|Verbier : arrival, orientation and information|
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Branch-line trains from Martigny split at Sembrancher, with one portion going on to terminate at Le Châble, the valley community at the foot of the hill. From Le Châble, a cable-car runs every fifteen minutes up to Verbier, arriving at the huge Médran cable-car station at the east end of the resort. Postbuses also do the run from Le Châble, climbing first through “Verbier-Village” (the locals’ town) before terminating in “Verbier-Station”, the resort, at the central post office just off Place Centrale.
Orientation around the resort can be a little confusing. The Rue de Médran climbs southeast from Place Centrale to the Médran lift station, from where gondolas and a chairlift rise to Les Ruinettes, main access point for the pistes. It’s along this street, and in the surrounding area, that most of the resort’s après-ski happens. The resort’s other gondola rises from the Savoleyres station, best part of a kilometre north of Place Centrale. West of Place Centrale is the massive Sports Centre with, below and south of it, workaday Verbier-Village. Free buses link all of these throughout the summer and winter seasons (July, Aug & Dec–April daily 8am–7pm).
The highly organized tourist office is on Place Centrale (July, Aug & Dec–April Mon–Sat 8.30am–12.30pm & 2–6.30pm, Sun 9am–noon & 4–6.30pm; rest of year Mon–Fri 8.30am–noon & 2–6.30pm, Sat 9am–noon & 4–6pm, Sun 9am–noon; 027/775 38 88, www.verbier.ch). They have maps galore, and plenty of information on the resort and its pistes. The lift company, Téléverbier, provides a daily snow report on its Web site (www.televerbier.ch). Late July sees Verbier staging one of Switzerland’s most prestigious classical music events, the Verbier Festival and Academy. For two weeks, the resort plays host to top-flight international names, who come to perform and also lead masterclasses and discussions. Tickets range from Fr.30 to Fr.120 for individual concerts, Fr.300 for a weekend pass, or Fr.1000-plus for a universal pass. Contact the festival administration for more details (021/922 40 10, www.verbierfestival.com).
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