Zermatt is a small town located in the Visp district of the canton Valais in Switzerland. Although it has a small population of approximately under 6,000 people all year round, this town is famous as a wonderful destination for family vacations. Much of the economy here is based on tourism, in which half of the town jobs are in Zermatt hotels or restaurants while nearly half of the apartments here are vacation apartments.
But what makes this far and cold town so popular for vacation? In this article, we will guide you through every possible reason that contributes to the success of Zermatt in attracting tourists from all over the world.
A Car-Free Vacation in Zermatt
One special thing about Zermatt is that no car is allowed in this town. Most people come here by train and travel within the town by walking or taking the electric taxi or electric bus. Even if you drive, you will have to park your car at a destination that is about 5 kilometers from the village. From there, there are shuttles that will take you to the village.
The fact that not a single car is presented within the town makes it more attractive. In this car-free village, you will have a chance to enjoy the clean air, explore the historical chalets that line the streets, and take in the stunning scenery here!
Zermatt has a subarctic climate. This means that winter here is usually long and cold, with freezing temperature and annual snowfall while summer is usually short and chilly.
You must be wondering how this kind of weather can attract tourism. However, this type of weather makes it a perfect place for winter vacation. Most people come here to ski, so summer or winter just doesn’t matter because Zermatt offers year-round skiing. Cold weather only adds to the enjoyable feeling of experiencing one of the world’s best-skiing destinations.
Besides, even if you don’t ski, what could be better than sitting cosy by the fire, enjoying hot chocolate or fondue while watching the snowfall outside the window, right?
Famous Zermatt attractions with wonderful views
Zermatt is situated in one of the highest spots in Switzerland. It is surrounded by mountains, conifer forests, and ski slopes. Inside the village, lie dozens of historic buildings and wooden chalets. Some even date back hundreds of years ago. Every single one of them is beautiful and well-preserved.
Here, you can visit the town’s relaxing spas, enjoy fine dining at what remains to be old half-timbered houses. This town is definitely interesting as you can see for your eyes old houses from the 16th century and enjoy the modern spa at the same time.
Well it is almost unacceptable to write about Zermatt without mentioning the mountain of Matterhorn, right? This mountain is what draws tourists from all over the world to come to this small town. It can be said that without the Matterhorn, Zermatt is just another pretty little Swiss village.
Europe’s most famous mountain, at over 14,000 feet high, is on the border between Switzerland and Italy. This sharp pyramid can be seen from almost anywhere from the town of Zermatt. It has such a prominent position over the town.
Matterhorn Glacier Paradise
Along with making a dramatic background for Zermatt, the mountain also lies in one of the world’s most famous skiing resorts – the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise. This wonderland is situated at nearly 4,000 meters above sea level and can only be reached by cableway.
The place is an alpine paradise of ski slopes, panoramic vistas, ice carvings, fine cuisines, hiking trails, and a glacier palace. From here, you can enjoy 360° views including 38 peaks and 14 glaciers of the Alps. And, on a crystal-clear day, you can even see Mont Blanc in Italy.
The Gornergrat Railway
The Gornergrat mountain railway departs every 24 minutes from Zermatt and takes about 33 minutes to bring visitors to the summit of Gornergrat. Europe’s highest open-air cog railway climbs from 658m aptitude and works the way to 3098m above sea level.
The 120-year-old railway offers the most impressive and historic way to travel up any mountain. Take this train, and it will take you through galleries and tunnels. Pass larch forests and Swiss stone pine, and go through rocky ravines and mountain lakes. When you reach the summit, stop and enjoy the wonderful scenery of Monte Rosa, the Matterhorn, and the glacial Lake Riffel.
The Gorner gorge
The Gorner gorge is a wooden walkway that is located southwest of Zermatt village. This natural spectacle takes about 2 kilometres to walk from Zermatt train station. The beautiful little river gorge viewed down the river while leading between towering cliffs. The gorge itself is relatively short, only 200m long. So adding a little walk through the forest before going back to Zermatt might be a good option.
Sunnegga – the “sunny corner” of Zermatt is heaven for families on vacation. This place is the most family-friendly peak and also the sunniest vista. It offers a whole pack of activities for children of all ages. It is a wonderful sunny place to shelter from the cold wind here at Zermatt.
There are a whole lot of destinations to explore in Zermatt, so if you find this article interesting, you can find out more about Zermatt in other articles on this website and let us know what you think about this wonderful place.