Set on the Italian border beside the iconic, snowcapped Matterhorn this is one of Switzerland's glitziest resorts. The attractive car free town has a population of just under 6000 which swells during the winter months as snow lovers come seeking adventure on the slopes.
Zermatt is suitable for families, intermediates and experts alike with an impressive lift system, extensive off piste and high altitude top stations that allow a longer season than many other ski resorts (from late November to the end of April).
The town is spread out so make sure to be aware of where you accommodation is in relation to the three ski lifts. The Gornergrat railway is next to the main railway station, the Sunnegga funicular is a 150 metres away beyond the river and the Furi gondola is further down the valley.
WHERE TO STAY
Step into the slick elevator to be transported through solid rock to enter this sleek and sophisticated design hotel. Designed by New York architect Ali Tayar the Omnia boasts floor-to-ceiling windows, wood floors, Tempur mattresses, an indoor-outdoor pool and spa with stunning views. www.the-omnia.com
Mont Cervin Palace
Built in 1852 and refurbished in 2012 this grand Alpine hotel is located in the centre of the resort and boasts and an attractive indoor-outdoor pool and spa plus three restaurants (one of which is Michelin starred). www.montcervinpalace.ch
The mountain restaurant Stafelalp which sits in the shadow of the famous Matterhorn is easily reachable at the end of a hike from Furi or Schwarzsee, or the beautiful ski run #52. Lamb is a speciality here, so go for a juicy lamb burger. For something heartier, try the hot stone grilled bison, beef filet, tuna steak or Swiss specialities like rösti and cheese – all beautifully complemented by local and international wine. Why not take home some local dried meat and raclette cheese as the perfect souvenir? www.julen.ch
Located in the middle of a unique hiking and skiing resort in Findeln, this hidden gem provides dinners with the most stunning view while enjoying the exquisite cuisine. Findlerhof is known for its traditional Swiss cooking with a touch of modern Italian influence. The savoury food accompanied by their carefully selected wine list will guarantee you an unforgettable dining experience. www.findlerhof.ch
Where to go if you only get to have one meal in the Alps? The answer is undoubtedly the Chez Vrony. Famous for their traditional recipes that are handed down over generations, Chez Vrony is committed to serve organic home produce from livestock raised solely on alpine grass. Enjoy their dried beef, homemade sausage and alpine cheese while dining at the breathtaking Matterhorn. www.chezvrony.ch
This stylish venue Les Marmottes is the perfect go-to for visitors who are looking for the best of both worlds where you can have the natural local farm produce and the modern international fusion in the mountain hut. From homemade soups to beef fillet to oriental rice and noodles, it’s your pick. www.les-marmottes.ch
Photo courtesy of www.facebook.com/restaurantsimi
Opened in 1967, Simi is Zermatt’s legend. This beautiful and historical restaurant never stopped serving the traditional Swiss cooking that is prepared on the wood grill and hot stone. Make sure you don’t miss their Swiss specialities range from fondue to raclette. www.restaurantsimi.ch
DRINKING AND NIGHTLIFE
Your visit in Zermatt is not complete without stopping by at least once at the famous Irish-style Papperla Pub. Open every day of the week, summer or winter, this is a must-go place whether you are visiting, from around here, or just meeting for drinks. DJs and live music performances transform the ‘big living room’ into one big party. During winter, enjoy après-ski hot Jäger Tea or a Coffee Lutz with plum schnapps and cream. www.julen.ch
What is a ski town without a place to go dancing and partying? For those who still have the energy after a day on the slopes or hiking in the mountains of Zermatt, there is only one place to be: The Schneewittli Nightclub. The DJ and live band get everyone up on the dance floor. Rock n’ Roll Sundays are the talk of town, so come by and reserve the Mountain Lounge with a private stage, Sky Lounge with a private balcony, Snow Lounge with a view over the club, or simply book your party table. www.julen.ch