Zermatt Ski Resort Switzerland
Zermatt Ski Resort is considered by many to be one of the best ski resorts in Europe. Zermatt Switzerland fits the bill for many of the aspects that skiers and snowboarders are looking for on a quintessential Europe ski holiday.
Firstly it feels like you can ski Zermatt forever, with vast terrain and cruising intermediate runs that seem to never end. For those without superhuman fitness, thankfully many of slopes are intersected with fabulous mountain restaurants where you can have a lavish long lunch.
The views across many of the European ski resorts are fantastic, but Zermatt Ski Resort is in a class of its own. Sitting at the foot of the Matterhorn, an iconic 4,000 metre-plus peak, the scenery is incredibly majestic.
Whilst it’s more of a town now than a village, Zermatt Switzerland has maintained its traditional old European charm with lovely old buildings and the occasional horse drawn carriage travelling down the cobble stone streets. Last but not least, Zermatt Resort oozes panache and is delightfully luxurious.
Zermatt Skiing and Snowboarding
One of the main features of the Zermatt skiing and snowboarding is the sheer magnitude of the slopes. Zermatt Resort includes 245km of marked piste, plenty of off-piste terrain, and 73 lifts, many of which are cable cars, gondolas and other efficient lifting systems.
The Zermatt Ski Resort piste is incredibly well geared towards intermediates, with minimal beginner terrain, and the supposed black runs are rather tame. Moguls sit off to the side of many of the runs, whilst off-piste is where the main fun is for advanced and expert riders. Like many other European ski resorts, you’ll get the most out of the off-piste terrain if you go with a guide.
Zermatt skiing is across three main ski areas. The Matterhorn Glacier Paradise
(Klein Matterhorn) area is the largest of the zones and includes a massive vertical drop of 2,200 metres that goes for 13km. This area has largely north facing snow-sure slopes. The Blauherd-Bothorn
area has terrain for all ability levels, including some tree skiing. Some of the best of the mountain restaurants can also be found here. Stockhorn/Gornergrat
has diverse terrain with intermediate cruising on one side and freeriding terrain on the other.
Ski Zermatt - Interconnected with Cervinia and Valtournenche
Zermatt skiing in itself is big, but the terrain becomes gargantuan as part of the Matterhorn Ski Paradise. Zermatt Ski Resort is interconnected (pending good conditions) with Valtournench and Cervinia in Italy, offering up 360km of piste. And if that’s not enough terrain, you can also get across to the Monte Rosa ski area.
Like many other European ski resorts
, the average snowfall per season is not particularly high. However Zermatt Switzerland does well in the quality stakes considering the altitude (top lift served elevation is 3,820 metres) and the fridge effect from some of the glaciers. Thanks to the high altitude it’s even possible to ski Zermatt during summer on one of the glaciers (which includes a snowpark and pipe). Zermatt’s snow reliability is further enhanced by extensive snow making facilities.
Where is Zermatt Switzerland?
Zermatt is located in the southern part of Switzerland in the canton of Valais, not far from the Italian border. Closest international airports are Geneva (2:50 hours), Zurich (3:50 hours), and Milan (2:50 hours), and whilst transfers to Zermatt take a little longer than many other European ski resorts, it’s still very easy to get there by train or transfer. Those driving must park in Tasch because Zermatt is car-free, and then catch a 10 minute mountain cog railway to Zermatt. Once in Zermatt, there are electric taxis to get around.
The sprawling old mountain village aka town offers a very large range of accommodation. Zermatt accommodation features many 4 and 5 star hotels where you can spend money galore and enjoy the luxury, fabulous food, and stunning views of the dramatic Matterhorn. If you are watching your pennies, there are also 1 and 2 star hotels and even dormitory rooms.
Facilities & Activities
Zermatt has an abundance of off-slope amenities including lots of family friendly facilities and services. There are shops galore, restaurants serving gastronomically divine cuisine, and plenty of bars to give your liver a good hiding!
Activities include helicopter sight seeing flights around the Matterhorn, cross country skiing, scenic winter walking trails, and a special 10 minute evening toboggan run that can be coupled with a fondue dinner. A cable car trip up to the top of the Klein Matterhorn is also popular to explore the ice museum glacial caves.
Summary of Pros and Cons
- This is a mammoth ski area that’s interlinked with Cervinia in Italy.
- Zermatt Ski Resort is a paradise for intermediate skiers and snowboarders and those who like to cruise.
- The on-mountain restaurants are some of the best in the world and enhance the cruising experience.
- Zermatt Resort is very snow sure thanks to the high altitude.
- The mountainous scenery is beyond amazing.
- The atmosphere of the old-world village is very charming, and the town is largely traffic-free.
- Zermatt is utopia for those who love luxury and wearing a fur coat, and there are plenty of off-slope activities for those who don’t ski or snowboard.
- By Swiss standards, the nightlife is rather vibrant and there are options for those that want to party and those that just want to sedately sip on a cocktail.
- As is common with some of the best ski resorts in the world, Zermatt Switzerland is very expensive. Lift tickets are pricey, accommodation can cost a bomb, and lunch can be a very lavish affair. Of course, there’s no point complaining about the prices. If you can’t afford it, just don’t go there.
- Lift queues develop during peak periods, which is sort of to be expected for one of the best ski resorts in Europe.
- Zermatt skiing is not well suited to beginners.
Pro or Con Depending on Your Perspective
- Zermatt is very popular with families and it’s child oriented with great ski schools and child care options, but there aren’t many nursery slopes. Also due to the sprawling nature of the town and the lack of ski-in ski-out accommodation, it can be a long walk to the ski school drop off/pick-up point, which may not be too much fun with small children attempting to carry their skis.
Tours that include Zermatt
Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area Tours
See all Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area tours that visit Zermatt here
GUIDED SKI TOUR | MIXED GROUP
8 Days | 7 Nights | 6 Ski Days
From price based on twin/double-share room.
Base/invoice currency is in USD ex taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
Skiing Around The Iconic Matterhorn is a Bucket List Trip For Every Skier. Explore the Vast Terrain Along the Switzerland & Italian Border. Endless Skiing Surrounded By Glaciers & Dozens of High Alpine Peaks
Backcountry Skiing Tours
See all Backcountry Skiing tours that visit Zermatt here
GUIDED BACKCOUNTRY TOURING
8 Days | 7 Nights | 6 Days Ski Touring
From price based on twin/double-share room occupancy.
Base/invoice currency is in GBP inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Ability: Advanced to Expert
This trip is for serious, fit, expert backcountry skiers. This tour links the best known resorts of Chamonix and Zermatt with 6,000 m of ascents / descents and over 120 km of touring. Join a fixed date tour or wrangle your own group together for a private custom tour.