Zermatt is well worth a visit for the stunning views of the majestic Matterhorn alone, but add to that an incredible ski area that’s open all year round, and an attractive town with a lively atmosphere, and you have an unbeatable mountain destination.
A resort with this much going for it is never going to be cheap and the majority of Zermatt’s accommodation is aimed at the upper end of the market, however, there are also some much more affordable options.
The Matterhorn is an omnipresent feature which looms above you wherever you are, and you will likely find yourself mesmerised by it for a large part of your stay. However, if you can manage to shift your focus away from the main attraction for a while, you’ll discover an expansive and varied mountain to suit all levels of skier and boarder.
Zermatt is linked to the Italian resort of Cervinia which occupies the other side of the mountain and you can buy a lift pass which covers both resorts. The Zermatt side is split into three areas: Rothhorn, Gornergrat and the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise. There are slopes suitable for beginners in each of the areas but the nursery slopes at Trokenersteg and Sunnegga are some of the best. More competent riders will want to take the cable car up to the top for stunning views and fantastic long runs down. It’s also from here that you can drop over into Cervinia. Experts will be in heaven in Zermatt (or at least not far off given its altitude of 3900m!) and there are bowls, couloirs and steeps in abundance. There are also 38km of official freeride and off piste routes, and there is some amazing heli-skiing and boarding to be had. Freestylers are also well catered for and there’s a great park up on the glacier all year round.
Swiss resorts are not generally renowned for their wild nightlife but Zermatt is a notable exception. There’s a great après scene at the Hennu Stall near the base of the mountain or stop off at the Snowboat Café if you’ve been over on the Sunnegga. Later on, the fun continues in one of the many bars in town. Popular choices include the Papperla, which often has a live band, The Brown Cow and Elsie’s Bar. There are also eight nightclubs to keep party animals entertained until the early hours. Dining options are plentiful and there are many restaurants to suit all tastes and budgets. As you’d expect in a high-end resort, many of the restaurants cater to that end of the market, but places such as Spaghetti Factory and Brown Cow offer great value for money. Many of the best bars and restaurants can be found within Zermatt’s hotels, and the Hotel Post has five bars and four restaurants alone!
With an epic mountain playground, loads going on off the slopes and a stunning setting, Zermatt should be high on your list of ‘must visit’ snowboarding destinations.