By Caitlin Hornik
Chances are, you’ve seen Zermatt in photos because it’s home to the world-famous Matterhorn! Here are a few reasons why you should consider Zermatt as part of your next European vacation.
A Car-Free Vacation
If you’re traveling to Zermatt, it's important to note that cars are not allowed in the village! In fact, in order to get to Zermatt, you’ll need to take a scenic shuttle train ride from the Täsch train station. Shuttle trains depart every 20 minutes to and from Zermatt. Visitors can also take the Glacier Express train directly from the Zurich or Geneva airports to arrive in Zermatt within a few hours. Zermatt does have electric taxis and buses for those in need of assistance to get around the village. However, the perks of a car-free village are plentiful: less air pollution, less noise, and ample opportunity to roam the streets and take in the stunning scenery!
Zermatt is set at the base of the Matterhorn, with the mountain’s defining jagged top visible for miles. At over 14,000 feet tall, Europe’s most famous mountain sits on the border between Switzerland and Italy. Learn more about the Matterhorn with these fun facts!
Skiing & Hiking
The physical and outdoor activities offered in Zermatt are enhanced by the gorgeous views. The Matterhorn is a skier's paradise! At an altitude of over 12,000 feet, there are 223 miles of slopes to conquer. Guests have access to cable cars and lifts, ski schools and instructors, and plenty of places to enjoy après-ski. Hiking with the Matterhorn in the background is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. There are trails for all skill levels, so everyone can experience the majesty and wonder of the Alps! The 5-Seenweg (5 lakes) hike offers stunning views of the Matterhorn, complete with ample opportunities to get lost in the natural beauty of the area. With dozens of skiing and hiking options and plenty of additional activities as well, adventure awaits in Zermatt!
The chocolate in Switzerland is certainly not-to-be-missed. As with anywhere in the world, they have different brands and blends of chocolate. What makes Swiss chocolate unique is that the actual production of the chocolate must take place in Switzerland. Taking a walk through the candy aisle at the grocery store will send you into sensory overload as you try to choose a new chocolate to try (Spoiler Alert: you simply can’t choose just one!). Check out Läderach chocolate shop for gourmet Swiss chocolate, including fruit and nut bars, alcoholic truffles, and other assorted chocolates.
No trip to Switzerland is complete without diving into some delicious fondue! We recommend trying as many variations as possible, as most restaurants tend to have their own house blend of cheeses. You’ll find that some have more herbs than others, some may incorporate five cheeses or more, and some may have a stronger peppery flavor. However, every fondue will make cheese lovers rejoice! A few of our favorite restaurants are Swiss Chalet, Restaurant Whymper-Stube, and Cafe Du Pont-- the oldest restaurant in Zermatt!