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By Persephone Cavendish
The resort is particularly family friendly having a number of good quality small hotels and chalets for rent. The 222 km ski area, with its 77 ski lifts, includes the high 'Glacier 3000' which allows all year skiing. Skiing is free for children under nine years of age. The ski school is well organised and provides English-speaking instructors. For non skiers there are numerous walking trails, sledging, ice skating, spas and sport centres. In the town and surrounding areas there are a number of good quality restaurants ranging from Michelin star to basic pizza joints.
The town is pretty and is built in a typical alpine style. Its cog railway winds it way up the mountainside to the ski slopes. French is the main language but there are many English-speaking visitors. Summer visitors enjoy the hiking and mountain biking. The well-marked trails of over 300 km take hikers through vineyards, flower filled pastures and around mountain lakes.
There is a world-renowned golf course and a well established sports centre with an active tennis club. Visiting Lake Geneva is a wonderful day trip where you can visit the World Heritage UNESCO site, the Lavaux vineyards. The resort offers a free access card to visitors in the summer which allows free and unlimited use of transport, sport and leisure facilities.
For visitors who enjoy staying in simple, cheap accommodation surrounded by pastures and mountain views there are a number of mountain huts and refuges run by the local communes. There are various events which occur throughout the year including a Christmas market, the annual Villars BCV 24 hour race, ice skating shows, ice hockey matches and in 2011 the world martial arts games. During the summer the Montreux Jazz Festival is a 30 minute drive away.
For an outdoors, activity filled holiday in magnificent surroundings Villars is hard to beat!
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