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About Zermatt, Switzerland

If you’re in search of a destination out of the ordinary, a Zermatt ski vacation is sure to deliver. The first thing you’ll notice when arriving in Zermatt is a remarkable, and probably welcomed, lack of noise. Since 1891, the local doctor is the only person allowed to have a car in Zermatt. So you, and everyone else, will be traveling by train, which is a highly enjoyable experience. The only in-town transportation is by horse-drawn sleighs or electro-taxis and ski buses. Fortunately, Zermatt is a destination resort; that is, the village is difficult enough for weekend skiers to reach to keep most of them away, and the vast terrain – more than 188 miles of marked ski trails (including Breuil-Cervinia) and a resort lift capacity of nearly 92,000 people per hour – easily absorb any crowds. Even during the busiest holiday season, lift lines are not impossibly long and uncrowded slopes are there for the taking.

Mile-high Zermatt—an idyllic mountain village at the foot of Switzerland’s iconic Matterhorn peak—has developed into one of the world's most famous ski resorts. Favored by its southern exposure, sheltered by the wind and generously endowed with snow, a Zermatt ski vacation offers some of the most spectacular skiing in the Alps. Vacationers looking for off-piste activities will be delighted to know that Zermatt has sledding, curling, ice climbing, snowshoeing, winter hiking. Evening adventurers have a ton of nightlife options in Zermatt’s 50 bars.

Stay...

at one of the many luxury hotels in Zermatt

Ski...

from Switzerland to Italy and back in a single day

Travel...

by flying into Geneva, Zurich, or Sion

Enjoy...

prisitine pistes and challenging, expert terrain

Explore...

glaciated terrain beneath the famed, Matterhorn

Taste...

multi-national cuisine options from France, Italy, and Switzerland.

Treat...

yourself and others to a one-of-a-kind apres experience at Hennu Stall

Experience...

Swiss mountain culture at its finest

Zermatt skiing

The scope and variety of Zermatt skiing is tremendous, with a network of lifts serving trails that rise over 12,000 feet. Three main ski areas offer wide open slopes for beginners while the more advanced skiers enjoy the challenge of the internationally known Tiefbach, Aeroleid or Momatt. You can ski over the Theodulpass to Cervinia, Italy for lunch.

The Klein Matterhorn cable car, ascending to 12,533 feet—the highest cable car station in the Alps—has opened up new glacier ski runs which provides Zermatt with year-round skiing. Glacier skiing generally means off-piste, but Zermatt offers eight controlled, glacial pistes, totaling 11 miles of skiing. If you do head off-piste, be sure to hire a guide so you can safely get the goods. For cross-country and touring skiers, a variety of courses are available.

Best known for:

Family Vacation


Dining



Mountain Stats

  • Skiable Area:

    159.446284

    ha
  • Vertical Drop:

    2279

    mts
  • Snowfall:

    10

    cm

Current Weather

-4°C

High:-11.8°C
Low:-15.4°C
weather

Current Conditions

  • Last24Hrs:

    10 cm

  • Last48Hrs:

    10 cm

  • Base:

    27 cm

Zermatt Ski Vacation Package

As one of the best experiences to be had in the Alps, there’s no reason you shouldn't start planning your Zermatt ski vacation today. Ski.com is a one-stop shop to book your entire Zermatt ski vacation, including lodging, flights, ground transportation, car rentals, lift tickets, lessons, equipment rentals and activities. Call or chat now with one of our knowledgeable Mountain Travel Experts.

CUSTOMER REVIEWS (15)

OVERALL CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE*

5.0
Excellent
*based on the average of all Overall Experience ratings given in Traveler reviews.

What the experts are saying

Jamie Bangerter
3.7
Good

Zermatt, the quintessential Switzerland ski town

Chrystie Nicole Young
28/02/2020

Trip of a Lifetime!!

I cannot say enough about what an amazing trip we had in Zermatt. The runs last forever with sight lines that do not compare to anywhere I have skied in the past. Although lift lines can get crowded at the gondola in the morning, we took the earliest train to the top for first runs. If possible we would have stayed forever!
Gabriel Frank Kochis
13/02/2020

Zermatt-nothing like it in the world

The location is spectacular. The Matterhorn is the background from almost every location on the mountain.The size of the ski complex is huge-you can put 3 Whistler Resorts in the same amount of space.90% of the skiing is above the timberline with glaciers surrounding you everywhere.
Amy Patenaude
24/01/2020

Big Mountains are big fun

The mountains fill your eyes are far as you can see and many of them are big over 14,000 feet high! Skiing there are many options and there is always a blue groomed trail to follow off of every peak.
Julie Yandow
21/01/2020

Town of Zermatt review

Loved everything about this town. Expensive vacation but worth it.
John
28/02/2019

Beautiful village and runs

A simply incredible time. With the Matterhorn towering over the village, Zermatt offers quick access to about three major different areas to ski: Rothorn/Sunnegga, Gornergrat, and, of course, the epic Matterhorn glacier paradise, which also offers run into Italy. Unlike most North American ski resorts, their aren't major lodges on the mountain for food, drinks, etc. Instead, small cottages dot the landscape, each offering a unique experience.The runs are groomed and, for the most part, wide. This is a great experience for skiers who enjoy turns and cuts, rather than steep, breakneck speeds. Be sure to visit Chez Vrony for lunch or apres ski when you're enjoying Sunnegga. For the village itself, you'll want to enjoy the local lamb at Restaurant Julen (reservations recommended). For a fun apre ski bar, you can't miss with the Brown Cow.If you have time, be sure to visit the Matterhorn museum; it's surprisingly intricate and impressive.
Tom Leblanc
25/02/2019

Had a great time

Very easy to navigate the town. Large ski area to navigate so took a little bit to get orientated. Enjoyed the terrain. Would not recommend for a beginner skier but would highly recommend for intermediate and above. Went para-skiing for the first time and it was crazy.
Terrence Chun
16/04/2018

everyone should do once

Zermatt is the quintessential Swiss ski village, the real deal that US ski resorts try to emulate. Cute village, breathtaking views, expansive skiing. Definitely ski on the Italian side too.
Regina Gade
23/03/2018

Perfect trip!!

We spent 7 days in Zermatt, skiing 5 of those days. We had a few days of challenging weather but the clear days were amazing. There really is terrain for every level of skier. If you are an avid skier and love the mountains you won't be disappointed. Best way to enjoy the experience is to 'be in shape'. It's a very physical trip all around and this is coming from a person who skies 90 days a year at and elevation of 9,000 feet. We absolutely loved it!!
Meg Leo
06/04/2017

A Trip of a Lifetime

When you think of Switzerland, you think of the perfect town of Zermatt and the Matterhorn.Because it is only accessible by train, getting there is not the easiest of ski areas to visit. My husband and I were there for a week and felt we didn't even have time to ski everything. There is so much terrain to cover.Zermatt is about the whole experience - the skiing, the scenery, the restaurants along the trails, the wandering in town and eating in so many fabulous restaurants and meeting so many wonderful people from around the world.
Ali Sadeghi
22/03/2016

Great Location

Fantastic Hotel. Ski.com made everything easy to lodge. location is excellent. Highly recommended. Older type rooms but over all very nice hotel

EXPERT REVIEWS (4)

4.1
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    Activities
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  • 3.3
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  • 4.0
    Intermediate Skiing
  • 4.8
    Expert Skiing
  • 2.7
    Terrain Park
  • 4.8
    Shopping
  • 5.0
    Spa
  • 4.5
    Access
  • 2.7
    Ski-in Ski-out
Expert reviews are written by our seasoned mountain vacation specialists based on their first-hand experiences.

Key:

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Reviews

Zermatt, the quintessential Switzerland ski town

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When you think of skiing the Swiss Alps, Zermatt is what comes to mind. The terrain can be challenging here, so beginner skiers beware.  But, if you are just coming for the après-ski, you won't be disappointed!

The village of Zermatt is as charming as the Matterhorn is breathtaking. Take the Glacier Express to the Gornegrat or tour the village on foot! Don't worry about getting lost in Zermatt...the village is a manageable size.

Zermatt has a variety of hotels ranging from moderate to luxury and everything in between, so it will work on most budgets.

The resort with something for everyone!

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If you try to picture skiing in Switzerland, I bet you’rethinking of Zermatt – huge runs on a gigantic ski area, stunning peakssurrounding the world-famous Matterhorn, and a thriving, lively town with tonsof quirky, gorgeous chalets as the base area. The town is undeniably Swiss, butis also becoming quite cosmopolitan, with lots of high-end hotels and chaletsto choose from, and some spectacular on-mountain dining just a quick gondolaride away. And speaking of those mountains, it’s hard to beat Zermatt in termsof expansive terrain and amazing views, as this is the home of the Matterhorn,the most photographed mountain in the world. The Zermatt ski area has tons ofareas to explore for intermediates, experts, and off-piste lovers alike. Withquick lifts and so much terrain to cover, any skier would be delighted with aweek-long stay in Zermatt.

On my recent trip toZermatt, I also chose to spend a day off the slopes, exploring the nonskieractivities, the best of which was the scenic ride up to the top of a glacialvalley via the Gornergrat. You have the option to stop at a number of stationsbefore you reach the top, many of which offer amazing dining options (highlyrecommend the Riffelhaus for unbeatable Matterhorn views and tasty cuisine!).The views from every angle atop the mountains here is simply gorgeous. But allthis beauty doesn’t come cheap – the lift pass can be pricey, and it’s easy todrop a wad of Swiss francs shopping at all the stores that line the streets.But in the end, Zermatt truly is a paradise – amazing vistas everywhere youlook, numerous pistes to both provide variety and challenge your skills on themountain, and plenty of activities and shopping to entertain the entire family.

Impressive Swiss ski resort and a chance to ski to Italy for lunch

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Breathtaking scenery is everywhere you look in Zermatt. My first trip to Zermatt was wonderful, but the weather was cloudy and we only saw a partial view of the Matterhorn for about 10 minutes. This latest trip the end of March was sunny, warm and offered picture-perfect spring skiing. I couldn't stop taking pictures, the views were so stunning!

The town offers great shopping, nightlife and lots of different lodging options. The food is top notch, and taking advantage of the half board dinner options at our hotel was the way to save some money. Train travel from the airport takes a while, but travelling by train in Switzerland is easy, comfortable and relaxing. Once you get the hang of it and the scenery is amazing.

Plan to stay several days, there is so much terrain to ski,and if you get the right weather conditions take the time to ski to Cervinia, Italy for lunch. We booked a ski guide with Matterhorn Diamonds and our guide made the day so easy for us, showed us the best way to get there and back and the best restaurant for outdoor dining with views of the backside of the Matterhorn  too. It was a highlight of my trip.

Zermatt - Picture Postcard Village in the Alps

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ZERMATT – PICTURE POSTCARD VILLAGE IN THE ALPS

Zermatt was a relatively unknown agricultural community until the 1860’s. Located at the upper end of the Matter Valley in the canton of Wallis in Southern Switzerland, it is surrounded by a wide array of mountains of more than 4,000 meters elevation, including the iconic Matterhorn. It was the first successful ascent on the Matterhorn in 1865, as well as the deaths of 4 of the 7 summiteers on their way down, that led to Zermatt becoming internationally known.

A year-round destination for skiers, climbers, hikers and sightseers, Zermatt is a beautiful, picture postcard village of wooden chalets, quaint shops and stylish hotels. The village itself is fairly small and flat enough that you can easily walk from one end to the other in a matter of minutes. Like many Swiss resorts, it is a carless village – so the greatest “danger” to pedestrians are the extremely quiet electric vehicles which zip around the village.

The ski area is huge with over 7,400 vertical feet of terrain, 52 lifts and 225 miles of runs. The area encompasses both Zermatt and Cervinia, on the Italian side of the border, so bring your passport when you ski or ride. From Zermatt village, the terrain is accessed from 3 different lift base areas: Sunnegga, Gornergrat and Matterhorn Glacier Paradise. All are in different areas of the village so, no matter where you stay, there is ski access fairly close by. You can get to all of the other lifts in the ski area from each of the three base areas in the village.

As soon as you cast your eyes on the Matterhorn, your visit to Zermatt is already a success. The mountain is unforgettably spectacular and dominates the skyline from almost every vantage point.

Getting there:

You should fly into either Zurich or Geneva. Zurich is slightly closer to Zermatt (135 miles) than Geneva (145 miles) but both have excellent train service directly from the airport railway stations. Both trips take approximately 3 hours and 40 minutes, are very scenic and require a train change in Visp. Visp is a very small station and the platform change is clearly marked and easy to negotiate.

If your clients opt for a private transfer service, they will be driven to the shuttle depot, which is adjacent to the Zermatt train station. Most hotels have electric shuttle vans which will pick up guests and take them to their hotel.

Useful things to know:

Navigating around the village can be a little confusing at first. Some of the streets are difficult to locate and all have very long, Germanic names. The best point of orientation is the Catholic Church. It is very centrally located and, if your guests can’t find it they should listen for a few minutes - the bells ring every quarter hour during the day. The main street is Bahnhofstrasse (Station Street) and the church is located at the corner of Bahnhofstrasse and Kirchstrasse (Church Street).

There is free resort shuttle service which runs in a loop from the train station, along the river, as far as the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise lift. Stops are clearly marked and shuttles run every 8 minutes.

The cemetery, located next to the church, is the resting place for many famous mountaineering figures and, together with the nearby Alpine Museum, is a really interesting diversion.

For après-ski, Elsie’s Bar (opposite the church) is an institution in Zermatt. Serving cocktails and tasty snacks since 1961, it is small but full of history. It opens daily at 4pm and fills quickly.

Hotels:

Alpenhof (4 stars superior): I love this hotel. From the moment you see the beautiful woodwork in the lobby, you know you are in a very nice hotel. It is located on Matterstrasse (on the river) and is basically right across the street from the Sunnegga lift. It is one of the larger properties in Zermatt – it has 62 rooms – so it will often have availability. Rooms are contemporary in décor and of very high quality. The Alpenhof is one of the few properties in Zermatt to have air conditioning. BB and HB (5 course dinner) are possible. Rooms are large. The junior suite (sleeps 4) is 650 sq ft, the superior room is 440 sq ft and the design room is 330 sq ft. The hotel has some nice features including a beautiful garden/deck area where they show movies during the season.

Albana Real (4 stars): Located on Schluhmattstraase (just across the river from Matterstrasse), the Albana Real is only 20 meters from the shuttle stop. It has 38 rooms, most of which are in the entry-level comfort category or in the superior (sleeps 4) category. They also have some larger junior suites. BB and HB (in the hotel restaurant) are possible. There is also a Japanese restaurant on property. Overall the hotel is nice and has good amenities such as pool, sauna, ski room etc. Walter, who gave us the tour, is very friendly and they are very flexible regarding length of stay for our guests.

Hotel Europe (4 stars): This hotel is slightly more difficult to find. Located on Riedstrasse (Church Street becomes Riedstrasse after you cross the river), it is in the Steinmatte neighborhood. The shuttle stop is a 3 minute walk from the property. The hotel has 38 rooms, of which 12 have a Matterhorn view. Rooms are situated in two different buildings – Traditional and Design. Overall, the hotel features contemporary décor and is very nice. A couple of things to note: the family room is the same price as the design room but is a little bigger; four of the design rooms have open bathrooms so you should check specific availability with the hotel if your guests might not want this type of set-up.