Villars-sur-Ollon is a beautiful village in the Swiss Alps perched on a plateau overlooking the Rhone valley.
Easily accessible from Geneva Airport either by car or train, this picturesque village boasts stunning scenery and a host of sporting activities.
Summer Activities and Things to do in Villars
- The summer in Villars is when the mountains open up to become an enormous playground with stunning alpine scenery and endless family attractions. There are over 300km of walking trails for hikers and 130km of mountain biking routes that stop off at local vineyards, cheese-making farms, pretty mountain refuges and breathtaking peaks.
- The 18 hole VIllars Golf Course , sports centre, tennis courts , ice rink , bowling alley and indoor/outdoor swimming pool are all close by and a host of local attractions, famous chateaux and lakes are within a short drive away. So pick one of our Activities and read more about what is on offer during your stay at Chalet Balthazar.
- There is no better place to go walking than Villars and its neighbouring valleys where there are over 300 km of marked trails for all levels of ability.
- Villars has such a variety of things to do and see along the way that everyone is bound to be kept happy. Discover alpine farms and watch cheese being made, wander around the major wine growing areas of Yvorne to Lavey and stop by at various caves along the way for some memorable tastings.
- Walk from Villars to mountain lakes and stop for a dip or follow the salt trail in Bex or hike up to memorable look out points with breathtaking panoramas. Discover a wealth of local culture that has existed for centuries and amble through pastures and forests enjoying the incredible lushness, peace and beauty. Villars' tourist office has put together detailed plans of the local walks around Villars.
- Nordic Walking
- Nordic walking is a great way to enjoy the beauty of the mountains while undertaking beneficial endurance training and an all over body work out. Conceived in Norway, this sport was initially popular with fitness and cross-country ski enthusiasts who enjoyed working their cardiovascular system outdoors. Today growing numbers of people indulge in this sport that is accessible to anyone regardless of physical condition or age. Equipped with two poles, you can take of to explore stunning trails and scenery.
- There are plenty of Nordic walking guides in Villars who can show you the delights of this increasingly popular sport.
- Mountain Biking
- Villars has over 130km of marked trails available with varying levels of difficulty that will cater for beginners, groups of friends, families and professionals. From Villars there are trails leading through pretty alpine villages and forests, down into the valley of Bex or Lavey, through the vineyards, past cheese making farms or up steep mountain paths to glorious summits. For those with less puff you can hook your bike onto the Roc D'Orsay or Gryon telecabine and simply free wheel down again! You can hire bikes on a daily basis for very reasonable prices from several of the sports shops in Villars.
- Tennis is a popular sport in the mountains and the Centre des Sports in Villars boasts 3 immaculate indoor and 5 outdoor tennis courts with stunning views. Private and group lessons can be arranged in advance with one of several professional coaches who are available. Rackets can be hired if necessary.
- The well-equipped pro shop next to the bar may come in useful too. Three squash courts, a large sports hall with a climbing, a basketball court and a gym can also be found.
- Spa & Wellness
- For those looking to indulge in some spa and wellness visits there are several excellent options nearby.
- ‘Les Bains de Lavey’ are 25 minutes drive from Villars and are well worth a visit as they have the hottest thermal waters in Switzerland.
- There are two outdoor pools and one indoor in which water temperatures can reach 36 degrees. This is a real oasis of wellbeing with jacuzzis, hammams, saunas, massaging jets, waterfalls, underwater currents, massage beds and a full wellness centre pen 9am to 9pm.
- The views of the surrounding mountains are stunning and an evening visit after a hard days skiing is highly recommended. La Prairie Clinique in Montreux has worldwide renown and covers most healthcare specialties. The impressive spa offers a huge array of treatments and has magnificent views of the landscaped park, the little port of Basset and the lake and mountains beyond.
- Play golf in a unique and beautiful setting at Villars Golf Club. Located at 1,600 metres on a south facing plateau facing the Alps and Mont-Blanc, Villars Golf Club was founded in 1922 and promises all visitors an awe-inspiring round of golf. An impressive Club House is open to members and non-members alike together with a great bar and restaurant with panoramic views.
- There is a large driving range, a well equipped Pro Shop, buggies to hire and one of the highest 18 hole courses to enjoy at your leisure. PGA certified professionals are available and there are week-long programmes for all levels that run from Monday to Friday including 10 hours of group lessons, equipment hire, talks by the pros, green fees, welcome drinks and even a round of golf accompanied by a resident professional.
- Adventure Sports
- Adventure Sports enthusiasts, both young and old, are well catered for. Whether it's the thrill of pargliding and skydiving for the dare devils or climbing through Alpine forests on ropes and zipwires for the kids, you won't be disappointed by the thrills on offer.
- Take off from Villars and fly over the mountains of Vaud opposite the amazing panorama of the Mont-Blanc mountain range and the majestic Dents-du-Midi. Villars is located in an impressive amphitheatre of mountains which protect it from prevailing winds, a haven for paragliding enthusiasts. Flying! The oldest dream of mankind is accessible to all thanks to our free-flight schools in Villars, which offer flights in tandem paragliders, Discovery days, Introductory training or complete training to the point of obtaining the Swiss Federal Paraglider pilot's licence.
- Zip Wires at Adventure Park
- More than 100 thrilling activities await you in the woods. This is a new recreational concept in the woods for children and seasoned adventurers. Equipped with a harness, you securely move about among the trees up to a height of 15 metres. Five courses of different degrees of difficulty and two courses for kids guide you through the two hectare Adventure Park.
- Lake and Castles
- The attractive lakeside towns of ‘Montreux’, ‘Evian’, ‘Vevey’, ‘Lausanne’ and ‘Rolle’ are all close by and it is difficult to beat a stroll along the water’s edge taking in their beauty and history. There are plenty of boats and paddle steamers that tour this enormous lake and you can drop off at any stage. Many swim in the lake and good lakeside beaches include ‘Le Bouveret’ situated at the mouth of the Rhone where it feeds into Lake Geneva.
- The imposing Château d'Aigle is a fortress built in the 12th century and sits in the middle of its own vineyards,. Now the prestigious setting for the collections of the ‘Musee de la Vigne et du Vin’ which preserves the heritage of the wine growers and the cultural traditions of wine.
- A visit to Château de Chillon built in the 13th century and proudly positioned on the banks of ‘Lac Leman’ is a truly memorable experience. The Chateau served as a residence for the Counts of Savoy during the Middle Ages and has inspired artists and writers from Jean-Jacques Rousseau to Victor Hugo and Lord Byron. Highlights include impressive courtyards, great halls, underground rooms, weapons room, chapel, chambers and of course impressive defences.
- Local Attractions
- Aqua Park
- One of Europe's largest water parks Aqua Park is only 30 minutes from Villars. Nestled between the mountains and the lake the park offers 15,000 sq m of pure enjoyment for all the family. There are thrilling waterslides, pirate ships, wave machines, restaurants and even a sandy beach.
- Labyrnthe Aventure
- Between St Maurice and Martigny and a 20 minute drive from Villars is the largest permanent labyrinthe in the world Labyrinthe Adventure . Overcome obstacles and confront challenges in this extraordinary place that will keep all members of the family entertained for hours!
- Day Excursions from Villars
- There is such a vast choice of exciting day trips / excursions to take when staying in Villars depending on how adventurous you are feeling. Here are a few ideas to whet your appetite.
- Jungfraujoch - the 'top' of Europe and Europe's highest altitude railway station
- Matterhorn - the most recognized mountain in the Swiss Alps
- Chamonix - one of the most famous mountain villages at the base of Mont Blanc with some excellent skiing opportunities including the famous Vallee Blanche and the Hoate Route. 1 hr 20 minutes drive from Villars.
- Verbier - ski Mont Fort and Tortin. Only 1 hrs drive away.
- Geneva - a small international metropolis with great shopping and sights on the lake.
- Glacier 3000 - year round skiing and only 50 minutes drive or ski away!
- Servion Zoo - open all year round.
- The Alpine Marecottes Zoo - see Chamonix, ibex, lynx, bears and eagles.
- Berne - the country's capital city with stunning medieval architecture.
How to Reach Villars
Chalet Balthazar has a fabulously convenient location in Villars village centre, moments from the shops, bars and restaurants of the main street.
- By car
- If you are driving to Swiss Chalet Balthazar, the journey is an extremely straight forward 75 min drive from Geneva Airport or 3 hours from Zurich Airport. Chalet Balthazar is located in the centre of Villars Village close to the train/bus station.
- By train
- If travelling by train to Villars, there is a rail service direct from Geneva or Zurich Airports to 'Aigle' where you connect with a regular bus that takes you the 20 minutes up the moutain to Villars or you can hire a taxi from Aigle train station. Or you can continue on the train to the next stop 'Bex' where you can connect with a regular mountain train which takes 40 minutes direct to Villars.
- By plane
- Major Airlines fly direct to Geneva and Zurich from all over the world.
- Distances from Villars
- Geneva airport to Villars - 76 miles (122km) or 1.5 hours
- Zurich airport to Villars - 130 miles (210km) or 3 hours
- Lyon to Villars - 149 miles (240km) or 3 hours
The Weather in Villars
The weather is often difficult to predict due to the altitude pf 1,300 metres but generally it is mild and pleasant in the summer averaging 17-26c with colder nights. It is much hotter in the valley and by Lake Geneva where temperatures can rise to 30c.