Have you ever wanted to take a workation but have no idea what to expect? I’ve got you. Read on to hear all about my ski workation skiing and co-working in Switzerland.
Earlier this year, I was lucky enough to join a handful of other content creators, freelancers and travel bloggers to experience Coliving Frilingue’s winter workation. As it was my first big press trip – and first time skiing – I was apprehensive about what to expect. It turns out I didn’t need to worry though as I had the time of my life!
In fact, taking this workation is by far one of the best things I’ve ever done. If you’re wondering what a workation is and want to read the lowdown on Coliving Frilingue’s workations, I have an in-depth post following later this week.
In the meantime, here’s a travel diary all about my amazing week spent in Liddes, Switzerland. Grab a cuppa though: it’s a long one…!
Disclosure: I was kindly invited on this workation and press trip by Coliving Frilingue. All my opinions are entirely honest and based on my own experiences.
Day One: Arriving in Liddes and Settling Into the Ski Hostel
Our first day was fun but pretty uneventful, as it was all about getting our bearings!
I landed at Geneva airport late morning and immediately met Rebecca and Samantha – two really lovely bloggers! I actually met Rebecca at Traverse last year and Samantha, I met on Instagram so it was great to see some friendly faces right off the bat.
We found others joining us on our trip (Rosaley, Joc and Martyn) and were all kindly picked up by Aiden, our host.
After the two-hour drive to Liddes, we had a tour of the charming ski hostel, our home for the week. I was sharing a six-bed dorm with Rebecca, Samantha and Sarah (who I also met at Traverse). The room was basic but super cosy. After we’d settled in (and I’d had a nap!), we headed back downstairs to hang out.
The common room was a cosy vast area where you could grab snacks or work whilst overlooking the beautiful mountains of the Swiss Alps. We all worked for a bit that evening but it’s safe to say we actually spent more time watching the view than anything else!
We then enjoyed tasty pizza with the rest of the guests. After some socialising, we headed up for an early night, as we had a full-on day to prepare for!
With NO experience of skiing – or any ski sports for that matter – I was nervous but excited for the next day.
Day Two: Introduction to Skiing at La Fouly
With an early breakfast at 7:30am, I was naturally quite tired the next morning. But once I’d eaten and been kitted up with my ski gear, I was ready to go.
We arrived at La Fouly to an ongoing snowfall. Despite the skies being grey and cloudy, it was still such a wonderful site. I had to keep pinching myself to remember it was all real and that I was there! La Fouly is a perfect ski resort for beginners.
La Fouly offers a great beginner’s blue slope. It can be accessed by a t-bar lift, but you have the option of skiing down from a halfway point. But before that, there is a much smaller baby slope with a magic carpet lift. Then to the right, there’s a much bigger slope accessed by an actual chair lift, which is for intermediates.
It was here at the baby slope that we had an introduction to skiing by our lovely instructor, Stefan. He taught us how to correctly attach ourselves to our skis, the best way to position ourselves on the slope and basically how to get moving.
We actually started off pretty strong! I felt confident using this smaller slope and remembering to look forward (instead of at the floor) and let my legs do their thing. I was comfortable stopping myself and actually felt like I got it. Along with Samantha though, I didn’t yet have the confidence to attempt the bigger slope. So whilst the others progressed with Stefan, we stayed where we were practising. We did fall a few times too. I wasn’t keen on the magic carpet lift, as it always felt so slippy and I often lost my balance.
After a few hours of practice, we all headed for lunch inside the on-site restaurant. This restaurant was a staple favourite of mine on the trip. I enjoyed a really delicious pumpkin soup and gave lots of fuss over the resident dogs that lived there.
After a few more runs (aka just going very, very slowly up and down the baby ramp), we all headed back to the hostel. I then spent a few more productive hours blogging and doing freelance work.
Then it was time for our fondue night!
It was delicious and I absolutely loved the element of having dinner with everyone else in the chalet. The room was full of guests. Fondue is such a social food to enjoy too, so it was great to relax and chat with everyone else.
Day Three: More Skiing at La Fouly & Party Night at Verbier
The second day saw us returning to La Fouly once more. We arrived early to enjoy the slopes while they were still quiet and got more practice in. But within a few hours, lots of schoolchildren turned up. They were clearly so much better than us and definitely showed us up!
Today Sam and I braved the slightly bigger slope. I think this was about as far as I got in terms of progress, haha! Paired with really tight ski boots and having to have my legs in the pizza position at all times as a beginner, I struggled so much with the pain. I found going down this slope to be really hard (I’m not a sporty person, remember!) and what takes most people probably about two minutes to ski down, took us nearly an hour! In all honesty, I was almost crying when I got to the bottom because it was SO painful. I just wasn’t used to using my body that way or being in a position where I continually have to lean forward on my calves and tense them even further to stop myself from moving.
I think, as well, the problem was that the day before I was just going down with my skis pointed straight, which felt natural to me. Having my legs tensed the entire way down the slope in a constant ‘pizza’ position, I really struggled to then tense them even further to stop myself, and I was convinced I was doing it wrong.
But I still did it, which is the important thing!
After a few hours working back at the hostel, it was time for our party night at Verbier. What a night! I couldn’t tell you what bars we went in but I had the absolute best time. Verbier is a really famous ski resort and when we arrived, it was all covered in a blanket of snow. We soon found ourselves in a tiny bar, listening to a live band perform lots of awesome hits. And of course, because we were at a ski resort, everyone was partying in jumpers and snow/ski wear. It was amazing and such a fun, unique experience! I definitely had my Chalet Girl moment.
Afterwards, we made our way to another bar/club. I had the best time walking through the streets as it snowed. Many trees still had Christmas baubles up, and we were all tipsy…it felt really magical and like I was in a fairytale. That night is definitely one I’ll remember for the rest of my life.
Day Four: A Chill Day at the Ski Hostel and Night Skiing
The following day there were some slightly sore heads (not too bad luckily!) and plans to return back to La Fouly for night skiing! Therefore, many of us spent the morning just working in the hostel. There was just something about working there, in such a great location. The views were amazing and constantly left me inspired, but it was also great working around other content creators too. I loved being able to chat with them about what I was working on or just talk about different ideas. It was one of the best benefits of taking the workation.
At lunch, we took a break to walk around the local area and take some photos of the scenery. It was such a truly pretty place.
That evening, we returned to La Fouley for night skiing, which would have been pretty cool…if I’d taken advantage of it. I had a few attempts going down the baby slope, but I’d lost all my confidence by then. Looking back now, I kind of regret not making the most of being able to ski at night..but at the same time, I don’t think I felt confident enough to go back on the bigger slope – especially not in the dark!
So instead I sought refuge in the warm restaurant and fussed over the cute dogs and drank hot chocolate. I was content with that!
Day Five: Almost Falling Down the Side of a Mountain at Vichères-Liddes and Visiting Les Bains de Lavey
The next day we headed to a different ski resort which was just ten minutes away from the hostel. Vichères-Liddes was stunning. It was truly, truly beautiful. I’ve made it my aim to one day return and ski down it and make that mountain my bitch!
Unfortunately, that day was not the day to do that.
Here’s the story.
After a bit of dithering, Sam and I decided to attempt to ski down the much bigger blue slope today. We thought it might be a bit of a challenge, but when in Switzerland..am I right?! We took the ski lift up to the top without our skis at first to check it out – and figured we would be okay. Plus the other beginners had gone straight up!
This was clearly a bad idea.
First of all, neither of us had been on a ski lift with actual skis on. We had NO idea what to do. We got to the top, tried to get off the lift and immediately stacked it and fell straight into the snow. LOL. We then waddled around the corner to get our skis back on and tackle the blue slope.
Cautiously, we started to very, very slowly move down the slope, staying as close to the safe side as possible.
In our defence, we probably got a few feet in and I was getting confident…until my skis slowly turned to face the side/edge. I froze.
And when I say I froze, I mean I literally FROZE. At this point, neither of us had been taught how to turn our skis and I know it was probably something as simple as just leaning to the right but I didn’t know. All I could see is that I was facing the edge with god knows what on the other side (okay so it was probably just more snow or slope but I couldn’t see that) and I was just stuck. And we WERE at the very top of a mountain to be fair. I was tensing and pizza’ing so hard, I didn’t know how to move back, I was too scared to make any movement in case I flew over the edge.
So I launched myself on the floor and pulled my skis off whilst Sam was asking if I was okay. I was just repeating over and over saying ‘I can’t do it. I’m sorry. I just can’t.’ like an absolute fool. Looking back now, it was hilarious but at the time, I thought it was a life-or-death situation.
So we made the few steps back to the ski lift where the lift operator took pity on me and let us go back down, insisting that she put our skis in a separate chair behind us. Then I felt all silly and cried as we travelled back down, as I’d felt so brave for attempting it then made such a fuss about not being able to do it.
We then joined Stefan and some others from our hostel in the cafe and around an hour later the original girls came in looking a little worse for wear. They had been on the slope for FIVE HOURS and had not had a great time. At one point they had gotten lost and accidentally made it onto a black slope! We asked if they thought we could handle it and they insisted there was no way.
So I immediately felt better. I’d felt so silly not being able to do it but now I think I was silly for even attempting it, especially since a) I had no idea how to turn and b) I didn’t know how to get back up after falling. And if the people we were learning with who had actually advanced quite far ahead of us found it tough, there was no way I would have managed. I think if we’d carried on we would have been there all day and would probably have gotten stuck!
The moral of the story is, I feel brave that I attempted it but I also feel thankful that I froze and couldn’t do it, haha. Also, I’d like to add, that we made the decision to attempt to advance down this slope. As you’ll read in my next post about my trip, my workstation included three hours of ski lessons. It wasn’t a case of our instructor telling us to go down a slope without adequate training – Stefan had done a great job at teaching us for the three hours we were entitled to. They did not put us in any danger!
After calming down with a tasty lunch, we nipped back to the hostel to get changed and pick up our bags, then we were off to a spa! We spent the evening at Les Bains de Lavey which was the most amazing indoor and outdoor thermal baths, Aka something we all deserved after that morning’s activities.
Les Bains de Lavey was just like Iceland’s Blue Lagoon. Inside it offered an indoor pool, hammams, saunas and an ice plunge bath. Outside, there were large thermal baths, plus hot tubs, jacuzzis and mini river rapids. We had such a lovely time here. It was so magical at night and though there were many people there, it never felt busy as such. It was all really luxurious and relaxing.
I also braved the ice plunge bath a couple of times, in between our sauna visits! It only cost around €30 too. It was definitely the highlight of my week. We couldn’t take photos there, but take my word for it: it’s super pretty.
Day Six: Back to La Fouly and a Winter BBQ
Today I planned to stay at the hostel and catch up with work, but knowing the end of the week was looming, I didn’t want to miss any further opportunities to ski. I knew the following day we’d probably all be too hungover too, so this was my last chance!
In all honesty, I did as badly as I did on other days and only had a few attempts at the baby slope before retreating back to the restaurant to chill out! I am glad I came out though and Sam and I used this opportunity to take the ski lift to the top (without our skis!) for some epic views. We also spent some time just wandering around the area and taking some photos, which was nice.
That evening, we had our winter BBQ in the hostel, which was a really fun party night. Armed with the aux cord, we played a selection of pop-punk anthems and party hits. Basically everything you can imagine from rocking out to Teenage Dirtbag to dancing the famous routine to Saturday Night. Heading outside for the bonfire was wonderful too. I can’t even begin to describe how stunning the stars were and how clear the night sky was there. Without any light pollution, the stars felt close enough to touch.
I also managed to tick something else off my bucket list tonight: a ski shot! Okay, so it was never on my bucket list until I arrived and saw the ski shot sitting there…
The drink was bad (I believe it was a full shot of Jägermeister), but the memories were great. It was another really fun night, plus a great way to socialise with everyone staying in the hostel.
Day Seven: Our Last Day and a Night of Raclette
We were a little hungover this morning – no surprise there! A few people felt brave enough to get another ski in, but we all had a slow morning at the hostel instead. At lunch, Sam and I took a short wander into the nearby village where we had another delicious pizza and found the infamous cheese vending machine.
We also took some more photos of the alluring view, before spending another chill afternoon back at the hostel.
That evening, we had our raclette night: melted slices of cheese with a selection of potatoes, onions, mushrooms, gherkins and peppers. It was delicious! Whilst the other guests partied afterwards, we had a more tame evening – we all had early flights the next day. We enjoyed a wholesome/fun origami lesson from another guest (my origami bird now sits proudly on my shelf at home!) and said sad goodbyes to Stefan and other friends.
It was actually really sad saying goodbye. Though I’d only known them for a week, it had been such an exciting time. The people I met had become my family for the week. The relationships formed felt like so much more than just friends you meet on holiday.
In fact, we’ve already discussed booking another trip together soon.
All in all, it was an amazing week. As I’ve already said, my ski workation is definitely one of the best things I’ve ever done.
My Experience of Skiing on My Ski Workation: Would I Go Back?
I just wanted to conclude this post by talking about my experience of skiing. Anyone who knows me knows I am not a sporty person. I’m surprised as anyone that I took this opportunity. I have no experience and I’m incredibly unfit. I’m very much the type of person to absolutely give things a go a couple of times and then give up when it turns out I’m shit.
There were points on this holiday when I almost skied off the edge of a mountain. When I almost cried because of the pain. The time I fell head-first off the ski lift at the top. When I came home with a GIANT bruise on my thigh which has only just faded away. But I also have memories of almost laughing until I wet myself. Feeling proud of myself for going down the big slope. Actually feeling like kind of natural the first day on the baby slope.
In conclusion: I would do it again in a heartbeat. Perhaps with some extra lessons first – but I would absolutely do it again. So if you’re like me: generally shit at this type of thing but you’re curious about learning: GO DO IT. And if you can, book onto a workation with Coliving Frilingue and learn that way. You will absolutely not regret it and you’ll have the time of your life.
I’ll see you all on the slopes next year, yeah?
Disclosure: I was kindly invited on this workation and press trip by Coliving Frilingue. All my opinions are entirely honest and based on my own experiences.