Summer in Zermatt

The magnificent Matterhorn, surely the world’s most recognisable mountain, is the stunning backdrop to the pretty village of Zermatt in Switzerland. Zermatt is a mecca for mountaineers and a world class ski resort but it is also a superb summer destination for those who revel in high Alpine landscapes.  There are a host of things to see and do in Zermatt and you are sure to be entranced from the moment you arrive.

Arrival

Zermatt is a peaceful haven because the internal combustion engine is banned! There are no cars in Zermatt and so it is necessary to travel to the village by train. Travel from Zurich, Basel, Bern, Visp or Brig via scheduled services with Schweizerische Bundesbahnen (SBB). If you are travelling with your car you can park at Täsch and take the shuttle service which departs every 20 minutes. Zermatt is also the start/terminus of the magnificent Glacier Express service to/ from St Moritz, a majestic journey across some of the finest scenery on the planet. On arrival in Zermatt electric busses, taxis and shuttles will transport you to your hotel or the local attractions. You now have the difficult task of choosing what to do first!

Klein Matterhorn

This is a trip not to be missed! Take a series of cable cars to Europe’s highest station at 3883 metres for breathtaking views across the Alps from the Glacier Paradise. Mont Blanc, Europe’s highest peak looks close enough to touch and you are adjacent to the Italian border. Visit the Glacier Palace to view tunnels, caves and sculptures carved from the glacial ice. Klein Matterhorn is also the starting point of a 2.5 hour hike across the glacier to the 4000 metre peak of the Breithorn. For the really intrepid tandem paragliding can also be arranged!

Gornergrat

Your journey to an altitude of 3089 metres past beautiful lakes and alpine meadows is via a cog-wheel railway which has been operating for 111 years. The panorama that awaits you is stunning with views across the Monte Rosa Massif to 29 peaks over 4000 metres including Monte Rosa itself, the highest peak in Switzerland. At the summit there is a restaurant, observatory and shopping mall to enjoy. Keen hikers can return to Zermatt via the well-marked trails and may see Ibex, chamoix and marmots.

Rothorn

The summit of this cableway affords some of the best views of the Matterhorn and so do not forget your camera! The Rothorn is an alpine paradise with beautiful flora and wild marmots. There is an interesting exhibition and an attractive restaurant at the summit. Hikers will love this area as several exceptional trails start here and descend to the valley floor.

Gorner Gorge

This is a magnificent gorge carved by the Gornervispe river over thousands of years and is traversable via a series of boardwalks that were installed in 1886. The gorge is situated just 15 minutes’ walk from Zermatt and is a stunning hike through steep sided cliffs past surging rapids. The paths to the gorge glisten with sparkling rocks and minerals and you will pass dramatic waterfalls and whirlpools. Once in the gorge the walk is steep in places but your efforts will be well rewarded!

Other Highlights

Zermatt has many exceptional hiking trails to enjoy and for a real adrenaline rush try paragliding, zip-lining or a flightseeing tour by helicopter.  There is a first class museum in the village for a more peaceful afternoon and a nine hole course for golf enthusiasts. Kids will love the adventures at the Forest Fun Park and Zermatt’s mascot, Wolli the sheep is always around to offer a helping hand! There is truly something for everyone to fall in love with in Zermatt.

Comments

Gornergrat is simply an awesome place

The article brought back the memories of our trip to Gornergrat a few years back. The place was aesthetically beautiful right from the railway station to the lake and the glacier view.

It is undoubtedly one of the must-see destinations.