Ski resort Nendaz lies on a sunny terrace above the Rhone Valley near Sitten (Sion), the capital of the Valais. In winter it has everything a winter sports enthusiast could want, being at the heart of the ‘Four Valleys’ ski region with its 92 transport facilities, over 400 km of blue slopes to black.
Nendaz ski resort
Nendaz at 1400m above sea level is 100m lower than lift-linked Verbier, but the slopes immediately above it often have better snow than those of its more famous neighbour because they face north and are less crowded. These easy-cruising, motorway-like pistes are well suited to beginners and less-confident intermediates who can save money by buying a special sector Printse ski pass (Nendaz has two distinct ski-pass offers) which excludes Verbiers and covers ‘only’ Nendaz, Siviez (without Mont-Fort), Veysonnaz, Thyon and Les Collons. That still amounts to 220kms of pistes and 50 lifts which is more than enough for a novice, or a fairweather skier who is easily tempted off the slopes by the many mountain restaurants.
But for keen intermediates and above, Sector Printse is just a starter, and they will want to invest in the expensive-but-worth-it 4 Valleys ski pass, which covers over 400km of ski runs, including some famous ungroomed but marked trails.
There is one lift in Nendaz, a 12 man telecabine, which takes you up to Tracouet at 2200m. Tracouet is a plesant, sunny shelf with a well reviewed beginners park as well as a nice range of local red and blue slopes. From here there are some nice long runs back to Nendaz, both red and blue, which have good views across the Rhone Valley.
4 Valleys - Nendaz skiing
The Nandez area has two fantastic beginner zones in Tracouet and Siviez. The first is easily accessible from 12-person gondola from the centre of the town which climbs up to Tracouet (2,200m). From here is where intermediates, after perhaps skiing the friendly local runs, can make their way via Plan-du-Fou (2,430m) to the slopes above Siviez, dropping down into the village and up the other side, which leads on to the sector above Thyon and Veysonnaz. The other option is to take the short shuttle bus to Siviez from the town. Here, another beginner area opens up to some fantastic intermediate terrain and makes the connection to Veysonnaz, Thyon and Verbier a little quicker.
The runs over Veysonnnaz and Thyon are an intermediate and advanced skiers paradise with wide open quiet slopes and plenty of accessible off-piste.
To connect to Verbier and the rest of the huge 4 valleys network you need to go via Siviez through just a couple of red runs and lifts. Getting back, however, involves taking an unpisted itinéraire so less confident skiers take the cable car down from Plan-du-Fou which leaves just a short black run down to Prarion to get a lift back to Tracouet before you can enjoy the easy home runs down to Nendaz.
Nendaz freeride skiing
If you are attracted to powder, Printse ski area is an ideal destination. Indeed, the resort has relied heavily on exceptional and unique ski conditions keeping the risk very low thanks to its 7 freetracks. These 7 freetracks are slopes served by lifts and remain secure, being reserved for very good skiers, they are usually much less populated than the "traditional" slopes.
For freestyle fans, Nendaz is also home to the Wood Park. Based on the famous Burton Stash concept, Wood Park is an environmentally-friendly, natural snow park with features made from wood. Features range from small to large so there’s something for everyone to enjoy. The Centralpark in Thyron and the Snowpark La Chaux in Verbier offer all kinds of options to both beginners and more experienced freestylers.
The town stretches for several kilometres up a NE facing slope on the southern side of the Rhone Valley in between La Tzoumaz and Veysonnaz so at first it can seem quite stretched out. Most of the resort is modern but built in traditional chalet style, and an old core remains, with quaint houses and barns alongside great views across the Rhône valley. Alongside this there are no shortage of bars, shops and restaurants – all of which are less severe on the wallet than across in Verbier.
There are some lively bars in Nendaz too, such as the bar at the Chalet Edelweiss, and even a couple of nightclubs. But mostly it's about working your way through the 20+ reasonably-priced restaurants serving everything from Swiss specialities to pizza, sushi and Thai.
At night you can paint the town red in one of the several bars and night clubs. "Malabar", with its reggae flair, the "Cactus Saloon", with an outside bar, and the stylish "Tchin-Tchin" are especially hot.