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Zermatt at-a-glance

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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.

Connoisseurs of cuisine, wine and vistas, will be pleased with Zermatt’s numerous sun-decked restaurants that dot the mountainside. This is what skiing in the Alps is all about! 

Zermatt Ski Resort

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.

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Customer Reviews (6)

Overall Customer Experience*

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*based on the average of all Overall Experience ratings given in Traveler reviews.
Ali Sadeghi

Great Location

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

Best overall ski experience ever!

My adult son and I agreed that Zermatt was our best skiing experience ever! We have skied better conditions, fresh powder, and steeper runs, but the scenery that surrounds you is unbelievable. There are glaciers, the high peaks of the Alps, and three sides of the iconic and spectacular Matterhorn to be seen as you ski around it. You can ski into Italy for lunch and enjoy the south facing slopes and the 7,838 foot vertical drop, Then ski back into Switzerland and ski the 7,220 foot vertical drop to Zermatt. As you ski in both countries you can ski into family owned, high country restaurants (40 alone in Switzerland) for wonderful leisurely lunches, sunbathing, and (often) live music. We had warm weather, with 5.5 of our 6 ski days with blue, cloudless skies, and we also stopped for picnic lunches off the side of the trail. Zermatt and Cervinia (Italy) have the most varied collection of lifts you will ever experience. There are the newest and most up to date gondolas, chairlifts and trams, but they have an underground funicular (like taking a subway skiing), elevators, a cog railroad and t-bars and platter lifts near the summits.

Zermatt also offers a wonderful cultural experience, with few Americans. You are skiing, living and eating with people from all over the world. The restaurants are varied and the food spectacular, The village is quaint, car free, with many 500 year old simple cottages and farm structures, but it offers high end shopping. The Swiss are the consummate hosts. You feel welcome everywhere, and almost everyone speaks english.

The trains from the Zurich airport to Zermatt are clean, punctual, and run frequently. The one required change, to a cog rail road for your final descent into Zermatt, works smoothly as the train schedules are perfectly synchronized. While it takes some time to get there, the travel is part of the experience and works well. It also keeps Zermatt a destination resort with few weekend skiers (in fact, Saturday is the "change over day" and the least busy day of the week). If you ski Zermatt, I think you will agree that it may not be the best skiing ever, but the total experience is!!! As SKI magazine once wrote, "If you only ski Europe once in your life, let it be Zermatt." made the planning easy, they took care of everything; airlines, trains, hotels, lift tickets and trip insurance. But more importantly, our specialist (Mimi O'Leary) knew Zermatt and the hotels they book. She had skied and stayed there. She was able to let us know that the half board was a good bargain and the food in our hotel spectacular. She knew the Trains, and suggested a day in Zurich on the way home, which was also wonderful.
Leslie in Basalt

Still one of the best!

Had three terrific nights in Zermatt! Hadn't been there for awhile - it was just as gorgeous and vibrant as I had remembered. Great village, huge mountain, unbelievable scenery. Expensive to dine out, so the half board packages are the best value.
Ruth in Durham

Zermatt Never Disappoints!

This is our third time to Zermatt and the second time staying at the Schweitzerhof Seiler Hotel. Last time it was February, this time at the end of June. This time we brought our children aged 14 and 12 and now they love it as much as we do. The hotel is literally a two minute walk from the train station (no taxi necessary) and then is accessible and central to the town. The grocery store is just around the corner to save $ on food and snacks. They have added a terrific pool (great temperature, very clean) and beautiful spa center. The only drawback is that the pool closes too early in the evening 7 p.m. just when the kids wanted to go for a swim before bed. The staff gave us a fantastic upgrade to a gorgeous and spacious apartment. Housekeeping was immaculate and linens perfect. The staff is very professional and friendly. The breakfast provided in our plan offered a varied menu including native selections as well as what our kids liked from our traditional breakfast menu. Can't say enough good about this place - we'll be back!!
nancy in Aspen

Zermatt is my favorite

In traveling to 15 different European resorts Zermatt is by far my most favorite resort. The whole experience of arriving there by train is one of the best parts. Trains in Switzerland are nicer than any airline you could possible fly on in the states. It is comfortable, clean, nice food and the scenery is beautiful. Arriving in the quaint village instantly gives you the true European experience. No busy streats, very few cars at all, no flashing street lights. One end of the village runs through the core of shops and restaurants dotted with lodges from 3 star to 5star depending on your budget and ends at the base of the Matterhorn. The experience is wonderful starting with full breakfast, sking long trails for hours, taking a relaxing steam or sauna, enjoying a 5 course dinner and climbing into comfy beds with fluffy comforters. The streets are filled with a lots of skiers walking around and alwasy gorgeous views of the Matterhorn.
Irene in Hoboken

I loved Zermatt

This is a must-visit. The trails are varied and plentiful and there's nothing better than being able to snowboard directly into Italy. Start early in the morning because the wait to get on the cable cars to Italy can get long. I recommend going to Cervinia over Valtournenche, which was further away and did not have much to see.

In Zermatt, we stayed at the Hotel Beau-Site, which was beautiful. We had a view of the Matterhorn from our balcony and there were some great hiking trails that started right behind the hotel. The also did a really great job with varying the dinner menu each night.

The town itself was not as picturesque as I had been told. True that there are no private cars allowed, but there are still plenty of automobiles on the streets - buses, hotel shuttles, etc.