If you’re in search of a destination out of the ordinary, a Zermatt ski vacation is sure to deliver. The first thing you’ll notice when arriving in Zermatt is a remarkable, and probably welcomed, lack of noise. Since 1891, the local doctor is the only person allowed to have a car in Zermatt. So you, and everyone else, will be traveling by train, which is a highly enjoyable experience. The only in-town transportation is by horse-drawn sleighs or electro-taxis and ski buses. Fortunately, Zermatt is a destination resort; that is, the village is difficult enough for weekend skiers to reach to keep most of them away, and the vast terrain – more than 188 miles of marked ski trails (including Breuil-Cervinia) and a resort lift capacity of nearly 92,000 people per hour – easily absorb any crowds. Even during the busiest holiday season, lift lines are not impossibly long and uncrowded slopes are there for the taking.
Mile-high Zermatt—an idyllic mountain village at the foot of Switzerland’s iconic Matterhorn peak—has developed into one of the world's most famous ski resorts. Favored by its southern exposure, sheltered by the wind and generously endowed with snow, a Zermatt ski vacation offers some of the most spectacular skiing in the Alps. Vacationers looking for off-piste activities will be delighted to know that Zermatt has sledding, curling, ice climbing, snowshoeing, winter hiking. Evening adventurers have a ton of nightlife options in Zermatt’s 50 bars.
Connoisseurs of cuisine, wine and vistas, will be pleased with Zermatt’s numerous sun-decked restaurants that dot the mountainside. This is what skiing in the Alps is all about!
Zermatt Ski Resort
The scope and variety of Zermatt skiing is tremendous, with a network of lifts serving trails that rise over 12,000 feet. Three main ski areas offer wide open slopes for beginners while the more advanced skiers enjoy the challenge of the internationally known Tiefbach, Aeroleid or Momatt. You can ski over the Theodulpass to Cervinia, Italy for lunch.
The Klein Matterhorn cable car, ascending to 12,533 feet—the highest cable car station in the Alps—has opened up new glacier ski runs which provides Zermatt with year-round skiing. Glacier skiing generally means off-piste, but Zermatt offers eight controlled, glacial pistes, totaling 11 miles of skiing. If you do head off-piste, be sure to hire a guide so you can safely get the goods. For cross-country and touring skiers, a variety of courses are available.