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Zermatt: Ski Resort, Chalet and Hotel Guide

July 01, 2024  · 
Zermatt: Ski Resort, Chalet and Hotel Guide

Iconic and historic, Zermatt is home to one of the world’s most famous mountains: the Matterhorn. The shared history between the resort and the mountain makes Zermatt an incredibly popular destination for skiers, snowboarders, and winter enthusiasts alike. 

Often described as the “jewel in Switzerland’s crown”, Zermatt holds some of the most striking views of the Swiss Alps. The Matterhorn is especially magnificent, standing tall over the picturesque mountain town at an elevation of 4,478 m.

Travelling to Zermatt

Sion Airport (SIR): 1h 30m / 80km

Geneva Airport (GVA): 3h 15m / 240km

Zurich Airport (ZRH): 3h 40m / 260km

The resort of Zermatt is entirely car-free, meaning that if you are planning on driving to Zermatt, you will only be able to travel as far as Täsch, which is located 5km from Zermatt. The final leg of the journey can be completed by either train or via one of the private taxis permitted to drive into the resort. The train journey from Täsch to Zermatt is short and simple, with a travel time of just 12 minutes. 

Travelling the whole distance by train is a viable option. The journey from Geneva Airport to Zermatt by train is around four hours long, whilst travelling from Zurich Airport tends to take around three and a half hours. Zermatt has its own train station, meaning the resort can be reached directly by train without needing an additional station-to-resort transfer. 

Reaching Zermatt by helicopter is a further alternative, as Zermatt has its own heliport. The journey from Geneva Airport to Zermatt by helicopter is just 45 minutes long, whilst the journey from Zurich Airport lasts only around an hour. 

Skiing in Zermatt

Zermatt’s high elevation makes the resort a reliable bet for skiing. Zermatt resides within the Matterhorn Ski Paradise, its elevation varying from 2,583m to the highest point – the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise, which sits at an elevation of 3,883m. In fact, so reliable is the snow in Zermatt, that the Glacier Paradise is open to skiing even in the summer months

Zermatt stats

Pistes: 200km

Blue runs: 16%

Red runs: 58%

Black runs: 26%

Longest run: Klein Matterhorn to Valtournenche, at a length of 22km – the longest red ski run in the world!

Double the fun: Skiing in Cervinia

The Matterhorn straddles the Swiss-Italian border, making it possible to spend a day skiing in the beautiful Italian resort of Cervinia, adding an extra 150km for you to explore. You can reach Italy either via the Matterhorn Alpine Crossing or by skiing. 

Is Zermatt good for beginners?

Beginners are well-catered for in Zermatt, with specific areas for beginners to find their feet on the slopes. The best area for beginners is Wolli’s Beginners Park, a dedicated area for young or new skiers. Separate from the busier pistes, Wolli’s Beginners Park is a great space for getting to grips with skiing, complete with five magic carpet lifts. 

The Wildi ski area, located just off the edge of the village of Randa, is another good area for beginners. The rope tow makes it easy for beginners to practice their skills, whilst the piste itself isn’t too steep. 

Beginners can purchase a specific beginner’s ski pass at a reduced price, giving them access only to the specific beginner-friendly areas of the resort. 

Skiing lessons in Zermatt

If it’s going to be your first time out on the slopes, it’s important that you arrange some ski lessons to allow you to learn in a fun and safe way. 

Ski schools such as Supreme Ski, European Snowsport and Stoked offer a variety of different skiing lessons. Whether you’re looking to book skiing lessons for yourself or your child, there will be something to suit your needs. You have the option of booking a group session on a private lesson, and many ski schools provide lessons for those looking to step into the world of snowboarding or off-piste skiing. 

Is Zermatt good for intermediate skiers?

Zermatt is a superb resort for intermediate skiers, with hundreds of kilometres of piste to take on and explore. Intermediate skiers looking for a more gentle type of run will enjoy the blue runs in Sunegga, whilst intermediates looking for a bit of a challenge will want to head to the Klein Matterhorn glacier where plenty of exciting red runs await. 

Is Zermatt good for expert skiers?

Ready to try out some black runs? Zermatt has some exciting pistes in store for you. With black runs in every area, a true highlight for the most advanced skiers in the group is the run down from Klein Matterhorn to Zermatt, which spans 16km with an elevation difference of 2,263m. 

What is off-piste skiing like in Zermatt?

Zermatt has a great off-piste offering, with plenty of varied terrain to try your hand at. With high-altitude areas, an abundance of untouched powder, and nail-biting descents, you’ll definitely be pushed to the limit in Zermatt! 

Is Zermatt good for families? 

Zermatt is a popular resort with families. The resort’s car-free nature means it’s a particularly safe and pedestrian-friendly town. There are dedicated ski areas for children and young people, with Wolli Park a great place for children to begin to familiarise themselves with the world of winter sports. There’s an abundance of non-ski activities to be enjoyed too, with something for every member of the family to enjoy. 

Where to eat in Zermatt

Looking for somewhere to eat? You’re in luck. Visitors to Zermatt are spoilt for choice, with an impressive array of restaurants to choose from whether you’re looking for a light bite or a sit-down meal. 

Mountain restaurants in Zermatt

Chez Vrony

Steeped in 100 years of history, Chez Vrony offers incredible views of the Matterhorn from the terrace. The menu is based on local, organic products produced by the family, and all the dishes are traditionally Swiss. A must for anyone looking for a traditional and authentic Alpine experience. 

Zum See

A favourite among visitors and locals alike, Zum See is a typically Swiss restaurant serving homemade pasta, soups, salads and röstis, with a varied wine list showcasing the best of local wines. Make sure to book ahead to avoid disappointment. 

Restaurant Fluhalp

Once a climber’s hotel, this mountain hut is a great place to stop for a hot chocolate, lunch or an après drink on your way back to the village. Fondue, röstis and other traditional Swiss mountain dishes can be found on the menu. There’s live music throughout the winter months – with dancing on the tables heavily encouraged. 

Michelin star restaurants in Zermatt

Brasserie Uno

A hidden gem in Zermatt. Utilising regional produce and ingredients in all of their dishes, Brasserie Uno has a laid-back atmosphere, with a charming wooden interior and homely china plates. This is a real dining experience, so ensure you allow yourself plenty of time here. 

Alpine Gourmet Prato Borni

Located in the beautiful Grand Hotel Zermatterhof, Alpine Gourmet Prato Borni is a superb Michelin-starred restaurant serving two menus: Heimat and Fernweh. The Heimat - meaning homeland - menu showcases the best of Alpine cuisine, whilst the Fernweh (wanderlust) menu is an exploration of international cuisine. 

Ristorante Capri

Delicious and authentic Italian cuisine served in the heart of Zermatt. Located in Le Petit Cervin - adjoining the Mont Cervin Palace - chef Vincenzo Tedeschi and sommelier Enrico Marani curate a masterful pairing between food and wine, transporting guests to the sunny isles of Capri. 

Village restaurants in Zermatt

The Omnia

Hidden in the rockface, within the eponymous hotel, you must enter via a tunnel to reach this gourmet restaurant. The dining area is intimate and homely, while the menu is contemporary. Executive Chef André Kneubühler uses seasonal ingredients based on a vegetarian concept – though supplementary fish and meat sides can be ordered to accompany the largely vegetable-focused dishes.  

Myoko

A chic dining experience, taking guests on a culinary journey through the islands of Japan. From the teppanyaki grill to the freshly prepared sushi and sashimi, Myoko promises a truly immersive culinary experience.

saycheese! 

Located below the Grand Hotel Zermatterhof, saycheese! provides a fun and relaxed dining environment serving classic Swiss dishes with the finest local cheeses melted into raclette and fondue. A cosy dining area, perfect for a cold winter night. 

Best Apres Bars in Zermatt

Hennu Stall

Located at the bottom of the Fri-Zermatt slope, Hennu Stall is the place to be for skiers and non-skiers alike. DJs and live music make it a great place to round off a day on the slopes.

Papa Caesar

A lively lounge bar serving a wide range of cocktails and wine. The sun terrace overlooking the main street of Zermatt has heaters and blankets to help keep you warm in the winter, whilst the interior of the bar has plush leather sofas and an extensive cigar cabinet. 

Chämi Bar Fire Place

A great choice for those looking for a slightly more laid-back vibe. With its cosy vibe, visitors can relax and socialise until the early hours of the morning.

Activities for non-skiers in Zermatt

Whether you’re the non-skier in the group, or if you simply want a break from the mountains, there’s lots to be getting on with in this exciting Swiss ski resort. 

Winter activities

Snowshoe Hikes

Snowshoeing offers the opportunity to discover the most magical places: breathtaking views of the mountains and nature. You can enjoy snowshoeing on your own, but for first-timers, it’s advised to opt for a guided tour. 

Ice Climbing

Looking for a real challenge? Give ice climbing a go. A maximum of 4 people can climb at any one time. Crampons and ice axe rental are not included. These can be hired from multiple sports shops. This activity is best for those who are a little athletic – and is definitely not for those with a fear of heights!

Tobogganing

Experience winter with a difference by having fun on the Furi to Zermatt toboggan run. You can hire your toboggans from most sports shops in Zermatt.   

Ice Skating

Located in the middle of the village, Zermatt’s natural ice rink offers visitors the perfect winter outing with a wonderful mountain backdrop and view of the Matterhorn. 

Curling

Many of the rinks in Zermatt offer a curling experience – a great activity to enjoy with friends or family after skiing.

Husky Sledding

Sit back and enjoy the ride in a sledge pulled by a team of huskies; a wonderful way to explore the mountains from a different perspective. 

Other activities

Take a stroll around town

Like something out of a fairytale, Zermatt is a veritable winter wonderland. If you’re looking for a change of pace, a relaxed stroll around the village promises some picture-perfect views. There are plenty of shops, restaurants, cafes and bars to enjoy too. 

Visit the cinema

Looking for a more laid-back afternoon? The Vernissage Cinema shows a wide variety of films, including blockbusters and family favourites. 

Ride the Gornergrat Railway

Europe’s highest open-air cog railway brings passengers directly from Zermatt station (1,620 m) to the summit of the Gornergrat every day of the year. The ride takes 33 minutes and at the top, you will find a viewing platform, restaurant, astronomical observatory, and hotel.  

Visit the Matterhorn Museum

Detailing the immense history of Zermatt and the story of the tragic first ascent of the Matterhorn, visitors will leave the Matterhorn Museum with a renowned love for this iconic mountain and resort. 

Spa and wellness

After a busy day of skiing and exploring, give your body time to rest and head to one of Zermatt’s top spas. Offering relaxing and rejuvenating treatments and beautiful pool areas to wind down after your treatments, you’ll feel restored and ready to take on the mountains all over again. 

Mont Cervin Palace 

This impressive spa covers 1,700 sqm. Enjoy the clean mountain air while relaxing in the warm waters of the outdoor pool, or enjoy the other wellness facilities the spa has to offer, including an indoor pool, whirlpool, Jacuzzi, sauna, steam baths and a solarium – to name a few. 

Explore Mont Cervin Palace 5*

The Omnia Spa 

The 'Feel Well' Spa offers a variety of massage treatments, yoga and pilates, ideal for rejuvenating after a day on the slopes. For those looking just to relax, the spa includes a Finnish sauna, Turkish bath, caldarium, petal steam room, relaxation area and a stunning outdoor whirlpool with views of the village and the Matterhorn. 

Explore The Omnia 5*

Luxury Chalets in Zermatt

Zermatt Peak

Sleeps 10+3 | Catered

Chalet Zermatt Peak is Zermatt’s premier luxury chalet, located just minutes away from the centre of the village. Occupying a landmark position, guests can enjoy breathtaking panoramic views across the entire village and mountain ranges as well as uninterrupted views of the iconic Matterhorn. The chalet’s sky observatory roofing makes it possible to sleep under the stars, whilst the indoor/outdoor Jacuzzi is the ultimate place to relax after a day of skiing. The interior of Chalet Zermatt Peak has been designed to a 5*+ standard, setting a new precedent in luxury chalet accommodation. 

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Chalet Tuftra Findelbach

Sleeps 14+3 | Catered

Benefitting from its amazing location in the ski-in/ski-out district of Winkelmatten, Chalet Tuftra Findelbach is one of the top choices for a luxury ski chalet in the historic resort of Zermatt. With seven bedrooms sleeping a total of 14+3, this is the perfect property for multiple families or large groups of friends looking for a convenient chalet.

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Chalet Les Anges

Sleeps 14 | Catered

Surrounded by majestic mountains, Les Anges is without doubt one of the most beautiful chalets in Zermatt. It sits on the best possible position in the Petit Village, at the closest point to the town, with unsurpassed views of the Matterhorn and Zermatt below. Designed by the renowned Interior Architect Magali de Tscharner, Chalet Les Anges extends to 700 sqm, spread over three stunning floors.

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Heinz Julen Residence

Sleeps 14 | Catered or Self-Catered

Perched high upon a hill with spectacular mountain views, Heinz Julen Residence is a stylish 560m² luxury property, combining Heinz Julen Loft and Heinz Julen Penthouse to sleep up to 14 guests. Designed by local star designer Heinz Julen for his private home, the property is full of quirky and uber-cool features, including a suspended dining room table, a fireplace nesting in the living room window and a Steinway piano for the ultimate entertaining space. 

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The Backstage Chalet

Sleeps 10+1 | Catered

The Backstage Chalet is one of Zermatt's most exclusive chalets. Leading Swiss architect Heinz Julen has modernised this once-traditional 1940s chalet and extended the building into a stunning triplex apartment. The chalet offers spectacular 360-degree panoramic views over Zermatt and the Matterhorn and includes stand-out features such as a cinema room and an indoor/outdoor hot tub. 

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Chalet McKinley

Sleeps 10 | Catered or Self-Catered

Spread over four floors, Chalet McKinley is a stunning five-bedroom chalet located in the heart of Zermatt. Part of the prestigious 7 Heavens development, the chalet is accessed through a palatial entrance lounge where you will find a bar to greet you after a day on the slopes. The chalet is home to a five-star spa and wellness area, with a large indoor hot tub, hammam, sauna and plunge pool.

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Chalet Altesse

Sleeps 6 | Self-Catered

Chalet Altesse is a luxury chalet located in the foothills of the Matterhorn, within a 15 minute walk into the car-free town centre of Zermatt. Situated in Winkelmatten, a quiet residential area with stunning views, this ski-in/ski-out chalet comprises four elegant and fully equipped apartments. Spread over four storeys, each apartment occupies its own floor. The apartments on the first and second floors offer slightly more space than the ground floor and penthouse apartments. 

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Luxury Hotels in Zermatt

Grand Hotel Zermatterhof 5*

The Grand Hotel Zermatterhof is ideally located in the centre of the resort, and whilst kept up to date with modern appointments, it still retains its beautiful character and traditional charm. As a guest at the Zermatterhof, experience the fantastic Alpine Wellness Spa, complete with a Finnish sauna, steam bath, ice grotto, large pool and various treatments to help you relax after a day on the slopes.

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Mont Cervin Palace 5*

The Mont Cervin Palace, a member of the “Leading Hotels of the World” and the “Swiss Deluxe Hotels”, has welcomed guests from all over the world for over 150 years. Situated in the heart of Zermatt, the hotel boasts an attractive southern façade and an impressive turreted roof. The red horse-drawn carriage is a popular photographic motif and awaits you at the train station in Zermatt.

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The Omnia 5*

The Omnia is one of the most iconic buildings in Zermatt. Found on top of a rock face overlooking Zermatt, guests can soak in the outstanding views whilst being just a short walk to the resort centre and the ski lifts. The hotel has just thirty Scandinavian-designed bedrooms, each offering plenty of space. Twelve of these are suites, some of which have big bay windows, a private Jacuzzi and a sauna. All rooms have the same contemporary style and are finished to a high quality.

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Hotel Monte Rosa 4*

Hotel Monte Rosa is steeped in Swiss tradition. It opened in 1839 and was the very first hotel in the picturesque Matterhorn village, with just three rooms. The Seiler family took over in 1853, and the hotel stayed within their family for many years to come. It has played host to some of the most respected mountaineers, including Edward Whymper, who was the first to successfully climb the Matterhorn.

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Hotel Firefly 4*

Located in the very centre of Zermatt, nestled within the mountains and looking out over to the Matterhorn, the views from your suite in Hotel Firefly will take your breath away. This modern, family-run hotel combines traditional design with 21st century comforts; think stylish furniture, rustic Alpine materials and offbeat accessories.

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Explore our full Zermatt portfolio, with the finest luxury ski chalets, apartments and hotels.

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