We hired this chalet during the low season (which made it VERY affordable for a group of friends) and based ourselves there for a week to walk the mountains and explore the area. There were only 7 of us... but to be honest, that was just about perfect!
After a slight bit of confusion with gaining access to the property on the arrival day the rest of the week couldn't have gone any better. The kitchen is well stocked with equipment, making eating in most nights a breeze, the bbq is handy and the eating/living area very cosy. The sauna is something special... and the nights that we lit the hot tub provided brilliant and very memorable moments for us all (the view is to die for).
It was incredibly quiet at this time of year... to be expected... and most stuff wasn't open (restaurants, bars, ski lift etc). But for us, with our hired cars, it was just a 15 min drive down to Sion and from there we could and did explore so much within 20km. A day hiking in Alpine forests, one through countless meadows and a trip to Leukerbad and up in the gondola to the snow capped peaks was brill.
Have eaten our body weight in Swiss cheese and chocolate and loved every minute in the very comfortable Chalet! Couldn't rate it highly enough for what we paid (given the low season.)
From emailing the owner of this chalet I felt at ease about the booking and any questions I asked at any time of day were answered promptly and in full. I even got a few emails that included pictures of the new hot tubs that were being installed - which was very nice and made the owners seem even more friendly. All the details we needed - from the best ski shops to visit through to which Taxi service was best to use were all supplied before we left, so we had little to worry or think about whilst finalising plans.
We arrived in Sion around 11.30pm by train from Geneva Airport where we landed around 8.30pm and our Taxi driver from Thyon Taxi Service, Anthony, was waiting to greet us directly outside the train station. He drove up promptly and at a good price (150 CHF) up the mountain to our chalet. In the dark we could only make out small lights flickering in the mountains on our travel up and as the snow got deeper and deeper the higher we got, the more excited we were to see all of this in the morning.
The owner of Chalet Ielandica had turned the lights and heating on and left the door open for us, making the first impressions on the chalet even more amazing! All 8 of us were in awe at how quaint, warm and perfect this chalet is. Every last touch you could imagine was included, from fairy twinkle lights on the balconies to reed diffusers in the bathrooms to make even the scent of the chalet even more lovely.
It was only in the morning when we woke that we could see just how amazing everything really was. I will never forget opening the bedroom balcony doors and stepping out in to the morning sunshine heat, brathing in the crisp clean air and looking out over that amazing mountain range. We all felt this way and spent the day getting camera happy and taking pictures of everything!
The chalet was more than well stocked with enough plates, glasses etc. to serve even the largest of groups and the village shops were only a few minutes walk away. After visting the shop we did notice it was slightly pricey so we arranged for Anthony from Thyon Taxis to take us down the mountain to the local Aldi in Sion, wait 45 minutes and then bring us back up - which he charged even cheaper for as it was day time and he was doing a run about anyway (130 CHF in total). We stocked up on food for the week and got on with our ski trip. Next time we will travel in the morning and stop off at the Aldi before we go up the mountain though! The local ski rental shop was very cheap and the staff were lovely - even if they couldn't understand our English. Around 100 CHF paid for two days of boards, boots and helmets, and the passes were purchased at Thyon 2000 which were also relatively cheap.
The free ski bus from outside the ski rental shop took 20 minutes to get to Thyon 2000 where the fun started! Great slopes, fantastic teepee bar, great atmosphere and easy to walk back to the ski bus. It runs every couple of hours so get your timing right and be early for it if you plan to use it!
As 8 of us travelled we divided the price of the chalet and taxis by 8, so it was pretty cheap for the holiday. We flew by EasyJey, costing about £90 for the flights and used the train between Geneva Airport and Sion, costing about 120 CHF for the journeys. Best to buy tickets beforehand online we also found, as using the machines in the stations to purchase the tickets was a bit diffiult and there were no staff to help!
We over estimated prices on the way back so had lost of spare Swiss Francs to spend on Duty Free! The set up in Geneva Airport on the way back was confusing - so make sure one checked in that you go upstairs, through customs security and go past the first set of shops after security before you start shopping. Only shop in the "TAX FREE" shop that you'll see.
The holiday on a whole I would give 10/10. The owners stopped by mid week to make sure we were okay and assisted us to fill up the hot tub andgave us advise on where to shop. The bedding and linen were spotless, everything was comfortable and clean, and on reflection we couldn't fault a single aspect of the chalet.
If you visit Chalet Icelandica it's probably cheaper and easier to fly to Sion than Geneva and rent a car. However, whatever your plans are: book train tickets in advance, it'll save you a rushed panic and also money, visit Aldi before you travel up the mountain as you wont get any food cheaper up there! Use the Ski rental shop on the shop strip just a few minutes from the chalet, buy firewood from the garage next to Aldi, you'll need it for the log fire and hot tub (eco-tub!) and take a camera - because you wont want to forget any of the trip and the pictures you take will be something you'll show everyone for years.
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