Zermatt is one of Switzerland’s most well-known alpine resorts. Many people regard Zermatt ski resort to be one of the greatest in Europe.
The vistas from many European ski resorts are spectacular, but Zermatt is in a league of its own. The resort is located at the foot of the legendary Matterhorn (4478m) and the imposing, severely glaciated Monte Rosa (4634m), thus the panorama is breathtaking. While it is no longer a hamlet, Zermatt Switzerland has kept its classic old European beauty with a restored ‘old town,’ automobile free all year round, and the odd horse driven carriage traveling along the cobble stone streets. Last but not least, Zermatt Resort exudes style and is opulently sumptuous.
The settlement was “discovered” by British mountaineers in the mid-nineteenth century, most notably Edward Whymper, whose conquest of the Matterhorn made the village renowned. The Matterhorn was one of the last alpine summits to be climbed (in 1865), and the initial trip to the summit ended tragically, with just three of the seven climbers surviving the descent. The Matterhorn Museum tells the tale.
Zermatt is a starting place for mountain climbs such as the Haute Route, which goes to Chamonix, France, and the Patrouille des Glaciers. Cable cars and chair lifts transport skiers in the winter and hikers in the summer; the highest goes to the Klein Matterhorn at 3,883 m (12,740 ft), a summit on the ridge between the Breithorn and the Matterhorn with superb views in all directions. The Cervinia cable car station allows you to travel into Italy. A beautiful rack railway line (the Gornergratbahn, Europe’s highest open-air railway) leads up to the Gornergrat top at 3,089 m. (10,134 ft). Zermatt also serves as the western terminal for the Glacier Express train service, which connects to St. Moritz and the MGB (Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn).
Zermatt is a member of the Best of the Alps association, along with eleven other towns.
Zermatt is all about atmosphere – the old world charm of a farming and mountaineering village long before winter sports were imagined, a charm that seeps out of the ancient clutter of simple alpine timber, stone, and slate buildings and draws you toward the warm glow of its long narrow high street with its lights glistening in the night, enticing you to wander windowshopping or dropping into its many cafes, bars, and restaurants. All of this is wedged firmly between the high mountain slopes at the head of the Matter valley.
It’s simple to get there, and coming by train in daylight on the Brig cog railway raises your expectations. You get off the platform and enter ancient Zermatt. And as you go through the clamor and bustle of electric taxis and horsedrawn carriages up Bahnhofstrasse to the historic Monte Rosa Hotel, you will gaze skyward. The magnificent Matterhorn dominates your vision as though smoothly emerging from the valley right above the Church, but only until you ascend higher and notice that this is merely one remarkable jewel set inside a coronet of wonderful high peaks all around.
Zermatt is all about the wildness, danger, and exquisite beauty of the high Swiss Alps. It is also incredibly posh and fashionable, undeniably one-of-a-kind, and envelops you in luxury. Though more about beauty than skiing, the Matterhorn remains an inspiring reminder of the valley’s 38 other 4000 meter peaks, many of which may be skied, substantially increasing the range of the 360km of pistes that comprise the Zermatt-Cervinia ski zone.
The Matterhorn Ski Paradise in Zermatt undoubtedly lives up to the resort’s reputation as one of the top winter destinations in the world, but it’s the whole package that makes it so special. Zermatt’s interconnecting ski regions – Rothorn, Gornergrat, Matterhorn Glacier Paradise, and Schwarzsee – are additionally linked by lift to the Breuil-Cervinia-Valtournenche ski area and the Val d’Aosta. The longest ski run is 21 kilometers long and 2,279 vertical meters long, stretching from the Klein Matterhorn to Zermatt.
At valley level, there is everything, including lots of lodging, to match the scale and variety of the mountains. There are beds galore in an old mountain village that has long since grown into a vibrant town, from top hotels to (relatively) humble stopovers, as well as restaurants and nightlife to match.
Zermatt is one of the world’s most prestigious ski resorts!
Zermatt info card
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Zermatt, Skiing and Snowboarding
The sheer size of the slopes is one of the most notable aspects of Zermatt skiing and snowboarding. Zermatt ski resort has 210km of defined piste, lots of off-piste terrain, and 34 contemporary lifts that include trains, funiculars, cable cars, gondolas, and chairlifts.
The Zermatt ski resort slope is quite well suited towards intermediates with limited beginning terrain, and the ostensibly black lines are fairly gentle. For experienced and elite riders, the off-piste is where the real fun lies. You’ll get the most out of the off-piste terrain if you travel with a guide, as you would in many other European ski destinations.
There are three primary ski areas in Zermatt. The Matterhorn Glacier Paradise (Klein Matterhorn) zone is the greatest, with a dramatic vertical drop of nearly 2,200 meters back to town. This location offers a lot of snow-sure slopes that face north. Sunnegga-Rothorn provides terrain for all skill levels, including some tree skiing. Some of the greatest mountain eateries may be found here as well. The topography at Stockhorn/Gornergrat is varied, with intermediate cruising on one side and free riding terrain on the other.
Ski Zermatt – Interconnected with Cervinia-Valtournenche
Zermatt skiing is large in and of itself, but for a few more francs or euros with the interlimated lift pass with Cervinia-Valtournenche in Italy, the landscape becomes massive. The combined ski area has 360km of slopes.
Zermatt Snow & Weather
Zermatt, Switzerland, is a world-class ski resort for a variety of reasons, one of which is the snow. Zermatt is not only positioned among the highest mountains in Western Europe, but it is also one of only two ski resorts in the world that provides skiing every day of the year (weather allowing) – the other being Hintertux Glacier in Austria. When you combine it with the highest piste terrain in Europe, you know you’re at a resort with exceptional snow. Because the great majority of the ski and snowboard terrain is above 2000 meters in height, the snow quality is typically excellent.
Facilities & Activities
Off-slope options abound in Zermatt, including several family-friendly facilities and services. There are a plethora of stores, restaurants providing gastronomically wonderful food, and pubs to hide your liver in!
Wonderful paragliding, helicopter sight-seeing trips over the Matterhorn, cross-country skiing, gorgeous winter walking routes, and an unique 10-minute nighttime toboggan slide that may be combined with a fondue supper are among the activities available. A cable car ride to the summit of the Klein Matterhorn is very popular for exploring the glacial caverns of the ice museum.