This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.MORE INFO
Menu Close

If it’s a winter wonderland you’re looking for, you've come to the right place. Zermatt ski village is one of the most photographed destinations in Switzerland — and for good reason. Best known for the dramatic, pyramid-shaped Matterhorn mountain (which reaches 4,478 metres at its summit and inspired the Toblerone chocolate bar) the town lures skiers, climbers and holidaymakers to the heart of the Swiss Alps for luxurious snow-capped getaways year after year.

Every holiday season, the car-free town comes alive with festive decorations, Christmas markets and events, while cosy wooden chalets cocoon travellers in warmth and comfort. Grab that steamy cup of hot chocolate to-go, because you’ve got a lot of ground to cover in this pristine paradise.

Image © Pascal Gertschen

Hit the Slopes

Heaven on Earth for skiers and snowboards, the Swiss Alps are dusted in fresh powder year-round. And you know what that means: countless runs await veterans and amateurs alike. To reach some of the most picturesque pistes, hop aboard Gornergrat-Monte Rose Bahn — Europe’s highest open-rail system and the world’s first electric cog railway. Originally built in 1898, the 9.4-kilometre track has long transported skiers and sledgers from Zermatt station up to the Gornergrat summit. From here, take in the views of the Matterhorn and nearly 30 other mountains before zipping down your run of choice. And for beginners? Most hotels offer introductory lessons to master the essentials and build confidence before taking on more challenging slopes.

Master the Après-Ski Meal

Thanks to Zermatt’s well-heeled clientele, there’s no shortage of Michelin-starred restaurants in this mountain resort town for some post-ski socialising. Make a reservation at Michelin-starred After Seven at Backstage Hotel well in advance to enjoy the romantic atmosphere. Build your own set menu or trust award-winning chef Ivo Adam to create a surprise gastronomic experience that balances Alpine traditions with creative infusions alongside excellent wines. The restaurant is only open from December to April, so plan ahead.

Image © Michael Portmann

Glide through the Mountains

For a dramatic gondola journey that delivers big on scenery, hop aboard the Matterhorn Glacier Ride, which is the world’s highest 3S cable car. Boasting 360-degree panoramic windows, the cable cars glide along the short trip to Matterhorn Glacier Paradise (see below). These solar-powered cabins feature sleek designs by Pininfarina, the same Italian design firm behind Maserati and Ferrari interiors, while four ‘crystal’ cabins dazzle with Swarovski crystals. But nothing competes with the pristine glacial landscape and serene Alpine scenes. A one hour-long route from Zermatt to Breuil-Cervinia, Italy, is scheduled to open in 2022, soaring over roaring rivers and picturesque pine forests.

Chill at Matterhorn Glacier Paradise

Once you reach the summit — the highest cable car station in Europe at 3,883 metres — a viewing platform reveals stunning views of the Matterhorn, as well as peaks and glaciers across the Alps. Follow the signs for the family-friendly Matterhorn Glacier Paradise experience, where you can stroll through tunnels in a glacier, check out ice sculptures and more. Afterwards, brave souls can set off down one of the world’s longest ski slopes all the way back to Zermatt.

Image © Emanuel Ammon

Pay Tribute at the Matterhorn Museum

If you’re keen to learn more about the history behind the iconic mountain, this is the place. The museum focuses on poignant stories behind the region — including how four of the first seven people to summit the mountain in 1865 tragically fell to their deaths — and celebrates local specialities, such as bootmaking, village architecture and the Alpine way of life.

Image © Pascal Gertschen

Prepare for the Hike of Your Life

Naturally, the Matterhorn is the region’s star attraction. It might be one of the highest mountains in Europe, but you don’t have to be super-human to climb it. You do, however, have to be prepared. The 12-hour hike is best tackled by seasoned mountain climbers who have the right equipment and have prepared extensively for the steep, exposed conditions. The mountain also requires significant technical climbing, ladders, rope manoeuvres and scrambling.

Aspiring climbers should arrive four to five days early to acclimate to the altitude and train in the wintery conditions. When ready, the majority of climbers head up Hornli Ridge — where you’ll find Hornli Hut Base Camp at 3,260 metres and can either stay overnight or rest before heading up to the summit. Even if you don’t make it higher than base camp, you’ll still be rewarded with incredible views of the mountain’s glaciers and neighbouring peaks — an experience you’ll never forget.

Top image © Pascal Gertschen