As classically Swiss as it gets, the delightfully car free village of Zermatt is located in the idyllic upper Valais, a couple of hours by train from either Geneva or Zurich.
With the few vehicles allowed in the town center either electric or pulled by horses, visitors also have the choice to explore the town on foot or by bike. Either method is perfect to discover the beauty of this compact village that has gone to great lengths to preserve it’s fascinating past.
Split by the River Vispa, the surrounding alpine countryside is home to some of Europe’s tallest mountains, including the Monte Rosa and the iconic Matterhorn, one of the most recognizable peaks in the world. In fact, mountain climbing is one of the main reasons people visit Zermatt, attracted by the challenging terrain, sweeping views of central Switzerland and bragging rights to have conquered one of the world’s most difficult summits.
But mountaineering is not the only reason to visit: hiking, whether for several hours or spread over several days is possible in the countryside around the town, linked by well maintained paths and trails that hikers can reach by train or cable car. Swimming in crystal clear alpine lakes is a great way for hikers to relax, admiring the sparkling glaciers that cling to the steep ravines on these rocky mountains.
With some of the priciest accommodation in Europe, self catering options in Zermatt from trusted tour operators like Inghams can help bring a visit here within budget; a range of apartments and pensions at all budget levels are available, perfect for families or couples wishing to preserve comfort with the ability to cook for themselves.
As the spring days grow longer and the air warmer, the high season for travel within Europe is just around the corner – and nothing says summer in Switzerland like Zermatt!