If you are looking for a quality ski resort with a developed infrastructure, pay attention to Zermatt, Switzerland. Every year, lovers of outdoor activities gather here to conquer the steep mountain slopes, enjoy excellent Swiss cuisine and enjoy the unique landscapes of the Alpine mountains. This is exactly the place where sport and nature merge together, a different dimension, which can be comprehended only after visiting the thousands of mountain peaks. What is Zermatt good at and what opportunities does it open up?
Zermatt is a village located in the southern territories of the Valais canton in Switzerland, located almost on the border with Italy. This is a small community of 242 square meters. km with a population of only 5770 people. Surrounded by the Peninsky Alps with a height of more than 4000 meters, the village is located on the northern slope of the Monte Rosa massif near the famous Matterhorn mountain. It is in the Monte Rosa chain that the highest peak in Switzerland, called the Dufour Peak (4634 meters), is recorded. A total of 38 peaks are located in the Zermatt area. The village itself is located at an altitude of just over 1600 meters.
Thanks to its unique location, Zermatt has become one of the most prestigious resorts in Switzerland , which attracts tourists from all over the world to ski and snowboard. He has been repeatedly recognized as the best ski resort in the world by various rating companies, including the prestigious organization The Best of the Alps. There are many people here not only in the winter, but also in the summer season, when fans of hiking and mountaineering come here.
Zermatt has a highly developed tourist infrastructure, which allows you to organize the perfect vacation. The village has a large selection of hotels, apartments, chalets, as well as a wide variety of cafes and restaurants, some of which are considered one of the best in the Alps. A special atmosphere prevails in the community for Catholic Christmas and New Year, when Zermatt is transformed into an elegant cozy town.
Interesting fact! In the village, it is forbidden to ride on a fuel vehicle, so here you can find only compact electric cars used by local residents and taxi drivers. Such measures allow preserving the ecology of the region and not violating the purity of mountain air.
Technical characteristics of ski infrastructure
Zermatt as a ski resort in Switzerland has a lot of advantages over other similar facilities. It is here that the longest routes with a total length of 310 km are located. The resort is equipped with convenient ski lifts that pass through the heights of various sizes (from 1600 to 3800 meters). An important advantage of Zermatt is its year-round access to the ski slopes.
If you plan to go to this resort in Switzerland, you should consider that the local mountain slopes are quite high and steep, so to overcome them you will need not so much courage as good physical and technical training. Zermatt does not provide trails for beginners, but there are trails of different difficulty levels for those who already have experience in skiing. Among the tracks are:
- Blue tracks. Their total number in the resort is 110. The slopes are designed for skiers with little experience in skiing.
- Red tracks. Their number is 150. Trails are designed for more experienced representatives of skiing.
- Black tracks. The resort has a total of 50. These are the longest and most steep slopes designed for professional skiers.
Route map of the resort of Zermatt. To enlarge the diagram, open it in a new window.
Zermatt has 35 comfortable lifts of various types:
- drag towers – 17,
- pendulum – 10,
- chair – 4,
- gondola type – 4.
Among them there are many funiculars with closed cabins, so it is very comfortable to move in them even in the cold season.
More detailed information about slopes, pistes, ski lifts and ski-pass can be found on the resort’s official website (there is a Russian version) – www.zermatt.ch/en.
Read about the prices at the resort and how much the rest in Zermatt will cost in winter on this page .
After conquering the steep ski slopes in Zermatt, it’s time to study its map and go to get acquainted with the noteworthy corners. The village has many cultural and natural attractions.
The most famous mountain in Switzerland, the peak of which reaches 4478 meters, has long been the hallmark of the Zermatt resort. The Matterhorn is viewed from anywhere in the village and at different times of the day takes completely different images. Travelers who have been here celebrate its grandeur, severe beauty and incredible views that open at sunset.
Read more about Mount Matterhorn, climbing to the top and accidents here .
This mountain railway, which appeared at the end of the 19th century, occupies the second highest place among all the railways of Switzerland. The final stop of the train, daily running through the mountains, is the Gornergrat plateau, located at an altitude of about 3100 meters. Many tourists go on a railway trip to view the picturesque landscapes from the car window and capture the Swiss winter in Zermatt from a bird’s eye view. Following its route, which takes about 40 minutes, the train makes five stops where, if desired, you can go out and take a walk, and then continue to climb.
The finished station offers a beautiful panorama of the eternal glacier and the surroundings that cannot be seen from the village. Some combine a trip to the top with a ski slope, while others use the railway as part of an orientation tour with the unique nature of the resort. A train tour is best organized on sunny, clear days, otherwise you run the risk of not seeing anything due to high cloud cover.
A trip in both directions costs 92 francs , for children the fare is free, and after lunch in the so-called happy hours you have the opportunity to buy tickets at a discount.
The observation deck, located at an altitude of 3883 meters, offers unforgettable views of the Alpine mountains. Climbing here takes place in several stages: your journey begins with a trip on a small funicular that will quickly take you to the highest ski lift in Switzerland. Then, slowly, you will climb the tunnel along the rock and find yourself at the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise complex. Here you have the opportunity to visit a small cinema, look into the ice cave, drink coffee in a local cozy cafe and, in fact, go up to the observation deck.
The price of a standard ticket for ascent and descent is 115 francs per person.
Tourists who are here are advised to go on this tour only on sunny days, otherwise, due to clouds and fog, you can simply not see anything. Remember that cold always reigns high, so be sure to wear warm clothes. Be prepared for the fact that it’s hard to breathe at the top, and you may have a rapid heartbeat and dizziness, but you should not panic: this condition should pass within 10-20 minutes. Keep in mind that in a cafe near the complex prices are much higher. If possible, go to the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise on your first flight, as later on a lot of people will gather on the observation deck.
See also: Gruyeres – a medieval city and the birthplace of the famous Swiss cheese .
In the interval between skiing and contemplation of landscapes in the ski resort of Zermatt, we recommend visiting a small museum of local lore. The gallery exposition is dedicated to the history of the Matterhorn conquest, in which visitors are invited to watch a thematic film. Here you can see the climbing equipment of different years, the layout of the mountain, and also learn about the daily life of the inhabitants of Switzerland themselves. The museum presents various historical interiors, utensils and household items of the first conquerors of the mountain.
The Matterhorn Museum also covers tourism, talks about summer and wintertime activities available at the resort and provides information on the nature of Zermatt.
The institution is open daily from 15.00 to 19.00.
Ticket price 10 francs. With a Swiss Pass, admission is free .
The ancient Horner Gorge, located a 15-minute walk south of the resort, was formed as a result of a thousand-year-old desire of river flows to break through the rocks. Before the gaze of a traveler following a mountain route, bright landscapes and picturesque waterfalls open. Walking along the numerous wooden steps and paths through the rocks is quite laborious, therefore, going on this tour, prepare special shoes and gain strength.
It is best to explore this attraction in summer: in winter, waterfalls freeze, the canyon loses its charm, and it is closed. The middle of September is considered ideal for visiting the gorge, namely, the time from 15.00 to 16.00, when the waters boiling here acquire a juicy turquoise hue.
The cost of entering the Horner Gorge is 5 francs for adults, 45 francs for a group of 10 people, 2.5 francs for children under 16 years old (up to 6 years old free).
The gorge is available for visiting daily from 9.15 to 17.45 (closed in winter).
Prices on the page are for May 2018.
Weather and climate
Zermatt is good at any time of the year. If in winter it is a popular ski resort, in summer it is a place covered with flowering meadows, ideal for mountain hiking and mountain climbing. But even in the hot summer months, no one cancels skiing here: after all, there is still snow on the peaks, which means you can continue to ride. We suggest that you look at the table below to get a clear idea of the weather in the resort of Zermatt, Switzerland.
|Month||Daytime average temperature||Average temperature at night||Number of sunny days||Number of rainy days||Number of snow days|
|January||-6.3 ° C||-12.5 ° C||7||0||nine|
|February||-5.4 ° C||-12.6 ° C||4||0||eleven|
|March||-1.9 ° C||-9.6 ° C||4||0||12|
|April||1.3 ° C||-5.9 ° C||4||4||10|
|May||5.1 ° C||-2.4 ° C||5||eleven||7|
|June||10.9 ° C||1.9 ° C||nine||eighteen||one|
|July||13.6 ° C||3,7 ° C||thirteen||eighteen||0|
|August||13.5 ° C||3.9 ° C||fifteen||sixteen||0|
|September||9 ° C||1.2 ° C||10||nine||one|
|October||4 ° C||-2.5 ° C||eleven||3||4|
|November||-1.3 ° C||-7.1 ° C||nine||3||6|
|December||-4.9 ° C||-11.9 ° C||eleven||0||7|
How to get to Zermatt from the largest cities in Switzerland – Zurich and Geneva – see on this page .