Matterhorn from Zermatt

Zermatt – Gateway to the Matterhorn

As I mentioned before, I spend a lot of time in Switzerland, and one of my favourite places is Zermatt. Located in Canton Valais in Switzerland, at an altitude of 1600m, it is a lovely place to visit at any time of year, although mny favourite time is around Easter, as there is usually still snow around to make it picturesque, and not so many people. In the summer, the altitude makes it an ideal place to go for the day if you are staying in the Valais area, as it tends to be a comfortabe temperture instead of the heat of the Valley floor.

Zermatt is a car-free town, as you are not allow to drive into the town. If you choose to drive up the valley heading for Zermatt, you have to park in one of the very large car parks in Täsch, and either catch the train into Zermatt on one of the frequent shuttle trains, or if you are feeling fit, walk along the scenic pathway (takes me about an hour, although if you’re walking in the summer, take water with you as you can get thirsty. Personally, I usually catch the train into Zermatt, and walk back to the car at the end of the day – its downhill!

If you are staying in a hotel in Zermatt, most of the hotels either have electric buggies to collect guests and luggage from the station, or horsedrawn carrages for the same purpose

One of the mai sights in Zermatt is the Matterhorn at 4,478m, which towers above the village. It is fair to say that quite often the peak of the Matterhorn is covered in cloud.

One of the best views of the mountain are from the steps of the church in the middle of the village, or you can walk all the way through for perfect views.

The village itself is a lovely shopping area, with a great selection of cafe’s and restaurants. The highstreet is mostly straight and shop lined. Be aware that if you are visiting for the day, the electric vehicle can sneak up on you  very quickly. Also, most shops tend to shut over lunch, some for up to 2 hours. In the summer there are parades and celebrations which if you’re lucky enough to see are worth watching.

There are many places to eat, from expensive restaurants to McDonalds. If you are in Zermatt, the McDonalds restaurant in the high street is worth a visit although is does get busy, but the architeture is amazing. There are other good quality restaurants all through the village, including the hotel Zermatterhof where you can sit outside and eat or have a drink

The Village is perfect to visit at any time of year, with lots of walking trails, mountain cable cars and the Gornergrat railway. The photos here were taken in August, but if you see my other post you will get a more picturesque snowy view of Zermatt.

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