Swiss skiing in ZermattWinter Sports in Zermatt

Ski and snowboard 360 km of piste in Zermatt between 1620-3899m


here are lots of little things to complain about in Zermatt, and if there weren't, it would be perfect - the car-free village, the fabulous views of the Matterhorn, the extensive slopes that stretch across into Italy, the amazing mountain restaurants and a guarantee that there will always be something skiable, weather permitting, throughout the year. The village is right at the head of a valley, surrounded by the highest peaks in Switzerland, and was a quiet farming community until the onset of Alpinism. Now it is a bustling town and the car-free cachet is somewhat undermined by the electric taxis and buses racing to ferry skiers and snowboarders around the resort and its four pisted areas. The main ski areas are the Rothorn, the Gornergrat and the pistes below the Matterhorn (including Schwarzee) that connect up to Cervinia in Italy. The ski areas are loosely linked together with the Gornergrat accessed by a slow but scenic cog railway adjacent to the main railway station, and the Rothorn and Matterhorn areas by lifts respectively in the extreme North and South of the resort. Although it sounds difficult to get about it is not, those plentiful taxis, frequent buses and the option of Shank's pony make it easier than it might sound. From the centre of town a good way to start the day is to take the Gornergrat railway (which starts very early) and hack across to the Rothorn or Stockhorn areas via Gant, or ski down to Furi to get up the Matterhorn. The downsides to Zermatt? Expensive, not a good resort for beginners, a few flat sections on the Matterhorn side and it can be brutally cold in January and February.

Ski and Snowboard Zermatt

Best of the Slopes

Some seriously long runs here, particularly the 17k run off the almost 4000m summit of Klein Matterhorn via Trockener Steg and Furgg back into the village, often open long after most resorts have closed for the season. Also recommended are the Triftji bumps on Stockhorn, although they are often not open until late February. Stockhorn and Rothorn have 10k runs back into Zermatt.

Where to Eat and Party

Zermatt has some of the best mountain restaurants in the world and dozens of excellent places to eat in the village itself and right over the border into Cervinia. The small serving of fish soup in Chalet Etoile (+39 0166 940 220) off Plain Maison in Cervinia is not only an inexpensive and filling repast, it is probably the best fish soup I have experienced anywhere in the world, at least above 2000m. Expensive but justly renowned are Chez Vrony (+41 27 967 25 52) below Sunnegga in Findeln, Zum See (+41 27 967 2045) below Furi (turn left at the signpost on to the path above Blatten), and the Fluhalp (+41 27 967 25 97) on the Rothorn. For après ski, many people congregate at the Hennu Stall below Furi before the schuss into Zermatt, whilst in the town itself a good itinerary for a night out might take you to Papperla, the North Wall Bar and Hotel Poste. For upmarket dining in town the Omnia hotel restaurant (+41 27 966 71 71), After Seven (+41 27 966 69 70) at the Backstage Hotel and pretty much anywhere on Bahnhofstrasse are recommended. At the other end of the scale Sparky's on Schluhmattstrasse is worth a diversion for good value, good quality food and a relaxed atmosphere. Zermatt also has a good range of Asian and fast food joints.

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Getting There

By Public Transport

The best destination to access the downhill slopes by public transport in this ski area is Zermatt. Station adjacent to Gornergrat mountain railway - take courtesy bus or electric taxi, or walk, for other lifts.

  • From Zurich the least travel time is 3 hrs 11 mins with as few as 1 changes going via Visp.
  • From Basel the least travel time is 3 hrs 24 mins with as few as 1 changes going via Visp.
  • From Berne the least travel time is 2 hrs 6 mins with as few as 1 changes going via Visp.

By Road

Zermatt is a car-free resort. If you drive you will need to pay to park at Tasch then buy a return train ticket to go the rest of the way up the valley.

Please refer to a map and check local conditions for accurate routing information.

  • The road distance from Zurich is around 221 km and the journey time is roughly 3 hrs 50 mins.
  • The road distance from Basel is around 229 km and the journey time is roughly 3 hrs 40 mins.
  • The road distance from Berne is around 136 km and the journey time is roughly 2 hrs 40 mins.
  • The road distance from Geneva is around 238 km and the journey time is roughly 3 hrs.

Get road directions at Google Maps

Nearby Resorts

Nearby destinations in the region include Grächen and the resorts of Saastal, including Saas-Fee.

Weather Outlook

Latest Resort Report

MySwitzerland report for Zermatt

Piste Map for Zermatt

Ski and Snowboard using the Zermatt trail map

Larger piste map for Zermatt


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