Zermatt is a truly world-class winter sports resort. Serious alpinists mix effortlessly with the rich and famous and while the main street is lined with five-star hotels and watch shops, there are some budget options too. The village is lively and attractive, with a river running through it, attractive chalet-style buildings, a pretty church, and most of all the unmistakeable, iconic Matterhorn presiding. Plenty of tourists come here just to enjoy the mountain experience and part with cash, and the summer scene is as big as the winter market.
Zermatt’s ski area has around 200km of pistes, of which the 18km on the glacier open throughout the summer. Also up on the glacier is the link over to Italian Cervinia, which opens up a further 160km of largely cruisy motorway pistes and lots of good value, family-owned, Italian mountain restaurants – handy if your wallet and girth is struggling with the very top-notch Zermatt offerings.
Zermatt’s terrain has a great variety of pistes. There’s heaps of off-piste for experts, much enjoyable mileage to be covered by intermediates, and easy progression slopes up on the glacier where beginners can really feel on top of the world, as long as it’s sunny.