Zermatt ski resort guide &reviews Ski area, apres-ski, things to see & do in Zermatt
Zermatt ski resort is a high altitude world famous village at 1600m sitting at the base of the Matterhorn in the Wallis Alps in southern Switzerland.
Zermatt is one of those places on the bucket list that most skiers want to visit at least once. It offers high altitude skiing in a huge ski area when combined with Cervinia, great food and a high standard of accommodation - just a few reasons why Zermatt is so popular.
Being a traffic-free resort, transport is by electric cars and horse-drawn carriages, although most of the amenities are easily accessible on foot. The cobbled streets are lined with cafes, bars, restaurants and boutique shops and there are plenty of other activities for non skiers. In fact, a lot of people who visit Zermatt just come to soak up the atmosphere, relax and take in the spectacular scenery.
Zermatt comes alive at night and is well known for it's varied and lively nightlife. The après-ski is a bit like Cortina and St Moritz in some respects- quality oozes everywhere -but, if its partying until the early hours such as in St Anton or Ischgl in Austria then you won't be disappointed either.
Spa & Wellbeing
Zermatt has a good selection of spa and wellness centres most of which are in the luxury hotels and are normally open to non-residents.
|Key information (whole area)|
|Longest run||17 km|
|Cross country||12 km|
|Season||Jan - Dec|
|Apres ski||Lively & Sophisticated|
Zermatt ski area guide
Ski holidays in Zermatt are for all levels of skier and snowboarder although if we're being honest, it is more geared towards the intermediate / advanced skiers. There are 4 main areas: Klein Matterhorn (3883m), Rothhorn (3103m), Gornergrat (3089m) and Schwarzsww (2583m).
Zermatt offers beginners the wide open runs at Sunnegga and Trokenersteg. After a few lessons, the classes normally move up to the slopes of Gornergrat which involves going up the cog-wheel railway.
If you are a good intermediate skier, ski holidays in Zermatt will be a dream come true with lots of long red runs many of which descend through the forests.
We heartily recommend a day out in Cervinia (included in the area lift pass) to get the touring experience of the whole area - but be warned, the queues to get back at the end of the day can be long!
Plenty of challenging on and off-piste options are available in Zermatt, some of which are the unmarked and unpatrolled yellow itinerary runs such as the Rothorn-Furi where there is a vertical drop of some 1100m!
The Gant and Hohtälli areas are certainly challenging and the Theodul glacier area leading to Italy has even more difficult terrain.
Other ski holiday activities
- Ice skating
- Winter walking and snowshoeing trails
- Dog sleighs
Zermatt has some superb riding terrain and we suggest that the best way to get the most out of the area is to hire a guide. There are some great powder bowls and couloirs for the more advanced but even for those taking their first instructor free runs, there are some long blue runs on the upper slopes. The Gravity park offers jumps with tables, half-pipe and bumps.
Our view on ski holidays in Zermatt
Skiing in Zermatt is an unforgettable experience with excellent accommodation, cuisine, service and skiing throughout the year... a couple of suggestions for your ski holidays...
- Try the Matterhorn ski safari which takes you through 10000m of vertical without skiing the same run twice
- Ski over to Cervinia in Italy for the day. There are some fantastic tree lined runs especially on the 13km cruise down in to Valtournenche
- If you like good food then why not try one of the mountain restaurants for lunch or even dinner (and sled back in to town after!) Remember to book in advance as they tend to get extremely busy in peak season
If you like Zermatt, you may also want to look at Chamonix. It has some of the most challenging skiing around especially up at the glacier on the Grand Montets and the decent in to Courmayeur in Italy starting from the Aiguille du Midi at 3842m.