This post may contain affiliate links. Please read the disclaimer here.
I’d rather travel solo than not at all.” That’s been my travel mantra for years but if I’m honest, it’s not exactly true. It should be, “I’d rather travel solo than not at all… but there are some trips I won’t take until someone can join me.” The truth is, I’d never take a solo ski trip. Luckily, the opportunity to join a group ski holiday with other solo travellers presented itself and obviously, I took it!
This post is in collaboration with Coliving.frilingue.
As someone who grew up in the UK and had only been skiing once on a school trip 16 years ago, I believed a lot of myths about skiing group holidays. I assumed people only skied with friends or family. They would book a chalet together and share the cost.
Oh, that’s another myth! I thought all ski holidays for groups were, unavoidably, expensive. I assumed that if group ski holidays for solo travellers did exist, they would be singles ski holidays for divorcées.
Enter Coliving.frilingue and their seasonal ski workations to prove me wrong! Coliving.frilingue runs coliving spaces in Europe (amongst other exciting ventures) and one of these spaces is a coliving hostel in a village called Liddes, Switzerland.
This is where Coliving.frilingue host two-week ski workations at least twice a year. They invited me to stay for one week during their winter workation in January 2023.
My experience was incredible. This is the perfect solution for solo travellers (who don’t want to book a solo ski holiday) to enjoy an inexpensive, unforgettable group ski holiday with other like-minded travellers.
Intrigued? Here’s everything you need to know about this opportunity so you can book your place and have a fantastic experience too!
Where Is This Ski Group Holiday?
Liddes is a village in the canton of Valais in southwest Switzerland near the Italian and french borders. Relais de Dranse is the name of Coliving.frilingue’s hostel in Liddes which you can easily access by car or by public transport.
I arrived at Geneva Airport where I could then take a train to Martigny, change trains to Orsières and then the 210 bus to Liddes. The bus stop is just a 10-minute walk from the hostel (more on transportation later!). Switzerland’s public transport system is world-renowned so you know the journey will be smooth.
Just a short walk from the ski hostel you will find a couple of restaurants like Restaurant De La Channe and the restaurant at Hôtel du Grand-St-Bernard. I sampled both (you’re welcome) and they’re great.
Alimentation Chez Jacotte is a small shop where you can buy some food. Liddes also has a cheese vending machine called Automate à Fromage, for crying out loud! It’s heaven on earth.
How Often Do They Run Ski Holidays for Groups?
At the moment, Coliving.frilingue runs two-week ski workations twice a year, in January and March. Of course, ski group holidays (like all ski trips) are weather dependent so they aren’t year-round. That’s not to say they won’t run more frequently in the future! Keep checking Coliving.frilingue’s website to be the first to find out about new ski workations.
They also run entire ski months in Bourg-St-Pierre, their long-term coliving space. This village is just a 10-minute drive south of Liddes and people from both spaces often hang out.
If you’re a digital nomad and want to work, live and ski in Switzerland for a month, find out more about Coliving.frilingue’s ski month here.
What Is the Ski Hostel Like?
In a word, cosy. From the outside, it looks like any of the quintessential ski chalets that are dotted all over the Swiss Alps.
Inside, there is a huge common area with lots of sofas, books, games like ping pong, a projection screen for movie nights, and lots of tables for remote working and eating. They have a small kitchen for making breakfast and drinks and an industrial kitchen for other meals.
There are three four-bed dorms, two six-bed dorms, and two eight-bed dorms but they only fill the dorms to around 50% capacity for ski workations. I was surprised at how warm and comfortable the dorms were, considering the temperatures during the night dropped as low as -16°C.
There are unisex bathrooms on every floor and they kept the ski equipment in the basement. Plus, they had a sauna!! I sauna-ed more in one week than I have in my entire life.
What Facilities and Equipment Are Included?
When you book the ski workation, your accommodation and cleaning are included just like a regular hostel. There’s also free tea and coffee and you’re welcome to store your own food and make your own meals in their kitchen.
Each hostel has a designated community manager and the ones at Liddes and Bourg-St-Pierre during my stay (shout out to Aiden and Dianna!) were so nice and helpful.
Private transport to and from the ski slopes was also included. This is an essential reason why you’d book organised ski group holidays over booking a regular stay at a ski hostel. If you aren’t able to drive to Switzerland then you may find it difficult to get around. But more about transport later!
Someone from the hostel can also pick you up at Liddes bus stop (if you let them know in advance, of course). Then you won’t have to schlep down the hill carrying all your luggage.
What Facilities and Equipment Aren’t Included?
Liddes is in the Great St Bernard ski area and annual passes are currently available for just €80 (that’s a bargain). You can order these through Coliving.frilingue when you book your solo skiing holiday.
I also rented my skis, ski boots, and helmet through the hostel for €100 and kept my gear in their storage area. This probably goes without saying, but you do need to bring your own goggles! If you’ve not skied before, you might not know this.
You can choose whether you want to include half board (breakfast and dinner since you’ll probably eat lunch at the slopes most days) in your booking or not.
If you’re driving to the ski hostel then you can easily make trips to the nearest supermarket. But if you don’t have a car, you might be better off including half-board, as most people did. Then all you need to do is help the hostel’s volunteers with the cooking and cleaning up afterwards.
I eat mostly veggie food and they cater to all dietary restrictions.
Even if you do decide to buy and cook your own food, you can always pay to join in on the “fun” dinners like fondue, raclette, and BBQ when you’re there.
Are Beginner Skiers and Snowboarders Welcome?
Absolutely! If you are a beginner then one of the owners, Stefan, will give you ski lessons.
Many people joining skiing holidays for groups can probably already ski, but not everyone. During my trip, there were around six or seven beginners, including myself, so you’re unlikely to be the only one.
Yes, I have already mentioned that I went skiing with my school 16 years ago. But it’s not like riding a bicycle! It’s more dangerous, for starters! Although I did pick it back up surprisingly quickly, so what do I know?
You can rent snowboards through the hostel. But I would say that if you are a complete beginner then opt to ski instead. You’re more likely to have other beginners you can create a little beginner band with for the rest of the week when you’re left to your own devices.
I’m not sure I’d have had nearly as much fun or confidence to ski down some slopes if I didn’t have Rosaley and Joc!
What Are the Other People in the Group Like?
Across both the hostels in Bourg-St-Pierre and Liddes, there were people from the UK, USA, Canada, Brazil, South Africa, Switzerland, Germany, France, Italy, Sweden, Denmark, Ukraine, Moldova, the Netherlands, and many others. There were Spanish-speaking people but I’m not sure from where exactly.
There were too many people to get to know everyone, but everyone was genuinely lovely. Everyone’s on holiday, you know? They’re just there to enjoy themselves and meet some other interesting, friendly travellers instead of taking solo ski trips.
Because of this diverse and fun bunch of people, I ended up part-building an igloo (I made about five blocks of ice out of approx. 5,896 blocks). I was also part of an impromptu origami class!
I went into the sauna every night and ran outside to roll around in the snow before running back to the sauna. Let’s be clear, I have never done anything like this before. And I never would have if I didn’t meet these awesome people on this awesome trip.
How Often Do You Go Skiing?
Every day! Or at least, you can ski every day if you want to. It’s totally up to you. There isn’t a set schedule and whatever the group consensus is will happen.
There are three slopes nearby that you will probably visit during your group ski holiday. La Fouly is great for beginners, Vichères is super close to the hostel and Champex-Lac has beautiful lake views.
You will probably spend your entire first day at La Fouly learning the basics (if you’re a beginner). Vichères is where you’ll probably ski the most since it’s ideal for skiers of all levels and is nearest to the hostel. You will probably go night skiing at La Fouly at least once.
Apart from that, you can ski as often or as little as you like!
Are There Any Other Activities on the Group Ski Holiday?
Skiing holidays for groups aren’t nearly as fun if all you do is ski. Coliving.frilingue offers lots of extra activities you can sign up for if you like.
I visited the thermal baths and spa at Les Bains de Lavey with a small group of guests at the hostel. Another night, I joined another small group to watch the live music at Le Farinet and Pub Mont Fort in the Verbier ski resort nearby.
Plus, the night we had a BBQ we also had a mini party afterwards where we did shots off a ski, sang loudly to emo songs and some of us might have also danced to Saturday Night by Whigfield because some of us just can’t help ourselves. So much fun!
Taking a day trip to Aosta and snowshoeing were two other activities that we also could have done.
What Are the Transportation Options?
I’ve already mentioned that daily transport to the slopes is included. That does not mean that you can demand someone take you to the slopes as and when you choose! But if you want to join in whenever everyone else wants to head to the slopes, you can.
If you wanted to have a lie-in or get back to the hostel early for whatever reason, you could always see if someone with a car was heading to the slopes at a different time and catch a lift with them. Most people didn’t drive to Liddes but a good chunk did so this was a viable option.
And there’s always the bus! Buses passed through Liddes to the slopes at Vichères every hour. Even better, the bus is included in your ski pass. You can ask the staff when you get to the hostel for more details.
Don’t book this group ski holiday thinking it will be like any other tour group. There’s no strict schedule and you will not be herded around like cattle. It’s flexible and changeable and that’s one of the reasons why it’s such a great choice if you’re looking for ski solo holidays.
How Much Does This Group Skiing Holiday Cost?
It probably costs a lot less than you think! I’ve already mentioned my ski pass was €80 and the rental was €100. Two weeks’ accommodation in a shared dorm was only €300 when I was there which is only €21 a night (I paid far more for a hostel in Geneva!). Don’t forget, that includes transport to the slopes.
It’s an incredibly cost-effective way to enjoy solo skiing holidays, especially if you’re travelling full-time.
Can I Book With a Friend/Partner or Do I Have to Travel Solo?
Absolutely! Off the top of my head, there were at least four couples across the two hostels. Two people booked the trip as friends and three people were siblings.
Everyone else was a solo traveller but it’s totally fine to book with someone else. There are options for you to book a private dorm for yourselves, too.
Anything Else To Know About This Group Ski Holiday?
You might have noticed that I called this group ski holiday a ‘ski workation.’ Why? Because that’s technically what it is! It’s a working ski vacation for digital nomads, remote workers or travellers temporarily working on the road.
That’s why, on some days, other guests may not want to spend all day on the slopes. They might only want to ski in the mornings or afternoons around client calls or take the whole day off from time to time.
But it’s really, really not essential to be a digital nomad to book this group ski holiday. Some guests were just travelling long-term and some used the trip as a proper holiday. You can use the downtime to read, go for a walk, have lunch in the town, or play a game of pool!
Plus, if you’re a solo traveller and have been wondering how to extend your time on the road, this could be a fantastic opportunity for you. You’ll meet remote workers with a wide variety of jobs and skills who could inspire you to give working on the road a try.
And that’s everything you need to know about the most perfect group ski holiday in Switzerland! Feel free to ask me any questions in the comments below Big thank you once again to Coliving.frilingue for hosting this amazing stay.