6 non-ski joys of Zermatt

Zermatt is pretty much about skiing. Lying at the foot of the iconic Matterhorn, in the middle of a vast ski region, the resort offers snow sport activities for all levels as well as fabulous heli-skiing possibilities. However, as a non-skier you are just as welcome in this unique mountain village. You can have unforgettable winter holidays in Zermatt without ever putting your foot in a ski boot and I’d love to share some of the reasons with you.

Matterhorn View

Take the Gornergrat Bahn up the mountain

The absolute highlight is to board the modern Gornergrat Bahn to the Gornergrat summit station. Winding your way amongst the snow clad trees, you gradually leave the picturesque village below you and ascend to an altitude of 3136 metres. From the station, the majestic Matterhorn, the most photographed mountain in the world, is a sight to behold. This is without a doubt one of the most spectacular views on the face of the earth! Far below, tiny skiers and snow boarders fly down the perfectly groomed runs or negotiate their way across challenging off-piste slopes. This is a place of grandiose natural splendour!

Zermatt Village

Facilities on the mountain include a restaurant, shops, an astronomical observatory and Europe’s highest-altitude hotel, the 3100 Kulmhotel Gornergrat. From the glorious sun-deck, favourite gathering place of skiers and non-skiers, you have unobstructed views of the Monte Rosa massif, the Gorner Glacier and no less than 29 mountains above 4000 m, including the Matterhorn in all its glory.

Bernard Von Aosta Mountain Chapel

In the Bernard von Aosta mountain chapel, it is a sacred experience to say a prayer or light a candle for a loved one – you feel as if you are already half-way to heaven up there…

Wander through the fairytale village

Zermatt is a tranquil and secluded village, far removed for the madness of the world out there, but alive with a vibrant energy in winter time. You can stroll leisurely down the main street of the car-free town with your toddler happily in tow on a toboggan. The only sounds are the soft hum of electric taxis and the pleasant chatter of travellers from all over the world. The romantic jingling of alpine bells on the horse-drawn carriages can almost make you believe that Cinderella may be on her way to the ball in the palace… A village tour will enlighten you on the history and the treasures of this alpine jewel.

Walking through Zermatt

Marvel at the diverse architecture

The small town has an eclectic mix of architectural styles. The Old Village has well preserved and interesting exemplars of wooden alpine shacks, constructed by the first Swiss farmers in the traditional style of the barns and stores of the upper Valais. Some were built on thick stone slabs, balanced on stilts, to keep out mice! On the other end of the accommodation spectrum are the most beautiful luxury chalets – displaying the best technological and artistic elements of the present time. The elevator shaft of a modern hotel, overlooking the village, is set in the alpine rocks.

Zermatt Shack

Shop to your heart’s delight

You can while away many pleasant hours in the shops of Zermatt, browsing and buying. Exclusive boutiques offer brand name products. In tiny shops and interesting tourist stalls you will find exquisite traditional Swiss embroidery, precision made watches and knives, and lovely wood carved artworks – all perfect souvenirs. A box of real Swiss chocolates is the sine qua non, without which you cannot leave Zermatt!

Shopping in Zermatt

Treasure the tastes

No holiday can be a success without fine food – and Zermatt will not disappoint you. There just isn’t a Swiss alpine village with a wider selection of culinary experiences for every taste – from the simplicity of good traditional food, to the connoisseur creations of Michelin chefs. While guests are having the time of their life in après ski bars and restaurants in town at night, the freshest and the best produce is transported up the mountain by the Matterhorn Express to fulfil all your needs the next day.

Fine Cuisine

Spa your stress away

Being pampered in a luxurious spa or lounging in a heated indoor pool is one of the best ways to get rid of the strains and tensions of modern day life. Most of these facilities in Zermatt are in hotels to which access is possible.

Spa

You don’t have to ski in Zermatt to love Zermatt!

Celine Renaud is Head of Sales for Leo Trippi.

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Comments (3)

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  1. Great suggestions Celine. Zermatt is a lovely paradise, I love relaxing having a drink with a view of the Matterhorn!

  2. Adam says:

    Lovely recommendations, Celine. I adore Zermatt. I’ve spent several very happy holidays there, including my 21st birthday! I’d add going up not just the Gornergrat Bahn, but also the Matterhorn Express. There’s a new pizza restaurant at 12,000 ft with amazing views over the Theodul Glacier.

  3. Celine Renaud says:

    Dear Paolo and Adam,
    Thank you very much for your nice messages. For sure Zermatt is THE Lovely Ski Paradise of Switzerland.
    There is always something to enjoy apart from skiing: culinary highlights, excellent live music and superb restaurants with a view on the inspiring Matterhorn.

    My colleague Audrey was in Zermatt this past weekend and confirms that Ice Pizzeria on the Trockener Steg provided them with a superb lunch complimented with magnificent panoramas at 2900m!!

    Have a lovely day!

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