7 reasons why Zermatt is the place to ski this winter
Struggling to decide where to go for your next ski holiday? Here are 7 reasons why it has to be Zermatt.
Can’t decide where to go for your ski holiday this year? Well fear not as we have a destination in mind that ticks all the boxes. The beautiful town of Zermatt in the Swiss Alps has so much to offer both skiers and non-skiers. Take a look at why we think this chocolate-box village is the place to be this winter.
1: The Matterhorn
Dominating the landscape, Zermatt is the place to get up, close and personal with the majestic Matterhorn. This icon of the Swiss Alps is not only famous for its sheer physical presence and beauty but also its unforgiving nature of those who attempt to conquer it. You can learn all about the mountain’s infamous first ascent by Edward Whymper in 1865 at the Matterhorn Museum located on the main street.
2: The Picturesque Train Journey
Due to the breathtaking views you experience en-route, the train journey to Zermatt is one of our favourite ways to reach a resort. Winding through the valleys, past traditional farms, shimmering lakes and mountain peaks, there is something to admire around every corner. Make sure you sit on the left hand side of the carriage on the way up to catch views of the Monta Rosa range. After changing at Visp, see who can be the first to spot the Matterhorn. Linking with the main rail networks of Geneva and Zurich, the journey is not only attractive but hassle-free. We recommend booking a Swiss Transfer ticket at least five days in advance to receive a discount on the price of the journey.
3: Car-free Zone
In order to preserve its natural splendour, cars are banned in Zermatt. The only traffic you will encounter will be the jangling of bells from horse-drawn carriages or the electric taxis as they zip around the resort.
4: High-Altitude Skiing
At an elevation of 3,883m, with 360 km of pistes served by 52 ski lifts and 365 days of snow, Zermatt is a haven for skiers and boarders. Pistes are carefully groomed for every level whilst experienced skiers can hone their skills on a dazzling array of off-piste terrain. Boarders are well catered for too with two snow parks and two man-made half-pipes. If you’re feeling adventurous you can ski over to Italy for lunch – just remember to take your passport.
5: Incredible Views
If you do one thing whilst you are in Zermatt, take the half hour cogwheel train past rocky ravines and mountain lakes, through tunnels and galleries to Gornergrat at 3,089m. Not only does this give you easy access to Tasch and Gornergrat ski areas but also the opportunity to experience one of the finest panoramas in the world. The views capture the Monte Rosa massif including Switzerland’s highest peak, Dufourspitze (4,634.), the second largest glacier in the Alps and a total of 29 mountains above 4,000m including, of course the marvellous Matterhorn in all its glory.
6: Delicious Cuisine
Zermatt is home to some of the best mountain restaurants in the world. There are two Michelin-star restaurants (After Seven, Ristorante Capri) and countless others with Gault Millau points. You can’t come to Zermatt and not sample the traditional Swiss dishes like fondue and raclette. However, there are plenty of more international options if you have over-indulged on the cheese front. Our favourite restaurants include Chez Vrony (the best burgers), Findlerhof (Matterhorn views and cosy ambiance) and Fluhalp (excellent sun terrace and live music).
7: Chic Chalets and Apartments
From stylish modern architecture to traditional alpine chalets, Zermatt has it all. We have a fantastic range of luxury chalets and apartments available to rent, both catered and self-catered. For an uber-exclusive property look no further than Chalet Elbrus, located in the recently built 7 Heaven’s complex. This sophisticated residence is seriously stylish with Matterhorn views and a superb private spa and wellness area. If you’re after something a little more low key then the Christiania apartments will fit the bill. For something a little quirkier try Heinz Julen Loft, a three-bed apartment located high above Zermatt with unobstructed views and striking furniture designed by Heinz Julen himself.