Zermatt is arguably the world’s most scenically beautiful winter resort thanks to the aweinspiring views of the mighty Matterhorn, which towers above the old village. The skiing is very good too with great runs for intermediate and advanced skiers (though little for beginners).
From Gornergrat you can ski all the way down to Furi to catch Europe’s highest cable-car, which whisks you up over stunning glacier fields to the dizzy heights of 3820m for more stunning views and a long ski run down to Cervinia in Italy, or just ski back down to Zermatt’s third area, the TrockenerSteg and Schwarzee Furgg mountains for some great, long and steep cruising runs home.
For intermediates, Zermatt’s mountains hold every kind of run from short and steep to great, long cruising reds and blues. And the long plunge from the Kleine Matterhorn to the Italian resort of Cervinia (another 125km of runs) is easily do-able. There’s even a longer option – ski all the way down to Italy’s Valtournenche, 25km of ‘thigh-burning pleasure’.
With 62 lifts and 394km of pistes, experts ock to the area for steep runs, some quite wonderful mogul runs and, of course, Zermatt is Europe’s heliskiing capital. Helicopters arrive every few minutes to whisk adventurous off-pisters to a variety of areas, including untracked, virgin terrain from the top of 4634m Monte Rosa.
Very good mountain restaurants abound, most with waiter service and nearly all boast stunning views of Zermatt’s most famous sight. With over 40 huts, there are too many to list but our tip is to try anywhere, as we have (and never been disappointed once). But quality comes at a very high price here.
The same goes for the village, hundreds of restaurants from McDonalds to Haute-cuisine in the top hotels. The village is car-free but it sprawls badly so our tip is to find lodgings near the bottom lift stations. Boarders – all of Zermatt’s mountains cater well for boarders with pipes, parks and boarder-cross, plus unlimited pistes.