Celebrities and normal people alike love traveling to Switzerland. One of the biggest drawing points is the iconic Matterhorn, which is located on the Swiss-Italian border. The mountain boasts some of the best views in the world but the surrounding area also has a lot to offer. Keep reading to find out why you should visit the town of Zermatt.
The Best Things To Do In Zermatt
The town of Zermatt lies in the Alpine mountain range at the base of one of the world’s most famous mountains, the Matterhorn. It’s one of the best winter destinations in Europe thanks to its bustling skiing scene, public ice-skating rinks, and boutique shops, hotels, and restaurants that make it feel like a winter wonderland.
Going on a tour of the village is one of the most satisfying things to do in the area, whether you choose to take a guided tour or walk at your own pace. A guide will give you information about the rich history of the village, while a self-guided tour allows you the freedom to explore slowly and take in all the incredible sights. The official tours that run in the village can take anywhere from one hour to half a day and point out several of the most famous local sights.
Also located in the town is the Matterhorn Museum which sheds even more light on the history of Zermatt. This is definitely worth a visit for anybody interested in learning about the town’s past and seeing artifacts from the very first climb of the Matterhorn. Inside the museum, you’ll also see the original houses that were built in the area.
There are around 100 bars and restaurants to enjoy in the German-speaking village, as well as discos and clubs. The Broken Bar disco is one of the most famous clubs in the Alps and is a must for anybody who wants to finish their day of skiing with a little partying.
The Matterhorn and the surrounding mountains are undeniably the starring attractions of the area. But the nearby landscape also has a few other gems worth visiting, including the multiple crystal-blue mountain lakes. The hike known as the Five Lakes Walk will take you through the mountains and past the scenic lakes which are some of the most tranquil locations in Europe. You’ll also be able to see the Matterhorn behind some of the lakes.
The Best Places To View The Matterhorn
Along with the Five Lakes Walk, there are a few other places where you can view the Matterhorn in and near Zermatt. One of the best Matterhorn viewpoints is the Gornergrat Railway that links Zermatt to the summit of the Gornergrat mountain. A ride on this railway will offer you sublime views of all the surrounding mountains, including the Matterhorn.
Another place that will give you a spectacular view of the Matterhorn is Glacier Paradise. Located at an altitude of 12,740 feet, Glacier Paradise is reached by cable car that you can board in Zermatt near the Coeur des Alpes hotel.
Finally, the cable car to the Unterrothorn, which you can take in the heart of Zermatt, also gives phenomenal views of the Matterhorn and the Weisshorn.
Climbing The Matterhorn
There are about 3,000 people who climb the Matterhorn every year, but it’s not an easy ascent. Definitely not a hike for beginners, those who do want to climb to the summit are advised to do it with a professional mountain guide. You also must have prior climbing experience and a good fitness level, since it’s strenuous, demanding, and quite technical. The mountain is usually climbed from one of its four ridges and can be accessed either from the Swiss side or the Italian side.
You can climb the Matterhorn in all seasons, but it’s recommended to climb between June and September due to favorable weather conditions. One of the most important things to know before attempting the Matterhorn climb is that prior high-altitude mountaineering experience is required. It’s also advisable to already be acclimatized to one of the less-demanding surrounding peaks in the area.