360 Km (linked with Cervinia and Valtournenche)
1,524 M – 3,899 M
Plateau Breithorn – 3,899 M
Blue 33, Red 82, Black 14.
Zurich 3.5 hrs
Geneva 3 hrs
Sion 1.5 hrs
Zermatt is one of the best choices for confident skiers and non-skiers. Beginners can learn in the snow-sure Glacial Paradise ski area.
Zermatt is a year-round resort, but best time to visit is early December to mid-April.
Despite having a reputation for more tricky skiing, Zermatt is well set up for beginners. The ‘Wolli Park’ is the beginners nursery area, situated on the Sunnega side high up the mountain, ensuring reliable snow throughout the season. The park is easy to reach via the funicular and offers moving carpets, traditional pomma lifts, a picnic pavillion and is close to restaurants so parents can sit and watch. Children under 10 years ski for free, which is great value for families with younger children.
Alongside first rate resort kindergarten and ski school options there’s a choice of nanny services and even private holiday tutors available. In resort there’s a whole host of activities including ice skating, sledging and a local cinema. Best of all children ski free until age 10.
Bursting with authentic Swiss charm, Zermatt is undoubtedly Switzerland’s most famous resort, crowned by the iconic Matterhorn mountain which dominates the skyline. With the highest skiing in Europe, 365 days a year of skiing on the glacier, and access into Italy’s beautiful Aosta Valley, it’s easy to see why this year-round resort attracts visitors from around the globe.
On and off the slopes Zermatt is famous for its wonderful range of restaurants serving up some of the finest cuisines in the world.
The resort is extremely cosmopolitan and effortlessly stylish, with a focus on mixing old mountain design with new state-of-art architecture and reclaimed materials. The resort spreads out along the valley with a central high street as its focal point, leading from the train station into the traditional main square. A range of shops, cool cafes, gourmet restaurants, and nightspots can be found dotted around the town.
No cars are allowed in Zermatt, so many parks in the nearby village of Tasch and take the train for the final few minutes up to Zermatt or simply hop on the train all the way from Geneva. Although car-free with pedestrian priority, there’s no need to worry about walking as dozens of little locally-built electric taxis and local buses can whizz you around town for drinks or shopping.
The ski slopes can be accessed from various convenient locations throughout the village and are all inter-connected above. State-of-the-art lifts make getting around quick and comfortable and there’s terrain to suit every taste and ability.
Zermatt’s huge ski area, known as the Matterhorn Ski Paradise sits in the middle of the Swiss/Italian border linking the runs to the stylish Italian resort of Cervinia and its smaller neighbour Valtournenche.
With 360 km of runs, it’s one of the world’s 10 biggest ski areas and as it is also home to some of the highest lifts in Europe, there’s also a 10-mile vertical run, that runs from the top of the glacier to the bottom of the Zermatt valley.
There’s skiing for all ability levels here with plenty to challenge and entertain the most advanced skier or snowboarder and to satisfy the most insatiable intermediate snowsports fan. The ‘Wolli Park’ on the Sunnega side is perfect for beginners, whilst the cruisy runs at the top of the glacier are perfect for those who have not skied for some time and are looking for wide-open spaces to practice their turns.
The ‘Wolli Park’ on Sunnega side is perfect for beginners, whilst the cruisy runs at the top of the glacier are perfect for those who have not skied for some time and are looking for wide open spaces to practice their turns.
Zermatt is perfectly set up for children, with an ice rink in the centre of resort, regular ice hokey games, a snow-tubing run on the Klein Matterhorn and a local cinema.
There are also several tobogganing runs in Zermatt but a real treat for guests of all ages is the sledging run descending from Rotenboden to Riffelberg covers 234 vertical metres, barely leaving time to admire the glorious mountain views.
With more than 40 bars, nearer 200 cafes and restaurants and 9 nightclubs, you won’t run out of choice on a night out in Zermatt.
With partying starting as soon as the ski day starts to wind down in the afternoon a stop at Hennu Stall is a must. This resort institution is located on the Furi run back down to the village and usually has a DJ or live band performing.
In the town the stylish and architecturally renowned Snowboat Yacht Club and restaurant has a lively après ski scene, serving delicious cocktails in an uber-cool environment. The Papperala is also a heaving and exciting new apres-ski bar worth checking out.
Schneewitschen club (trendy and happening with excellent cocktails) to the eclectic collection of bars and clubs of the legendary Hotel Post, with the stylish Papa Caesar’s lounge bar, the Pink live music bar with world-class R&B bands which change every week, or the infamous Broken discotheque with the barrel that must be danced upon.
Later in the evening the Vernissage lounge bar is the place to be, with a great cocktail list, excellent wine and a DJ or live music late into the night. On the main high street, Gee’s Bar is also a fabulous spot for exquisite cocktails, great food and live entertainment.
Those looking to dance the night away can head to the broken barrel or the Schneewitschen club which is trendy and happening with excellent cocktails.
Iglu Dorf – This truly is on-mountain dining with a difference. Enjoy a Swiss cheese fondue and white igloo mulled wine, or take a dip in a hot tub. The igloo village in Zermatt on Rotenboden offers an incomparable experience at 2,727 m above sea level. The igloos are reconstructed every year, and wonderfully designed by international artists. Enjoy the breathtaking view and allow the Matterhorn to cast its spell.
Chez Vrony (chezvrony.ch) – this is one of Zermatt’s best restaurants for fine dining. Located at 2130 metres in Findeln above the resort it offers stunning Matterhorn views and home-grown organic cuisine.
The Findlerhof (findlerhof.ch), located at 2020m above sea level and accessed via Sunnegga or Winkelmatten also offers incredible food, with traditional Swiss and Italian specialities, and exceptional Matterhorn views.
Chez Henini is a Zermatt institution, serving up the best lamb dishes in town in a cosy chalet setting, you are also treated to a live performance by the restaurant’s owner Dan Daniell, who has a flair for the dramatic.
Omni Restaurant – can be tricky to find, as the door is through a tunnel in the hillside, as it is perched high on the side of Zermatt village. It is as distinctly Swiss as it is cosmopolitan, using ingredients like quark, soy, Wagyu beef and guinea fowl. The contemporary decor and roaring fireplace make Omnia, a good spot for unwinding after hours outdoors.
After Seven – sits in the effortlessly cool Heinz Julen designed Backstage hotel and is a distinguished restaurant with 2 Michelin Stars and 17 Gault Millau points. After Seven’s multiple award-winning star cuisines involves a creative mix of locally inspired and worldly dishes, sometimes exotically infused, but always market fresh and seasonal.
The Summit Ski & Snowboard School (summitskischool.com) was the resort’s first British-run ski school offering private lessons or group classes with a maximum of six per group.
Stoked (stoked.ch) was Zermatt’s first private ski school, established 25 years ago. It offers private lessons for adults including a special /beginners package’ and group or private lessons for kids.
Zermatters (zermatters.ch). The name of the original Swiss Ski School Zermatt, founded in 1929 and today the biggest in the village with around 200 instructors.
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