Zermatt Ski Resort - Full Travel Guide

author ALEX C. . October 29, 2022

With countless groomed slopes and deep powder off-piste trails, Zermatt offers thrills for all skill levels.

And with charming chalets serving up world-class cuisine and lovely villages ripe for exploring, this resort has something for everyone.

Skiing in Zermatt is an incredible experience for skiers of all skill levels. With 360 kilometers of groomed runs spanning two countries, Zermatt offers plenty of terrain for everyone to enjoy.

Additionally, at an impressive 3,883 meters in vertical drop, this ski resort has the highest slopes in the Alps.

What's more, Zermatt is one of the last remaining mega resorts in Europe where you can ski year-round. In fact, over 21 kilometers of trails are open during the summer months as well.

Zermatt ski resort is split into four different areas – Matterhorn Glacier Paradise, Gornergrat, Rothorn, and Cervinia on the Italian side – Zermatt offers a diverse range of terrain to suit any skier's needs.

How to Get to Zermatt

Täsch Zermatt photo source: Unsplash / Täsch Zermatt

Zermatt is a popular ski resort located in the picturesque canton of Valais in Switzerland.

Located about 235km east of Geneva and 230km south of Zurich, Zermatt is easily accessed via major roadways or by via Rail.

The nearest major town is Visp, which lies just 31km north of Zermatt.

1. Zermatt's closest Airports

No matter which airport you choose, getting to Zermatt is easy.

From Geneva airport, located just 2 hours 40 min drive away by car or 3 hours 50 min hours by train, travelers can simply hop on the regular shuttle bus that connects with trains going directly into the town center.

From Sion airport, which is marginally closer at only an 1 hour 30 min away or 2 hours by train, there are also buses that connect conveniently with city center trains.

While traveling from Zurich or Milan may take slightly longer at around three and a half hours of driving each or equivalent time by train, these distance options still provide quick and easy access to Zermatt.

2. Getting with car to Zermatt

Zermatt is accessible by car, however all private vehicles must be parked (for a fee) in one of the several down valley parking lots in the town of Täsch, which is located 5 kilometers away from Zermatt.

Once you reach Täsch, you can then board the mountain cog railway train for a scenic 12-minute ride into the village.

This train runs frequently throughout the day and even late at night, so there is no need to worry about missing your ride.

In addition to being quick and convenient, these trains offer easy access to your accommodation once you arrive in Zermatt, as they come with trolleys for carrying your luggage.

Alternatively, if you prefer not to travel by train, you can also opt for an electric taxi or hotel shuttle or even book a horse-drawn carriage ride.

Whichever option you choose, with its convenient transportation options and awe-inspiring natural beauty, Zermatt is sure to leave a lasting impression on anyone who visits!

3. Getting to Zermatt via Rail

Getting to Zermatt by rail is a popular choice for travelers from all around the world.

Whether you are flying into Zurich, Sion, Geneva, or Milan, there are excellent rail connections that will take you to the picturesque towns of Brig or Visp that are located close to the Zermatt.

Once you arrive at these connecting cities, simply cross the street and hop onto the mountain cog railway that takes you straight to Zermatt.

The journey itself can be a breathtaking experience, with magnificent views of Alpine vistas and charming villages along the way.

And thanks to its easy connections and scenic route, rail travel is undoubtedly one of the best ways to get to Zermatt and explore all that this beautiful alpine town has to offer.

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The best ski slopes in Zermatt

ski slopes in Zermatt photo source: Pixabay

If you're looking for beginner-friendly runs or challenging black diamond trails, Zermatt has it al. Here are our picks for the best ski slopes in Zermatt.

1. Trockener Steg

If you are a complete beginner and looking for the best ski beginners areas in Zermatt, then look no further than Trockener Steg.

At this picturesque valley station, you will find a beautiful rope lift with a flat practice slope that is perfect for beginners of all ages.

Additionally, the wide, flat terrain makes it easy to control your speed and steer your skis into large sweeping turns.

2. Theodul Glacier

The resort boasts several excellent beginner-friendly slopes, such as those on the Theodul Glacier.

With longer, broad runs and gentle slopes, these scenic pistes offer novice skiers plenty of room to explore and make big turns without feeling intimidated by steep gradients or narrower paths.

3. Wolli Anfängerpark

For more advanced skiers, there is also an exciting option in 'Wolli Anfängerpark'.

This world-class terrain park features three magic carpets and two innovative ski tows that make it easy to get back up the mountain again and again.

And that's not all - this park also boasts a range of fun play equipment designed specifically for young skiers and snowboarders.

4. Gravity Snow Park

If you are a seasoned freestyler or snowboarder, Gravity Park in Zermatt is the place to be.

This world-class terrain park offers everything you need to practice your skills and push your limits.

Whether you're looking for kickers, jibs, or a massive superpipe, Gravity Park has it all.

And best of all, it's open year-round, so no matter when you visit, you'll always find plenty of exciting challenges and great opportunities for some epic snowboarding.

5. Black Piste 59

If you're looking for a truly challenging and exciting experience, then look no further than black Piste 59.

This newly added trail, which was opened in 2013/2014, is part of the Cervinia ski resort on the Italian side of the iconic Matterhorn mountain.

With its steep 70% gradient, black Piste 59 is not for the faint-hearted, but if you're looking to take your skiing to the next level and push yourself to the limit, this is where you need to be.

To really up the ante even more, why not attempt the full 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) of this epic slope from start to finish?

The longest slope in the world will give you an exhilarating experience that you won't soon forget, as you bomb down from the top of Matterhorn Glacier Paradise through twists and turns all the way down to Zermatt at the base.

6. Matterhorn Ski Safari

With the Matterhorn Ski Safari, you will have the opportunity to experience the best ski slopes in Zermatt.

The journey will begin at Rotherhorn, where you will make your way across Theodulgletscher and Trockener Steg before reaching Matterhorn glacier paradise.

From there, you will continue on through Breuil-Cervinia and Testa Grigia, following a long and winding path through Stafelalp as you make your way back to Zermatt.

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Non-skiing activities in Zermatt

gornergrat-bahn photo source: Unsplash

If you're looking for non-ski activities in Zermatt, there are plenty of options to choose from.

1. Snowshoe hiking in Zermatt

One great non-ski activity to try is winter and snowshoe hiking. There are many great trails available for exploration on foot or snowshoe, ranging from easy to challenging depending on your preferences.

For an easy stroll, try the walk from Blauherd to Fluhalp, which takes you through snowy villages and winding forests or take the Randa Village Trail through the charming village of Randa.

And if you're looking for a true adventure, don't miss the Challenge Trail, this route will take you from the summit of Gornergrat down to Rotenboden while offering up stunning vistas at every turn.

And for families with young kids in tow, there's the Family Trail, as it offers plenty of great views without being too physically demanding.

So if you're craving some non-ski activities while visiting Zermatt this winter, lace up your snowshoes and get ready to explore!

2. Walking trails in Zermatt

If hiking isn't really your thing but you still want to explore the great outdoors, you can always check out one of the many winter walking trails in Zermatt.

With observation decks positioned right above Zermatt, Täsch, and Randa, these trails offer amazing vistas at every turn and are perfect for anyone looking for a bit of adventure.

3. Ice Climbing in Zermatt

For those who prefer something more adrenaline-fueled, why not give ice climbing a try?

Ice Climbing is one of the most exciting things to do in Zermatt! And you don't have to worry about being a total newbie either. Local outfitters, such as Zermatters, offer guided ice-climbing excursions for people of all ages and experience levels.

You'll get the chance to scale frozen waterfalls and ice-covered rock walls in a picturesque landscape that looks straight out of a fairytale.

The activity typically lasts around 5 hours from start to finish, including travel time. However, you can expect to be actively climbing for around 2-3 hours - so get ready for an exhilarating thrill!

4. Ice Skating in Zermatt

Another of the most popular non-ski activities is Ice Skating, and it's easy to see why.

You'll find natural rinks as well as artificial ones in both center city Zermatt and Randa and Täsch too.

After spending some time on the rink, you can stretch your legs with a walk through beautiful Zermatt and treat yourself to something sweet or hot to help warm you up.

So if all else fails this winter, just head out for some ice skating in Zermatt - you'll have a blast!

5. Gornergrat Bahn ride

Next non-ski thing to do in Zermatt is ride the Gornergrat Bahn.

At an elevation of almost 9,000 feet, this elevated railway offers incredible panoramic views of Matterhorn and Monte Rosa and passes through rich forests, vast meadows, and awe-inspiring glaciers.

Once you arrive at Gornergrat Summit, you'll be greeted by a spectacular view that will leave you breathless. From here, you can soak up the gorgeous alpine scenery from the viewing platform or kick back and relax in the charming coffee shop/restaurant.

And if you choose to stay for lunch, your kids will love playing with snow on the outdoor playground while you enjoy a delicious meal in nature's backyard.
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Things to do with children in Zermatt

sledging Zermatt Photo source: Unsplash

There are countless activities to do in Zermatt with children, from enjoyable outdoor activities like sledding down one of the slopes or building snowmen in one of the local parks, to engaging indoor pursuits like exploring the many museums and curio shops that can be found throughout this charming Swiss town.

If you're visiting during the winter months, be sure to check out all of the fun things to do in Zermatt with children.

1. Toboggan Run in Zermatt


When it comes to things to do in Zermatt with children, sledging is definitely at the top of the list.

There is just something about this exhilarating winter activity that brings out the inner child in everyone. Schedule a trip up to Rotenboden , here is a 1.47 km toboggan run with breathtaking panoramic views.

For those looking for something longer, the sledging slope in Täsch offers 3.64 km of pure fun, complete with scenic mountain vistas.

And last but not least, if your family includes very small children, Randa offers a gentle slope ideal for building memories and having fun in the snow.

Read also: 13 Best Ski Resorts in Switzerland

2. Explore Matterhorn Glacier Palace


If you are looking for an exciting and unique experience for both you and your kids, then a visit to the Matterhorn Glacier Palace is a must.

Located deep beneath the surface of the mountains, this enchanting Glacier Palace is filled with sparkling sculptures made entirely out of ice and crystals.

Explore winding ice tunnels and marvel at dazzling sculptures of all shapes and sizes, including fantastic animal-shaped creations.

Kids will especially love checking out all the hidden nooks and crannies in this dark, icy world.

And don't forget to bring your camera - there are endless photo opportunities here, from ice benches perfect for stunning selfies to majestic thrones fit for a queen or king!

To get there, take the Matterhorn Express from Zermatt to Trockener Steg mountain station, followed by a cable car ride to the top.

Once you arrive at this magnificent underground attraction, you will be treated to some truly unforgettable sights.

3. Visit Matterhorn Museum


For a fun, educational activity to do with your kid, check out the Matterhorn Museum. Located in the charming Zermatt village, this unique museum is the perfect place for families to learn about the history and culture of this beautiful alpine town.

Here, you can explore a replica village that recreates life in 19th-century Zermatt, complete with historic houses and exhibits on local mountaineering history.

From learning about renowned climbers who conquered the challenging Matterhorn to viewing local artifacts and even seeing the route those brave adventurers took to reach their goal, there is something for everyone at the Matterhorn Museum.

Top Tip: children under 9 years old enjoy free holidays.

Thanks to the Wolli Card: ski for free in this charming ski resort, giving them access to all lifts and trains as well as discounts at restaurants and hotels.

Even better, kids up to 9 years can enjoy free accommodation when they stay with their parents in a hotel that accepts Wolli Cards.

So if you want to take advantage of these great perks, be sure to reserve your Wolli Card Online before your trip.

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Après-ski and Nightlife in Zermatt

Après-ski photo source: Pixabay

When planning a ski trip to Zermatt, one thing is certain: you simply cannot miss out on the town's infamous Après-ski scene.

1. Papperla Pub

One of the most popular spots to hang out and dance the night away is Papperla Pub in Steinmattstraße.

Right in the heart of Zermatt is a beloved gathering place for locals and tourists alike. Whether you're looking to share a few après-ski drinks with your friends or simply enjoy a meal after a long day on the slopes, this unique pub is the perfect place to unwind.

With its welcoming atmosphere and an impressive array of enticing food and drink options, the Papperla Pub has truly become a cult venue that locals and visitors alike can't get enough of.

2. Pink Live Music Bar

Another great après-ski in Zermatt is the Pink Live Music Bar.

This vibrant venue is always packed with partygoers who come for its great live music, offering everything from soul and funk to jazz and R&B.

With its charming decor and diverse musical lineup, this bar truly has something for everyone.

3.Broken Bar Disco

And if you're looking for magic, there is perhaps no venue that is more legendary than the Broken Bar Disco.

With its unique wine barrel DJ booth and buzzing atmosphere, this underground hotspot has been luring revelers into its catacombs for years.

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Dining and Restaurants in Zermatt

Dining Zermatt photo source: Pixabay

When you're feeling hungry and in need of a good meal, there are over 100 choices of best restaurants in Zermatt that offer something for every palate.

1. After Seven

After Seven is one of the most excellent restaurants in Zermatt, and it has earned a reputation for excellence thanks to its outstanding cuisine.

With a prestigious Michelin star as well as 15 Gault Millau points, the kitchen here features creative and innovative dishes that fuse elements from different culinary traditions, including exotic influences and national flavors.

2. China Garden

Additionally, China Garden is another excellent restaurant in Zermatt.

With 13 Gault Millau points, this restaurant delivers exceptional food that will take your taste buds on an exciting journey across Asia.

Whether you are craving classic Chinese dishes or more unusual delicacies, the talented chefs here are sure to delight you with their expertly prepared creations.

3. Chez Max Julen

At Chez Max Julen, you will find one of the best restaurants in all of Zermatt.

This upscale eatery serves up some of the most delicious and traditional cuisine around. Whether you're in the mood for meat, fish, or lamb grilled to perfection, or if you want to indulge in some fresh market produce, this restaurant provides an elegant and yet welcoming atmosphere that is sure to impress.

So if you're looking to treat yourself to a meal that is truly special, look no further than this highly-regarded restaurant. You won't be disappointed!

Read also: 17 Best Things to do in Switzerland

The best Accommodation in Zermatt

Penthause Zen, Zermatt photo credit: Chalet Zen

In the world-renowned ski destination of Zermatt, the hotels are among the best in the world - receiving top ratings on all the major travel sites.

With spacious rooms, luxurious spa, and incomparable hospitality, they offer everything that guests could possibly want from their accommodation.

Whether you're looking for a plush 5-star hotel, a cozy traditional Swiss chalet, a family hotel with all the amenities, or a spacious apartment in one of the scenic ski-in/ski-out resorts, there is something to suit every traveler's needs and budget in Zermatt.

Note: there are over 1,400,000 accommodations and we're only looking at a few of them.

1. Penthouse Zen

Located just 100m from the piste and the main lift up Klein Matterhorn, Penthouse Zen is the perfect luxury accommodation for anyone looking to enjoy all that the Zermatt ski resort has to offer.

With its central location and easy access to a variety of shops, bars, and restaurants, this luxury penthouse apartment is ideal for those who want to experience all the warmth and charm of this charming village.

Featuring three spacious en-suite bedrooms that can comfortably accommodate up to 6 guests, this luxury apartment also boasts a spacious living area with a sleek black steel fireplace at its center.

The open plan dining area and fully-equipped kitchen have plenty of space for socializing, while the large balcony offers stunning views that can be enjoyed from any spot in the apartment.

2. Alpenhof Hotel

If you are looking for the ultimate in luxury and relaxation, look no further than the Alpenhof Hotel.

Situated only a ten-minute walk from the lively center of Zermatt village, one of Switzerland's most popular mountain resorts, this hotel is the perfect blend of traditional Swiss charm and contemporary elegance.

With spacious, stylish rooms decorated in warm alpine tones, a state-of-the-art wellness area, and fine dining options that range from classic Swiss fare to international cuisine.

The Alpenhof has everything you need to relax and recharge while enjoying some of nature's most stunning beauty.

3. CERVO Mountain Resort & Spa

Looking for the best accommodation in a ski resort has never been easier than with CERVO Mountain Resort & Spa.

With 54 rooms and suites, along with seven luxurious lodges, each offering a unique experience and small world of its own, this mountain resort is the perfect choice for any traveler looking to explore the breathtaking landscape of Zermatt.

Whether you're looking for a modern base camp for all your outdoor adventures or simply a relaxing retreat complete with a private spa, CERVO has everything you need for an unforgettable alpine getaway.

But what truly sets this resort apart from the rest is its unique style - a blend of casual luxury, modern design, warm colors, and natural materials that perfectly captures the essence of alpine living.

So if you're looking for the best accommodations in Zermatt today, look no further than CERVO: your best choice for endless adventure and endless comfort!

4. Alpine Budget Rooms by Täscherhof

Looking for budget accommodation in the bustling ski resort of Zermatt?

Then the Alpine Budget Rooms by Täscherhof is the right place. This charming two-storey wooden chalet offers cozy, budget-friendly rooms that are perfect for budget-conscious travelers and outdoor enthusiasts.

With a great location near all the action of Zermatt.

And best of all, you get access to the relaxing small wellness area with saunas and a whirlpool at the nearby Typically Swiss Hotel Täscherhof - all free of charge!

Alpine Budget Rooms by Täscherhof truly has everything you need for an unforgettable ski getaway.

Book your cheap accommodation at Alpine Budget Rooms today and start enjoying premier skiing at Zermatt!

5. Iglu-Dorf Zermatt

There is nothing quite like spending an evening in a cozy, freezing cold igloo, surrounded by picturesque mountains and twinkling stars.

If you're looking for a unique and truly unforgettable experience with your family, friends or loved one, then check out the Iglu-Dorf Zermatt.

In addition to comfortable accommodation and exquisite dining options, the Igloo Village also features an indulgent whirlpool and sauna where you can unwind after a long day of exploring the great outdoors.

And when you book one of their all-you-can-eat fondue specials, you can enjoy some truly delectable regional mountain cheese while taking in stunning views from the restaurant or gourmet sun terrace.

The highlights of the igloo night surely consist of the nightly snowshoe hike and the soak in the outside warm Jacuzzi.



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Best Ski Schools in Zermatt

ski-switzerland photo source: Pixabay

Learning to ski or snowboard can be a daunting prospect, especially for beginners.

Luckily, with the right teachers and instructors, it doesn't have to be difficult!

Find out with us the best ski schools to get your classes at the friendly and competent teachers in Zermatt.

1. Alpine Ski School Zermatt

The Alpine Ski School Zermatt is an excellent choice for beginners and experienced skiers alike.

With a team of highly-trained and enthusiastic instructors, they offer comprehensive lessons and guidance that will have you skiing like a pro in no time.

Whether you are looking for private or group lessons, the Alpine Ski School Zermatt has everything you need.

2. Stoked - Swiss Ski and Snowboard School

Stoked - Swiss Ski and Snowboard School are specifically designed to teach kids beginning as 2.5 years old how to enjoy this thrilling winter sport!

Stoked - Swis is one of the most professional schools, multi-lingual and best organized ski schools in Zermatt.

Plus their event organization is fantastic for (corporate) events with a unique location they own called the Turbina housed in a former hydro-power plant!

3. Matterhorn Diamonds - Private Ski School

Another option is the Matterhorn Diamonds - Private Ski School, which offers tailored instruction based on your individual needs and skill level.

Their experienced instructors have years of experience teaching ski enthusiasts just like you, so you can be confident that they will deliver an exceptional learning experience every time.

4. Prato Borni Ski und Snowboardschule

If you are looking to explore some hidden tips or gain the skills of an expert, then Prato Borni is right for you.

This is a small Ski School specialized in private lessons. Instructors will be delighted to share with you their years of experience as snowboarding, skiing, and telemark skiing instructors.

In addition, they will show you the best ski areas in Zermatt resort.

5. European Snowsport Ski and Snowboard School

Finally, if you want to learn with your family or with a group of friends, the European Snowsport Ski and Snowboard School might be perfect for you.

With a focus on safety and fun, their instructors will help you progress as a skier while also making sure that everyone in your group has a good time!

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Conclusion:
If you’re looking for the best ski resort in the world, look no further than Zermatt, Switzerland.

This luxury ski resort in Switzerland offers some of the best skiing in the world, as well as a wide range of children-friendly facilities and activities to keep everyone entertained.

When you’re not hitting the slopes, be sure to check out some of Zermatt’s amazing après-ski spots and enjoy some quality time with friends.

Start planning your winter adventure today!

author
ALEX C.
https://lovelyterra.com
I am born to explore the world. I don’t know where I’m going, but still, I’m on my way. Travel as much as you can, wherever you can, and as long as you can. Life is too short to be lived in one place.