Guide to Exploring the Mountain Village Region of Zermatt, Switzerland
Nestled in a valley below towering mountain ranges, Zermatt is a charming car-free village full of unique boutique hotels, restaurants, shops and cafes, and stunning views of the Matterhorn.
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Where to stay in Zermatt, Switzerland
Hyper-individualized service, superb cuisine and impeccable design abound at this well-appointed, supremely tasteful mountain lodge.
CERVO Mountain Resort
Surrounded by the rugged beauty of Zermatt, this luxury hotel is the gateway to the mystical mountain world of the Alps.
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$100 food / beverage credit.
Mont Cervin Palace
Luxury alpine-style hotel with rustic-chic decor, three restaurants and a spa.
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Things to do in Zermatt, Switzerland
Zermatt is home to Europe’s largest year-round skiing areas. Access to three vast ski areas, a winter park and crossover to the Italian side from Matterhorn Glacier Paradise as well as off-piste heli-skiing with a mountain guide make Zermatt a skier’s dream! Imagine skiing on Theodul Glacier with a view of the Matterhorn - a truly breathtaking experience.
Magnificent views are reachable with the amazingly efficient system of Cog Railway, Cable Cars and Gondolas from Zermatt. Take the cog railway from Zermatt to Gornergrat for an incredible scenic train ride with spectacular views of the Matterhorn. Hike to the Riffelsee to see the reflection of the Matterhorn on the lake. Have lunch at the restaurant with views of Monte Rosa massif. Tobogganing and a children’s park can also be found here.
Ride the lifts and cable car to Matterhorn Glacier Paradise, Europe’s highest mountain station at 3883 meters, on the Theodul Glacier for jaw-dropping views of the Swiss, Italian and French Alps. Explore Glacier Palace 15 meters below the surface here and walk through the ice tunnels, marvel at the ice sculptures and relax in the cinema while viewing shorts or grab lunch while relishing the views.
A wide range of activities like paragliding, walking, cycling, hiking and climbing are what make travelers return again and again to this region. There is something to do for all activity levels - safe and walkable streets and trails, guided alpine tours, spa and hot tubs after a day of activity or exploration.
If you’d like to incorporate some wellness into your trip, Cuevo offers day passes where you’ll have access to the Mountain Ashram Spa. Treat yourself to a day of yoga, meditation and a climbing wall along with the baths, sauna and steam rooms.
Places to eat & drink in Zermatt, Switzerland
Du Pont - a cozy Zermatt classic - family run and the oldest restaurant in the Village. Try some traditional Swiss dishes here - soups, fondue, raclette, roast chicken, sausages and don’t forget the apple strudel!
Findlerhof is located in the mountains and is reachable by a quick train ride from Zermatt - a traditional mountain restaurant with spectacular views of the Matterhorn. Open for lunch.
One more recommendation for traditional Swiss dining is Schäferstube, located below the Hotel Julen - they specialize in local Zermatt Lamb dishes, fondue and raclette.
Cervo Bazaar is a beautiful Moroccan influenced restaurant, offering delicious vegetarian cuisine for a relaxed breakfast, lunch, dinner, cocktails or apres ski experience. Cervo Madre Nostra is a great option for modern Italian dining.
For Japanese cuisine, try Myoko Restaurant, in a chalet with sushi on the ground floor and teppan-yaki on the second floor.
For a bit of action in this small village, Club Mamacita features live music, bar foods and exotic drinks.
Snowboat is literally shaped like a boat - and it’s a great bar for apres ski spirits and cocktails and there is a restaurant below the bar - Zermatt Yacht Club.
How about cocktails in an igloo?!!! A short hike from the Rotenboden ski slope will take you to Iglu-Dorf Zermatt, where you can enjoy views of the Matterhorn from the sun terrace, the ice bar and restaurant. Check for winter opening and closing times.
Need to Know
Zermatt is amazing in the summer, winter and shoulder seasons, but the village closes down from mid-April to mid-June when skiing and hiking aren’t optimal. Travel in Switzerland is made easier with locals who can easily converse in English, availability of the Swiss Travel Pass, and the great hospitality the Swiss are known for. Zermatt is a great destination for skiers, snowboarders and nature lovers of all ages and abilities, and I highly recommend it for a special and memorable trip for couples, families and friends.
For inspiration on skiing in Switzerland, check out this guide by Fora Advisor Arielle Wat: Alpine Adventure into Switzerland's Winter Wonderland.
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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Switzerland