Zermatt’s claim to fame is the mighty Matterhorn – the near-symmetrical pyramidal mountain in the Alps. It looms majestically over the idyllic town and promises an adventure of a lifetime. Located at the base of the ‘Jewel of the Swiss Alps’, Zermatt is the gateway to an exciting trek, full of stunning panoramas. The winding alleys and the cozy chalets transport you back in time to a different era. There are no cars allowed in Zermatt. You can choose to walk or get around by horse-drawn carriages and electric vehicles.
The traditional Swiss designs of the chalets on the outside give them an old-world charm. But the interiors are chic and ultramodern. The highlights of these villas are the spectacular views which you simply won’t find anywhere else. This is because of the Matterhorn, which is visible from any point around Zermatt. And where else in the world can you ride a VIP gondola sipping champagne as you make your way up to the top? All your meals in Zermatt will be accompanied by some stunning views that add a special flavour to the food.
The Klein Matterhorn (Little Matterhorn) is yet another stunning peak in the vicinity. It can be reached by the aerial tramway which carries you 3,883 metres to the top, to Matterhorn Glacier Paradise. From here you can take a tunnel which goes through the Breithorn Plateau glacier! The Breithorn peak itself is the easiest to climb and it rewards you with stunning views from the top. For another unforgettable experience, take Europe’s highest open-air rack railway which will take you up to 3000 metres to Gornergrat’s observation platform. But the journey is as beautiful as the destination as the train passes through some of the most beautiful sights in Switzerland.
Surrounded by such lofty beauties, it is easy to overlook Zermatt itself. The town is like an open-air museum which lets you walk among its lovingly preserved typical ‘Walser’ houses. If you’re eager to walk the streets of Zermatt, here’s a close look at the town’s tourism.
|Zermatt Tourism : A Quick Overview|
|Official Language||Swiss German|
|Dial Code||41-27-contact number|
|Area||242.67 sq. km.|
At first glance, the tourism in Zermatt does seem to be centred around Matterhorn and the other peaks around. Matterhorn is indeed a big part of Zermatt’s tourism. But there’s more! Zermatt is one of the most popular ski resorts in Europe. It has over 200 kms of pristine ski runs, known as ‘Pistes’. Owing to its proximity to the Italian border, you can easily ski your way into Switzerland from Italy. But the journey to the summit of Unterrothorn is far more interesting.
You board a funicular from Zermatt which climbs through the mountains to Sunnegga. From there, Blauherd is a short gondola ride away. Finally, from Blauherd, a state-of-the-art cable car will take you to the top of Unterrothorn. This multi-seasonal tourist attraction even has a restaurant at the top where you can enjoy a fine Alpine lunch in the company of the glaciers, the Monte Rosa massif and of course, the Matterhorn. During summers, you can enjoy paragliding on the slopes and in winter, the slopes turn into thrilling playgrounds.
Back in the town, the Zermatlantis Matterhorn Museum is a museum dedicated to the mountain. It is built in a traditional Alpine village layout and is divided into 14 galleries. Each gallery showcases a different aspect of this notorious peak. The ‘Mountain Guide’s House’ section displays the broken rope, used in the first successful ascent, that snapped and sent four climbers to their deaths.
After so many climbs, the Corner Gorge brings a refreshing change. This ravine is carved into the ancient rock by the glacial river Gornervispe. You can walk around the gorge on wooden footbridges suspended above the crystalline river below.
For a sleepy old Alpine town, Zermatt is full of natural wonders and adventures that await your explorations.
Surrounded by the rugged Alpine terrain, trekking is the biggest adventure activity in Zermatt. Regardless of the season, you can always go trekking in and around the town. While the fun and excitement remain unchanged, your gear changes according to the season. The first, and one of the most beautiful places, that should be explored in Zermatt is the beautiful Sunnegga. It is a natural balcony that opens to panoramic vistas, midway between Zermatt and the mountain tops.
After trekking, skiing is the next most-popular adventure activity in Zermatt. Astonishingly, Zermatt is a connectivity hub that is made up of 54 cable cars, funiculars and lifts that connect more than 360 km of prime skiing slopes! It is no small wonder then that skiers come here from all over the world to ride the Matterhorn. Here you can ski even at the height of summer as the higher altitudes stay covered in snow.
For adventure in a much safer environment, the Forest Fun Park has created a maze of tree-top obstacles which test your core and balance. Safety is ensured with helmets and harnesses, so it is a fun ride for children as well as adults of all ages. Here you can climb nets, cross bridges and zoom across zip lines for the ultimate rush of thrill and adrenaline.
After a long day of skiing and trekking across mountains, a relaxing spa treatment is a fitting end to a perfect day. Just give in to the pleasure of a welcoming massage, sauna, steam bath, heated pool or jacuzzi.
What do you shop for in a Swiss town that is known for its great outdoors and a wonderful hospitality? Start with chocolates of course! Zermatt offers you an array of decadent, handmade chocolates that just melt in our mouth. Stores like Boîte a Chocolat make their own chocolates and even let you watch the process. A walk down Zermatt’s main street will be filled with wafting chocolaty fragrances.
Zermatt also has shops selling cuckoo clocks and fine Swiss watches. There’s nothing better than buying a Swiss watch in Switzerland! Pick one up to remember your time spent under the watchful eyes of the Matterhorn. Next in line are Swiss army knives, music boxes and other knick-knacks such as t-shirts, postcards and figurines. They make great souvenirs for family and friends back home.
Zermatt even has its own Bahnhofstrasse (railway station) which leads to one of the old parts of the town. Some of the building here are over 300 years old. These log buildings called ‘Gadini’ were used to store grains and meats in the old days. Now some of these have been converted into hotels where you can take a break in between your shopping sprees. Despite being a small town, Zermatt has some incredible shopping on offer. From luxury brands to homemade souvenirs, you can take your pick and get your shopping done with minimum fuss.
Zermatt is a true-blue Swiss destination when it comes to eating. From family-friendly hangouts to Grade-A, Michelin-star restaurants, you have a wide array of choices. Head to the Omnia Restaurant for a distinctly Swiss menu with a cosmopolitan twist. The After Seven is a Michelin-star restaurant where you can catch a movie with an aperitif and a three-course meal.
The Du Pont is one of the oldest businesses in Zermatt and serves flavourful comfort food and Swiss favourites such as fondue, raclette, schüblig and rösti. The Ristorante Capri on the Swiss-Italian border serves Michelin-star Italian cuisine that will remind of the Mediterranean in the Alps. Grampi’s is another Italian institution that will welcome you with it Raclettissima pizza baked in a wood-fired oven. With so many options, you certainly don’t have to worry about food in Zermatt.
Zermatt sits at the Southern end of the Matter Valley, surrounded by the high mountains of Pennine Alps such as Monte Rosa, Matterhorn, Weisshorn, Dom and Lisskam. Zermatt is flanked by the Gorner Glacier on the east side and by the Zmutt Glacier on the west side. The town’s three main streets run along the banks of the river Matter Vispa. The suburb of Winkelmatten lies on a separate hill on the southern side and Steinbatten sits on the eastern bank of the main river.
Summer, between June to September is the best time to visit Zermatt. If you’re a skier or a snowboarder, end of November until mid-April is the best time for seeking adventure. In both the peak seasons all the restaurants, lifts, cable cars and trails are open. The best time really depends on the type of holiday you’re looking for. If you want to enjoy more touristy activities, then summer is your perfect time. If you’re seeking the thrill of adventure, winter is your best time to visit Zermatt.
Geneva Airport (former Cointrin Airport) is the closest international airport to Zermatt. Geneva is well connected with India by operators like Turkish Airlines, Saudia, Etihad, Kenya Airways, Kuwait Airways, Swiss, Lufthansa and British Airways. Flights are easily available from major Indian cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad.
From Geneva Airport you have multiple options to reach Zermatt. The train takes 4 hours to reach Zermatt with a changeover at Visp. A taxi can take you up to Täsch from where it is a short train ride into Zermatt. But the fastest and the most expensive way to reach Zermatt from Geneva is by the helicopter service.
So, go ahead and plan your Zermatt holiday with Thomas Cook. Choose from a range of holiday packages and get ready for a memorable holiday. You can book your holiday online or drop into your nearest Thomas Cook branch.
Zermatt holidays will bring you face to face with the majestic grandeur of the Matterhorn, a peak that has inspired fear and awe among Europeans for ages. Zermatt travel packages allow for particularly pleasant experiences because there are no cars on the streets of the village. Sit back and enjoy Zermatt holiday packages amid breathtaking views in one of Switzerland’s most exclusive tourist resorts.
The Matterhorn isn’t the only reason for people to choose Zermatt.The village is surrounded by imposing mountains, among the tallest in the country. The mountain peaks make this tours rewarding experiences.Trains are the best ways to travel to Zermatt. You can travel to the village from Visp, which is linked to the main railway system. Cars can get those making a trip as far as Tasch, from where you must take a train or a battery-operated taxi. There is a flight service from major regional airports.
Include a visit to the Breithorn and get as close to the Matterhorn as you can during your Zermatt tour. Return home with pictures of you skiing and mountain-biking in the Swiss Alps to make the most of Zermatt vacation packages.