Zermatt embodies everything about the Alps that makes you dream of your next skiing adventure. If the Matterhorn in all its natural splendour isn’t enough to win your heart, here are our top ten reasons for making Zermatt your next Alpine destination. Not forgetting the beautiful range of luxury chalets and hotels we would love to talk to you about!
1. The Food
Whether you are the world’s greatest foodie or just appreciate a great meal, both on and off the slopes, Zermatt stands strong in this regard. With over 50 restaurants; 3 Michelin stars (The Omnia, After Seven, Ristorante Capri), in town with many other favourites including Chez Heini, as well as great restaurants up the mountain, there’s plenty to satisfy your post ski appetite. Whilst skiing, make sure you book your lunches on the mountain to avoid disappointment. Chez Vroney & its neighbour Findlerhof (we recommend the fish soup and truffled chips) give splendid views of the Matterhorn and fantastic food.
2. No Cars!
Upon arrival in town, it is very apparent that Zermatt differentiates itself from other well-known resorts by banning all cars! No longer will you worry about being sprayed with grey slush or whether or not the driver has any idea about how to drive with snow chains. This also allows families a more relaxing holiday when wandering around the town. But most hotels will organise electronic taxis (quiet, small milk-cart looking vehicles) to pick you up from the station and there are plenty of taxi ranks by all the major lifts in the town to get you up the mountain and safely back when your legs are still feeling the after-ski burn.
3. The Scenery
It’s picturesque. Not much need for elaboration. Strict building laws have ensured the village is quintessentially Swiss. Together with ‘that view’ of the Matterhorn, in any weather, you’ll be captivated.
4. Ski To Italy
Once firmly settled into your Swiss routine of fabulous fondues and hot chocolates (laced with Rum obviously!) you might start to hanker after a change of scene; Italian espressos and Fernet Branca to pep you up whilst whizzing down the slightly emptier runs of Cervinia, Italy. With 20 lifts and 160km of Italian turf you’ll be able to explore a range of pistes for all abilities, all the while being looked down upon by our beloved Matterhorn.
5. The Skiing!
Zermatt is one of the premier destinations for the adventurous skier, if you’re looking for long descents touring or lift-accessed off-piste runs there are plenty to choose from. With pisted skiing available right through to April, the Matterhorn glacier giving 365 days of snow, exhilarating tree runs in Schwarzsee and a mogul field just off the glacier, there’s plenty to keep everyone entertained! Our advice would be to hire a guide to get the best out of the vast terrain for safety and empty tracks. Matterhorn Diamonds offer bespoke private guiding, with expert knowledge of the mountains (and the best restaurants!) and tailor-made itineraries for all ages and abilities.
6. The Beautiful Train Journey
The train ride to get to Zermatt is one of our favourite means of entering the resort. It winds its way through the deepest cleft valley in the Alps, offering staggering views of turquoise blue rivers, solitary goat sheds and there’s always that anticipation in the carriage of who will be able to spot the peak of the Matterhorn first. Stress-free and convenient, given Zermatt’s car-free policy, linking in with the main rail networks from Geneva and Zurich, train is the best way to travel, and if you book in advance you can take advantage of a 44% discount!
If you don't go for a Private Nanny the Kinderparadise crèche is an excellent option for children if you want an adult only ski experience, whether just for a day or a full week, with lots of room for play both outdoors and inside, catering for 3 month old babies to 6 year olds. With a huge soft play area, arts and crafts, Lego and a mini slope outside for sliding down, your children will be as excited and exhausted as you will be on returning home!
8. The Gornergrat Train
The Gornergrat train not only gives you swift access to Tasch and Gornergrat ski areas but also offers experiences such as ‘Dining with the Stars’ taking you up early evening from Zermatt for a tour of the observatory (3100m above sea level) and Chinese fondue with views of Zermatt twinkling beneath a moonlit Matterhorn.
9. The Ski Instructors
You will have no problem finding fantastic instructors in Zermatt. Stoked Ski School, European Snowsports & Summit are just a few of our favourite partners and we can easily find you the instructor to suit your group. Nonetheless it is always best to let us know your instructor requests as early on as possible to ensure we can get the very best for you.
10. So Many Non-Ski Activities
If swooshing down the slopes is not for everyone in your party, or you fancy a day off the mountain, there are plenty of other stimulating activities to be found in Zermatt. Discover the story of the first successful ascent of Matterhorn by Edward Whymper in 1865 at the Matterhorn Museum or get your eye in at the world’s highest clay pigeon shoot (1867m). For a romantic moment get whisked away for a horse and carriage ride around the town snuggled warm by fur rugs, perhaps ending in a treatment or two at the Mont Cervin spa.