-Blanc massif as a background.
Jump in or on the letters or use them as your Alps foreground.
I also very much liked the green benches that are situated throughout the mountains around Verbier. Also terrific for foregrounds!
10. Swiss Cheese
Wonderful swiss cheese comes in so many forms – fondu, raclette, en croute, soft, hard and now even in a vending machine in Verbier!
The best place to photograph swiss cheese in all its glory is the Fromagerie de Verbier or Laiterie de Verbier. This family business has won multiple swiss cheese awards over the years. They make the cheese and then sell it as well in their shop in Verbier.
Laiterie de Verbier doesn’t export outside Switzerland so you must come to Verbier in summer to try their cheese at its best! They also make some fantastic yogurt that you must try whilst in Verbier.
And Laiterie de Verbier also offers weekly cheese-making experiences every Monday between mid-July and the end of August. Not only will you get to become an apprentice cheesemaker you will also have a self-made cheese to take home at the end of the experience! (And it’s 50% off with the Verbier VIP card!).
This also allows you to enter the dairy and head down and get some cheese wheel shots in addition to cheese being made action shots!
I have saved the best thing about Laiterie de Verbier until last – they have a Fondu Vending Machine!!! If you want fondu at 3 am in Verbier head to the fromagerie and its vending machine. The machine contains fondu cheese, raclette cheese, butter, eggs, milk, potatoes, pickled vegetables – all available at the touch of a few buttons!
Fondu in a nicely colored pot (preferably red or orange) with the mountains behind is another excellent swiss cheese shot. I found the en croute didn’t work as well in the background – tight shots seemed to work best.
I am ashamed to admit I didn’t try any raclette on this trip – sorry! But it is always best photographed being “shaved” or “pulled” off the wheel in my opinion!
⇒ If you love the outdoors check out my posts on a day by day guide to the Everest Base Camp Trek, October and one day in Yosemite National Park, Climbing Ben Nevis in Scotland and climbing Mount Kosciuszko in Australia.
11. Lunch with a View
There are loads of places to enjoy lunch with a view around Verbier! My favourite was the lovely Le Namaste restaurant. Talk about fondu with a view! This gorgeous wooden restaurant, of course, has a bit terrace. It was very busy when we visited for Saturday lunch.
We ordered fondue with bread and it was terrific. The restaurant also offers up straw hats which is a nice touch. And the area around it was filled with flowers and very photogenic!
12. The W Hotel Verbier
The W Hotel in Verbier is filled with selfie opportunities – whether you are staying there or not! Its high end, quirky design lends itself to interesting design. Let’s start with the fact that it has a beach! Yes in the mountains! Well, it has sand. And a volleyball net and sun loungers. Of course no ocean but it is still quite photogenic.
The W Hotel also has this pink based art stained box which was designed for selfies. I very much like this funky terrace for an Aperol Spritz or coffee shot perhaps. And you can’t go wrong with a clear round hanging chair!
13. The Swiss Alps
I know the Swiss Alps are everywhere and I mention them in many of my instagrammable spots above but I do think they merit a listing of their own! In addition to the set pieces of the mont fort sunrise, La Pierre Avoi and going paragliding one of the best ways to get stunning shots of the Swiss Alps is to go hiking and/or cycling.
The Valais area has carved quite flat paths into its mountain biking Verbier – particularly with an e-bike – it is now quite easy to get around most of the area once you have gotten a cable car up to Les Ruinettes (Verbier also has a bike park if you’re really into mountain biking).
These paths are also great for hiking in the Swiss Alps in summer.
There are many downhill mountain biking paths that can also provide different photo opportunities – although of course not whilst you are cycling!
I hired my Verbier bike at the Backside Shop and Oliver from The Big Ride was my fantastic guide. I enjoyed trying out mountain biking but next time I will also take a morning or an afternoon or even longer with an e-bike. Hiring an e-bike makes it much easier to cycle higher up in the mountains and reach some stunning views.
14. The details of Charming Verbier
When it comes to what to see in Switzerland in Summer, the Swiss Alps provide some rather stiff competition for everything else! But the lovely village of Verbier itself is also filled with insta friendly opportunities in the summer. Everywhere you look are hanging baskets and pot plants overflowing with colourful flowers against their wooden homes.
I loved the detail of some of the window frames and the red shutters of the Experimental Chalet. The first main intersection in town has a middle island filled with baskets of colourful flowers. Vinabagnes wine shop is a perfect place to pose with a glass of Swiss wine, chalet wood, and bright flowers. And the Verbier summer Sunday market offers colorful crafts and photogenic charcuterie and cheeses.
If you love taking photos as much as I do and are looking for some great places for pics check out my Instagram guides to Riga, Lavia, Ios and Paxos in Greece, South Wales, Graz in Austria, Rimini and Winchester in England.
The fantastic Verbier Summer VIP Pass
And you can experience many of the above activities with a substantial discount when you visit Verbier in the summer. In the summer every visitor who spends at least one night of their Switzerland trip in Verbier receives the Verbier VIP pass. VIP stands for Verbier Infinite Playground.
This fantastic little pass put together by Switzerland tourism gives visitors masses of really good discounts on over 45 of the best things to do in Verbier. This includes transport (eg lifts), places to see like Mont-Fort, the Verbier Festival, food and cultural experiences and leisure and sport (from the swimming pools to horse riding to golf). Pedestrians get free access to mountain lifts with the pass and bikers get a 50% discount on the lifts with the pass.
When you arrive at your Verbier hotel (most of which also offer great value summer rates) and check-in you will receive your Verbier VIP pass. If you don’t receive your Verbier VIP pass when you check into your hotel Verbier do make sure you ask. However, this being Switzerland that is unlikely to happen as they are on top of everything!
Once you have your pass you will only need to flash it when you are buying lift tickets etc to gain your discount. So just pop it in your wallet and bring on the savings! So easy!
The VIP pass is valid between the beginning of June and the end of October.
Boutique Hotels in Verbier
Verbier has some fantastic boutique hotels – and most of these Verbier hotels drop their rates considerably in the summer months so they offer terrific value.
I stayed at the charming Experimental Chalet. This stylish chalet was recently renovated by its owners the terrific Experimental Group. This hotel group owns unique and stylish boutique hotels in several of the world’s major cities. They know what they’re doing when it comes to boutique hotel design and style and how to infuse these with local character!
The hotel has distinctive red shutters that can’t be missed as you head into Verbier. The location is just fantastic. The Experimental Chalet is on the main road of Verbier and on your left as you drive into town. It was very easy to walk everywhere in Verbier from the hotel. The staff were also just lovely and couldn’t have been more helpful.
Experimental Chalet Rooms
My lovely room was a great mix of modern design and chic chalet with lacquered wooden floors and its own terrace. My room at the Experimental Chalet was a Classic room. This is their smallest room and I thought it was an excellent size.
I particularly loved the bathroom! The black and white check of the tiles was complimented by the fluffy towels, waffle bathrobe, and slippers which featured a red embroidery of the frame of the hotel. My shower had a nice big head on it and the water pressure was excellent.
The toiletries were a fantastic twist on the typical! Firstly they came in a very cute little cloth sack which also featured the red embroidery of the hotel’s distinctive shape. Inside there was actually a mix of toiletries brands rather than just the one brand. And good brands like Maelin and Goetz! I was very pleased.
My terrace was very large with chairs outside and a view onto the main street and of course the mountains beyond!
Eating and Drinking at the Experimental Chalet
The ground floor of the hotel has two large sitting areas for relaxing, coffee and/or drinks. Breakfast is also held in this area. Breakfast is a lovely buffet that featured local yogurts and cheese as well as meats. There were a few kinds of cereal on offer including some great muesli, fresh pastries, and some very tasty orange juice.
There is also a menu of hot food options. Eggs prepared as you like, avocado on toast, sides of sausages and bacon and the usual classics. I enjoyed the bacon and egg roll which was served on a brioche.
The cocktail bar on the first floor opens at 6 pm. There is a lovely big outdoor seating area as well as many comfortable seats inside. There is a nice selection of local swiss wines. The summer dinner menu is shorter than that on offer during winter but there is more than enough choice.
The menu is European with a twist rather than full-on swiss eg no fondu or en croute. I enjoyed a delicious spring vegetable Panzanella salad with lots of rocket and vegetables. Dessert was a very tasty lemon and blueberry tart.
The Experimental Chalet Spa and Jacuzzi
The first floor of the Experimental Chalet holds the spa and jacuzzi. The spa was designed with French brand Biologique Recherche who is known for its all-natural products. The spa offers a range of facial and body treatments as well as waxing and mani/pedis. There are 3 treatment rooms, a hammam and solarium.
However, for me, the highlight was the wonderful jacuzzi! The jacuzzi is in its own glass conservatory. There are loads of wooden sun loungers inside and outside. In the summer the glass doors are opened to allow the fresh air in. I went and experienced the jacuzzi after a couple of days of rather full-on Verbier summer sporting activities and it was so lovely to sink into the jacuzzi and watch the mountains with the fresh mountain air streaming in!
I didn’t spend the night in the balance of these Verbier Switzerland boutique hotels but I did take tours of them and see a couple of rooms in each.
If you’re looking for a more romantic or class chalet experience then Chalet d’Adrien is the place for you! It has the most stunning terrace. Indeed Chalet d’Adrien won the prize for the most beautiful terrace in Europe in 2015. And its Sunday seafood brunch on the terrace is a Verbier Classic!
Chalet d’Adrien is classic chalet chic mixed with modern design and high-quality fixtures and fittings – as you would expect from a member of the Relais Chateaux group. Each room has a unique design and fantastic views! Chalet d’Adrien also has a spa which uses Nuxe products. It is possible to visit the spa for treatments as a day guest but the use of the pool and sauna is limited to hotel guests only.
Relais Chateaux also own Le Chalet de Flore. This 4-star property is in the middle of Verbier on the main street. but has no spa or restaurant.
For the ultimate in 5-star design, the W Hotel has a property in Verbier. It is very W hotel – super quirky high-end Chalet Verbier design, loads of cool restaurants (the sushi restaurant is supposed to be fantastic as is the breakfast). And they have a beach in the summer! Yes in the mountains! Well, they have sand and sun loungers. No ocean of course!
If you’re visiting Verbier in winter they make skiing set up super easy with ski hire under the hotel, a huge ski room for storage and they are ski-in and ski-out. The W also combines skiing with yoga.
If you’re looking for a great value boutique hotel option check out the lovely 3-star Hotel Bristol. This lovely chalet has a fantastic location in the middle of town and has recently been renovated. Their standard room is a good size and the thread count was more than adequate – as they like to stay 5-star bedding at a 3-star price!
Several of their rooms have balconies and there are 5 junior suites available. Hotel Bristol has a restaurant but it is separate from the hotel. Breakfast, however, is served inside the hotel in a chalet-style setup.
How to Get To Verbier
The closest major airport to Verbier is Geneva Airport. There is a regional airport 61km away called Sion but it doesn’t have many flights.
⇒ Cheap Flights to Verbier
The distance from Geneva to Verbier is 162km. From Geneva Airport there are two main options. The first is to hire a car at Geneva Airport. In summer it should only take two hours to drive from Geneva Airport to Verbier.
The second option is to take the train. Geneva Airport is on the railway lines so once you have your bag it is a very short walk to the terminal as it is literally next door, just follow the signs! I then took the train to Martigny (about 1 hour and 40 minutes) where I changed and got a train to Le Chable station (just under 30 minutes).
As this is Switzerland I had 9 minutes to change trains at Martigny. This was no problem as of course everything was on time and operated very smoothly! And the journey is very scenic!
Once at Le Chable either book a taxi or take a bus up the mountain to Verbier (the bus has several stops throughout the heart of Verbier).
It is 167km from Geneva Airport to Verbier.
Who Paid for What in this Post?
The lovely Verbier Tourism Association was kind enough to cover my flights, accommodation, activities and most meals (Thanks Elise and Sybille!!). All I had to pay for was a couple of glasses of Swiss wine. All very kind of them – but as always my opinions are my own. This post also contains quite a few affiliate links. This means that if you click through on these links and make a purchase I will most likely receive a small commission. Just wanted to make sure you were aware of this!
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