Most of you might know Zermatt and its touristic importance thanks to being closely linked to the probably most famous mountain in the world – the Matterhorn. The fairytale like village at the foot of the unique mountain peak is a car-free zone and therefore has preserved its original and authentic character.
Zermatt is a true (winter) dream: the village of Zermatt itself is also incredibly charming with its century-old barns, chocolate-coloured chalets and cobblestone streets. With an elevation of around 1,600 meters, the village is pretty much always covered in snow throughout the winter months. It makes you feel like living in a magical snow globe.
Zermatt is one of the top ski resorts in Switzerland, in Europe as well as in the world. Every year, thousands of skiing enthusiasts coming from all over the world to experience the fantastic slopes. There are 360 kilometres, which are suitable for families, ski professionals and anybody in between (covering the Sunnegga-Rothorn, Gornergrat-Stockhorn, Schwarzsee and Matterhorn glacier paradise area). Don’t worry if you are not into skiing: Zermatt is great to go snowshoeing, take a long winter walk, challenge yourself with a sledge run, burn some calories with cross-country skiing or simply recharge with a wellness day and great food.
Also this time we chose some different activities than skiing for our Zermatt stay. During our last trip we did the Gornergrat train ride and went also all the way up to Klein Matterhorn, which is the highest cable car station in Europe at 3’821 metres above sea level. This time you can read more about the maybe best hotel to stay in Zermatt (incl. après ski), the blue hour magic train, the most breath-taking natural ice cave expedition and the most delicious food in town!
How to get to Zermatt
Getting to Zermatt is actually quite easy. Since Zermatt is car-free, with the exception of e-taxis and e-buses, you are not allowed to travel there in your own private vehicle. The best way is to park your car in the parking house in Täsch. There are also free e-charging stations inside so that after your vacation in Zermatt your car is fully charged to head back home. From Täsch there are trains bringing you in about 12 minutes to Zermatt and they run in both directions every 20 minutes.
Of course a very easy way to go to Zermatt is by train. There is a very convenient connection from Zurich (in 3:58hrs) and if you know the date already some time in advance you can get a really good deal with a saver pass.
Where to stay in Zermatt – CERVO Mountain Resort
Beyond Exploring: CERVO is the gateway to the mystical mountain world of the Alps and most probably best located at the foot of the picturesque Matterhorn. The Mountain Resort offers 54 rooms, an extensive Mountain Ashram Spa and the restaurants and bars will not leave you hungry for sure. Perfectly situated beside sun-kissed slopes, village and forest with a splendid view of the Matterhorn, the CERVO is the only “ski in – ski out” hotel in Zermatt. An easy ten minutes walk from the main train station with a lift in the Sunnegga funicular base station will bring you right to the entrance of the hotel. Furthermore (and maybe thanks to the brilliant location) CERVO has one of the most popular après-ski bars in Zermatt. Upbeat music with the breathtaking Matterhorn as a background, plus a great service, there isn’t really much you can ask for more.
Nomad, Alpinist and Huntsman are the three different facets of the CERVO world. The lodges from these three categories offer a timelessly modern design and carry alpine elements with a warm atmosphere. All accommodations have a unique view of the surrounding mountains.
The Mountain Ashram Spa is a great place for peace, relaxation and mindfulness, all embedded with a unique mountain panorama. The Spa at CERVO is inspired by Japanese onsen, Bhutanese hot stone baths and the Northern European art of sauna. There are various treatments and rituals you can join and also yoga and meditation is a big part of the experience. And of course you can enjoy this with the unique view on the #matterhorn
Of course sustainability is a big part of the CERVO philosophy. Their actions are based on a strong environmental awareness and the local engagement with suppliers and communities is key.
Where to eat
CERVO is not only the best place to relax and recharge – REFUEL is also a culinary experience. Eat, drink and celebrate in the CERVO spirit in the Bazaar, Ferdinand or Madre Nostra.
Inspired by the lively markets of the East, the Bazaar is the heart of CERVO. This is the place where everyone gets together: modern nomads, explorers and locals. It’s not the traditional food you get in Switzerland but much more a truly delicious 100% vegetarian experience. The atmosphere is relaxed, people chat, drink, meet, dine. Also for vegans I promise you to go to food heaven. The mezze style dishes are a class for themselves and make sure you’ll leave some space for the dessert too! (The coconut sorbet and cardamom Ice cream are by absolute recommendation. *give me some more*
If you want to truly celebrate Italy’s culinary tradition in all its deliciousness, then Madre Nostra is YOUR place. Modern creations and refined classics with all the wonderful treasures Mother Earth has to offer. In line with the sustainability ambitions the ingredients come directly from local farms and fishermen. From homemade pasta to delicious interpretations of grilled meat and fish, the Madre Nostra carries Italian cuisine in its heart and on its plate.
We didn’t have the chance to test the traditional Valais cuisine style restaurant Ferdinand at CERVO. However, if you are into cheese then you’ll love their fondue and raclette. Also in the many other specialties only Swiss products are used and the will for sure not fail to surprise you.
Gornergrat Bahn / Igloo village
You might remember this last Zermatt trip to the Gornergrat (3,089 m). This is one of those places that everyone should visit at least once in a lifetime. The mountain panorama and the glorious view of the Matterhorn are unforgettable. You can even sleep at the Gornergrat Kulm hotel but of course get off the train at any station below and enjoy the mind-blowing view. Rotenboden or Riffelalp are worth to get off and either go on a lovely winter hike, sledging or visit the igloo dorf and relax while sipping on a delicious drink. Of course all of this with the Matterhorn view.
Snowshoe Tour to the ice caves (just with guide!)
When exploring in an alpine environment and going to remote places in winter conditions it is essential to have an experienced guide with you. Since the weather can change extremely quick and you will get into trouble.
Therefore, we trusted the ZERMATTERS who is well know for its passionate and well experienced guides in the Zermatt area. They provide outdoor experiences already since 1888 and will guide you through the magical winter wonderland with views on the Matterhorn, Dent Blanche, Gabelhorn and many more.
The snowshoe tour along the Matterhorn glacier Trail is without a doubt one of the most beautiful experiences in the winter wonderland of Zermatt’s Alpine world. The hike itself to the glacier takes about one hour and of course depending on the conditions it can quickly turn into an adventurous expedition. We had very strong wind and incredibly cold temperatuare so that we were very happy to have a qualified guide with us. Walking towards the Matterhorn transmits something very special and approaching the glacier caves the time seems to stand still. It’s a peaceful and frozen place that will leave you in awe.
After the glacier cave experience we headed back into the cold and towards our final destination for the descent to Zermatt. That day we were lucky enough to be just in time before the cable car stopped operating.
Zermatt has so much to offer in winter but also in the other seasons of the year. You do not have to be into skiing to enjoy the uniquely located village. Hope you feel inspired to visit Zermatt (add it to your bucket list) or come back and try the culinary experiences at CERVO or join ZERMATTERS for an unforgettable adventure.
Thanks to Zermatt Matterhorn for the invitation – all opinions are my own.