Zermatt and the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise
Have you visited the highest altitude mountain railway station in Europe? It’s located close to the mountain ski resort of Zermatt and provides breathtaking views of Italian, French and Swiss peaks from a height of 3,883 metres. You can see the Mont Blanc, the highest peak in the Alps as well as the rear of the Matterhorn. Down below is the largest Summer skiing area in the whole of Europe which is open 300 days a year. If you’re brave you can even ski in a bikini … apparently … according to the website!
If you’re feeling adventurous you can hike across to the Breithorn which stands at 4,000metres high and takes approximately 2.5 hours walking across the glacier. But do beware – the air is thin and it sometimes takes a little time to acclimatise. There is a restaurant here and there are numerous locations to walk outside and get stunning photos of the glaciers.
We visited at Easter and when you skied down you found yourselves in Italy with the choice of heading either to Cervignia or back to Zermatt in Switzerland. There are generous wide slopes and great skiing.
Zermatt is a no-car zone so the best way to get there is by train. The journey takes about 3.5 hours from Zurich Hauptbahnhof and if you’d rather not lug heavy skis with you, why not send them ahead of you by train so that they can be waiting for you when you arrive. There are some fabulous hotel in Zermatt but booking ahead is essential.
In 2015 Zermatt marked the 150th anniversary of the first ascent of the iconic peak. Zermatt’s history as a holiday destination is closely linked with Britain, as the 14,692 ft Matterhorn was first conquered by the British illustrator and engraver Edward Whymperon on July 14, 1865. Sadly his triumph turned to sadness when four members of the seven-strong climbing party tragically fell to their deaths on the descent.
There are many great hotels in Zermatt and it makes sense to find one where you can wake up to stunning views of the Matterhorn, like for example the Matterhorn Focus Hotel which offered friendly service and a great spa in addition to the great views.
For more information on Zermatt please check the official website.