Zermatt is one of Switzerland’s best-known destinations for a reason. It’s not only home to one of the world’s most iconic mountains, the Matterhorn, but to one of the biggest and best ski resorts in Europe.
From brand-new experiences to the things we’ve always loved about Zermatt, here are six reasons to love this skier and snowboarder’s paradise.
1. The amount of terrain to explore
With over 360km of skiable terrain and a vertical drop of 2279m, all serviced by 54 lifts, there’s always a perfect run to enjoy in Zermatt.
Choose from cruisy groomers through to challenging descents, or ski year-round on the Theodul glacier. The 3899m elevation ensures top-notch conditions beyond winter, and you’ll often spot international ski teams taking advantage of the flawless corduroy for speed training.
2. The new Matterhorn Alpine Crossing – ski two countries in a day
The ability to ski two countries in one day, all via a unique travel experience that offers the most incredible views? For the first time ever, you’ll find it in Zermatt this year.
Starting from July 2023, the Matterhorn Glacier Ride II cable car will connect the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise mountain station with the Testa Grigia valley station. It makes for an exclusive and unparalleled ride, with breathtaking views of the Matterhorn as you traverse the border between Switzerland and Italy at 3,480 meters above sea level.
Along the journey, you’ll encounter the highest mountain station in Europe, the world’s highest glacier palace, and another brand new experience…
3. The NEW SnowXperience Plateau Rosa
Perfect for adventure seekers and snow enthusiasts, the new SnowXperience Plateau Rosa will be launching in July along with the opening of the Alpine Crossing.
This is the place to go snow tubing, or try skis or a snowboard for the first time, right by the convenience of the valley station of the new 3S Matterhorn Glacier Ride II cable car. Rentals are available for everything you’ll need.
If you want to take it easier, you can lap up the view over the Aosta Valley and take a souvenir photo on the national border of Switzerland and Italy before enjoying the four-minute ride to the highest mountain station in Europe.
4. The world-class dining and après
The après-ski scene goes to a whole new level of Zermatt, especially with the specialty coffee available at just about every restaurant – a mix of local schnapps and whipped cream. There are also plenty of bars, night clubs and hole-in-the-wall destinations serving up beers and gluweins for the very best après scene – expect to be dancing on a table by the end of the night.
When it comes to food, you’ll find everything from bakeries and cosy mountain huts to Michelin-starred establishments in Zermatt, serving up Swiss favourites like fondue and raclette. Just bring the stretchy ski pants to don on the slopes after all that cheese.
5. The off-mountain activities
On or off the slopes, there’s a lot to keep you busy here. Beyond skiing and snowboarding, try thrilling experiences such as snowshoeing, ice climbing, and heli-skiing accompanied by expert mountain guides. You can also explore your surroundings by snowshoe, discovering one of the many winter hiking trails.
Travelling with a family? Zermatt and their lamb mascot, Wolli, love little ones. While kids under nine ski free throughout the whole region, off the slopes they’ll also love ice-skating, conquering the climbing hall, or even trying their hand at curling.
6. The pedestrian only village accessed by the famous Glacier Express
The only way to arrive in Zermatt is via train. The famous Glacier Express offers the ultimate journey; known as the world’s slowest yet most spectacular express train, it goes through 91 tunnels, crosses 291 bridges and passes endless beautiful mountains and valleys along with UNESCO-listed towns on the way from Zurich to Zermatt, a trip that takes about four hours in total and is worth every second of the journey.
Once in the car-free village of Zermatt itself, horse-drawn carriages and electric taxis will be waiting for you, ready to take you off to your hotel. This is a throwback to 40 years ago, when transport in Zermatt was almost exclusively by horse drawn carriages.