Reliable snow, scenic views, incredible restaurants and a vast ski area - Zermatt is one of those magical ski resorts everyone wants to experience at least once, and then return to again and again. No cars are allowed in this quaint Swiss town, so from the moment you enter Zermatt by train you will be struck by its traditional beauty. Swiss architecture has been maintained throughout the town giving it a charming, rustic atmosphere and with the breath taking views of the Matterhorn as the backdrop, Zermatt could not be more idyllic. Already want to go? We haven’t even told you about the skiing yet...
Zermatt is a snow-sure bet thanks to its large glacier and high altitude. Within Zermatt there’s a large ski area to explore which is split into four main parts; Sunnegga, Gornergrat, Klein Matterhorn and Schwarzsee. Ski Zermatt and you also have the fun novelty of being able to pop over to the Italian ski resort of Cervinia (by pommel or cable car, take your pick). This lesser known Italian resort is worth exploring for both the skiing and the restaurants - make sure you ski down the famous Red 7 and take in the incredible views.
Zermatt is ideal for intermediates wanting to focus on their technique as there are plenty of wide, open runs to cruise down. There are also beginner pistes and enough challenging blacks to keep all standard of skier or boarder more than happy, as well as some good off piste for those in the know, especially when it has been snowing (which is pretty often in Zermatt!). If you are a park skier or boarder, there is a ski park to try out. Spend an afternoon in the Igloo Bar in Riffelberg where you can sit back and watch the pros try out some tricks or take part yourself. All in all, Zermatt has an expansive and varied ski area and is blessed with one of the longest seasons in Europe and reliable conditions. Perfect.
The Zermatt area pass gives you access to the local but large ski areas of Rothorn, Gonergrat and Matterhorn/Schwarzsee. For beginners each area has a dedicated nusery area a short distance from your first lift in the morning. If rolling Blues are your thing then head up on the Gonergrat Bahn to access a great network of Blue runs found in the Gonergrat area. Alternatively for some more challenging runs head up the Matterhorn Glacier express, where if you choose a Zermatt International Pass you can also ski over the border into Cervinha for new skiing and maybe an Italian lunch!
Après ski in Zermatt is in tune with the atmosphere in resort. Laid back, fun loving and outdoorsy folk who want to have a good time but still get up and ski the next morning. After a long lunch in the Furi area, many skiers make their way down to the Hennu Stall, an après institution in Zermatt. A resident DJ plays outside most days but look out for the live bands which really get everyone in the Zermatt spirit! For an after dinner drink, the Papperla Pub has live bands inside in the evenings and the Scheewittchen nightclub below is open for anyone wishing to party into the early hours. For a more relaxed evening, head to The Vernissage for some cocktails or Josef's Wine Room. If you want to try another 'sport' to skiing then you can give crazy golf a go, or how about some sledging?
Dining options in Zermatt are fantastic, varied and plentiful. You could forget the skiing and just come here to enjoy the cuisine, which some regular visitors will admit they do. Starting in the town centre it’s hard to go wrong. From Swiss fondue to traditional rosti (which you have to try!), you can also get burgers, incredible steaks, and even Chinese and Japanese in the town centre. Due to the close proximity to Cervinia there’s a strong Italian influence too, so fantastic pizza and pasta is easy to come by. You can’t go wrong with the food whatever cuisine you go for, but watch out for the price tags that some larger restaurants on the main streets might have. On the mountain, the Furi area has a range of great restaurants from Blatten (try the lamb), Les Marmottes and Zum See. Up the Flindel valley, Fluralp has great food and live music to accompany it. Chalet Etoile in Cervinia is a must - this famous restaurant has great views from the terrace and the food is unbeatable.