Zermatt is, simply put, glorious. Crowned by the glistening Matterhorn the resort is a chocolate box selection of traditional Swiss chalets and uber modern masterpieces.
Transformed from a simple farming hamlet in the late 1800’s this entirely car free resort has a hint of old world glamour and bags of style. The train from Tash, where cars must be stowed, brings you right into the heart of the main high street, bustling with boutique ski shops, local bakeries, charming restaurants and lively wine bars.
Although the town is car free you can whizz around in little electric, milk float like, taxis that can take you to ski the Klein Matterhorn glacier or explore the old town with its traditional Valais raised larch wood barns, stables and stores.
Linked with the neighboring resort of Cervinia in Italy skiing in the ‘Matterhorn Ski Paradise’ is possible 365 days a year thanks to the Klein Matterhorn glacier towering an impressive 3,883 meters above sea level. 360 km of piste connect across four ski areas, offering unlimited possibilities for all levels of skier. From Sunnega/Rothorn on the far left of the valley through to Gornergrat, the Matterhorn glacier paradise and finally back down through Schwarzee that brings you back down to the far end of the Zermatt valley.
Zermatt is a haven for non skiers, with so much to see and do off the piste from ice skating, curling and a cinema, to an infinite number of hotel spas, bars and shops.
It’s also renowned for its selection of awe-inspiring restaurants with over 218 restaurants to choose from on and off the piste, ranging from those showcasing traditional products from the Valais region to out of this world pan Asian experiences. Many of the restaurants are run by top chefs and have received high gourmet acclaim, with 17 restaurants awarded 255 GaultMillau Points and 16 restaurants listed in the Michelin guide. We recommend a visit to ‘The After Seven’ in the Backstage Hotel, awarded two Michelin Stars in 2018.
With so much going on it’s hard to pick what to do first.
We’ve selected our top ten ‘must try’ experiences in this elegant and enigmatic resort.
1. Dine with a difference
– Chez Heini (www.chezheini.com
) is great fun and promises to be a night to remember. They specialise in delicious home reared lamb served in a rustic and friendly atmosphere with impromptu cabaret style performances from the owner Dan Daniell.
2. Après ski at the Snowboat
– Designed by renowned local designer Heinz Julen the Snowboat Yacht Club (www.zermattsnowboat.com
) is created in the style of a wooden boat, inside and out. It’s a lively venue for après ski drinks and snacks and has an extensive cocktail menu.
3. Visit the Igloo village – The Igloo village on Rotenboden is reconstructed every year and is intricately designed and sculpted by international artists. Ski in and prop yourself at the bar for a warming mulled wine or stay a while for a tasty Swiss cheese fondue.
4. Ski the longest run – Starting at the very top of the Klein Matterhorn glacier you can ski 21 Km all the way back down into Zermatt, maybe stopping at a bar or two along the way.
5. Go Tobogganing – There are two runs to try; Rotenboden toboggan run on the Gornergrat is for more intrepid travellers as the run is fairly steep and lasts 10 minutes. The Randa toboggan run is located in the heart of the village and is perfect for families with children as it has a nice gentle slope.
6. Take a tandem flight – Take flight in a tandem paraglider and get a bird’s eye view of Zermatt village. There are several companies offering this service and it’s really not as scary as it seems.
7. Lunch at Chez Vrony – No trip to Zermatt is complete without a lunch stop here, renowned for its stunning Matterhorn views, warm hospitality and charming interior. The sharing platters of local meats and cheeses accompanied by a glass of red wine are the perfect way to set yourself up for an afternoon on the slopes. (www.chezvrony.ch)
8. Hot chocolate at the top of the world – Take time to enjoy the views from the top of the Klein Matterhorn area across to the majestic Matterhorn, stop in your restaurant of choice and grab a hot chocolate before starting the long descent down.
9. Zen out – The Mont Cervin Palace Hotel in the center of Zermatt has a wonderful spa, relax after a tough day on the slopes with a Swiss alpine herbal stamp massage, a hot stone massage or facial.
10. Respect the mountaineers – The Matterhorn Museum Zermatlantis showcases the triumph and tragedy surrounding the first ascent of the Matterhorn and offers insights into the development of this glorious ski mecca.
We have a whole host of gorgeous Luxury Ski Chalets in Zermatt
so get in touch to plan your ultimate ski trip of a lifetime to Zermatt, we are always delighted to help.
Call: +44 (0) 208 133 1130
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Blog Written by Anna Sampson – Founder of The Chalet Edit
With over 20 years in ski sales Anna and her team have a wealth of knowledge about all things ski. Her ‘Little Black Book’ of contacts ensures she stays well connected. A must try for your next luxury ski chalet holiday booking.