Who doesn’t know it? The Matterhorn – THE symbol of Switzerland next to chocolate and cheese. Truly, the imposing mountain peak is ubiquitous and the destination of every visitor to Switzerland. Here is my small guide for your perfect Matterhorn experience!
Some places have something magical in them, and so it is in Zermatt. If you enter the car-free village by train, the mountain massif of the Matterhorn already shines impressively. The Matterhorn is really something special and believe me, you will not cease ti be amazed! Not surprising that it is the most photographed mountain in the world!
Tourists come from all over the world and even me as Swiss wants to marvel at the 4’478 m high mountain in Valais with my own eyes. The mountain attracts everyones eyes like a magnet. It is indescribable, but I could barely avert my eyes … Love?
And definitely I have made a lot of photos 😉 Therefore, it was not easy to make a selection. But now I would like to share with you my impressions and take you on the unforgettable 3-day trip around the Matterhorn. One thing I can tell you now: eye candy and thrills guaranteed!
Day 1: Riffelsee & Gornergrat
Once arrived in Zermatt you can already see the imposing mountain massif of the Matterhorn and only 50 m from the train station the Gornergrat railway goes up to the summit of the observation tower of the same name at 3100 m.
I left my luggage at the counter, because I booked the night on the 3100 Gornergrat Kulm so they took the luggage directly to the summit, where I could pick it up later. Then you can choose yourself if and how far you want to go hiking. I took the train to Riffelalp and from there hiked up to the Gornergrat the so-called “Swiss Topwalk” (3-4h).
The ascent to Riffelboden is a bit steeper and more demanding, but with the beautiful Matterhorn panorama you do not notice it at all. The hiking part to Riffelsee is pleasantly rising and you cross large meadows and maybe you can also see a marmot 🙂
If you travel by train to Rotenboden, then the hike from Riffelsee to Gornergrat takes only 1-1.5 hours. And of course, if you have no interest in visiting the Riffelsee, you can also drive up to the Gornergrat. Everything is possible here.
Riffelsee with many people around noon
Once at the top it pays off to enjoy the all-round view on the 360 ° panorama platform. The checked baggage can be picked up directly at the train station afterwards and then check in to the room.
The rooms at the 3100 Gornergrat Kulm Hotel are all named after individual mountain peaks. My room was the only one with Matterhorn view & balcony (tip: ask for the room “Dent Blanche”!)
I highly recommend you to stay on the Gornergrat, because once the day tourists are gone, an indescribable silence returns at 3100m. And the sunset is also a class of its own! With your hotel stay you can also enjoy a 4-course dinner. Exquisite!
View from the 360° platform on the Gornergrat Kulm
Day 2: 5-Seenweg (5 lakes walk)
Get to bed early and out early to start the day with the sunrise, it’s worth it! At the height it is fresh even in the summer, so I wrapped myself up and walked to the 360 ° panorama platform. It was a bit hazy in the morning, but still really nice – obviously the Matterhorn 😉
After a delicious breakfast, I left my luggage back at the Gornergratbahn and started hiking.
At the beginning I followed the “Path of silence” to Grünsee. Warning: Depending on the season, there may still be a lot of snow, so check the route first. Because I was still hip deep in the snow, which was rather suboptimal …
From Grünsee I hiked the 5-Seenweg in the opposite direction. If you walk the route in the suggested way “Blauherd – Stellisee – Grindjisee – Grünsee – Moosjisee – Leisee -Sunnegga” it is even wheelchair accessible. My walk went from Grünsee over Grindjisee, where I took a longer break and watched the people go by. Then I followed the somewhat steep climb to Stellisee and continued to Blauherd and Leisee. The Stellisee is next to the Riffelsee one of the most photographed lakes around the Matterhorn and truly worth a long photo session 😉
Stellisee & Grindjisee
Not much to add to this view <3
Unfortunately, I only saw the Moosjisee from the top, because I chose a mountain trail and it passed by Blauherd. Leisee is incredibly cute and with a “beach” and beach chairs very inviting. From Sunnegga a lift leads down to the lake and is therefore accessible to everyone.
The path is beautiful and especially in summer, the lakes are the perfect way to cool down on the hike!
After a swim in Leisee i took the funicular Sunnegga back to the Zermatt. After such a long hike, I can highly recommend some wellness. And for a delicious dinner you also have countless options in the village!
Leisee and the trail to Sunnegga
Day 3: Charles Kuonen Suspension Bridge
In the summer it says: The early birds catch the worm (or rather enjoy the fresh air)! Because the later you get on the way, the unpleasant hot it gets. Therefore, early out!
After a delicious breakfast it’s time to leave Zermatt and got to Randa. I had not planned this hike, but spontaneously decided in the morning for it. Every half hour, the train goes to the nearby village. From the train station in Randa I was able to deposit my backpack at the Hotel Klein Matterhorn, as I did not drive back to Zermatt in the evening.
The way to the Charles Kuonen suspension bridge starts directly in the village and is well signposted. Normally it is a circular walk, but the “pleasant” ascent route was closed and I had to take the steep route up. The Charles Kuonen suspension bridge is located on the Europaweg and is just about 500m the longest suspension bridge in the world, which is accessible to pedestrians. At the highest point there are 85m in depth and from there you have an impressive view on the Weisshorn and the glaciers. It takes nearly 10 minutes to cross the bridge – so do not hesitate …
From the suspension bridge I can highly recommend the way to Europahütte. It is about 30 minutes and you have a beautiful view on the suspension bridge and you can even see the peak of the Matterhorn.
Since the trail is in the forest, the trees provide shade in the morning. At noon, it is very hot and therefore the ascent is not so recommended. Overall, the walk takes about 4 hours depending on pace and breaks.
After 3 intensive hiking days, I made my way back to Zurich in the early afternoon, still flashed by these natural beauties. In any case, I left a piece of heart at the Matterhorn – I think it was love at first sight! Just a perfect Matterhorn experience!
Have you ever been to Zermatt? Or do you only know the Matterhorn from the Toblerone chocolate? Besides, did you already know the Charles Kuonen suspension bridge before?
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