Whether you like skiing or boarding, sledding or hiking… if you like snowsports, you’ll find what you are looking for in Zermatt. 394 km of pistes provide a wide variety of skiing in an international ski area situated on the border between Switzerland and Italy.
The area is dominated by the stunning scenery of the Matterhorn and Zermatt’s pluses can be summarised as follows – awesome scenery; amazing mountain restaurants; fantastic and varied skiing.
The resort is best known for its excellent powder skiing, although off-piste areas and unofficial runs should only be explored with a guide, due to sudden drop-offs and avalanche risk. Intermediate skiers have a wide range of slopes to enjoy around the Zermatt-Matterhorn Ski Area and it is possible to ski across all three mountains in a day.
The easiest slopes are high up on the glacier in the Klein Matterhorn region, but beginners should be aware that trails that start out as novice often end up being intermediate and there are no beginner trails that connect the mountains. Snowboarders share the same exciting terrain.
Located in the extreme south of Switzerland, near the Italian border, 30 mls south west of Saas-Fee lies Zermatt (140 mls east of Geneva and its international airport, 130 mls SE of Bern and its international airport).
Highest lift: 3900m (12795ft), Lowest lift: 1620m (5315ft), Vertical drop: 2280m (7480ft), Number of lifts: 60, Uplift capacity: 75180 p/hr, Beginner: 33%, Intermediate: 46%, Expert: 21%, Total piste length: 394km, Snowboard parks: 1, Cross country: 8km
There are 2 ski schools, with many English-speaking instructors. The instruction does not generally start until Monday, which is not very useful for guests arriving on Saturday. Ski-passes can be bought for the entire Zermatt area, for the Zermatt/Cervinia area or the Klein Matterhorn/Cervinia area. Good but expensive off-piste skiing and heli-skiing also available.
There is a good selection of shops, including a large number of high-end jewellery stores , plus designer fashion shops, lots of quality Swiss souvenirs. There is also a fair number of art galleries. Prices in this resort are pretty high.
Daytime winter activities include snowboarding, paragliding, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, winter hiking, ice climbing, curling, ice-skating. tennis, squash, bowling, sledging, tubing and sleigh rides.
Indoor activities include tennis, swimming and golf . During the summer: hiking and mountain-biking are both very popular.
Zermatt has reputedly has more restaurants than any ski-resort in Europe and has something to suit all tastes and pockets, from the cheap and filling fondue to more sophisticated gastronomic feasts. 38 on-slope restaurants.