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The magnificence of the iconic Matterhorn and the surrounding peaks sit uninterrupted in this car-free, pedestrian village in the Swiss Alps. This tranquil setting straddles Italy's border and illustrates Swiss romance at its finest. Zermatt is home to world-class skiing, 50 mountain lakes, mountain biking, upscale boutiques and cozy, chalet-style restaurants. If scenic trails and gravity sports are calling, Zermatt is your answer. The majestic European hotels of yesteryear live on at the Grand Hotel Zermatterhof. Originally built at the end of the 19th century, the hotel has maintained a timeless charm that continues to lure modern travelers.
From trails that are technically demanding to more approachable terrain, Zermatt is a verifiable mountain biker's paradise. Two wheels can pedal you to unbeatable views of the Matterhorn and village below.
For views of the Alps that few are able to see in their lifetime, book a trip on Europe's highest open-air cog railway. Since 1898, it's been running up to the Gornergrat. This is Switzerland's finest natural beauty.
Designed to thrill and open from April to October every year, Forest Fun Park in Zermatt has a variety of high ropes courses, zip lining options and aerial delights. Children as young as 4 can participate.
Ski, ski, ski. The Sunnegga Paradise is a ski area on Rothorn Mountain. Because Switzerland is such a well-known skiers' haven, lift systems have been in place since the 1800s. Both novice and advanced runs are available.
Should you find yourself here in the summer months, seize the opportunity go fly fishing. The mountain lakes surrounding the town of Zermatt are a fisherman's dream of ideal conditions. Book a charter with FlyFishZermatt.
Located on the mountain near the ski area, Restaurant Chez Vrony is a lovely chalet that's famous for its bloody mary soup, which is exactly what it sounds like. Expect outstanding service and killer views of the Matterhorn.
The best vantage points in this heavenly destination are from a bird's eye view. Take a cable car to the summit of the Rothorn, an area called Unterrothorn. In the summer, this is where many hikers begin a challenging day on the trails. In winter, you'll have easy access to skiing.
Zum See translates to "at the lake" but there is no longer a lake here. Zum See is a restaurant surrounded by historic chalets and fields. Reserve a homemade puff pastry ahead of time over the phone, as it's the best thing on the menu and often sold out.
Zermatt is car-free, so you will not be able to drive to your hotel. Transportation is included in your reservation. From the airport, you can drive or train to the village of Täsch. If you drive or take a private car, you must park your vehicle or be dropped off in Täsch. From there, it's a quick train ride on the Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn to Zermatt station.
The Swiss are a very multi-lingual people. It is common for them to greet one another in German, French and Italian. If you speak one of these languages, you're in good company amongst the locals. If not, no fears: many are also fluent in English.