So as the title might suggest, I have just returned from what I can only describe as the press trip of a lifetime all thanks to luxury villa and holiday accommodation rental company, Travelopo.
It was another one of those “pinch me” moments when I flew into Geneva a few weeks ago straight after work ready to start the week of exploring the town of Nendaz alongside four other bloggers.
I have to admit, I was a bit nervous. Would we all get on? Would we all be holiday compatible? Would we all want to do different things?
I needn’t have worried because I couldn’t have been blessed with a better group of girls to go with. Alongside myself, there was lifestyle and coaching blogger Hayley of Year of You, travel and lifestyle blogger Elaisha of Elaisha Jade, travel blogger Allison of Eternal Arrival and travel blogger Jess of Journeys With Jessica.
We all got on SO well as a group and laughed, ate and drank ourselves silly whilst sampling all the delights that the little Swiss mountain town had to offer us including mountain biking, hiking, swimming, going to the spa and watching the sunrise at 10,000 ft.
In part 1 I’m going to take you through the first half of the week and in part 2 the second. We did so much, I really want to do justice to each of the days without creating a 10,000 word post to rival my dissertation (you’re all good for 5,000, rightt? 😉 )
So without further ado …
Jess, Hayley and I started the day in Geneva and did some exploring before heading to Sion. The train took around two hours and needless to say, the scenery was absolutely breathtaking.
Once in Sion, we took the bus to Nendaz (the bus station was just outside the station) which took half an hour through winding roads up the mountain. We sat in a cute little cafe for a drink after our journey and to enjoy the scenery and wait for Allison to arrive so we could pick up our keys to the chalet.
The chalet was something else entirely. I’m very lucky to have stayed in some lovely hotels and accomodations in my life, but I have to say I think this topped them all! Everything was just out of this world. From the scenery from our private balcony, to the incredibly interiors inside and sweeping floor to ceiling glass.
It has five bedrooms and sleeps 14 people so you could have one hell of a holiday here with all your friends, in summer or during the Winter skii season.
It truly took my breath away and the afternoon was spent in a haze of Instagram stories, photos and appreciation for what an incredible place we were in before Annick, from the Nendaz Tourism Board, popped round to take us through our itinerary for the week.
We were lucky enough to arrive in Nendaz in the midst of a local Swiss festival, known as The Alphorn Festival. Its the biggest gathering of alphorns in Switzerland (alphorns are big, traditional, wooden swiss horns) so in the evening we headed down to the big festival tent in the middle of the town for food.
On our first day in Nendaz we got a gondola up the mountain to carry on with the festival festivities (is that phrase a thing?! Well, it is now)
There was every kind of food and drink your heart could imagine and stalls selling clothes and gifts. As the afternoon drew on we saw a display of people playing the alphorn.
It was quite a surreal experience to see this group of musicians playing these huge, wooden horns half way up a massive mountain with the view of all views, but I am so glad we arrived when we did as I felt we got a real insight into some proper, traditional Swiss culture.
On Sunday evening we were in for a real treat, as we were lucky enough to have been invited to Cafe du Sapin-Blanc, a Swiss restaurant in the lower part of the town just a short taxi ride away.
Rated Number 2 out of all restaurants in Nendaz, I was incredibly excited to go and try the food there. The restaurant was small and quaint with lots of character (I found out after the building dates back to 1795!) and it is blessed with beautiful views of the greenery and valley below.
We sat outside with a delicious bottle of white wine, where we were met by a good friend of Nico, the owner and head chef, who explained how they pride themselves on serving food from the land and nature around them. Indeed, both in the menus and on their website reads the message…
“Right here, Like our elders, We cook from morning to night the products that our land wants to give us, At his own pace …
These meals that some people today would call vegetarian or even vegan, these are our meals of yesteryear. And we are also grateful to the animal that offers us stew, tongue or nets.
Right here, We are happy to offer you the Valais of our heart. Nico Le Cuistot”
… this sentiment would prove true of the two restaurants we dined at during our stay.
For starters we all ordered a plate of mixed meat and cheese – the cheese was hands down probably the nicest I have ever had IN MY LIFE. It was cut into thin slices, so creamy, but with a delicious and distinct flavour. We were all seriously impressed with it!
For my main I went for fish in a garlic sauce and potato dauphinoise and it was absolutely delicious. The garlic sauce got just the right balance between being strong but not overpowering and it complimented the white fish perfectly.
For dessert I had some amazing chocolate and vanilla flavoured ice creams – my Mum said to me before I left that anything involving dairy in Switzerland would be amazing, and she wasn’t wrong! It was a simple dish, but one done very, very well.
I think I speak for everyone when I say thank you Nico, for the incredible food and memorable evening!
Now, Monday was a day I was really looking forward to as we were going mountain biking with Neige Adventure. Better yet, I found out on the day that we would be riding electric bikes, something I’d never done before.
I love new experiences AND I was told they’d make cycling uphill one hell of a lot easier, so I was sold pretty much straight away 😉
I feel it’s safe to say you won’t ever experience mountain biking quite like speeding down the mountain tracks in the middle of Switzerland. It is every bit as scenic and incredible as it sounds.
Even though it rained pretty hard for the first part of the trio, it wasn’t enough to dampen our spirits!
We stopped off for lunch mid-way through the trail and had the most delicious fondue – I’d never had proper fondue before but if you are in Switzerland it is a MUST!
Our tour guide gave us the handy tip of drinking tea with it so it doesn’t solidify too much in your stomach and make you feel super bloated and lethargic after… cheers, Travis!
Speaking of our tour guide Travis, he was an absolute legend. He made the day all the more fun with his stories and awesome australian accent. We all had so much fun – if you’re a bit of an adrenaline junkie like me, or you just love mountain biking, I’d recommend it 100%.
Want to find out what we got up to the rest of the week? Well, tune in for part 2 coming very, very soon 😉