Zermatt Ski Resort

Zermatt ski resort is one of the best in the world.
The mountain scenery is gob smacking.
Even the trains get face shots at Zermatt!
The Rote Nase cable car accesses Zermatts best freeride terrain
Zermatt has the best train journey's in the world
Matterhorn Ski Paradise is the combined Zermatt & Cervinia in Italy
The upper reaches of Zermatt ski resort are heavily glaciated for year-round skiing
The ski terrain at Zermatt moves into tree-skiing lower down the mountain
Zermatt has high altitude ski-out accommodation like the unique Gornergrat
Zermatt village is car free so watch out for horses, horse poo & electric taxis!
Early morning Zermatt skiing
Zermatt still retains traditonal buildings
Zermatt ski resort has an immense vertical of 2263m.
Mountain restaurants like Chez Vrony are a feature of Zermatt.
Over 300km of piste trails make Zermatt & the Matterhorn Ski Paradise a massive undertaking
The selection of après ski venues below Furi at Zermatt is super fun.
Zermatt skiing
Summer skiing is possible on the glaciers at Zermatt.
Ski Zermatt
The Matterhorn - synonymous with skiing at Zermatt.

Zermatt Ski Resort

Readers Ratings

Zermatt

Zermatt4/55
Zermatt4 out of 5 based on 5 reviews
  • Recommend
    100%
  • Would Revisit
    100%
Mixed group guided instructional packages to the Dolomites
    Zermatt Ski Trail Map
  • Zermatt Ski Trail Map
  • Vertical (m)
    Zermatt only
    1,620m – 3,899m (2,279m)
    Matterhorn Ski Paradise
    (Zermatt, Cervinia & Valtournenche)
    1,524m – 3,899m (2,375m)
  • Average Snowfall
    10m+
  • Lifts - Winter (Zermatt-34)
    14 Gondolas/cable cars/trains
    10 Chairs
    Incl. Cervinia - 52 lifts
    Rest of year - 6 lifts
  • Opening Dates & Times
    Winter - Nov to early May
    8:30am to 5:00pm

    Spring/Summer - May to end Oct
    8:00am to 2:00pm
  • Terrain Summary
    Runs - 360km incl. Cervinia
    Longest run – 20km
    Advanced - 18%
    Intermediate - 60%
    Beginner - 22%

    Summer terrain:
    26.5km incl. Cervinia
  • Lift Pass Price
    Day Ticket 19/20
    Zermatt only (Winter)
    Adult - CHF79
    Child - CHF39.50
    Child u/9yr - Free

    Zermatt incl. Cervinia (Winter)
    Adult - CHF92
    Child - CHF46
    Child u/9yr - Free

    Spring/Summer Skiing 2019
    Adult - CHF71 to 84
    Child - CHF36 to 42
    Child u/9yr - Free
    Matterhorn Ski Paradise (Zermatt Cervinia Valtournenche Ski Trail Map
  • Matterhorn Ski Paradise Map
    Zermatt Summer Ski Trail Map
  • Zermatt Summer Ski Map

Zermatt Ski Resort Switzerland

Zermatt ski resort in Switzerland is considered by many to be one of the best resorts in Europe, if not the world. With the amazing Matterhorn looming high over town, Zermatt is certainly one of the most recognisable & fits the bill for many of the aspects that skiers & snowboarders are looking for on a quintessential Europe ski holiday.

It feels like you can ski Zermatt forever, with vast terrain and cruising intermediate runs that seem to never end. For those without superhuman fitness, thankfully many of slopes are intersected with fabulous mountain restaurants where you can have a lavish long lunch.

The views across many of the European ski resorts are fantastic, but Zermatt ski resort is in a class of its own. The resort sits at the foot of the iconic Matterhorn (4478m) and on the flanks of the heavily glaciated Monte Rosa (4634m). The scenery is incredible. Whilst it’s more of a town now than a village, Zermatt Switzerland has maintained some of its traditional European charm with a preserved 'old town', car free all year round & with the occasional horse drawn carriage travelling down the cobblestone streets. Last but not least, Zermatt resort oozes panache & is delightfully luxurious for those looking to glam up their ski holidays.

The Powderhounds conducted an in-depth review of Zermatt in 2019 & were not disappointed. We have been there in summer (was wonderful by the way!). We tried skiing it in February 2017 but were thwarted by high winds. We tried again in early January 2018 but were stymied by avalanches. We had a sniff in late January 2018 but enjoyed Cervinia too much. The stars aligned in 2019 with a combination of fresh snow, white-outs, wind, blue skies, cold temperatures & some gorgeous skiing!

Pros & Cons for Zermatt Ski Resort

Pros

  • Mammoth ski area that’s interlinked with Cervinia in Italy;
  • Zermatt ski resort is a paradise for intermediate skiers & snowboarders and those who like to cruise;
  • Zermatt freeride terrain & high alpine backcountry ski touring is superb;
  • Zermatt is very snow sure thanks to the high altitude & glaciers;
  • Skiing is available every day of the year;
  • Lift system has undergone massive & ongoing developments in recent times, vastly improving the ski experience;
  • Highest lifted point in Western Europe;
  • The mountain scenery is beyond amazing;
  • One of Europe’s best après ski runs in the Furi sector;
  • Sensational on mountain accommodation away from the village.
  • Plenty of off-slope activities for those who don’t ski or snowboard;
  • The on-mountain restaurants are some of the best in the world;
  • By Swiss standards, the nightlife is vibrant plus there are options for those that want to party hard & those that just want to sedately sip a cocktail;
  • Access to Zermatt is beautiful & easy via the train.

Cons

  • Zermatt can be expensive (lift tickets are Europe's most expensive but still half the price of a lift pass in Vail USA plus accommodation & food can be just as confronting from a fiscal point of view);
  • Limited valley-based ski-in ski-out accommodation;
  • Lift queues develop during peak periods at particular locations (to be expected in one of Europe's best-known ski resorts);
  • Some off-piste terrain gets skied out very quickly on powder days (the easy to access bits anyway!);
  • Localised high winds across the upper glacier terrain can often force lifts in that section to regularly close, including the link to Cervinia, Italy;
  • Zermatt skiing is not well suited to first time skiers & there is no valley trail suitable for beginners (downloading required).

Pro or Con (depending on your perspective!)

  • Zermatt is very popular with families with great ski schools & child care options, but there aren’t many nursery slopes, particularly in poor weather;
  • Village is ‘private car free’ meaning one cannot drive into Zermatt, you will just get run over by a silent electric taxi instead!
  • Due to the sprawling nature of the town & the lack of lower village ski-in ski-out accommodation, it can be a long walk/journey to ski school drop off/pick-up points, which may not be too much fun with small children attempting to carry their skis. Buses or taxis may be required.

Zermatt Skiing & Snowboarding Terrain

One of the main features of Zermatt skiing & snowboarding is the sheer magnitude of the slopes. Zermatt ski resort includes 210km of marked piste, plenty of marked off-piste routes & freeride terrain plus an ever-improving set of modern lifts which include every type of conveyance from trains, funiculars, cable cars, gondolas, chairlifts & surface lifts. The resort is generally snowboarder friendly with only a few long flat traverses to negotiate, plus the surface lifts on the glacier (which can be avoided!)

See the Zermatt ski trail map here.

The Zermatt ski resort piste trails are incredibly well geared towards intermediates with minimal beginner terrain & no return valley trail suitable for beginner skiers & snowboarders. The supposed black runs are rather tame with only a few steep pitches on the groomers. The vast off-piste is where the main fun is for advanced & expert riders. Like many other European ski resorts, you’ll get the most out of the off-piste terrain if you go with a guide & start early.

Skiing at Zermatt is across three main ski areas. The Klein Matterhorn-Schwarzsee area is the largest of the zones & includes a massive vertical drop of over 2,200m back to town & largely north facing snow-sure slopes. The Sunnegga-Rothorn sector has terrain for all ability levels, including some tree skiing plus the best mountain restaurants (like Chez Vrony). Gornergrat-Stockhorn has everything in between. Gornergrat has diverse terrain with spectacular beginner & intermediate cruising, whilst the adjacent Stockhorn has the big vert freeride terrain. Dare you take the Rote Nase cable car? You should - not nearly as intimidating as it looks & super fun off-piste skiing.

For more information see our Skiing Zermatt page.

Interconnected with Cervinia-Valtournenche

Zermatt skiing is big, but the terrain becomes gargantuan for a few extra francs or euro to get the interlinked lift pass with Cervinia-Valtournenche in Italy. Called the Matterhorn Ski Paradise, the combined ski area offers up 360km of piste & access to some superb Italian hospitality in a quieter ski area. One would be remiss in skiing Zermatt without at least heading to one of Cervinia’s rifugios for lunch!

See the full Matterhorn Ski Paradise trail map here.

Summer Skiing Zermatt

Zermatt is one of only two ski resorts in the world with skiing every day. Over 21km of intermediate slopes are available on the glacier during the 'summer' season. Ironically, lift tickets for this limited terrain cost more than in winter!

Snow & Weather

Zermatt is a world class ski resort for many reasons not the least of which is the snow. Not only is it located amongst the highest mountains of western Europe, Zermatt has the highest lifted piste terrain in Europe & is one of only two ski resorts with 365 day a year skiing (the other being Hintertux Glacier in Austria). Most of the ski & snowboard terrain is above 2000m elevation ensuring superb snow quality.

Weather has a major influence on the day to day lift operations at Zermatt. At higher elevations strong winds can ruin your day, particularly around the high glacier terrain at Klein Matterhorn. During the Powderhounds visit in Feb 2017, attempts to ski Zermatt via Cervinia failed for several days in a row due to high winds closing most lifts. We had a similar experience in 2019, but with only the glacier lifts closed, the wind created some wonderful wind-blown powder stashes that we harvested

Avalanche danger can also impact the ski resort. The heavy snow season of 2017/18 saw extreme (category 5) avalanche conditions at times. Skiers need to be aware of the hazards in the off-piste & crevasse danger on the glaciers.

Where is Zermatt, Switzerland?

Zermatt is in the German speaking upper region of canton Wallis (Valais), southwest Switzerland, close to the Italian border. Closest international airports are Geneva (2:5hr) & Zurich (3:5hr).

The Zermatt ski resort can only be reached by train or helicopter! The train is the recommended mode of travel to Zermatt with the journey being one of Europe's best rail trips via the Matterhorn-Gotthard Railway via the town of Visp. Trains link the airports of Geneva & Zurich to Visp. Search & book all train tickets to Zermatt here.

Zermatt’s car free village requires those driving to park in the down-valley town of Tasch & then complete the short train trip to Zermatt. Once in Zermatt, there are electric taxis to get around or walking is pleasant too.

For detailed information see our Travel to Zermatt page.

Zermatt Accommodation

The sprawling old mountain village offers a broad range of accommodation. Several wonderful ski in ski out options exist high above the town of Zermatt for a range of budgets including the iconic Kulm Hotel Gornergrat 3100 & on the opposite side of the valley, the more traditional Hotel Schwarzsee. In Zermatt itself, accommodation features many 4 & 5 star hotels where you can spend money galore and enjoy the luxury, fabulous food plus stunning views of the dramatic Matterhorn.

If you are watching your pennies, there are also several excellent and convenient 1 & 2-star hotels (some with very cheap dormitory rooms) like the Hotel Bahnhof & Hotel Weisshorn. Alternatively, staying off the mountain in Tasch or further down the valley in Visp or Brig can be an option if happy to make day trips, but we recommend staying at least 2-3 nights in Zermatt itself to get the full experience of this unique location.

Search & book all Zermatt accommodation here.

Zermatt's atmospheric main street, Bahnhofstrasse, features numerous major hotels (including the Grand Hotel Zermatterhof & Unique Hotel Post) along with luxury shops, restaurants & bars. Many other Zermatt hotels are packed into the central area very close to the main street & include the wonderful Backstage Boutique Spa Hotel. On the eastern bank of the river is a quieter zone with a collection of excellent hotels (like the Hotel National Zermatt), restaurants & bars near the Sunnegga funicular.

There is negligible ski-in ski-out accommodation in Zermatt village and what exists is not centrally located. The “town lifts” are the Gornergrat railway near the Zermatt train station, the Sunnegga funicular past the river and the Furi gondola - a 1km walk from the centre of town. Electric taxis, hotels shuttles & a bus system aid transportation between accommodation & lifts. Walking is nice too! Close to the Furi gondola base & valley return ski trail are a nest of hotels including the Hotel Plateau Rosa & its ultra-modern opposite number the Matterhorn FOCUS Design Hotel.

The Winkelmatten area (once a separate hamlet) has many chalets & apartments. It is located on a steep hill south of Zermatt, affording impressive views of the Matterhorn and is close to the Furi ski lifts.

For more information see our Zermatt Accommodation Info page.

Food, Après & Nightlife in Zermatt

One could be forgiven for being in another country when sampling the Zermatt bars & restaurants, & that's a good thing. It is better than most Swiss ski resorts & more akin to Austria or Italy, albeit with a typically Swiss price tag.

On-mountain restaurants like Chez Vrony, the après ski run back down to Zermatt from Furi & hole in the wall eateries like Soupi are a great feature of a great ski resort. Some of the town's high-end restaurants, whilst perfect on service & ambiance, don't quite deliver the value for dollar (or franc as the case may be) in the flavour department. Money is better spent at the lower end of the market like a 'Stinky Burger' at the Brown Cow Bar in the Unique Hotel Post complex!

For more information see our Zermatt Food & Nightlife page.

Ski Rentals, Lessons & Guiding

Ski rentals are available throughout the Zermatt villages. Search & book ski or snowboard rentals in Zermatt here.

A mind-boggling array of ski instructors, ski schools & guides ply their trade in the Zermatt ski resort. To narrow down the field, search & book private lessons, or half & full day guiding with the best providers here.

Facilities & Activities

Zermatt has an abundance of off-slope amenities including lots of family-friendly facilities & services. There are shops galore, restaurants serving everything from cheap & delicious soups to gastronomically divine cuisine & plenty of bars to give your liver a good hiding! Many wonderful mountain restaurants can be accessed via 'non-skier' friendly funicular, train & cable car, so everyone can enjoy the food & views.

Activities include wonderful paragliding, helicopter sightseeing flights around the Matterhorn, cross country skiing, scenic winter walking trails & a special 10min evening toboggan run that can be coupled with a fondue dinner. A cable car trip up to the top of the Klein Matterhorn is also popular to explore the ice museum glacial caves.

Tours in or near Zermatt

Safari (Road Trip) Tours

Monterosa Ski Safari
GUIDED OFF-PISTE ADVENTURE
8 Days | 7 Nights | 6 Skiing Days
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
This guided tour takes in some of Italy & Switzerland's iconic alpine ski areas (Zermatt, Cervinia, Monterosa) in the upper valleys of the Monte Rosa massif among 4,000m peaks such as the Matterhorn. Join a "fixed date" tour or get your own group of 4+ together for a custom tour.
Price p/p From price based on 7nights twin/double-share room occupancy.
Base/invoice currency is in EURO inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 1,994
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See all Safari (Road Trip) tours that visit Zermatt here

Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area Tours

Matterhorn-Zermatt Ski Tour
GUIDED SKI TOUR
8 Days | 7 Nights | 6 Ski Days
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
Skiing & snowboarding around the iconic Matterhorn is a bucket list trip for every Powderhound. Explore the vast terrain along the Switzerland & Italian border. Endless skiing surrounded by glaciers & dozens of high alpine peaks.
Price p/p From price based on twin/double-share room.
Base/invoice currency is in USD ex taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 3,495
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Women's Matterhorn Ski Tour
GUIDED SKI TOUR | WOMEN ONLY
8 Days | 7 Nights | 6 Ski Days
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
Ski & snowboard around the iconic Matterhorn (Monte Cervino) with a like minded, all women's group. Based in Zermatt, explore the vast terrain along the Swiss & Italian border enjoying endless skiing surrounded by glaciers & dozens of high alpine peaks.
Price p/p From price based on twin/double-share room.
Base/invoice currency is in USD ex taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 3,495
View Details
 
See all Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area tours that visit Zermatt here
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