Loveskiing’s Zermatt Review
Zermatt, under the shadow of the Matterhorn, is one of Europe’s best ski areas, both in terms of landscape and the skiing on offer. Nestled in a deep valley enclosed between steeply scarped mountains, it is dominated by the huge and gracefully curved mountain that is the Matterhorn. Zermatt is linked to the Italian resort of Cervinia, just over the border in Italy. The area offers over 300km of pistes. However, despite 71 lifts, there is often a bit of a queue to get up the mountain in the morning. Once there you will be spoiled for choice whatever your ability. Throw in a world class terrain park and pipe and you realize Zermatt is truly a top resort. Off the piste, Zermatt is traditional, picturesque and expensive. Stay in one of the many chalets on the outskirts to save cash for the excellent restaurants in town. Nightlife is also very good. Until the mid-19th century, Zermatt was predominantly an agricultural community and this has resulted in a stunning picturesque Swiss resort. Zermatt is car-free and consequently any walking around is very pleasant. A promenade down the main street in the evening is always popular. At any time, it is delightful to explore some of the tiny, romantic cobbled alleyways just off the main street, where you will find ancient sun browned barns and traditional chalets. The resort also offers largest summer skiing area in the Alps (all year 9 ski lifts / 25 km runs).
• Some of the most challenging and awe inspiring terrain in the alps
• 9 out of 10 of the highest mountains in the Alps are located around the village
• Extremely picturesque traditional centre to Zermatt
• Snowsure – some of the highest skiing to be found in the alps
• The highest cable car in the World – At 3820m (12,500ft) the Klein Matterhorn lift is the highest cable car in the world.
• Offers some of Europes best summer skiing with 9 lifts open throughout the year
• Traditional family run restaurants serving delicious Swiss cuisine
• The Matterhorn – one of the most famous mountains anywhere in the World, it is simply stunning especially during sunrise and sunset.
• Superb terrain park
• One of the most romantic resorts in the alps with stunning views, boutiques, cuisine… we can go on and on
• Train stop in the centre of the resort means access is wonderfully simple and because it is Swiss you can expect military precision
• Car-free town centre
• Significantly pricier than it’s Italian neighbour Cervinia
• Expensive resort out of other Swiss and French resorts… but then again you do get what you pay for!
• Due to the high altitude of the ski area there are a lack of tree lined runs
• The distance of the lifts to a lot of the hotels
• Weekend and peak season crowds due to the famous nature of the town
• Those looking for one of the most picturesque resorts coupled with spectactular scenery… you can’t get much better than this!!!
• Ease of access, the train station in the resort centre makes it easy for holiday makers to get the snow train directly to the resort.
• Food lovers – cuisine, both on the mountain and in the resort, is second to none. One of the best resorts for local cuisine that the Loveskiing team have come across.
• Guaranteed snow – if you are planning on coming early or late season you should be guaranteed to get a good covering of snow.
• Romantics – picturesque village, quaint allyways, local shops, delightful hotels, beautiful surroundings, vibrant atmosphere and delicious cuisine. Perfect for a romantic holiday.
• Those on a budget – considering the fame of the resort and level of facilities on offer it is unsurprisingly one of the most expensive resorts in the Alps
• Tree lovers – if you love skiing with trees either side of you, darting inbetween trees then I’m afraid you will be disappointed with the lack of tree lined pistes.
• Ski-in, ski-out convenience – the majority of the accommodation is located away from the lifts.
Après ski in Zermatt
There is an old saying – that ‘In Zermatt, Après Ski begins at noon’. While that may not be true for everyone, it is true that Après ski here does hold a special attraction. It is not hard to see why… three dozen mountain restaurants are to be found above Zermatt, most with sublime views of the Matterhorn’s many angles. Most are also authentic, cosy, distinctly Swiss ‘chalets’, charming visitors with fantastic food and a unique Zermatt atmosphere. It is no idle boast to say that Zermatt has many of the best mountain restaurants in the Alps.
Skiing up to an ancient sun browned cabin, it is a delight to snap off one’s skis at the end of a satisfying day, faces glowing from the sun, and to share a Glüwein (Spiced warm wine) or delicious Apfelstrudel (local apple pie) with friends. Often the atmosphere invites one to linger long after the sun goes down, before a laughter filled descent under moonlight the final miles to the village.