Another travel diary. Tiring, I know. Travelling itself is tiring. I can’t believe I went travelled to two different cities in one week. I flew to Milan Jan 10-12 and two days later I flew to Geneva to go to Zermatt.
Okay, let’s get this straight…Zermatt is not the city to go sightseeing. It’s the city to go for a ski trip/holiday. If any of you are planning to ski anytime soon (spring is coming so plan soon before the snow melts!), then Zermatt is the place to go. There are a lot of ski resorts or ski locations in Europe but I chose Zermatt because of peer pressure…okay that sounds bad, but my friends were the one who convinced me to go to Zermatt. At first, I wanted to go to Zurich or Geneva to sightsee Switzerland as I’ve never been to Switzerland before. But my friends wanted me to try something new…to learn how to ski, so I was like ok why not…
Because it’s not a sightseeing blog post, I’m going to tell you a little bit more about my experience in Zermatt, getting there, ski outfits (which I’m so excited to share with you guys) and basically the overall trip.
How to get there
Getting to Zermatt, is actually such a freakin’ hassle. Why? Because after riding the plane, you ride a 3 hour car ride to Zermatt’s train station – which btw, is not yet IN Zermatt, then you gotta take a taxi ride OR a train ride to the outskirts of Zermatt’s village, THEN you have to take their electric taxi to your hotel. When I meant hassle, I MEANT it. It took me roughly 6 hours to get there, and a whole lot of taking my luggage on and off from one car to another. So you guys better prepare for the long journey! It’s definitely worth it though, Zermatt is stunning.
Where to Stay
The place that I stayed at is a Chalet. I don’t remember what company that my friend booked the chalet on, but I know that the chalet I stayed at his under the management of the company Mountain Exposure.
The chalet had a total of 4 rooms that could sleep around 8-10 people. There were 2 master bedrooms and it also had 3 floors total (including the ground floor). One of the master bedrooms had a sauna, which was great to indulge in at the end of the day when you’re tired from skiing. The chalet itself was actually so beautiful and the view it had was stunning! I got to see the sunset almost everyday. The sky would get so pink and it was beautiful to see. The chalet offered private chefs which you could hire (VERY EXPENSIVE, don’t do it, cook yourselves), which is subject to availability and prices depend on what kind of food you want. We only used a private chef for one dinner. In the morning, they also offered in-house chef who would cook you breakfast everyday and it would cost £25 per person – which I thought was quite reasonable, because who has time to cook breakfast…
You can see the full view, floor plan and pictures of the chalet here.
If you guys don’t want to stay in a chalet, because let’s be honest, it’s quite expensive to stay at during peak seasons (ski seasons) – you can always stay at hotels. There are plenty of hotels in Zermatt, which have 24 hour services, swimming pools, spa services and more. I chose to stay at a chalet because it felt more comfortable, more spacious and it’s great if you’re travelling in big groups.
What to Do
Okay, like I said earlier, there’s not much “sightseeing” in Zermatt. Zermatt has a small village, which is considered to be their centre. They have ski shops around, bars, restaurants and such – like every other city. But it is small. Everything is actually walking distance, but we chose to ride their taxi most of the time because it was FREEZINGGGG.
If you’re not there to ski, I suggest you not to travel and fuss about going to Zermatt because you can spend your time in other snow-cities in Switzerland that would have beautiful lakes etc. But if you’re planning to ski, I would suggest you to stay as long as you can. I stayed for 5 nights. At first, I thought this was too long. But when I was skiing everyday, I realised how short it was. It takes a day to get travel there and another day to travel back to the airport. So technically I had 4 days to ski.
But if you REALLY want to go explore the small town of Zermatt, you can do quite a few things. There are really nice spas around, which you can enjoy an outdoor pool and hot tubs. I didn’t get to do this because I was too busy skiing and was soo tired at the end of each day. You can also go for a helicopter ride, which is what I did. I suggest this to be on your bucket list if you’re going on a trip to Zermatt. It’s absolutely amazing to be on a helicopter – being above Zermatt. You get to see the different mountains from above, skiers skiing down slopes, and basically such a wonderful view from above. I actually crossed over to Italy! So technically, I can say that I went to Italy…for a few minutes. The helicopter ride was around £200 per person for 20 minutes of the ride. I definitely recommend taking a ride if you’re around! You can book through here.
Skiing is HARD. On the first day of skiing, I couldn’t even walk…all I did was SLIP. I was on the kid’s slope for the WHOLE DAY of skiing. When I mean kid’s slope, I legit mean it. There were only kids aged 7 and below on this slope. That slope was close to being flat. I hired a shared instructor with my friend. However the instructor wasn’t as good because he didn’t really teach me well, instead he just told me to “go” and left me on the kid’s slope alone for an hour. He came back 5 minutes at the end of the session and was like “okay great you can go straight” and said bye. But spending a whole day on the kid’s slope actually gave me time to learn by myself which was actually good. It made me take more risks by myself. At the end of my first day, I decided to go on a bigger slope and just went straight down with no turns. Note: to slow down on a slope, you have to make lots of turn – which I did not know on the first day. I almost injured myself, but thankfully I didn’t fall at all the first day.
On the second day, I decided to hire a private instructor. This new instructor was actually really helpful! He taught me how to turn properly and didn’t try to rush me into any new skill. He taught me to ski without the polls so I wouldn’t be dependent on it and by the end of the 2 hour session, I can say that I’ve finally learnt how to ski. I was able to balance, make turns and stop properly. Which in my head is skiing. I still need to learn how to make parallel turns but that’s for the next trip. I only fell a 3-5 times and they weren’t serious falls.
On the third day, I decided not to hire an instructor and to just go on a slope with my friends. I went to a really steep slope which was actually crazy because I had 2 serious falls because of how steep it was. But thankfully, the falls weren’t serious enough to get me injured. It was definitely an experience though! I decided to ski again on the fourth day and we went skiing on different slopes, which was really fun! The negative: my skis KEPT FALLING OFF. This basically took me off balance most of the time and would sometimes make me fall.
So here’s some key takeaways when skiing:
- GET A GOOD INSTRUCTOR
- Turning slows you down on steep slopes
- Make sure your skis are fastened tightly so they don’t fall off
- Learn how to fall (I’ve mastered and have basically have a technique to fall now)
- Ski by yourself, so you learn and be less dependent
Here’s the fun part of this blog post. THE OUTFITS! Here’s the 101 for you to look cute on the slopes.
- Ski Suit
- A Ski Jacket
- A Pair of Ski Pants
- and 10000 turtle necks
- Cute gloves
The essentials above can get you through 3 days worth of ski outfits. But for me, I’m always hella extra so I brought with me a ski suit, 2 ski jackets, 2 pairs of ski pants, a shit ton of heattech and also a bunch of turtle necks. You don’t actually have to buy a ski helmet or ski boots, as you can rent those at the ski shop (which is what I did). Actually, you can rent jackets and other ski items from the ski shop as well – but I prefer buying them because I can reuse it and also for sanitary reasons.
You can shop for ski outfits from various brands and stores. I shopped for mine at Snow and Rock, North Face, Dope, and Poivre Blanc. For more affordable prices, I also got one of my ski jacket and pants from Nevica and a ski suit from Topshop. Topshop actually has a SNO collection which is dedicated to ski outfits!
As for turtle necks, heattech, sweaters and such, you can get those at UNIQLO, or any other shop that offers it like Topshop or Zara.
Where to Eat
Okay, I’m gonna be honest here. The restaurants that we went to – I don’t remember the names…BUT I do remember what we ate. I got to eat Japanese teppanyaki, which I’ve been missing for a while because I haven’t been to one since Cambodia! For lunch, I spent most of my time at the skiing area – so I had all my lunches there. The food was great but it wasn’t to-die-for food. However, on the last day I had at the skiing area, I went to this restaurant that you had to ski to to be able to eat there. It was so fun because it felt like an accomplishment, having to ski there to eat.
All the other times we ate were the private chef for dinner that I talked about earlier, cooking at home, and random restaurants near the chalet. Zermatt isn’t really a city where you go to indulge in food. Don’t get me wrong – the food’s great, but you can get amazing food in Zurich or Geneva too.
That’s it guys! I know this is overdue but I hope you enjoyed this post about Skiing in Zermatt. It was such an amazing adventure for me, if you guys are thinking to go ski there anytime soon – drop me a message if you have any questions!