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128km (80 miles) E of Geneva; 40km (25 miles) N of Great St. Bernard Tunnel; 29km (18 miles) E of Martigny; 58km (36 miles) SW of Sion

Verbier sits on a vast, sunny plateau in the Bagnes Valley in Switzerland's southernmost Alps. It looks toward the Combin and Mont Blanc mountains, which are covered with snow year-round, even when the town is bursting with leafy trees and flowers. At 1,500m (4,920 ft.), Verbier was a pastureland before developing into an outstanding sports center. The area is protected from harsh winds by the surrounding mountains. The predominant language of the resort is French.

Verbier doesn't have the architectural distinction of Zermatt. Everything is modern, from souvenir shops to the fast-food joints to the chalets. But you don't concentrate on the man-made architecture -- the draw is the panoramic site of the resort itself, as its buildings are scattered over a slope of the Bagnes Valley surrounded by snow-covered mountains.