You must try Zermatt before you die. Few places can match its combination of excellent advanced and intermediate slopes, reliable snow, magnificent scenery, Alpine charm and mountain restaurants with superb food and stunning views. Its drawbacks are non-trivial (see the minus points above). But, for us and for virtually all our reporters, these pale into insignificance compared with its attractions. Editor Watts has taken countless holidays here. Enough said. Zermatt started life as a simple farming village, developed as a mountaineering centre in the 19th century, then became a winter resort in the late 1920s and early 1930s. Summer is still as big as winter here. The village is car-free, but not traffic-free - electric buggies operating either as hotel shuttles or as public taxis zip around the streets. Residents and taxis can drive up to Zermatt, but the rest of us must park at Täsch (or more distant Visp) and arrive by train. At Täsch there's a big car park (14.50 francs a day), and you can wheel luggage trolleys on and off the trains. Zermatt mainly attracts a well-heeled international clientele; the clientele is also relatively, er, mature for what is quite a sporty resort.
Pros

Wonderful, high, extensive slopes

Spectacular high mountain scenery

Charming but rather sprawling old village; car-free (but not traffic-free)

Reliable snow at altitude

Cons

You may face long walks, crowded buses or pricey taxi rides

Far from ideal for novices

High prices for everything, including lift pass (one of Europe's priciest)

Slow train up to Gornergrat

Getting there

  • Basel airport: 3 hours
  • Geneva airport: 4 hours
  • Sion airport: 1.5 hours
  • Zermatt train station: In resort

Contact Details

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