Everything in the long-established Ski resort of Zermatt evolves around Switzerland’s icon, the majestic and unmistakable, Matterhorn. Standing at an hypnotic 4478m, (affectionately tagged as the Toblerone Mountain) which puts this well-to-do, rustic alpine village in Valais firmly on the adventure map in since the mid-19th century, Zermatt being mentioned as far back as 1470’s.
The scenery around Zermatt is a real joy and counts to one of those things in life that you should ideally have seen at least. The village itself has everything; beautifully aged chocolate box chalets, car-free narrow cobbled lanes and slated barns that marry with a scattering of the grand belle-époque and the more funky builds skirting the resort.
A famed ski foodies bolthole, the village boasts some 30+ restaurants, 21 on which were reviewed in the 2014 edition of GaultMillau and there are several Michelin starred localities. Check out the trendy cool Fondue Chalet of Ferdinand in the designer Hotel Cervo. By the same token, Zermatt has a lively and varied Après ski scene with some 50 bars including the infamous Elsie’s Bar ideal for a glass of fizz before returning home. In the centre of Zermatt, retail therapy can be sourced in the numerous designer & luxury boutiques that dot between the more traditional shops, making this resort equally a favourite with both the Ski and non-ski fraternity.
The naturally high attitude (over 4,000m) of the almost 30 peaks that envelope Zermatt, play the perfect long-seasonal host to the excellent snow conditions with fantastic long vertical runs back down to the village up to 13km. Skiing in Zermatt of course takes precedence and is on a vast scale divided between four areas; Sunnegga (3,103m), Gornergrat, (3,089m) Klein Matterhorn (3,883m) and Schwarzsee (2,552m). Zermatt also has superb additional facilities; toboggan runs, snowshoeing, ice skating, curling, cross country skiing, heli-skiing and paragliding.
Where to stay when in Zermatt? We picked the designer den of Alpine cool, The CERVO is just one of the Alpine Ski Hotels - our ski pads that make up the community of The Aficionados– a network of like-minded places & people who value independence.