Zermatt

The Ultimate Guide to Zermatt

Customer 10 January, 2024 16 min read

Zermatt Resort Overview

Located in the German-speaking part of the Valais Canton in Southern Switzerland, Zermatt is a very popular ski resort due to its incredibly diverse skiing and traditional alpine charm. Sitting at 1,620m, the car-free, picture-perfect resort offers extremely reliable snow conditions and jaw-dropping views of the magnificent Matterhorn that sits above it.

The full ski area typically stays open until the last week of April, but you can ski the glacier all year long! Zermatt has invested heavily in its lift system in recent years and there is no doubt that ski passes offer very good value for money, with 360km of well-connected piste to explore. Despite its reputation as a fairly glamorous resort, there are plenty of accommodation options to suit all budgets. 

Zermatt is certainly a firm favourite on the Swiss ski map. If you want to ski sunny, scenic runs and stay in traditional wooden chalet-style accommodation with unbeatable mountain views, then this is the resort for you!

Skiing in Zermatt

The large and varied ski area caters to all abilities and boasts one of the longest ski runs in Europe if you fancy a challenge! The 16km run from the Klein Matterhorn has the largest vertical drop in the Alps descending from 3,883m to 1,620m and offers stunning vistas on the way down. Zermatt is home to the highest ski area in the Alps. At 3,883m, the Matterhorn Ski Paradise ski area boasts 360km of skiable terrain. If you fancy hopping over the border, glass-bottom gondolas connect Zermatt to the neighbouring Italian resort of Cervinia which offers yet more incredible skiing and great runs for beginners. Zermatt is excellent for intermediate and advanced skiers and is a playground for the adventurous, with incredible off-piste skiing and challenging runs galore.

Zermatt ski

Is Zermatt Family-friendly? 

Zermatt is a great ski resort for families. Despite having no slopes in the village itself, the Leisee Wolli-park beginner ski area, accessible via the Leisee Shuttle funicular, offers the perfect environment for newbies to learn the ropes and experience the mountains! In the resort, there is an indoor climbing wall, a large open-air ice skating rink and a thrilling toboggan run for some off-slope family fun. Zermatt is often considered expensive, but not so much for families! The resort offers free lift passes for children aged 9 and under and great deals for under 16s, which will take a large amount off the overall spend of your holiday. Noted for its family-friendly values, Zermatt has been awarded the ‘Family Destination – Familien willkommen’ quality label by the Swiss Tour Federation. 

Zermatt

Après-Ski Scene in Zermatt

Zermatt has a lively après ski scene with options for all types of party-goer. The resort boasts a wide selection of excellent, authentic Swiss restaurants on and off the slopes that offer tasteful menus and warming drinks. From cosy cabin-style bars to late-night haunts with live music, there are plenty of options to burn your remaining energy or relax after a day on the slopes. Popular spots include; Champagne Bar for piste-side bubbles, Iglu-Dorf for mountain-top drinks served from a unique igloo bar and Cervo’s for sophisticated drinks on the sun terrace. Zermatt is a hub of activity in the winter and the main road running through Zermatt village, Bahnhofstrasse, is lined with restaurants, and bars that draw in lively crowds as the day closes. 

zermatt

How to Get To Zermatt

Zermatt is easily accessible by train from Zurich and Geneva, offering a stress-free, eco-friendly travel option. Air travellers can take the train directly from the airport and reach Zermatt in 3½ hours from Zurich-Kloten and in 4 hours from Geneva-Cointrin. The trains to the resort travel through the deepest cleft valley in Switzerland, which is a sight to behold! Zermatt is a car-free resort, so it isn’t possible to drive there directly. Drivers will have to park their car in Täsch and get a short taxi or shuttle train into Zermatt. 

Zermatt train

Zermatt Insider Tips

  • Try Matterhorn-shaped pizza at Restaurant Al Bosco
  • Enjoy a hot chocolate at Petit Royal Cafe
  • Visit Bahnhofstrasse for a spot of boutique shopping
  • Book a table at Chez Vrony for lunch with a view!
  • For the best view of the Matterhorn head to the top of the Rothorn cable car 

Book your ski lesson in Zermatt today!

You might also like: Top 5 resorts in Switzerland for beginner skiing

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