Leysin is a lovely, traditional Swiss resort with 2 centres! You can get to the old village from a stop on the funicular railway that runs up to the resort from Aigle in the valley. The second and more modern centre does not have a lot of architectural charm to endear you, but its located on a ‘balcony’ with superb views of the Alpes Vaudoises. Leysin traditionally dealt with the schools and students’ market, with educational establishments of its own on its lower slopes and school parties arriving on holidays from across Europe. During the ’90s however, Leysin built another reputation as a conference venue, with excellent facilities. Besides, the resort participates in the Alpes Vaudoises Pass which includes the neighbouring resort of Les Diablerets with its 3000m high year-round glacier ski area serviced by a good modern boarder friendly lift system. The linked lift areas of Gryon, Les Diablerets and Villars are also included on the ski pass as well as Les Mosses.
Leysin offers 60km of pistes, with the Alpes Vaudoises Pass extending this to 220km. The local vertical of 1000 metres is good too and those nervous at the relatively low top lift height and south facing slopes can be reassured by the proximity of one of Europe’s top year-round ski centres, the glacier at Les Diablerets only half an hour away and included on the pass. The lift-linked area between Diablerets village (separate to the glacier area), Villars and Gryon is closer still, and offers a further 100km of runs. A free ski bus service can take you there.
Leysin has a great selection of 20 varied runs including a separate nursery area at village level and more at the top of the gondola. The lower slopes are wooded but the upper two thirds of the mountain is made up of wide fast cruise runs – mostly blues and reds. For experts, there are two blacks runs, the best running for the first two-thirds of a top to bottom descent over the full 1000m vertical beneath the Berneuse Express gondola. The high black served by the Chaux de Mont chair around the snow park is also fun. Mountain restaurants include the Kuklos 250 seat revolving restaurant at 2048 metres. As it turns 360 degrees in a 90-minute rotation it takes in panoramas of Lake Geneva, the Rhone Valley and famous mountains including Mont Blanc, the Matterhorn and the Eiger. The ski school offers ski touring and heli-skiing with its mountain guides for one or more days duration according to demand.\
Leysin has been recognised officially as a “Family Resort”. This title is accorded by Swiss Tourism to resorts fulfilling specific criteria concerning their « family friendliness ». In Switzerland only 26 destinations are actually recognised as fulfilling these requirements. Leysin does its best to make guests, but in particular families (for whom special offers are available) feel at home. In winter this means that families benefit from advantageous prices in Leysin: Skiing and accommodation, free for kids up to 9! The weekly program of activities plus the local Snow Sports School permits each family member to participate in and enjoy the snow related activities. Whether you need child-minding facilities, picnic and games areas, a range of trips and walks suitable for parents with pushchairs, You‘ll find that every care has been taken to ensure that children enjoy a dream holiday here. The resort has one non-skiing day-care centre which accept children from as young as six months at the Arc-en-ciel centre. Children aged three and older may joining the fun at the Swiss Ski School’s Snow Garden where they can play in the snow. Ski kindergarten starts at age 3 with children’s ski classes running up to age 15, all day cover with lunchtime supervision is the norm. Opening hours vary from and 8.15 to 8.30am start with 5 hours of teaching time between 9am and 4pm, Mondays to Saturdays and a 5 or 6.30pm finish depending on the season. A day nursery is also available.
Leysin has about 20 restaurants, most of them serving traditional Swiss and alpine cuisine also from hotel dining rooms. For a little ambiance the Fromagerie has lots of character with a natural stone and wood interior and log fires. Le Chasseur and Le Leysin are also recommended. Some gourmet food is available in the evenings at the revolving Kuklos restaurant on the mountain. There are also about 8 bars, mainly in hotels or connected to restaurants in Leysin. The Cable bar bar is one of the livelier choices by the gondola. The atmosphere is generally young and international. Snacks, barbecue and bands make it very popular! There are two late night spots with dancing to the current European chart hits.
Leysin has been a major ‘boarders’ destination since the early years of the sport! The resort staged its first World Pro tour event as early as ’92 and the Giant X Tour is a major event for snowboarding and skiing in whole Switzerland, with the final generally taking place in Leysin. There is a snowboard park with half pipe and you can access most of the terrain from the gondolas and chairlifts which make up the vast majority of the lifts, a definite plus for ‘boarders. The terrain doesn’t have much steep and scary stuff, but it does have plenty of interesting areas, especially in the trees at the edge of the lower runs, so free riders can find a lot to enjoy if they look about or tag along with someone with local knowledge. Definitely a resort worth more than a second glance and we can help book your most suitable accommodation choice, plus all the extras involved.