Zermatt is a traditional alpine village enclosed by 38 summits above 4,000m, and home to the highest ski resort in Europe. Thousands of adventure seekers flock here every year to visit a resort steeped in mountaineering history.
Why you should go: Besides being home to Switzerland’s most famous landmark, the Matterhorn, many people would name Zermatt as the best ski resort in the world. Almost everybody explores Zermatt on foot or skis, visiting the village because they love the mountains and the wonderful atmosphere. There are no coach tours and no through-routes – step off the train and you’re right in the heart of this special, welcoming place.
What to do when you’re there: Do we even need to mention skiing? The mountains surrounding Zermatt are also a hiker’s paradise, with around 400km of hiking paths and trails exploring over 50 mountain lakes. If you want to relax, take the ride to the highest lift-serviced summit in Europe, the Klein Matterhorn, for exceptional views of Switzerland, Italy and, on a clear day, France.
Recommended route: The Matterhorn Glacier Trail offers a fascinating glimpse of a world between rock and ice. Walkers approach the glacier on a safe path, close enough to see the meltwater running out: a memorable moment on a special hiking adventure.
Where to eat: There are tons of mountain restaurants as well as great places to eat in the town itself, including Sparky’s Bar within the Matterhorn Hostel. Try traditional Swiss cuisine or one of the many restaurants on the main street, Bahnhofstrasse.
Interesting fact: The inspiration behind the triangular shape of Toblerone is said to have come from the Matterhorn, hence why the mountain features on the packaging.
Top tip: Zermatt is car-free, so we recommend arriving by train and getting a sneak peek at the Matterhorn as you arrive.