More than just a tourist — Personal experience at Zermatt in summer

5 min readAug 30, 2021

Image Credit: Unsplash | Victor He

Switzerland is a beautiful country, with everything from pristine lakes to the highest peaks in the Alps. Zermatt is one of those places that you can’t help but fall in love with. The village lies at Matterhorn Glacier and Weisshorn Mountain, the two highest mountains in the Alpine range. I went there for summer vacation this year and had an incredible time- so much so that I want to share my experience with you!

The Matterhorn glacier ride is a thrilling, scenic journey that takes you up to the base of one of Europe’s most iconic mountains The view from there was breathtaking, and I could not have imagined an experience better than this in Zermatt. It is worth doing for anyone visiting Switzerland as it gives tourists another way to see and enjoy the beauty of this country.

The cable car ride to the Matterhorn glacier is a must. The tour takes you on a nine-minute journey through some of Zermatt’s most beautiful landscapes, passing by lush green fields and glistening alpine lakes before culminating in an awe-inspiring sight — at 2962m high, one of Europe’s highest peaks with the Matterhorn glacier.

Four unique cabins provide a spectacular view of the ocean during the nine-minute journey. After three minutes, the cloudy glass-bottom clears in just a few seconds to reveal a fantastic view of the landscape below. I found the trip magical: it’s a beautiful experience of seeing and feeling the glacier up close, then beneath your feet and sliding outward from all sides as you near the end of this journey. The sound is so loud that it reverberates through my body- shaking me with every step I take across ice floors, straining my ears to hear the sounds of cracking and popping that I feel through my feet.

Gornergrat, Zermatt

Train trip to Gornergrat!

The Gornergrat mountain is a popular tourist destination in Switzerland and the highest point of the Riffelberg rail line. There are two types of trains available for passengers: a panoramic train with an open-air car with large windows for viewing scenery or a cogwheel train traveling through tunnels carved into the mountainside. Tickets cost CHF 45 (around £35) per person each way plus CHF 5 (£4) for travel insurance.

Train journeys generally last around 1 hour 30 minutes but can be shorter. If you do not want to go all the way up to the top of Gornergrat Mountain, they also stop off at various stations along the route, including Fiesch station, where you can visit coffee roasters before continuing onto Zermatt Station. The first stop is Grütschalp, where passengers can disembark for walks along meadows with views of mountains in every direction. From here, it’s only another few minutes before we reach Gimmelwald (famous for its hiking trails), where we stop again before continuing to the summit.

From here, you can admire views of Monte Rosa and Weisshorn mountains, choose from various restaurants (the top two being Ortlerhof Restaurant and Gornergrat House), or take a walk along a covered pathway that leads to an old observatory at 1428m. Be sure to bring your camera, as this is an excellent spot for some incredible shots of the mountains.

Zermatt Village Tour

Zermatt Village Tour

A trip to the old village in Zermatt, Switzerland, is a must for anyone interested in living history. The ancient buildings and grain stores are up to 500 years old, revealing how mountain farmers lived. A visit is not complete without visiting Zermatlantis, which displays all sorts of information about local cultures from decades past!

In Zermatt, the majority of jobs are in hotels and restaurants. Locals speak German, but there is an incredible rate of English fluency among people living here.

The Zermatt Museum tells the story of how this small mountain village became a world-famous resort. Visitors can view original houses and interiors from centuries ago and recreations of life in those times to see what it would have been like living there. We also get an inside look at one day that changed history: 14 July 1865 when two people were successful on their first attempt to climb Matterhorn Mountain — which is now named after them for being such courageous explorers! However, they snapped the rope, but visitors can still see its marks today on display amongst other objects telling the exciting tale of how Zermatt became!

In Zermatt, the old and new mingle in a way that’s true to its character. Over 100 hotels, as well as countless chalets, dot the landscape today, each offering something different to travelers, from luxury accommodations on Lake Matters to ancient inns, all just a few minute’s walk from your doorstep! The Bahnhofstrasse (meaning station street) is Zermatt’s main road that runs parallel to the river, and it’s a delight to walk down any time of day. From the steps at St. Mauritius church or Kirchbrücke bridge in front of our hotel, you can see not only some fantastic views; but also shops such as bakeries, chocolate stores, souvenir boutiques. While you’re here, this is an ideal way to stroll through town!

Zermatt has been closed to traffic. The Bahnhofstrasse is the domain of horse-drawn carriages; strolling along these historical streets in high summer is a pleasure for all ages. One secret star that often crosses your path during this time is Valais Blackneck goats — a herd about 50 strong! Buses and cars powered by electricity are the primary forms of public transportation.

Zermatt Region

The Zermatt region in Switzerland is one of those places that will have you falling head over heels with every turn. It’s the perfect destination for hikers, climbers, and nature lovers alike. You can’t help but fall in love with this charming town at the foot of Matterhorn glacier and Weisshorn Mountain. These two mountains are considered to be some of the highest peaks in all of Europe! If hiking isn’t your thing, take a break from all that fresh mountain air by indulging in mouth-watering Swiss cuisine or taking a ride down on an ice skating rink located just outside of town. Of course, there’s plenty more to do than what we’ve mentioned here!




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