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Discover Zermatt: A Complete Ski Resort Guide



Top Of Mountain Zermatt



Zermatt, nestled in the Swiss Alps with the Matterhorn towering above, is a blend of breathtaking scenery and exceptional skiing opportunities. Zermatt is home to the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise, also knows as the Klein Matterhorn, the highest ski area in Europe at nearly 4,000 meters (12,740 feet) above sea level. It is also where you will find the world's highest cross-country cable car, the Matterhorn Glacier Ride II, linking Zermatt, Switzerland (from Klein Matterhorn), to Cervinia, Italy (at Testa Grigia).


Zermatt stands out for its expansive ski terrain and year-round skiing. The destination boasts extraordinary terrain with state-of-the-art lifts set against a stunning backdrop of some of the world's highest peaks. Zermatt is an Ikon Pass partner, and passholders have the opportunity to venture into Italy for an additional 50 CHF. Indulge in a delectable raclette after a day of thrilling alpine skiing Zermatt has it all.


You have to see it to believe it. We're here to help plan your dream trip to Zermatt.




What You Need to Know about Skiing in Zermatt



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Where Is Zermatt?


Located in the canton of Valais in southern Switzerland, Zermatt lies at the foot of the iconic Matterhorn, one of the most famous mountains in the world.



Map of Zermatt in relation to Bern and Zurich





Zermatt Geography


Situated at high altitudes, Zermatt benefits from colder temperatures that preserve snow quality and extend the skiing season. The resort area's geographical features, including its northerly aspect and the presence of glaciers, ensure a ton of high-quality snow all the time, making it possible to ski year-round! Zermatt is a high altitude as they come with the base village at 1,620 meters/5,115 feet above sea level, and the peaks 3,899 meters/12,792 feet.


Zermatt Snow Quality


Zermatt's high altitude ensures amazing snow conditions throughout the year. The snow in Zermatt is known for being consistently in pristine condition, especially in the higher pistes. The resort sits directly on a glacier, which preserves the snow.


Best Time to Ski in Zermatt


Zermatt's ski season is one of the longest in the Alps, typically starting in late-November and extending into early-May. The peak season for skiing in Zermatt is from December until March, so if you are looking for the après ski scene, this is the best time to visit Zermatt. That being said, even in times when there is significantly lower snowfall on the European continent, Zermatt will still have plenty of skiable terrain. Zermatt is really good at all times, and if you want to skip crowds, late-season may be a wise choice.



Summer Skiing: The resort's high altitude and glacier skiing also allow for summer skiing. Where else can you ski in July? Most of the lifts in the Northern Hemisphere will close by mid to late-April, but there are several places in Zermatt where skiers can gain access in July and August. The Theodul Glacier and the Zermatt Snow Park offer summer options for both downhill skiers and terrain park lovers alike.





Zermatt Ski Resort: A Palace Among The Clouds

Zermatt ski resort comprises three distinct ski areas, ranging from the lowest point at Rothborn-Sunnegga to the highest point at Matterhorn Ski Paradise, the most renowned of Zermatt's resorts. Zermatt is an elegant pedestrian village where conventional cars are not permitted.



Map of Zermatt Ski Resort and How It's Sets Up


Rothorn - Sunnegga


Sunnega matterhorn view
Wolli's park for beginners. Courtesy of Zermatt Ski Resort.



Altitude: Ranges from about 1,600 meters (Sunnegga) to 3,103 meters (Rothorn).


Known for its sunny disposition, Rothorn-Sunnegga is a favorite among families and those seeking breathtaking views of the Matterhorn. Sunnegga is particularly welcoming for beginners and families, with gentle "nursery slopes" that are perfect for those just starting out. The Wolli’s Park for Beginners at Leisee offers a safe and fun environment for learning to ski, making it an ideal spot for young children and novice skiers.


For those seeking more of a challenge, Rothorn provides a variety of intermediate and advanced runs. Steeper downhills and longer trails cater to more experienced skiers, while the summit offers spectacular panoramic views of the surrounding peaks, including the iconic Matterhorn. The area also offers winter hiking, snowshoeing, and tobogganing, along with several mountain restaurants and huts where visitors can relax and enjoy traditional Swiss cuisine amidst stunning alpine scenery.


Gornergrat



Skiing downhill in Zermatt
Downhill Skiing © Pascal Gertschen Courtesy of Zermatt Matterhorn


Altitude: Peaks at 3,089 meters.


Situated at an altitude that reaches up to 3,089 meters, Gornergrat provides a variety of runs suitable for all levels, from wide, gentle slopes for beginners to more challenging terrains for the experienced. Accessing Gornergrat, one of Zermatt's most iconic destinations, is a unique and scenic journey made possible by the Gornergrat Railway (Gornergrat Bahn). The area is famous for its panoramic vistas, including the awe-inspiring sight of the Matterhorn and the surrounding peaks.


High altitude can cause a loss of oxygen, so while you are in Zermatt, it is best not to be in search of information. We'll take care of all the details, so all have to worry about is breathing!



Matterhorn Glacier Paradise (Klein Matterhorn) - Schwarzsee



Klein Matterhorn Skier
Skiing with Klein Matterhorn in the backdrop. © Pascal Gertschen Courtesy of Zermatt Matterhorn


Altitude: Extends up to 3,883 meters at Klein Matterhorn, the highest cable car station in Europe.


Skiing at the Matterhorn Ski Paradise (Klein Matterhorn) and Schwarzsee in Zermatt offers an unparalleled experience, distinguished by its remarkable altitude and year-round snow. As Europe’s highest ski resort, reaching elevations of up to 3,883 meters, the Matterhorn Ski Paradise provides skiers with the unique opportunity to enjoy pristine glacier snow even during the summer months. Schwarzsee complements this with a diverse mix of scenic runs and challenging descents, all set against the dramatic backdrop of the Matterhorn. 


The Zermatt Ski Experience


The Zermatt skiing experience stands out from other European ski resorts and its North American counterparts. With its extraordinary altitude, year-round skiing, state-of-the-art ski lifts, cross-border skiing opportunities, and breathtaking panoramic views, Zermatt offers a unique experience. The resort boasts outstanding dining, luxurious hotels, and an unparalleled ambiance. Explore the details below to see why Zermatt stands out in every aspect.


On Mountain Dining and Meals in Zermatt



eating on the mountainside in Zermatt
Plenty of dining with a view at Zermatt. © Pascal Gertschen Courtesy of Zermatt Matterhorn



Swiss Side (Zermatt Ski Resort)


Rothorn - Sunnegga Area


Chez Vrony, nestled in Findeln, a group of hamlets above Zermatt, and easily accessible from the Sunnegga area is one of Zermatt's most iconic and beloved mountain restaurants, Nestled on a sunny terrace with panoramic views of the Matterhorn, Chez Vrony will delight guests with its organic home produce, embodying the very essence of Swiss mountain dining.


Just a stone's throw away, Findlerhof, also located in Findeln, complements the on-mountain restaurants with its traditional and international cuisine. Guests can savor dishes like rich cheese fondue, hearty rösti, and fresh seafood, all served against the majestic backdrop of the Matterhorn. Adler Hitta, perched at 2,200 meters on the serene Findeln Alp, offers direct access from the Sunnegga-Findeln ski slopes and hiking trails, inviting guests to indulge in the natural beauty and tranquility of the area, while enjoying rustic Swiss dishes such as venison stew, grilled meats, and delectable desserts.


Matterhorn Glacier Paradise (Klein Matterhorn) - Schwarzsee Area

 

Bergrestaurant Blatten, positioned directly on the downhill route from Furi to Zermatt, provides a traditional alpine dining experience that, while not situated within the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise or Schwarzsee areas, benefits from its proximity to Furi, making it an accessible location for those traversing the region's slopes.


A short walk from Zermatt, in a quaint hamlet above the village, you will find Zum See, a restaurant that transcends the conventional ski area boundaries to serve Swiss and French cuisine in a setting that will transport you back to the mid-17th century.


Italian Side (Cervinia Ski Resort)


Ristorante Bontadini, located at a draw-dropping altitude of 3100 meters on Plateau Rosà near the Bontadini chair-lift in the Breuil-Cervinia area, boasts a spacious sun terrace and a cozy indoor dining area. Similarly, Chalet Etoile, nestled at the base of the iconic Matterhorn in the Breuil-Cervinia ski area, has been a culinary landmark since Cesare Frassy took stewardship of the joint.


Foyer des Guides in Valtournenche, close to the Cervinia ski area, embodies the warmth and tradition of the Valle d'Aosta. Managed by the entrepreneurial duo Sabrina and Walter, this restaurant is lauded for its traditional cuisine.


Ski Rentals, Lessons, and Guides


Ski shop in Zermatt


Zermatt has an overwhelming number of high-quality shops with ski equipment for rental. Whether just starting out or seeking advanced, technical gear, renting is a breeze here. Notable stores like Bayard Sport Zermatt and Flexrent Zermatt provide a range of high-end gear and personalized fitting services. Shops such as Dorsaz Sport, Julen Spoet, and Matterhorn Sport offer convenient locations and friendly, knowledgeable staff, making it easy to pick up and return gear near the main lift stations. Premium brands with flexible rental options are available at Alpin Center and or Slalom Sport.


Ski Butlers also conveniently delivers high-end Rossingnol equipment directly to you in Zermatt. Book Ski Butlers here to enjoy a discount.


Lessons and Guides: Avant Ski partners with a number of ski schools, private instructors and guides. Our partners are incredible local teachers and guides. They will help improve your sking. Our expert guide partners are familiar with every nook and cranny of the backcountry, and off-piste areas.



Start planning now to secure the best guides at Zermatt.







Zermatt Hotels and Accommodation



Hotels in Zermatt Pic
Hotel Schweizerhof. Courtesy of Hotel Schweizerhof



There are many wonderful hotels in Zermatt. Here are a few of our favorites: Hotel Schweizerhof offers a luxurious 4-star experience with its elegantly designed rooms, a state-of-the-art wellness and spa center, three superb restaurants and a lively modern atmospheres. In addition to its stylish accommodations, the hotel features a cozy lobby bar perfect for après-ski relaxation. Guests can also take advantage of the hotel’s fitness center and a beautiful garden terrace.


Right next door, CERVO Mountain Resort acts as a gateway to this mountain paradise, offering chic accommodations with private balconies, multiple dining options, and a posh spa, perfect for those seeking an awesome place to chill at the foot of the Matterhorn. CERVO’s on-site restaurants offer a variety of culinary experiences, from traditional Swiss dishes to innovative international cuisine. The resort also boasts outdoor hot tubs and a yoga and meditation room.

 

Mont Cervin Palace, a 5-star hotel, features breathtaking views of the Matterhorn, embodying the pinnacle of luxury as a member of The Leading Hotels of The World. Grand Hotel Zermatterhof has been a symbol of Zermatt's hospitality since 1879, offering a peaceful yet central location, luxury suites, and Michelin Star dining. The Omnia redefines the mountain lodge experience with its contemporary design and sophisticated accommodations.


Travel to Zermatt like a VIP by booking with Avant Ski. Our perks at many leading hotels in Zermatt include:

  • Free upgrades

  • Free breakfast

  • Resort Credit

  • Early check-in / Late check-out, subject to availability

  • Complimentary Wi-Fi







Zermatt Apres Ski


Zermatt Restaurants and Dining


People chowing down at the table in Zermatt
Courtesy of Zermatt Matterhorn

Zermatt has a robust dining scene. For fine dining enthusiasts, Potato Fine Food Restaurant stands out on Zermatt's lively main street, where the focus is on local products first, offering a menu that changes weekly and includes a choice of 3 or 5 courses. Restaurant Vieux-Valais da Nico, located in the center of Zermatt, brings a slice of southern Italy to the Swiss Alps. This restaurant and pizzeria, managed by a team from southern Italy, offers homemade pizza & pasta, fish and meat dishes, and delightful desserts.


Zermatt Nightlife



Matterhorn lighting up at night
© Kurt Müller Courtesy of Zermatt Matterhorn


Zermatt offers a mix of posh cocktail bars, pubs/casual cars, and Euro-style clubs that can satisfy anyone's apres ski needs late into the evening. Cervo is the go-to spot for those looking to unwind with cocktails after a day on the slopes, offering a cozy bistro atmosphere where wine, whisky, and expertly crafted cocktails are served to live music. Stars Bar and Monoloco Zermatt, are also two "higher-end" cocktails and drink bars that should not be missed.

Club Broken Bar, located the in the Hotel Post, is known for its underground ambiance and 'poppin dance floor, making it a must-visit for those looking to dance or twerk in Zermatt. Meanwhile, Loft Club presents a sophisticated nightlife option, specifically designed for a mature crowd seeking an elegant evening with premium drinks.


Zermatt Health and Wellness


Zermatt spa and hot tub

Notable wellness destinations in Zermatt include the Mountain Ashram Spa by CERVO, which offers a mystical ambiance for relaxation with its indoor/outdoor pool, saunas, floral and herbal steam rooms, and a variety of body treatments, yoga, meditation, and mindfulness sessions. The Zermatt Massage Centre and the Alpine Hideaway Spa are also popular choices for those looking to unwind, offering a range of massages and spa treatments. For a unique experience, the SchlossSpa introduces Switzerland’s first CBD spa! It focuses on treatments that incorporate the natural benefits of cannabidiol.


How To Get To Zermatt


Beware, the village of Zermatt is car-free. Whether arriving by car or by train, Täsch is the primary entry to Zermatt.


Täsch parking facilities


Täsch offers several large parking facilities where you can safely leave your car. The main parking area is located at the Täsch railway station. Parking fees are reasonable and can be paid on-site or online in advance to ensure a hassle-free experience.


The Täsch to Zermatt shuttle service


Once you've parked your car in Täsch, you can board the shuttle train to Zermatt. The shuttle service is operated by the Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn (MGB) and runs every 20 minutes, ensuring a quick and efficient transfer.


Shuttle schedule and frequency

  • Frequency: Every 20 minutes

  • Operating hours: 5:55 AM to 11:35 PM

  • Travel time: Approximately 12 minutes




Getting to Zermatt by Air


The nearest international airports to Zermatt are Zurich, Geneva, and Milan. From these airports, you can take a train to Täsch, the closest train station, as the village of Zermatt is car-free.


Zurich Airport to Zermatt

  • Distance: About 250 kilometers

  • Travel Time by Train: Approximately 3 hours and 15 minutes

  • Transfer Options: Direct trains from Zurich Airport to Zermatt are available hourly


Geneva Airport to Zermatt

  • Distance: Approximately 230 kilometers

  • Travel Time by Train: About 3 hours and 30 minutes

  • Transfer Options: Direct trains are available from Geneva Airport to Zermatt every hour


Milan Malpensa Airport to Zermatt

  • Distance: Roughly 200 kilometers

  • Travel Time by Train: Around 3 hours and 30 minutes

  • Transfer Options: Trains are available with one or two changes, typically via Milan Central Station and Brig or Visp


Getting to Zermatt By Train


  • From Major Swiss Cities: Direct trains to Zermatt are available from major Swiss cities including Geneva, Zurich, and Bern.

  • Nearest Train Station: The closest train station to Zermatt is in Täsch.




FAQ


How many days should I spend in Zermatt?


That depends on what you want to do, but at a minimum, people should spend around 5-7 days in Zermatt if they are coming from overseas. However, 2-3 week trips can also be organized with the option to stay on the Italian side in Cervinia.


Is Zermatt worth visiting?


Yes, Zermatt's position as the highest ski resort in Europe (by peaks), along with the culture, scenery, terrain, and cuisine should make Zermatt a No. 1 on the "ski bucket list".

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